Client Feedback for the Disposable Protective Headphone Cover

Recently, we received an email from a client that reflects how almost everyone feels about the usefulness of our protective headphone covers.

To: Caractère Paris
From: L. D. L.
Date: March 27, 2011
Subject: Protective Covers for Headsets

Disposable earphone and headphone covers

For years, I have been looking for sanitary headphone protectors exactly like the ones I ordered from Caractère. In fact, I manage a training room equipped with telephones that use microphone and headphone attachments. Nothing could sound more mundane, am I right? However, over the years, they’ve become very well-known amongst the children here that know even the adult students have begun using them in my classes.
We inicially purchased them after several complaints from our interns over the course of a few months, there was a lice epidemic. It turns out that yes, the infestation was due to our headsets and microphones.

Confirmation of these suspicions came from a closer inspection of the headphones, and more specifically, their design.

The earphones came with a faux leather and foam pad to increase their comfort. It is very easy to imagine that when students placed the earphones on their heads, they “harvested” a few of the nasty creatures, and in the process slowly transferred them from one student to the next. Once I figured out the cause of the problem, I had to quickly find a solution.

 

My first impulse was to buy an anti-lice disinfectant spray to instantly annihilate the pests on the headphones. After a few phases of trial and error, I realised this was probably not the best idea. The spray acts as a corrosive to the foam ear phone pads and eventually eats through them.

So, I scoured the internet to see if anyone sold disposable headphone covers, with the disposable part of the protection essential given the nature of our media centre’s issues.

My idea was to provide each student with a pair of headphone protectors at the beginning of the session that he or she could use throughout the day and then discard on the way out of the training room.

Over the years, due to the gradual wear and tear of the equipment, the room had become equipped with a wide variety of headsets from different manufacturers, of course in various shapes and designs. This problem was multiplied by four when one factored in the four different earpiece sizes in the room.

 

So, I did an Internet search to find the ideal sanitary protection cover for this assortment of headphones. A few clicks later, voila, I discovered Caractère, a French manufacturer that makes a wide range of disposable covers for headphone earpieces and microphones. After inquiring about their availability and measuring the sizes of my headphones,

I was beyond happy to discover they make the covers available in six different sizes and two colours, black and white. Still hesitant about the possibility of having found a fix this quickly and easily, I asked them to send samples to ensure they would work.

After receiving the samples, which fit perfectly, I was convinced and placed my first order. The protective covers come wrapped in pairs in small, individually sealed bags, with what must have been a hundred pairs of covers per box. Since then, I’ve been using these protectors for the centre’s headsets for a year and a half, and I am very satisfied (not to mention, so are the students!) that the lice issue was finally solved.

 

Remaining in close contact with the manufacturer, I asked if they could provide a similar form of protection for microphones. We needed disposable protectors that could be added on top of the foam of the microphone attachments without causing any audio distortion. Of course, there is a very wide variety of microphone designs and sizes.

I found out that a bulk custom order of 5000 pieces was their minimum quantity, but since it was too large a quantity our needs, we opted for a newly developed microphone sanitation spray that can effectively disinfect microphone foam without damaging it. The anti-bacterial, fungicidal and anti-viral spray is also certified for food contact, which means the user can put his or her lips on the foam without any concerns for its effects on health or wellness. The case is now closed, and we’ve finally found the ideal solutions to our headphone and microphone problems, thanks to Caractère.

Finally, here is a short video we made about how to choose the right size of Disposable Headphone Protector before you order.

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Using headphones can cause infections…

Nowadays practically everybody uses some type of headphones, whether they’re in-ear, on-ear, over-the-ear… there is a plethera of possibilites; and while they’re ergonomic, convinient and quite comfortable, they can cause many different types of infections in your ear that most people are not aware of and even hearing loss. While some of these are prone to happening, many could be easily avoided by simply keeping up with their maintenance.

Ear infections are obviously more likely to occur to their more frequent users rather than the ones that don’t often wear them. But even the latter could be subjected to an infection if he or she doesn’t properly take care of their headphones. According to a bit of research, the cushions should be changed every 2-3 months, and should be cleaned frequently with the right products to make sure that all the germs and dirt are removed.
One of the most common causes of these ear infections, is because the humidity and temperature in the users ear canals is very high when the headphones are used for a prolonged period of time.

But the most common and most dangerous reason is sharing your headphones with someone else. While it may not seem so serious, when sharing, any bacteria or germs inside the other persons ear while be passed on to you.. Because of this, next time you’re thinking about letting someone borrow your headphones, think again. Not even friends or family as anyone could have an infection you’re not aware of. In the case that you do, sanitize the headphones thoroughly before using them yourself, to prevent.

