The environment of racing is harsh—especially in the driver seat. Split second decisions are made with little-to-no room for error, and many times without the help of a spotter, accidents would not be avoided. These conditions make reliable communication with the driver priceless.
Behind the wheel is a noisy place. The roar of the engine, screaming tires, and the same noises from the cars around you can make it hard to hear what your spotter and crew chief have to say. Racing Electronics uses its custom ear molds to cut down on noise, while allowing the driver to hear their spotter and crew chief.
“We use a two-part silicone to get a customer’s initial (ear) impressions,” explain Joey Palubiak, Earmold Lab Supervisor for Racing Electronics “Once the two parts are combined they harden in about 5 minutes. We then keep that impression on file for the next 3-5 years in case the driver needs another pair.
“The initial impression gives us the exact shape of customer’s ear, allowing for a perfect seal that cancels the most noise and maintains ‘I forgot I was wearing them’ comfort. We use a high quality silicone that is very soft and flexible, yet extremely durable. There are several different levels of softness with our silicone that allow for more comfort during long endurance races or more noise cancelation for louder cars (i.e. Late Model, drag cars).”
There are many advantages in comparison to the universal foam earpieces. “Unlike foam earpieces, our customs do not need to be taped in place. Some drivers complain the foamys or even the semi-customs can work their way out of one’s ear during the race. Custom ear molds stay perfectly in place in the driver’s ear and will flex with the ear while talking, never losing the seal and letting engine noise through.
“Since the molds are so good at noise canceling, our speakers can be ‘dialed back’ and do not have to be as loud. Our goal is to protect the driver’s hearing over their lifetime, not just one race or season. Some drivers combat engine noise with louder speakers, but we like to use noise cancelation and lower speaker volumes to limit the amount of decibels that a driver’s ears are exposed to, minimizing the amount of damage over a driver’s career.”
Racing Electronics’ Custom Ear Molds block out noise, allowing for better driver communication