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In this report

Earplugs: Ratings of Sources

Total of 23 Sources
Efficacy of Commercial Earplugs in Preventing Water Intrusion During Swimming
by H. Mahboubi et al.
Our AssessmentIn this study nine different earplugs were tested in 10 different individuals to determine which earplugs were most effective at preventing water from entering the ear canal. Three different scenarios were used: splashing and swimming on the surface without submerging the head, and submerging the head under 3 feet of water both with the head upright and with the head tilted 90 degrees to the left and right. All earplugs allowed some amount of water to enter the ear canal, more so when the head was completely submerged, but Mack's Pillow Soft were the most effective.
An Objective Comparison of Leakage Between Commonly Used Earplugs
by J.A. Alt and W.O. Collins
Our AssessmentIn this study the researchers tested the efficacy of four different earplugs at preventing water from entering the ear canal by placing them in an anatomically correct model of the ear then exposing it to water. Mack's Pillow Soft silicone earplugs were the most effective at preventing water intrusion. The least effective were custom molded earplugs.
Not Dated
Earplug Reviews
by Editors of
Our AssessmentThis audio-enthusiast site rates earplugs for several factors, including isolation, hi-fi, comfort and price. There are no details about how the testing was conducted, but individual reviews give helpful, concise details on each earplug's performance. The site also includes an audio simulator that lets you hear how various types of noise would sound with or without the earplugs.
May 17, 2005
The Sound of Silence
by Ulrich Boser
Our AssessmentIn this thorough roundup, Ulrich Boser rates eight different earplugs for effectiveness, comfort, durability and value. Only two perform above par: Howard Leight Max, which Boser says do an "excellent job of reducing sound" and are easy to use, and Hearos Ultimate Softness, which are just as effective as Max but even softer. The most expensive earplug -- the white-noise-producing Sleep-Eze -- gets low scores for poor design and performance. Despite being about nine years old, this review is still relevant because these earplugs are still widely used.
5. The Wall Street Journal
March 9, 2006
The Sounds of Silence: Testing Earplugs
by Cynthia Crossen
Our AssessmentThe Wall Street Journal's Cranky Consumer tries out five brands of earplugs, pitting them against "unmuffled motorcycles, emergency sirens, television at normal volume, barking dogs and a rooster." Her top pick is Hearos because of their softness. Crossen says, "They fell out more than the others, but I was less likely to pull them out because of discomfort." Mack's Ear Seals are described as "uncomfortably rigid," and Flents Quiet Please as "scratchy" when inserted.
Updated June 21, 2011
Earplug Survey
by Ian Johnston
Our AssessmentMotorcycle enthusiast Ian Johnston rates 13 brands of earplugs according to four criteria: packaging, expansion speed, pressure and comfort. He does not rate noise reduction, noting that if they don't fit, they won't work, regardless of their noise reduction rating.
Oct. 14, 2006
Noise: A MO Investigation
by "Cheesebeast"
Our AssessmentMotorcycle enthusiast "Cheesebeast" clearly has tried a lot of earplugs; this article lists the pros and cons of 23 brands. Howard Leight Max is his No. 1 pick for their "transparent comfort, excellent noise attenuation and easy fit," followed by E-A-Rsoft FX and Howard Leight Laser Lite.
As of April 2014
by Contributors to
Our users of all different ear shapes and sizes write reviews, helping pinpoint the best earplug by fit for specific ear conditions. Standout earplugs receive an average score of at least 4.5 stars from 50 or more user reviews, sometimes spread across multiple listings.
As of April 2014
by Contributors to
Our is an online retailer dedicated solely to earplugs and hearing protection. There are fewer user reviews here than on, but many of the reviews are detailed and very helpful for real-world use and fit. Standout models score 5 stars after 30 or more user reviews.
As of April 2014
Ear Plugs & Muffs
by Contributors to
Our AssessmentUsers review a variety of earplugs at; standout models receive a 4.5-star or better rating after at least 20 user reviews.
As of April 2014
Swim Ear Plugs
by Contributors to
