Whether you’re sound sensitive or just sick of your neighbours stomping upstairs, low to medium strength ear plugs are becoming more popular as an everyday hearing health accessory. Subtle when worn and high performing, they gently lower the volume of the external world, allowing you to get on with your day without the stress and anxiety that loud urban living can cause.
In this guide, we’re counting down a few of our favourite every day ear plugs and hearing accessories, a few guidelines:
- They shouldn’t be too strong. The highest performing plug here caps out around 23 SNR, blocking about 23 decibels, the lowest doesn’t block any sound but instead softens how sound waves enter the ear. An everyday plug should leave you aware of your surroundings, for road safety as well as for participating in conversation.
- They should be comfy. An everyday plug should be ‘set and forget’. You want to be able to put it in at the start of your commute and wear it all day (as you would with a pair of ear phones). All of the plugs here are comfort first, optimised for wearing for hours at a time.
- They should be subtle. Not everyone wants to have a conversation about hearing health on the bus. We’ve chosen plugs that are relatively small and subtle when worn, allowing you to wear them as if they were invisible (or pretend they’re Bluetooth!)
With that in mind, these are our four best ear plugs for everyday wear.
The first on the list is a plug that isn’t a plug, the Flare Calmer. A small hollow device you insert into the ear, the Calmer works by softening the entrance of sound waves into the ear, reducing particular forms of stress and anxiety that stem from grating noises. As this isn’t a plug, it doesn’t lower the volume of the outside world, but rather transforms how your brain interprets that information. If you’re someone who is sound sensitive, or if you have certain ‘trigger’ noises that cause stress, the Calmer may be your solution.
It’s made of an ultra soft silicone that’s flexible when inserted into the ear. Coming in two sizes, it’s suitable even for petite or smaller ears. For the most sensitive, the Calmer Night is made of a softer material — optimised for sleep — and can still be worn during the day with the same results.
Basically a switch for your ears, the dBud is a totally analogue ear plug with two separate settings, allowing you to adjust the level of sound blocked depending on your context. In open position, it reduces noise by about 11dB, a slight reduction that’s great for taking the edge off while maintaining your awareness and allowing you to easily hear conversations. In closed mode, that jumps up to 24dB, allowing you to significantly reduce the amount of stressful external noise you hear.
This flexibility is what makes the dBud such a multi-use plug. You can use it in both a musician’s context, cutting sounds while rehearsing, clubbing, or even just in loud spaces like cinemas or theatres, while also just using it in those ever so slightly too loud spaces like the shopping centre or the train.
The dBud is totally non-electronic, no need for batteries or charger cables. The blocking is provided entirely through physical means, making these an economical and effective choice for individuals who want to block multiple degrees of sound in a single set.
Primarily a musician’s plug, the MusicMate Pro is also effective as an every day solution for individuals who want to quieten the external world. Made with a hypoallergenic, soft silicone tip, they’re comfortable when worn over extended periods and appropriate for almost all ear types.
They block out about 23 decibels when worn, making them similar to the ‘closed’ mode of the dBud — a higher level of blocking that best suits sound sensitive individuals or anyone wanting to lessen the impact of unwanted urban noise. A big advantage is the subtlety of the design: an almost entirely transparent body and small sizing means these almost disappear when worn. Great for subtle wear!
The upgraded acoustic filters allow you to remain aware of your surroundings, just at a lower volume. Because they’re primarily a musician’s plug, they’re appropriate also for concert going, music lessons, or even for study and work from home.
One of the best every day solutions for individuals with smaller or narrower ears, the Vibes are a comfortable plug with high performing acoustic filters. Coming with three sets of tips, they’re the most flexible sizing plug of the ones listed in this guide, allowing you to get a particularly effective fit if you have smaller ears.
They block a lower degree of sound than the MusicMate or the closed-set dBud, offering 22dB reduction across all frequencies. These make them appropriate for situations where conversation may be key, allowing you to interact as normal without causing tension for your ears. Like the MusicMate, the small and subtle ergonomics of the Vibes make them almost invisible when worn.
An every day plug should be comfortable and subtle in its dampening, allowing you to remain present in the world without aggravating your sound sensitivities. All four of the plugs outlined here target different preferences, if you have any questions about how these might apply to your life don’t hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our customer service team treats every inquiry as confidential.