Finding the best earplugs?
Well, you are in luck because this (2018) updated guide covers everything about earplugs.
But first, check out the list of top earplugs in 2018 below.
Let’s dive in…
List of the 10 Best Earplugs 2018
|Earplug Name||Style||Key Feauture|
|Eargasm High Fidelity|
|Tri-Flange||Stemless low profile design|
|LiveMus!c HearSafe||Tri-Flange||Different range of filters to filter out noises.|
|Doc's Pro Ear||Silicone||Non-vented design helps with lap/surface swimming.|
|Downbeats Hi Fidelity||Double Flange||NRR of 18 provides noticeable reduction in large venues.|
|Westone DefendEar||Electronic||3 amplification settings to hear subtle sounds.|
|Hearos Ultimate Softness||Foam||Soft polyurethane foam for overnight comfort.|
|Howard Leight 3301105||Foam||T-shape design that can be easily inserted.|
|Mack's Pillow Soft Earplugs||Putty||Moldable earplugs can fit a variety of ear types|
|ETY ER20 Earplugs||Tri-Flange||Filters out highs while preserving bass sounds|
|Peltor Sport||Tri-Flange||Bright color and corded plugs makes them harder to lose.|
1. Eargasm High Fidelity Earplugs
The Eargasm High Fidelity Earplugs is our top pick.
These low profile earplugs come with both a large and small pair to fit a variety of ear sizes. Similar to other earplugs designed for music, these high fidelity plugs filter the sound instead of blocking them out.
They provide a NRR of up to 21 dB and focus on providing sound clarity. Most users will be able to hear the music and lyrics clearly but at a lower volume. This can be a good option for both musicians and listeners alike.
- Has extra-long tabs instead of stems. This can make them comfortable for sleep use.
- Includes a waterproof aluminum case to store the earplugs when not in use.
- Made of a soft non-toxic silicone that is comfortable to wear.
- Tri-flange design can be difficult to clean when compared to molded options.
2. LiveMus!c HearSafe Ear Plugs
These earplugs are designed to be one of the best earplugs for musicians. They come in two sizes: regular and large. The LiveMus!c earplugs are designed to filter out piercing noises while still allowing you to hear conversations and music.
The earplugs come with two sets of filters. The white filters have an NRR of 29dB for high protection and the green pair provides a NRR of 23dB for medium protection. LiveMus!c also uses a soft silicone material designed for comfort and long term use for concerts and performances.
- Cone shaped tips are designed to fit a variety of ear sizes.
- Earplugs are a triple flange design to provide a lasting seal.
- Earplugs filter out harmful noises while still allowing you to hear music.
- The included cord is detachable and can sometimes fall off with regular use.
3. Doc’s Pro Ear Plugs
One of the best earplugs for swimming, Doc’s Pro plugs come in eight different sizes to fit a range of ear sizes. The blue version of the earplugs are non-vented and can be a good option for people that need earplugs for lap swimming and bathing to form a waterproof seal.
The earplugs are made of a soft silicone that can be cleaned easily between uses. The design allows your inner ear to stay dry by fitting over your ear canal opening. The earplugs still allow you to hear people on the surface.
- Non-intrusive design in many sizes keeps your ears dry while swimming laps.
- Reusable earplugs that are soft for comfort and easy to put into your ears.
- Clear blue color can make it hard to locate the earplugs if they fall out in the water.
- A vented version would need to be used if you’re frequently diving rather than lap swimming.
4. DownBeats High Fidelity Ear Plugs
If you’re looking for a pair of earplugs to protect your hearing at a concert, DownBeats is one of the best earplugs for concerts. With concert earplugs, you want to be able to enjoy the performance, and these earplugs help by reducing the loudness while still providing clarity to the music.
They reduce the sound by 18 dB and can be more noticeable compared to 12 dB options in a medium to large venue. Comfort-wise they feel similar to in-ear headphones, and their small design allows them to be worn discretely at an event.
- Comes with a metal case keychain to store the earplugs when not in use.
- Comfortable design allows the earplugs to be worn for long periods.
- Reusable earplugs that can be cleaned with ease for repeated use.
- Can’t switch out earplug tips like similar earplugs for concert use.
5. Westone DefendEar Digital Shooter Ear Plugs
Westone provides one of the best earplugs for shooting use with their Digital Shooter earplugs. This pair of electronic earplugs provides sound protection of 30 dB. This can be helpful when your ears are exposed to short, loud sounds like those from gun shots.
These in-ear earplugs also are designed to amplify some sounds like voices, and have a feature for reducing wind noise. The earplugs have soft foam tips, and have a low profile design. There is a small button on each of the earplugs to change the amplification levels.
- Replaceable foam tips come in a variety of sizes to fit different ear sizes.
- Designed to be able to easily access the battery and electronics for repairs and upgrades.
- Amplification of up to 86 dB to pick up ambient sounds while hunting.
- Batteries have to be replaced daily when used. There is no off switch with the earplugs.
6. Hearos Ultimate Softness Series
Hearos provides one of the best earplugs for sleeping with these disposable soft foam earplugs. Their NRR of 32 dB will help to block out most snoring noises that you experience. Once inserted in your ear canal, they will form an airtight seal so that they don’t fall out in the middle of the night.
