ACS Pro 17 Review. The Pro 17’s are custom in ear protection for musicians that do an excellent job of filtering sound to a comfortable level and they work very well.
Thumping bass subs and screeching guitar solo’s are brilliant on the night of the gig, the morning after ‘ringing in the ears’ doesn’t quite fill you up with the same excitement. As a gig goer, studio and live sound engineer, my hearing is extremely valuable to me and my career. Generic foam ear plugs are great when your just fed up with the sound and want to block it or someones voice out, however if you’re there in a professional capacity you need to hear the spectrum of sound and still need survive the intense SPL of the venues system. ACS is a company that specialise in professional ear filters to fill a variety of uses.
The ACS Pro range filters do require an ear moulding which you can do at ACS HQ or at a number of specialised ACS approved institutions. The requirement of personal mouldings will become more apparent later on in this review/, and for noting purpose, I have with me a pair of the ACS Pro 17’s (-17db) for review.
When you have the mouldings they are very accurate and procedural in their methods and if the moulding isn’t up to there standard they will redo it until it is perfect. Very early on I could see the level of professionally and sonic understand that radiated from this company where after the mouldings they are sent off to be mastered at the ACS factory they arrive four weeks later. Admittedly the filters do arrive in generic shipping packaging, but its when you remove this you start to understand why ACS is a renowned pro audio name as the filers are presented in a sleek jet black jewellery style box, with the ACS logo and the words ‘Custom made for -(name)’ printed on the label. A fantastic little touch added there by ACS, which makes you feel you are getting a very personal piece of equipment.
Inside the above named package you will find an informative guide on your filters and how to use them (this would seem obvious at start, but they do require a little direction on first use). In addition there is a carry case and some ear comfort cream that is, again, a well thought addition by ACS, with the attention being paid to the ear filters themselves. ACS do offer a wider range of filters which are fine tuned to a requirement and the Pro 17’s have the flattest frequency response in the range, which effectively allows your hearing to remain almost exactly the same but at a perfect minus 17db.
Initially when I first inserted the Pro 17’s into my ears the fit was perfect, there was no pain or discomfort at all. Notably, the sensation of the filters is strange at first but your ears get used to the feel very early on however, the effect is outstanding, where it will lead you to be standing in a deafening venue whilst trying to figure out what bug is in mixer channel 8. With this said you are given the comfort of the sounds levels not penetrating your ear drums! The Pro 17 sonic characteristics aren’t altered hardly at all, and as I said, the Pro 17’s boast the flattest response on their filter product line which is why they are so popular with sound engineers; the translation of frequencies are harley altered at all enabling them to continue un-restricted with their job.
I see the long term effects of these filters being invaluable and if you work in a live music environment as a sound engineer, musician or even behind the bar it would be extremely important to you and your health to acquire a pair! Professionalism, personality, sonic excellence and results that exceed all expectations, ACS have it all under control. With a tag line of ‘Serious about sound’, this statement couldn’t be more truthful and that is why The Pro Audio Web Blog Gives the ACS Pro 17’s 5 stars!