Giovanni from Sardinia in Italy helps people to study more effectively and as such he has reviewed Calmer as a tool to help students focus better.
Please Note: Below is a translation of his original Blog which was in Italian. We hope that the translation is as accurate as possible but we apologise for any incorrect words.
Read the original Italian blog and find out more about Giovanni here.
Over to Giovanni!
I discovered something that increases concentration.
Today I want to talk to you about something a little different.
We talk about concentration, how concentration is increased and sounds and noises that can disturb us.
The sounds and noises in fact reverberate in the ear, this reverberation increases the sounds we hear and from which we could potentially be distracted by about 20 decibels.
On the advice of a student of the MemoVia Course I contacted a company called Flare Audio.
What this company does is create special caps, which I also wear right now. They are two small pieces of silicone, transparent and invisible.
What the company claims about these plugs is that compared to normal plugs, which make the sound feel muffled or should isolate completely, these instead absorb some of the sound, especially some frequencies (it gives me the impression that they cut the higher frequencies) .
Since we know that sounds and noises can be a great distraction for some of us, while we study and while we work, let's see together what are the first impressions of using the Flare Audio Calmer.
I want to understand if they really work as the company says in the reduction of disturbing frequencies and noise and consequently also of distractions.
How Flare Audio Calmer Are Made
In the meantime, let's see how they are made.
They might look like silicone earplugs, instead they have a specially shaped hole that would allow sounds to pass through differently to how we normally perceive them.
In the research that can be seen on the Flare Audio website, we find that these plugs cut or modify frequencies between 2 and 8 kilohertz. They are the ones we generally hear during the day and within which there are some disturbing sounds which can reduce concentration..
When these sounds are sudden and very loud, they activate the reaction that is defined as fight or flight, that is "fight or run", the reaction of surprise and fear you get when a noisy object falls on the ground or when the waiter passes by in the pizzeria. a glass or plate falls.
A Couple Of Clarifications
Before I tell you my opinion and my experience, and how this object actually increases concentration, we need to make some clarifications.
The first is that the benefits, as the company also says, are not immediate, they are not instantaneous.
The changes are very subtle, we are talking about 10-20 decibels, so our perception of the sound around it becomes different after a few days of regular and constant use.
For some of us it will be almost immediate, for others it will take a little longer.
The second clarification is that the sounds change, or rather we begin to perceive them in a different way, both while we wear the caps and when we remove them.
When I removed the caps, after the first day of continued use throughout the day, I noticed that I could hear both my voice and the rustle of my clothes differently.
This surprised me because not only during the day I felt more productive and heard less disturbing sounds, but at the end of the first day I actually noticed how much we take for granted some sounds and noises that maybe annoy us while we study and work. , they distract us and we don't even realize it.
The Flare Audio Calmers are very easy to put on, the truth rests on your ears and they are already inside. I have been using them for a couple of days and after a few hours you no longer realize you are wearing them, but actually the sound is heard differently.
They are practically inaudible. In fact, I doubt that even a friend who talks to us would notice that we are wearing these special silicone plugs, unless he really goes looking for them inside our ear.
Included in the ecological packaging they use for their products, I received a small carrying bag, an instruction booklet and some stickers, to put on their headphones to "let people know" that you have "increased" hearing.
What They Are Used For And When They Work
First of all I have to admit that I was surprised because these eartips don't actually make the sound feel muffled, but they remove some frequencies, as we said the higher ones.
According to the company, they would remove the distortion.
Now this from a physical point of view is not possible because the distortion occurs at the exit from objects (from amplifiers, from people's voices, from traffic) and therefore cannot be removed when entering the ear.
What Calmers do is attenuate frequencies that can disturb or de-focus.
I have been wearing them for a few days while I work and while I study, I admit to:
- be more focused
- I enter the flow of work and study more easily
- traffic noises, such as those of very noisy vehicles, are less distracted by noise
There was recently an accident under the studio I'm writing in. A delivery truck crashed into a bus, an ambulance arrived, there was a mess.
I only realised it after a long time, I was concentrated on the work I was doing, because I actually heard the disturbing noises somewhat attenuated. So I didn't worry when I heard the faint (or so it seemed to me) sound of the collision between the two vehicles.
External Tests Of The Flare Audio Calmer
Realising that the situation was changing, I decided to try them also outside, so when I was not studying or working: in the midst of people, in more or less crowded streets, with ambulances and emergency vehicles passing by, the sounds of the brakes , horns, inside the lift, at the seaside, etc.
I've used them all over the place.
In all these cases my perception of the sound and noise around it has changed. It is as if the Flare Audio Calmer have reduced or eliminated those disturbing, annoying frequencies that we hear and annoy us
I have noticed that they do this even with sudden sounds. But this kind of silicone plugs in my opinion are better than regular earplugs because they don't completely remove our presence and awareness of the environment.
In the workplace I think they can be addictive: if you work in the midst of a lot of people, in contact with the public, even on the phone, you get a lot of phone calls, here is the ringtone of the phone or the voice of the person on the other side is less disturbing.
I believe they can make the work environment less stressful.
Would I Recommend Them While Studying?
Yes. Because they increase concentration, it is undeniable.
You are more productive, less stressed, calmer.
The cognitive resources that would be needed to manage anxiety and stress can all be redirected and used in the study.
I know Flare Audio says these plugs also reduce tinnitus.
I wouldn't dare say something like that, because there is still no clear cure for tinnitus and often the causes are not known.
For those who suffer from anxiety (I take it too) I can say that they reduce the levels of anxiety and stress, they were probably born for this. Even if you don't work or study in particularly stressful or noisy environments.
The earplug itself is easy to put on, easy to clean, doesn't bother the ear (unless you push it hard inside the ear, which I wouldn't recommend), and it's also easy to remove the tab
As for the price we are talking about 20 euros.
Of course, 20 euros for a pair of silicone plugs can be a lot, depending on what we value.
I wanted to try them and in fact I must say that:
- the perception of the world is more acute
- the quality of concentration and work changes
- the stress is definitely reduced
- anxiety, at least in my case, was also reduced
We can say that if one wants to try, 20 euros will not spoil us!
They are very small so it is very likely to lose them, you have to be careful.
I'm curious what the future evolutions of this little silicone plug will be, because in my opinion some very interesting things will be developed and the research will bring further improvements.
In the future, this type of product may be even more effective.
Do Flare Audio Calmers Increase Concentration?
The reason that led me to contact the Flare Audio company to receive these caps on trial was to find out if such a device really increases concentration or is just a marketing promise.
They increase concentration and I will continue to wear them regularly as I study and work
This type of device is difficult to explain, I don't know if I have succeeded well because this is the first time I have done it
However, to me these objects that promise to improve our days, especially our productivity, drive me crazy so from time to time I will continue to do this type of reviews.