Flare Calmer® Review
Calmer® by Flare Audio
I have seen Calmer hyped a lot on social media as being amazing for autistic people or people with sensory processing disorder who are sensitive to sound. Hello, yes, it me. Sign me up.
A ton of people who know of my notorious “dog ears” have tagged me in posts or wanted to know my opinion. I put my ears to the test and the results are in…
So, what’s the big deal?
Calmer is a small, ear plug-like device with a difference. This product has been designed specifically not to block out/reduce all sound, like your standard ear plug, but to reduce certain sound frequencies that are known to cause problems for people with sound sensitivities, without muffling all sound.
According to Flare Audio, the creators behind the product, “Calmer reduces resonance (distortion) by using a tiny waveguide to reflect sound into our ear which bypasses the effect of the Concha.”
It sounds really high tech but it’s not.
(Note: from now on in this review I am going to refer to the product as “plugs” as using “Calmer” is hurting my head grammatically!)
The plugs come in a neat little paper envelope with no single use plastic to be seen – love it. There are some simple instructions complete with illustrations, a little storage pouch (vital for such a tiny product) plus some stickers.
The plugs themselves are made from very soft, pliable silicone which makes them super easy to keep clean and hygienic. They are hollow and the shape is what is supposed to reduce noise distortion.
There is a choice of two different sizes and, at the time I purchased, two colours (grey and translucent).
I chose the ‘standard’ size, as recommended, and the grey colour.
It took me ages to work out how to correctly fit the device in my ear first time round. The illustrations on the instructions are perfectly clear, I just could not get them to sit right, kept pushing them in way too far in an effort to get them to stay in and just ended up with sore ears from unnecessarily digging around!
I looked up some videos and pictures of how they are supposed to sit and second time, I had more patience and was more gentle. The left plug sits fine but the right one just won’t stay put. This must be an anatomy issue as the plugs are identical and there is no specific ‘left and right’ as you get with other audio devices. For this reason, I believe I may have better luck with the ‘mini’ model. The sensation of the right plug constantly trying to make a break for freedom really tickles which is a very unpleasant sensation for me.
I also regret my colour choice. For some reason I thought the grey would be more discreet. It is not. It also shows up any ‘dust’, whether environmental or from the ear (attractive).
Okay… but does it actually DO anything?
So, the kicker:
Yes. I did not expect this at all and it was really disconcerting at first, but there is definitely a difference in how I perceive certain sounds when wearing Calmer.
The ultimate test, notorious among the autistic community, is the sound of electricity. I can constantly hear this and on days when I am already overwhelmed, this irritating high pitched buzz can send me over the edge into sensory overload (especially when I’m out and about).
While wearing Calmer, I pretty much can’t hear it at all which is incredible. I do find some other sounds feel strange, a bit like when your ears pop or when you’re under water, which I don’t like, but I really didn’t expect there to be such a difference from what is essentially a hollow ear plug.
Do I recommend it?
Honestly… if you have sound sensitivities or sensory processing problems, this is totally worth a go.
They are not too expensive (about £20) and Flare also offer a 100 day money back guarantee, so there’s not much to lose!
I really wish I could tolerate wearing mine more as they do make a difference.
I may revisit them at some point in the smaller size and more flattering translucent colour option.
I bought this product myself and this review is not sponsored in any way.
All opinions are, as always, my own.