Features / Tech

Christmas Gift Guide 2020: Loop Earplugs and AirPop Facemasks

2020 has been one hell of a year, hasn’t it? Because we’ve all been affected in different ways, we’re all still considering different ways of living and experiencing the world but how about a selection of items that make it all a little easier? Step up these fine products! Let’s being with…

Loop Earplugs – [Order here]

As well as the latest, professional-looking facemasks (we’ll come to those in a moment), how about some reusable, modern-designed earplugs with a difference? Loop Earplugs offer up the promise of being a handy stocking-filler this Christmas, and also give you the chance to spend some time in your own quiet place – particularly helpful at any time of year, or if you need a break from the bubble. At the base level, Loop have designed a stylish earplug that’s easy to use and far better than any disposable you might already use, and we’ve had first-hand experience.

We’ve been testing these New York Times-endorsed Earplugs (their favourite of 2020) both at home during the working day, and in the evening when others in the household either want to watch their own programme, put on some music, or generally escape from each other. While that might be the initial use, and with one eye on the future, you’d also be able to use these in the office, on your commute, maybe on a flight somewhere, or even in your student settings – wherever that may be!

First up, it’s important to know that you’ve got two options here, and each have a unique ring-shaped design that’s simple to use. The ring-attachment to the earplug effortlessly enables you to fit either Loop product into your ear without hassle. So, no more of that squeezing it in, or trying to make sure you don’t lose it, it sits exactly to your choice of tune.

The Loop Experience is the perfect earplug for finding an in-between space, offering you just enough silence with 20db (reducing noise by that level) of protection, meaning you can still hear the outside world, but taking away the impact of loud distractions or unwanted outside noise. This means time to concentrate, moments to focus but with separated awareness of hearing what you need to, should you need to. I had no issues with these at all, they’ve been especially useful in a small working area at home with other people and given me the silence you sometimes need. Loop also recommend them for events, motorcyclists and gig-goers, the latter which we can’t test yet, but I can’t see why they wouldn’t help take the edge off, if you need it!

The Loop Quiet is the next step up – and also a lovely soft, flexible silicone – that gives you 30db of serenity, meaning these are handy for getting a better night’s sleep if neighbours are either too loud or just to aid a peaceful evening without any unwanted awakenings. I’d guess these might also be an absolute blessing if you’ve got a rather raucous family setting, and just need a break from the chaos. And, again, in 2020? There’s no doubt this is a bonus feature.

They’re also washable, reusable, and come with six sets of ear tips, so you can find the one to fit your ear, which means they’re more sustainable and user-friendly. You also get a neat little round carry case, with another loop if you want to click it onto anything, or just slip them into your pocket.

The best thing about Loop? They do precisely what you hope they will, without any qualms or concern. Not every product can do it with such proficiency but both the Loop Quiet and Loop Experience really have eased the day-to-day.

Order either pair here: https://amzn.to/36sruIc or head to their website: https://eu.loopearplugs.com/

AirPop Facemasks

[Purchase Here]

With cinemas in mind, and while we do miss them but hopeful they’ll re-open soon, facemasks have, of course, quickly become an everyday essential. While there might be some light at the end of the tunnel, you still need something more sturdy. These guys are new to me, but AirPop say they offer a range of high-performance air wearables available in multi-use disposable masks, washable masks with disposable filters and even masks for the kids, and we’ve been trying them out during our essential shop (and work!).

Now, you’re probably thinking this isn’t something we’d usually cover, and obviously we wish they weren’t in everyone’s lives, but they’re also saving lives and how? By being considerate of others. This is a public health issue, not a political one, and these AirPop Facemasks bring a little more professionalism to both your look and in how well they work, in a comfort and breathing sense.

I think a lot of issues is how close on the mouth and nose some facemasks feel, but these fit nicely, could be used in other situations if they were required, and generally do the business in a smart fashion. I found the AirPop (4-layer) filtration system gives a very decent performance indeed. Helping you to breathe more easily when out and about, without feeling uncomfortable or feel as if they’re taking over your face too much.

One thing with these, as it’s something so important, remember to make sure it fits you well. This is something that comes down to the individual, and when it comes to public health and safety, it’s important to always take personal responsibility. We know we do!

Amazon sell these at a decent price: https://amzn.to/3q2f8OP

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