You’ve got your coffee, textbook, and highlighters; the bedroom is shut and the table is clear. Headphones in, time to study. Wait… 

Since the advent of portable music players, almost all of us are familiar with the ‘study playlist’, minimal vocals, lots of instruments, designed to drown out distractions and let us focus on our work. But what do the experts say? While it’s agreed that music puts you in a better mood, which can aid study, it’s also agreed that even lyricless instrumental music impedes short term and working memory. It’s like studying on hard mode. You have to work harder and for longer to get the same results another student gets from studying in silence. 

Alternative? Ear plugs. At the end of the day, the goal of the music is to drown out whatever else is going on -- there’s a more efficient way to do that. A good pair of ear plugs drown out external noise, allowing you to target your focus to what’s in front of you, without the impediments associated with music. In this guide, we’ll discuss three separate possibilities for study ear plugs, each at different price points and levels of sound blocking. 

Earjobs™ Silicone Putty Ear Plugs

6 pairs for $9.95/12 pairs for $16.95/18 pairs for $23.95

For anyone new to ear plugs, or interested in a multifunctional ear plug appropriate for study, but also sleep, swimming, and live music, you can’t look past silicone. A silicone ear plug has all the advantages of a custom shaped ear plug, while being soft and comfortable. You warm it in your hands and then shape it to fit over your ear canal, creating an airtight seal against noise. The Earjobs Silicone Putty has an SNR rating of 23, which means you’re blocking out on average 23 decibels of sound.

The advantage of the Silicone Putty is malleability. It’s going to fit your ears, no matter their shape and size, which means no fussing over fit. In addition, because of the comfort level, it’s a set and forget ear plug: you’re going to insert it easily and forget about it, allowing you to focus on what’s in front of you. 

These are finitely reusable: you can keep using them until they lose their natural stickiness. We get about 6-8 uses per pair on average, before having to switch pairs. Though this will vary depending on your ears. 

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Earjobs™ MUSICMATE® Pro High Fidelity Music Ear Plugs

$29.95

If you’ve used silicone in the past and want something the next level up, we advise you upgrade to a reusable ear plug. The Earjobs MusicMate Pro (https://www.earjobs.com.au/products/earjobs-musicmatepro-high-fidelity-music-ear-plugs) is an excellent solution here, with a hypoallergenic silicone tip, a great level of sound blocking (SNR 23), and high comfort levels — it’s a flexible, portable, and high performance study plug that’ll work whether you’re at home or school. For studying, the advantage of a reusable ear plug is that it’s easy to quickly remove and re-insert, without needing to shape. This is particularly useful if you’re studying in a social context, allowing you to zero in and out of focus as necessary. With a narrow tip and wide base, the MusicMate Pro creates a great seal every time, easily and quickly, allowing you to quickly zero in and out of study mode when you need to. They have a high performing acoustic filter, which allows you to still participate in conversation if you would like, but you’ll find that all external noises are dampened and made easy to ignore — a really great advantage for when you’re trying to study in a noisy classroom or school library environment. The MusicMate Pro has a one-size-fits all flexible silicone tip and comes with a really hardy aluminium carry case, allowing your plugs to remain safe even when crushed at the bottom of a backpack.

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3M™ PELTOR™ X SERIES X5A PREMIUM HEADBAND EARMUFF

$64.95

Okay, strictly speaking: not ear plugs. Earmuffs are a good alternative for students who don’t mind the larger visual profile, in exchange for a higher degree of sound blocking. They’re particularly good for people who don’t love the feeling of ear plugs (though we dare you to try the Silicone Putty, it’s a game changer!). The X5A is a ‘Class 5’ hearing solution, this makes it the strongest level of hearing protection available in the Australian market — it’s going to block up to 35dB of noise across all frequencies. To put it another way: you could wear it in the loudest possible industrial environment and still have safe ears. It’s going to absolutely demolish the noises of the classroom, the school library, even the loud siblings messing around in the room next door. It’s a lightweight set of earmuffs for this level of sound blocking, with a specially-formulated foam in the earcups designed to block the highest degree of sound. The headband is designed to alleviate pressure for long periods of work, it’ll be fine for even the longest study session, with tilting earcups allowing you to remain comfortable and flexible when wearing. In contrast to some industrial range earmuffs, it’s made in a subtle black colour scheme, allowing you to blend in when studying in public. From a distance, it looks like a set of studio headphones -- jokes on them though, you’re studying better in silence.

Conclusion

Your capacity to retain information is going to be influenced by context. A loud room or loud music is going to impede your memory and undermine your study attempts. Work smart, not hard, and use a pair of ear plugs or earmuffs to create a quiet atmosphere that enables you to focus. 

Our support team is available Monday to Friday to offer specific product advice and guidance. Just email us at support@earjobs.com.au with your situation and what you’re looking for -- all inquiries are treated as confidential and there is no obligation to purchase. 

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