Asius' ADEL earbud balloon promises to take some pressure off your poor eardrums

Listener fatigue: it's a condition that affects just about everyone who owns a pair of earbuds and one that myriad manufacturers have tried to mitigate with various configurations. According to researchers at Asius Technologies, though, the discomfort you experience after extended periods of earphone listening isn't caused by faulty design or excessively high volumes, but by "acoustic reflex." Every time you blast music through earbuds, your ear muscles strain to reduce sound waves by about 50 decibels, encouraging many audiophiles to crank up the volume to even higher, eardrum-rattling levels. To counteract this, Asius has developed something known as the Ambrose Diaphonic Ear Lens (ADEL) -- an inflatable polymer balloon that attaches to the ends of earbuds. According to Asius' Samuel Gido, the inflated ADEL effectively acts as a "second eardrum," absorbing sound and redirecting it away from the ear's most sensitive regions. No word yet on when ADEL may be available for commercial use, but head past the break for a video explanation of the technology, along with the full presser.



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