Comply Foam Technology

Comply Foam Technology

Comply foam technology is a patented, high-tech, viscoelastic polyurethane foam created by 3M spinoff Hearing Components and used in consumer electronics, military communication devices, commercial aviation devices, hearing aids and earsets where communication is critical in industrial high-noise environments.

Developed through several grants from the National Institutes of Health to improve and protect hearing, Comply foam technology is used in products manufactured and sold by Oakdale, Minnesota-based Hearing Components.

Research and Technology

Starting his business in 1990, Dr. Robert Oliveira, [ [ Ear foam evangelist finds a market: A former 3M biochemist is gaining converts for his Comply earbud technology ] ] biochemist and founder of Hearing Components, obtained seven grants from the National Institutes of Health to study ear canals, determine their biodynamics work and create products to improve the physical fitting of earphones, communication devices and hearing aids.

Led by Dr. Oliveira, Hearing Components’ research team used laser scans to find that the ear canal changes in size and shape as the jaw moves. To develop improved earpieces that worked in the ever-changing ear environment, Dr. Oliveira’s team developed a high-tech, viscoelastic polyurethane foam, which allows the earpieces to rest inside of the ear canal. This specialized compliant material forms to the individual shape of each ear canal, allowing the foam to expand and remain in place while adjusting to ear canal size and shape changes with motion in the jaw. The foam also creates very high passive noise reduction by sending sound directly into the ear canal while sealing out unwanted noise.

Product Applications

Consumer Electronics

Hearing Components manufactures several music earphone products using Comply foam technology. With the technology, Hearing Components’ earphones work similarly to an earplug by conforming to the natural guide of the ear canal to fit snugly while blocking out ambient noise. All music earphones designed by Hearing Components feature the Comply foam technology, which is 30 times softer than the silicone used in ordinary, factory-supplied earbuds.

Comply Foam Tips

Comply Foam Tips are compatible with most popular in-ear earphones and work to increase fit, comfort and noise reduction. Hearing Components has partnerships with several major consumer brands, including Philips, Skullcandy and Ultimate Ears to feature Comply Foam Tips in select earphone packages.

Comply Noise Reduction Earphones

Comply Noise Reduction Earphones are complete earphone sets manufactured by Hearing Components that feature the Comply foam technology. The full line of Comply Noise Reduction Earphones offered by Hearing Components includes the following products:
* Comply NR-1 High-Performance Noise Reduction Earphones
* Comply NR-10 High-Tech Noise Reduction Earphones
* Comply NR-1CM Hands Free Mobile Phone Earset with Noise Reduction
* Comply NR-1CS All-in-One Stereo MP3/Mobile Phone Earset with Noise Reduction.

The Comply NR-10 High-Tech Noise Reduction Earphones are engineered to maximize bass response and deliver superior sound quality by preventing outside noise from interfering with the audio experience. Unlike active noise canceling headphones, the Comply NR-10 uses passive noise reduction technology [ [ | IT CAME IN THE MAIL| - ] ] that does not requires separate batteries.

In April 2008, the Comply NR-10 High-Tech Noise Reduction Earphones received an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 29 dB, one of the highest ratings recorded for an earphone or standard noise reduction device.

Comply Whoomp! Earbud Enhancers

Comply Whoomp! Earbud Enhancers fit over existing plastic earbuds. With the Comply foam technology, Whoomp! Earbud Enhancers snap onto round earbuds 16-17mm in size to provide improved fit, comfort and noise reduction.


Helicopter pilots and crew in the U.S. Armed Forces depend on Comply foam technology for good clear communication in demanding situations. The device used by helicopter crews is the CEP, while the Marine Corps use the Quiet Pro. Both devices feature Comply foam technology.

General Aviation

Comply foam technology enables the replacement of traditional headsets with other noise reducing alternatives, which can enhance communications where comfort, convenience and cosmetics are important.


Comply foam technology is used in industrial applications where Hearing Components’ patented Enabling Technology allows for lightweight and comfortable communication in noisy situations.


Comply foam technology can reduce environment noise in active ear canals during hearing tests with diagnostic equipment.

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