Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ear Plugs Reviews - Blocking Noise

AUGUST 30, 2012 UPDATE:


The EAR PLUG SUPERSTORE says here:
What about beeswax plugs? We do not recommend them because contrary to some claims, beeswax is not nearly as good a noise insulator as even the cheap foam plugs available at the drug store, and none of the major companies specializing in ear plugs accept the claim of NRR 34 as valid.

AUGUST 11, 2012 UPDATE: This blog page has reviews of the following ear plugs:
  • HEARUSA store custom-molded ear plugs
I've tried the earplugs above for indoor use, outdoor use, and for sleeping. (I've tried Mack's and HEAROS inside the shower. My Mack's foam plugs and my HEAROS foam plugs have each worked well when in the shower. Each brand keeps the water out.)

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AUGUST 8, 2012 UPDATE:
What do I like about Flents Quiet Time foam earplugs? It's their long shape and their durable, high-density foam material. Many foam earplugs have a standard shape, like this one here.

But now look at the Flents shape. Flents makes foam earplugs in a longer shape. You see these here?
The longer plug, when worn properly, can fill up more into your ear. You can twist those puppies and put them waaaaaaaayy in there, into your ears. See the pictures below.

You see, now we will put them side-by-side... You can see that they are longer, so they can fill up more of your ear.

The longer earplug, when worn properly, can fill up more inside your ear. Here's the two together, in a large photo.

Flents Quiet Time are longer ones. I take the ear plugs from the package, I twist them, and I twist them, and then I put those puppies waaaaaaaaayy in there. I make sure it's stuffed firmly into my ears. It is very good for some quiet time.

  • If you don't want a pack of 40 pair, you can buy a small package from Walgreens Online. And the great part is: they have Noise Reduction Rating of 33 decibels! They are NRR 33. This means each Flents earplug can block out 33 decibels of noise! NRR 33 is the highest NRR available.

  • The higher the NRR, the better protection.
  • NRR 33 is currently the highest protection on the market.

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UPDATE, JUNE 28, 2012: After more tests, trials, and experience, I have been using three (3) different earplugs.
HEAROS Xtreme Protection
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UPDATE, APRIL 13, 2012:
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  • I use earplugs to block out excessively loud noise such as leaf-blower machines, lawnmowers, boom-car bass sounds, helicopters, televisions, movie screens, loud motorcycle exhaust systems, loud pop music, and other sounds. Wearing earplugs has given me peace of mind.
  • (Besides earplugs, various other devices can be used such as earmuffs [ear muffs] or noise-cancellation headphones.)

I love HEAROS Earplugs Xtreme Protection. A great earplug!


I've tried several different brands:

I've tried the earplugs above for indoor use, outdoor use, and for sleeping. (For use inside the shower, I've tried Mack's foam plugs and HEAROS foam plugs, and they both work fine inside the shower; they both keep the water out.)

  • I've also tried custom-molded silicone earplugs (try your local HearUSA center) but they did not work.
  • You can get Flents Quiet! Please foam earplugs. Flents 'Quiet! Please' foam earplugs are available in a package of 6 pairs at Amazon, also see here at Amazon. These earplugs work well, but not as well as NRR 33. I've used them to block out neighborhood noise. They're advertised as NRR 29 (Noise Reduction Rating of 29 decibels). For me, they weren't twistable and expandable enough to give a really tight, snug fit and block out maximum noise. Don't get me wrong. They worked to reduce some noise. But I was eager for earplugs that blocked more noise.
  • You can get Flents at retail stores or industrial supply stores -- or at Amazon or Walgreens.

Radians custom fitting silicone earplugs

MACK'S Hearing Protection
Mack's 'Ultra SafeSound' Foam Ear Plugs


  • Mack's Ear Plugs (official website) are advertised as "America's #1 Selling and #1 Doctor Recommended Earplug Brand". I've tried their soft foam earplugs advertised as Ultra SafeSound NRR 32 foam earplugs, and also their waxy silicone earplugs they call their Pillow Soft model. For me, the Mack's 'Ultra SafeSound' foam plugs definitely work well -- better than Mack's own silicone 'Pillow Soft' plugs.
  • You can use these Mack's silicone earplugs if you are allergic to foam.
  • I don't know why [unless someone were allergic to foam] someone would use waxy silicone earplugs, unless they either were allergic to foam or they find that somehow silicone provides better protection than foam for underwater use.

Mack's silicone model
  • Mack's silicone earplugs (see photo above) are white and are delivered in a hockey-puck shape. Take them out of the box and shape them to your desired fit. They're made from soft silicone, and advertised as waterproof.
HEAROS Earplugs
HEAROS Xtreme Protection
  • HEAROS provides the NRR 33 earplugs. See links here and here and here for information on Noise Reduction.
  • HEAROS have been my heroes, so-to-speak, for ear care and maintaining peace of mind. But the choice is up to you. You might try a couple of brands and see which works best for you.

Noise Reduction Rating (NRR)
  • The higher the NRR value, the better your protection. NRR 33dB is probably the highest number you will find for ear plugs.
    Quiet Regards.
    The Daily Decibel

    Fitting an ear plug into the ear canal

    Can you find earplugs with NRR higher than 33? No. Read this (source page):

    The highest rated ear plug in the market has a noise reduction rating (NRR) of 33, and the plugs with that level of rating are not made of wax.

    The only way you can get higher than NRR 33 is by using ear muffs and ear plugs at the same time, and only then can you achieve an NRR of 34 or greater. An NRR of 34 requires NRR 20 ear muffs worn over NRR 33 ear plugs. You can get to an NRR of 36, but that requires the highest rated muff (NRR 30 or 31) and the highest rated plug (NRR 33) to be worn at the same time.

    What about beeswax plugs? We do not recommend them because contrary to some claims, beeswax is not nearly as good a noise insulator as even the cheap foam plugs available at the drug store, and none of the major companies specializing in ear plugs accept the claim of NRR 34 as valid.

    For Further Reading

    'Noise Reduction Rating'

    Related Links


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