What Are The Best Earplugs For Hearing Protection?

man using disposable earplugs

There are an array of activities out there that require proper ear protection. This can include being at concerts, in the crowd at a sports game, plane spotting near the local airport, construction or even just using power tools in a workshop. Whatever the reason may be, proper protection is needed. This protection will help in preventing potential problems with hearing health, pain or even tinnitus.

When it comes to hearing protection, there may be some confusion on what may be ideal. There are different types of earplugs and ear protectors, and they all have their special purpose in keeping our hearing health safe. When searching for the right hearing protectors, you’ll want to look at the comfort and how effective it is for you.


Earplugs are very common as they’re often the brightly colored neon plugs that fit inside the ear. These plugs are made of a formable material that is designed to be able to expand inside the ear canal. This type of hearing protection product blocks the noise by closing off the ear canal completely.

They’re made from a soft foam that is comfortable on the ear canal, and they tend to be reusable as well. Eventually, the foam will break down from all the compressing. There are however identical ones made from other materials such as rubber that are just as effective and eco-friendly.

Semi-Insert Earplugs

Not everyone is a fan of inserting something into their ear. The semi-insert earplugs have a headband with rubber plugs at the end. This is used to create enough pressure to clamp the plugs over the ear. They can be just as effective as traditional earplugs as they will also reduce exposure to loud sounds while not being placed inside the ear.

Many people find the band to be uncomfortable as it’s often not adjustable. Not all semi-insert plugs can effectively block out noise. It mostly depends on how the hand and the plugs are fitted onto the ears and head.

Pre-Molded Plugs

The pre-molded earplugs are made from silicone or plastic. These are considered a one size fits all as they offer a variety of sizes from small to large ear canals. These types of earplugs can be considered uncomfortable as they’re not molded to match the ear canal like a traditional foam earplug is.

One of the advantages of the pre-molded plugs is the fact that they tend to last long and can be reusable. This also includes being able to easily clean them up. They are a far eco-friendlier option compared to the traditional foam earplugs in that regard.

Over-the-Ear Caps

These resemble earmuffs or headphones; this style of hearing protection is commonly used for workshops and construction. These ridged headbands contain hard-shells and foam padding for the ears. This assists in keeping loud sounds out as the hard shell and the soft foam are protecting the entire ear.

While the over-the-ear caps are known to be heavy and apply a lot of pressure, they tend to be very careful. One common complaint is the fact that they trap heat around the ears. The over-the-ear caps are reusable and can be worn many times until the padding gets destroyed. Some specialists can easily fix the padding too.

What you Need to Consider When Searching for Hearing Protectors

When it comes to keeping your hearing safe, whether it be for work, leisure or just day-to-day life, your hearing should not be neglected. Having protection for your ears is something that a hearing instrument specialist would recommend to all of their patients. Purchasing hearing protectors such as earplugs are very affordable and can be easily found at hardware stores, online and other shops. When you’re purchasing hearing protectors you should think about the:


This includes how the protector feels inside and over your ears. If you’re going to have to wear your hearing protectors for prolonged periods such as at work, then they should be comfortable. Comfort isn’t a one-size-fits-all so you’ll need to decide what will work for you. Earplugs are usually very soft, semi-insert earplugs are ideal for not having anything inside the ears and over-the-ear protectors are proven to be comfortable as well.

Noise Reduction

You’ll want to think about the type of machinery you’ll be around as this will give you an idea of the decibels you’ll be exposed to. This can include stereo and crowds at concerts and games, equipment at workshops or even just the general environment.

To learn more about hearing protection you can contact the Hearing Science of The Foothills by calling us today at (818) 698-8056.