They’re designed with soft polyurethane foam so that they are comfortable for overnight use, and they’re small enough to fit well for people with smaller ear canals. In addition to being designed for sleeping, they can also be useful when listening to loud music at concerts.
- Neutral skin color makes the earplugs less visible if using them out in public.
- Soft foam design allows them to be worn comfortably while sleeping.
- Strong NRR rating of 32 dB to block out snoring noises but still allows you to hear alarms.
- May not fit well if your ears have longer ear canals.
7. Howard Leight 3301105 Earplugs
These laser lite pair of disposable earplugs from Honeywell can be a good general purpose earplugs to choose. They are highly visible in case you lose them. They come in a mix of bright yellow and magenta. The foam used with the earplugs are smooth to the touch and are designed to resist dirt/dust buildup.
Unlike some other foam earplug options, these are T-shaped to make it easier to insert and remove the earplugs. If you’re needing earplugs for working outdoors, in a factory setting, or while sleeping, this may be a good option for you with a NRR of 32 dB.
- Self-adjusting foam can help to fit in a variety of ear shapes.
- Bright colors make them easy to see if they fall out of your ears.
- Multi-purpose earplugs can be used for work, sleep, shooting, and music.
- People with smaller ear canals may have issues with inserting the earplugs.
8. Mack’s Pillow Soft Silicone Earplugs
If foam earplugs are too uncomfortable or don’t fit properly, these earplugs can be a good alternative. The silicone earplugs can be shaped and molded like putty to cover your ear canal with a tight seal. They fall in between reusable and disposable earplugs. The manufacturer recommends changing them every five uses, but some users may be able to get more uses out of them.
The earplugs can be used for swimming when used in water around ten feet or less. When used properly the earplugs will help to keep water out of your ear canal. With a noise reduction rating of 22 dB you can also use the earplugs for sleep and other activities where you need to dampen the noise.
- Earplugs can be molded to fit the shape of your ears to fit various ear sizes.
- Usable in the water. The earplugs are resistant to chlorinated water and can keep water out.
- Putty tends to attract dust and dirt due to the sticky texture.
9. ER20 ETY-Plugs
If you frequent live music performances, these earplugs can be another good option for protecting your hearing. The ER-20 has a NRR of 20 dB and works by filtering out loud noises rather than blocking out all sounds. The plastic ends on the earplugs provide you with a good grip for inserting and removing the earplugs.
Most users will be able to hear the lyrics clearly at a concert. Instruments may sound different, and the high notes may be dimmed some. This can be helpful if you want to be able to hear the bass better.
- Attachable string and storage case helps to keep track of the earplugs when not in use.
- Earplugs reduce the volume of sounds instead of muffling them so you can still hear.
- Reusable earplugs can be difficult to keep clean due to the design.
- Plastic tips tend to stick out of the ears. Care should be taken around others.
10. Peltor Sport Tri-Flange Corded Reusable Earplugs
These neon colored earplugs from 3M have a triple-flange design that’s made of a soft and flexible polymer to fit various ear types. The Peltor earplugs have a Noise reduction rating (NRR) of 26 dB which is helpful for reducing noise by about 13 dB.
Each flange makes a seal in your ear canal to provide sound protection, and for users with a narrow ear canal, you may want to trim the smallest flange. These earplugs can be a good option if you need a pair of earplugs for shooting or hunting outdoors.
- Bright color and corded design makes it easier to keep track of the earplugs.
- Washable and reusable earplugs can be stored in the included container.
- Flexible material allows the earplugs to bend to the unique shape of your ears.
- Some users may experience discomfort when used for long durations.
Earplug Buyer’s Guide
Selecting the right pair of earplugs can be overwhelming with the different options available. Understanding what features to look for will help to make the selection easier.
Once you determine the type of earplug, you have a wide range of styles to choose from. Here are some of the advantages of each style.
Foam earplugs have the advantage of being small and lightweight. If you’re working in a hot environment, these can still be comfortable to wear. If you need to use other types of safety equipment, this style is unobtrusive.
These types of earplugs tend to attract dirt and other particles, so they will need to be replaced frequently. Most foam earplugs are disposable so this shouldn’t be an issue. Foam earplugs can also tend to fall out depending on the user. Some will have a cord or be a bright color so that you can locate them easily if they get lost.
Universal earplugs can be another style to choose from. These will typically be made of a soft silicone in a series of layers or flanges. Instead of blocking out sound completely, some universal earplugs will filter out noises and reduce the volume as well.
The design can make it difficult to clean the earplugs but with the right tools, your earplugs can be long-lasting. These come in single sizes, and you may find the earplugs uncomfortable if you have narrow ear canals.
This type of plug features moldable putty that fits over your ear canals. This can be a good option if other earplugs irritate your ear canals. These plugs block out the sound and can be helpful for sleeping or can be used for swimming as well.
Silicone plugs can attract dust or other particles and should be replaced when dirty. These tend to last longer than foam earplugs, but can’t be cleaned like reusable options.
This style of earplugs has tiny microphones and a circuit board that filters out harmful sounds. Most electronic earplugs will have different sizes and shapes of tips so that you can select one that fits your ears. In some cases, you can also opt for a custom fit model as well.
Batteries will need to be replaced on a regular basis depending on how much you use the plugs. There are some rechargeable options as well. This style can be excessive for normal use but can be a helpful tool for shooting or hunting.