Etymotic EB1 and EB15 earplugs hands-on

Etymotic, a company we've seen here at CES and in the past, has developed a pair of earplugs that protect your hearing against things like loud explosions and gunfire. The EB1 and EB15 Electronic Blast PLG Earplugs, retailing for $449 and $499, respectively, are aimed toward buyers such as hunters, musicians and soldiers -- folks who are exposed to loud noises and need protection. The analog earpieces are powered by a 312 hearing-aid battery and will last three weeks. There's no on/off switch -- just a high and low gain control. High gain is used for environments that require an amplification and the opposite applies for low gain. In other words, if a soldier is out on the battlefield and needs to hear an enemy inside a house, he'd switch to high gain to generate a louder sound. The difference between the plugs is simple: the EB1 is for people who are going to be around one-off noises and the EB15 are for those who are going to be exposed to prolonged noises. We got a chance to test out the plugs on the loud show floor and we gotta say, the difference between high- and low-gain modes is easily recognizable and we feel like these earplugs will make superb head-hole protectors. Plenty of complicated graphs and numbers in the gallery below.