Review: Surf Ears 2.0

April 11, 2016 0 Comments

Review: Surf Ears 2.0

Nearly a year ago, we reviewed the Surf Ears 1.0 (click here to read) and since then, they have become an essential and habitual part of our surfing equipment.

So essential,  that going into the water without them seems like a bit of a risky gamble. With existing extosis and a history of perforated ear drums, its also a risk I personally am not willing to take.

So when version 2.0 was released, I was pretty keen to see what had changed and more importantly, if any of these changes addressed shortcomings revealed with nearly a year of usage.

Firstly a quick recap, Surf Ears use an acoustic mesh to allow air and sound to pass into your ear canal, while protecting it from water, wind and other nasties that lead to infection and surfers ear.

Let sound in. Keep water out


Whats in the Box

  • On pair of pre-assembled earplugs with Medium sealing gel and Medium Support wings
  • One leash with adjustor
  • Two sealing gels, size small
  • Two sealing gels, size large
  • Two support wings, size small
  • Updated storage case with carabiner

The Version 2.0 Upgrades

  • LEASH – An optional silicon leash is now attached to the plugs meaning there should be no excuses for losing plugs. Leash can be removed if customer prefers to surf without leash. Instructions on how to use leash included in the package.
  • IMPROVED ACOUSTICS – Enlarged sound canal area means better hearing.
  • HYDROPHOBIC COATING – Improved hydrophobic coating on mesh.
  • BETTER FIT – New shape secures plugs inside the ear more securely. More contact points inside the ear.
  • IMPROVED WATER SEAL – Improved ear gel (ear bud) design provides a better fit for most users.
  • The small gel is now smaller and the large gel is now larger fitting a greater range of ear sizes.
  • Gel is now shorter providing a better fit for surfers with advanced ear canal closure.
  • The outer ring on the gel is enlarged to provide an improved seal
  • New “red” colour highlights “Orange” is more accurate
  • New look sealed plastic packaging

Testing Conditions

A full weekend of bodysurfing and surfing at Seal Rocks.


With its update in shape, Version 2.0 offer a snugger and therefore more secure inner ear fit.  I did however find that support wings to be marginally shorter and more prone to popping out than its predecessor. This is also the very condition which has lead to me losing a few ear plugs when drag resistance during wipeouts ripped them out of my ear.  Which leads us onto the leash.

One of the things I liked about version 1.0 was the lack of the leash. It truly made you forget that you had a pair of plugs in. However, after losing a few plugs and at $60 a pair, I have changed my mind. The option of leash is definitely needed and version 2.0 delivers one. Except, that wearing it feels awkward even in the prescribed manner behind the head. There is just too much length in the draw string, which has it flopping awkwardly around your neck. So jury still out on the leash – at least the updated “orange” color will make them easier to spot if they do come out!

Water Seal

The seal on version 1.0 was already excellent but now and again, was also prone to a tiny bit of seepage. With the larger gels and refined shorter shape, the new version does a better job without feeling as intrusive to your ear canal. Which can be a bit disconcerting initially if you used the originals as you keeping thinking the new ones aren’t “in” properly.


When I first tried Surf Ears, I was blown away at how good the acoustics were, you could actually have proper conversations in the lineup without shouting at each other. Version 2.0, with its enlarged sound canal is nearly on par with your normal hearing. It really is that good.

Price – AUD 65

All those nifty enhancements come with a slight $5 increase –  which still leaves these at the upper end of the scale despite the copious extras and carry case.


Letting more sound in and keeping more water out. These plugs only get better and better – what more do you need to start wearing some?


Review: Surf Ears 2.0  Overall Score: 87.5%
Water Seal

Russel P
Has spent over 30 years of his middle aged life trying to spend more time in the ocean. Likes to surf, bodysurf, free dive and pretend he enjoys chasing big waves.

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