HawkEars available for hearing health

December 12, 2017

Protect your hearing health (or that of a loved one) with a with an innovative gift, called "HawkEars," the brainchild of UI Audiology graduate student Kevin Kock.

HawkEars are now available through the Wendell Johnson Speech and Hearing Clinic (250 Hawkins Drive) and the Stead Family Children's Hospital Safety Shop (Level 1, 200 Hawkins Drive). They are also available for purchase on line at the Your Ears Rock website. An order form is also available. HawkEars will become available at additional retail outlets in early 2018.

“HawkEars make hearing conservation fun, cool, and easy, all while promoting school spirit,” Kock said.

HawkEars offers a variety of products, including earmuffs, ear plugs, and keychains designed to hold a pair of ear plugs to be readily available at all times. Each product features the Tigerhawk logo in its packaging and on the product itself.

Kock created the HawkEars concept with help from Brian Felsen, Chief Hearing Conservationist at Your Ears Rock, and 3M distributor in Minneapolis with a passion for hearing conservation. 3M is the manufacturer of a number of hearing safety supplies. Kock was able to secure permission to use the Tigerhawk logo with the cooperation of Iowa’s Trademark and Licensing Office.

Kock emphasizes that HawkEars protects hearing not only at Hawk games, but during other potentially loud pastimes such as lawn mowing, hunting, listening to a loud concert, or operating noisy equipment, such as tractors, chainsaws,snow-blowers or jackhammers. They can even be worn in quieter settings, such as while relaxing or studying.

Products are priced low in order to be available to as many Iowans as possible. For example, Tigerhawk earplugs sell for one dollar per pair. Proceeds from sales will be used for clients in need at the Wendell Johnson Speech and Hearing Clinic, the training clinic for graduate students in audiology and speech-language pathology at the University of Iowa.

Kock’s interest in preventing noise-induced hearing loss grew through his involvement with UISAFE (University of Iowa Sound Awareness For Everyone), a group of clinical and research audiologists and graduate students interested in hearing conservation.

hawkears ear muff
This young Hawkeye fan protects her hearing health at a recent home basketball game. HawkEars, worn in noisy environments to prevent noise-induced hearing loss, also promotes school spirit. HawkEars inventor and AuD graduate student Kevin Kock encourages those who work or play around loud sounds to remember "Hawkeyes wear their HawkEars."