Our AssessmentThe earplugs sold at are designed specifically for use while swimming, and they collect a wide range of user reviews. Although several brands are sold here, Mack's stand out as a clear favorite. One model, AquaBlock earplugs, receives a 4.5-star rating after more than 200 user reviews.
As of April 2014
Ear Plugs
by Contributors to
Our AssessmentA few brands of earplugs are represented at; just one, Mack's Pillow Soft silicone earplugs, stands out with a 4.6-star rating after about a dozen user reviews.
As of April 2014
Hearing Protection
by Contributors to
Our AssessmentThis retail website caters to musicians' needs; although several brands are represented, just one -- Hearos High Fidelity earplugs -- stands out as a clear favorite.
As of April 2014
Earplugs & Hearing Protection
by Contributors to
Our AssessmentShoppers at rate their favorite musicians' earplugs. Several brands are represented, but just one -- the Hearos High Fidelity -- stands out as a clear favorite, with a 5-star rating after about 24 user reviews.
Dec. 26, 2013
Earplugs for Sleep: Reviews & Ratings
by Nick Robinson
Our is a website dedicated to reviewing sleep products. In their earplugs review, they compile information from more than 1,400 users to create a list of the top earplugs. The top five models receive an owner satisfaction ranking of better than 90 percent.
16. webBikeWorld
Not Dated
Motorcycle Ear Plug Review
by "Rick K."
Our AssessmentMotorcycle enthusiast "Rick K." tries out six different brands of earplugs and reports his impressions. His top choice is Moldex Pura-Fit, which do "a great job of attenuating noise" and only cost about 10 cents per pair. E-A-R Earsoft Grippers are the only earplug that he likes as much if not more than the Moldex Pura-Fit. The Howard Leight plugs he tested are dismissed as uncomfortable and ineffective.
17. webBikeWorld
Not Dated
Lucy Dell Ear Plug Assortment
by "Rick K."
Our AssessmentIn this second write-up, "Rick K." tests 20 different earplugs and details the pros and cons of each. He evaluates the earplugs based on effectiveness, size, comfort and ease of insertion. His earplugs of choice are the Moldex Pura-Fit because they are comfortable, easy to insert and "do an excellent job of controlling noise." Most of the earplugs he reviews perform well, but he notes that their efficacy will vary depending upon the shape of your ear and how well the earplugs fit.
Nov. 12, 1999
Earplugs … Sorry, Could You Repeat That?
by Ted Verrill
Our AssessmentDespite the age of this review, the earplugs he compares have changed very little. A motorcycle enthusiast, Ted Verrill is lukewarm about Howard Leight Max, saying they're on the large side, and Hearos, because of their lower noise reduction rating. His top-rated earplugs are Howard Leight Laser Lite, because they are narrower than the Max and expand to fill the ear canal.
19. Motorcycle Paradise
Dec. 4, 2006
Ear Plug Shootout
by "Iron Chef"
Our Assessment"Iron Chef," an Australian motorcyclist, takes eight brands of earplugs for a test drive. He doesn't explicitly recommend any of these plugs; like other reviewers, he highly rates Howard Leight Max, but he says they're too big to insert comfortably.
20. USA Today
June 7, 2004
Flying Can Be a Pain in the Ear
by David Grossman
Our AssessmentThe author, a veteran business traveler and former airline industry executive, relates that many of his former airline colleagues recommended EarPlanes earplugs for preventing ear pain when flying.
Jan. 7, 2010
Best Earplugs on the Market?
by "Kevin"
Our Assessment"Kevin," a frequent traveler, blogs about gadgets and gear useful for the traveler, and in this posting, he describes the success he has had with SilentEar earplugs. He likes that they come in multiple sizes and are reusable, in addition to being comfortable and effective. For disposable earplugs, he suggests Hearos foam plugs.
Nov. 11, 2003
Best Inexpensive Noise Blockers: Max Earplugs
by Edward J. Murphy
Our AssessmentEdward J. Murphy says, "I've tried every kind of earplug, from balls of silicone to wax and cotton, and these (Howard Leight Max) work best for me." He does not list which other earplugs he has tried or what exactly he found lacking in them.
Oct. 6, 2008
Er-20 Hi-fi Ear Plugs Review
by Bogdan Radovic
Our is a Swedish-based website dedicated to teaching people how to play the guitar. In this single-product review, bass instructor Bogdan Radovic stresses how important it is for musicians to use ear protection when playing or attending concerts to prevent tinnitus and future hearing loss, and recommends the Etymotic Research ER20 Hi-Fidelity earplugs.

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