 

headphone-cover

In Caractere, we always want to help the client have the best hygiene possible, for this reason we have produced our Headphone Covers. These covers, shaped like mini-hats or caps, fit around the side of earphones thanks to an elastic band that holds them tight and keeps them comfortable, even during long listening sessions. The nonwoven material guarantee impeccable cleanliness while allowing breathability and for the sound to pass through without a problem or distortion. And best of all? We have many sizes available and can even custom produce any size you’d like.

So what do you say? Want to risk a pesky infection or would you rather keep safe and use some of our headphone covers?

 

 

Maintaining Safety and Protection for the Staff of Nuclear Power Plants in the UK

A picture of a nuclear plant

The UK calls itself home to 9 different nuclear power plants

The nuclear industry plays a major role in providing power for a number of countries in Europe, especially in countries like France, Spain and the UK. Several large companies maintain a presence on the British Isles, including Areva, Hitachi, EDF and Westinghouse. In addition, the Universities of Sheffield and Manchester maintain a partnership called the NAMRC, or the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, which allows academic and industrial actors from different backgrounds in the nuclear supply chain to collaborate on projects of mutual interest.

With nuclear power comes its advantages, such as minimal greenhouse gas emissions and relatively safe containment methods. However, an accident could strike at any moment, as exemplified by the disasters of Chernobyl, Three Mile Island and most recently, Fukushima. For this reason, a constant standard of safety and protection must be kept for workers at nuclear power plants, so they can conduct their jobs in a secure, effective fashion.

A "smart" robot

Robots of this style are often employed by nuclear plant staff for dangerous missions

A total of nine nuclear plants are currently active in the UK, eight of which maintained by EDF Energy, and the remaining one by Magnox Limited. Together, the plants provide nearly one fifth of all electricity in the UK. The provision of supplies and maintenance of equipment in a hostile environment, specifically in close proximity to nuclear reactors and the plants that contain them, must be possible throughout day and night on a year-round basis.

Security cameras and robotic technologies have provided new, technologically-advanced methods to ensure safety even when people cannot intervene on ground. Still, nothing matches the precision and skills offered by the human eye, or the dexterity afforded by a pair of hands.

Full body protection by Caractere

Check out Caractere’s protective clothing offerings by clicking above.

Whether in the UK or elsewhere, the workers at a nuclear site find themselves constantly required to enter into zones of dangerously high levels of radiation, where they’re exposed to the hasards of this occupation. Regularly, the levels of radioactivity in these areas surpasses the normally acceptable levels for everyday life. All the heat generated from the reactor also causes concern, especially on warm summer days when the outside temperature can exceed those planned during the design process of the reactors.

Security and safety personnel can lower the amount of radiation to which they’re exposed by careful and assiduous use of vests, bodysuits, shoe covers, gloves and other protective equipment, as long as they remove these layers of protection after each exit from the dangerous zones.

Often, the workers must communicate with coworkers in other parts of the plant, if not from outside agencies or governmental structures, thanks to walkies-talkies and other closed-circuit communication devices.

Caractere's head set covers in white colour

One of the most popular products from Caractere, our white earphone covers!

In order to limit the amounts of radiation to which these brave workers are exposed, we’ve designed and manufactured protective covers for ear pieces and microphones of the type often necessary in this line of work. They allow the personnel to avoid getting into direct contact with a listening device that has already been exposed to radiation.

These headphone covers are a hygienic and disposable solution that slides over the listening portion of headsets. Using advanced manufacturing techniques, they’re crafted from a non-woven tissue of softened polypropylene, which is also entirely hypoallergenic.

Caractere's head set covers in black colour

Black earphone covers by Caractere

Each pair of earphone covers comes in an individually-wrapped clear plastic bag to assure perfect hygiene each and every time. What’s more, this closed bag method allows the staff of the plant to conduct a quick examination of the situation before distributing used covers. If the bag appears like it’s been opened, or that one earphone cover is already missing, that’s probably an indication that the set has already been used in a hazardous zone.

After each visit into the dangerous areas of the reactor, the covers can be removed and disposed of in the proper manner to maintain a constant level and standard of safety.

Disposable earphone covers by Caractere Paris

Caractere’s famous head set covers, available in white and black

It’s recommended to use a colour different from that of the headset, in order to permit easy identification. For example, on a black or gray headset, it makes the most sense to stick to white protective covers so your workers and managers can monitor the whole team’s status and ensure their safety.

For more information, please click here: http://bit.ly/1bedeAF

Of course, this information could be of equal importance to those working in other preventative fields, such as health and security inspectors, responsible for assuming some professional risks when on the job.

