SurfEars were designed for one simple purpose: to keep water out and let sound in. The latest edition of these ingenious little earplugs, the SurfEars 3.0, are stronger and more functional than ever before.
The question is, do these surfing earplugs actually work, do they provide good value for money, and what do customers have to say about them?
How Do SurfEars Earplugs Work?
SurfEars 3.0 are earplugs that prevent water from getting inside your ear, reducing the risk of a serious ear infection (not to mention short-term and long-term hearing problems) in the process.
Each order of SurfEars comes with:
- A pair of SurfEars (color-coded to help you tell the left ear from the right ear)
- 6 sealing gels (2 large, 2 small, 2 extra small)
- 2 support wings
- An adjustable leash
- A storage/carrying case
They fit securely and the leash means that you don’t automatically lose one if it pops out of your ears during a wipeout.
Benefits of SurfEars 3.0
Firstly, SurfEars 3.0 really do work. They fit comfortably and snugly and they will keep the water out without deafening you. It’s important to stay alert on the waves and so you need to hear. SurfEars earplugs will deaden the sound somewhat (as expected) but you can still hear.
They seem to be very well made and are quite durable. The same applies to the storage case and the leash. The varying sizes and sealing gels also help, as it means you can find a size that suits you.
Some of the features that have been added to the new model include the color-coded plugs—making it easier to know which earpiece goes where—and the fact that you can detach the plugs from the leash.
SurfEars earplugs are a great way to prevent surfer’s ear, also known as swimmer’s ear. It occurs when the bone in the ear canal develops multiple growths, known as exostoses. This bone growth can narrow the ear canal, causing a blockage that may lead to complete hearing loss.
Another benefit of note is that you can buy spare and changeable parts for your SurfEars. If you lose one plug, you don’t need to buy a pair and can just buy a single replacement.
Problems with SurfEars 3.0
The price is the main issue that we have with SurfEars. It’s one that has been raised by most customers, as these little plugs will set you back an eye-watering $59.00.
You could argue that you’re getting what you pay for as these plugs are high quality and they will also keep your eyes protected and reduce the risk of surfer’s ear and other ear problems. But at the same time, that’s $59 for some little plugs that could easily end up lost on the ocean floor after a big wipeout.
If money is tight, and you’re surfing on an old and battered board, $59 is probably out of the question. If you’re happy to spend some money to get optimum protection, go for it.
We have seen some other issues being reported as well, but these either don’t exist for the new SurfEars or they are down to consumer error.
For instance, we’ve seen complaints that the earplugs are very uncomfortable and that they can’t hear much when they are wearing them. This can happen, but it’s probably the result of existing ear problems, including impacted wax.
Another issue concerns the customer support. We found a couple of reviews arguing that the support team refused to honor a return/refund, as they don’t have any such policy in place. In actual fact, their website clearly states that you can return the plugs up to 30 days after receiving them, providing they haven’t been worn.
Of course, the “must not have been worn” clause is likely what’s angering a few customers, but it’s standard and it’s something you will find with all but the biggest of retailers. Sure, they could offer some kind of satisfaction guarantee policy, but such policies are not that common with earplugs.
Summary: SurfEars 3.0 Review
If you want to wear earplugs and have the money to invest in the very best plugs on the market, then the SurfEars 3.0 are definitely the way to go.
Pick up some new SurfEars before your next surf trip and keep those ears protected against cold water. If your child is surfing with you, there are also “Junior” plugs, and these are actually a more reasonably priced option.