Material for earmuffs that protects hearing to go on sale

Restored Hearing’s Sound Bounce reached its €15,000 Kickstarter goal this week

Founded by Rhona Togher (left) and Eimear O’Carroll, Restored Hearing developed Sound Bounce, an insert for a standard pair of earmuffs that can respond to an increase of decrease in noise levels, protecting the wearer’s hearing from sudden loud noises but also allowing them to hear conversation when the noise levels are lower

Founded by Rhona Togher (left) and Eimear O’Carroll, Restored Hearing developed Sound Bounce, an insert for a standard pair of earmuffs that can respond to an increase of decrease in noise levels, protecting the wearer’s hearing from sudden loud noises but also allowing them to hear conversation when the noise levels are lower

 

An Irish start-up aimed at preventing hearing damage through the development of smart materials is set to put its first product on sale.

Founded by Rhona Togher and Eimear O’Carroll, Restored Hearing developed Sound Bounce, an insert for a standard pair of earmuffs that can respond to an increase or decrease in noise levels, protecting the wearer’s hearing from sudden loud noises but also allowing them to hear conversation when the noise levels are lower.

Traditional hearing protection usually involves foam, which is unable to react to noise levels. Another option is noise cancelling technology, but that can be expensive. Sound Bounce is designed to not only work better than traditional foam, but also be affordable.

The company reached its €15,000 Kickstarter goal this week that will allow it to get Sound Bounce independently tested and CE certified. It has pledged to deliver the headsets to backers from June.

The founders said the Kickstarter experience has been “one of highs and lows”. “We did this on a tight budget so every pledge was hard won. Many campaigns have the backing of big marketing agencies but we didn’t have that luxury. This meant that there was a point around Christmas/New Year when things slowed down and we were genuinely concerned we weren’t going to make it,” said chief executive Rhona Togher.

“Our team have been amazing throughout. They came up with creative ways to promote the campaign and worked really hard to make it succeed. We wouldn’t have got over the line without them.”

Restored Hearing has big plans for the future of Sound Bounce, with plans for industrial integration.

“We’re working on expanding beyond hearing protection to make Sound Bounce available as an acoustic material across such industries as automotive, construction, and aerospace,” said chief technology officer Eimear O’Carroll.

“We’re also raising money at the moment to make this transition a reality. Our business model is a licensing model so we aim to have Sound Bounce available in partnership with a hearing protection company towards the end of this year.”