Sanitation, Comfort and Practicality: Disposable, Protective Covers for Headphones, Headsets, Earphones and Microphones

from Caractère ParisThe development of the computer, the television, the CD, film, the telephone and the seemingly infinitely expanding forms of media that exist today has revolutionized the way we learn and stay informed about the world around us.

These inventions have similarly revolutionized libraries and commerce, in particular for sectors that specialize in media. Both saw the emergence of public listening stations and computers where users could sample the work of the artists that inspire and interest them.

With the need for discretion, quiet and a personalized experience in these public places came the popularization of public earphones. We all know, those dreadful things that, even a day after their purchase, always seem to smell and feel sweaty, oily and simply unclean.

Whether a pair of tiny earbuds that seem to disappear when one wears them, or the headset typically worn by a helicopter pilot, shared headphones are rarely a pleasure to put on, let alone wear for the duration of a movie.

What’s more, given the recent threats of various animal flu epidemics (avian, pork, etc.), these headphones have become a public health nightmare because they function as a conduit for the spread of infectious germs.

However, the flu is not the only negative possibility: skin diseases, parasites, fungi, lice, acne and other undesirable creatures can live on the surface or become lodged in the foam of earphones. Talk about unwelcome guests, and all you wanted to do was listen to a new album or watch a short video…

Librarians and shop owners have of course become aware of these issues through complaints from the general public. Unfortunately, they are also liable for the issues that arise from providing shared earphones, which could, in severe cases, result in law suits or health inspection agency fines.

What steps can be taken to ensure sanitation and a pleasurable multi-media experience for each user? Until now, managers only had two choices: buy a new pair of earphones for each client, or to clean and disinfect the headphones between each use.

The first is obviously wasteful (because most people already own several pairs of said earphones and don’t need any more — think about all the times you’ve rejected a pair of cheap earphones gifted to you aboard a plane) and often cost prohibitive, especially given a financial crisis that has forced budget cuts for public services worldwide.

The second option, to thoroughly clean and disinfect the earphones, is more economical and less wasteful, but it also requires the purchase of abrasive, sometimes toxic chemicals and cleaning equipment, and is very labour intensive.

The last time anyone checked, “earphone cleaning and maintenance” does not figure into the job description of librarians or store staff. Also, while disinfectants are highly effective, they never kill 100% of the germs, nor can they remove lice and other parasites.

The other issue that arises is the wetness after cleaning, which can damage the equipment or require a long wait to dry. This makes the business owner or library manager return to the question of what the point was of cleaning headsets if it’s going to require one to buy additional earphones for users in between cleaning cycles.

from Caractère Paris

Headphone Cover Detail

Finally, an economical and practical solution was invented: the disposable headset protection cover!

It looks like a small cap that covers the surface of the listening device with a relatively thin layer of mesh cloth, attached around the earpiece with an elastic strap on the non-listening side to keep the cover in place.

This elastic does not bother the listener, but also allows the covers to conform to a variety of headset sizes and shapes: They are made from a high-quality, light, nonwoven fabric, making them very resistant to wear.

During manufacture, the same hygienic procedures are employed as with the manufacture of medical gowns and surgical scrubs, meaning the covers arrive sterile, individually wrapped for simple distribution.

As such, this guarantees a unique experience for each user. However, the user can decide if he or she wants to recycle or reuse the covers – they’re single-use in the sense that only one user opens the packaging of each pair, but there is no limit to the number of times they may choose to use (and reuse) the covers.

They come in six different sizes to allow their use with the smallest ear buds or the widest “Mickey Mouse ear” headphones. On top of the size choice, the buyer may specify either black or white. White is less expensive because it’s cheaper to produce, but black looks discreet that many enterprises and media centres prefer it.

They can also be employed to cover microphones in order to shield them from saliva, germs and other problems that can arise and damage expensive equipment.

from Caractère Paris

White Headphone Cover Sizes

from Caractère Paris

Black Headphone Cover Sizes

The covers are affordable enough to be changed regularly, in between each user; and simple enough to deploy that the users can change them personally, a reassuring gesture that guarantees a feeling of being cared about and that gives the establishment a sense of professionalism.

In addition to stores and libraries, these covers can be equally useful for educational purposes

  • classrooms,
  • exam halls,
  • training sessions, simulators,
  • interactive exhibits at museums, planetariums, aquariums,
  • press conferences or diplomatic meetings that require translations,
  • pre-court proceedings (such as, for recording or listening to depositions),
  • call and chat centres,
  • tele-support services, advice hotlines, public phone stations and payphone services.