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.
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.
If you’ve used silicone in the past and want something the next level up, we advise you upgrade to a reusable ear plug. Flare’s range is unique among reusables in that it’s made with a metal core. Rather than dampening or filtering noise, the metal core works to physically block sounds, with a stronger performance at lower frequencies. Humming fridge and shuddering air conditioner say goodbye.
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.
The Flare Isolate2 is rated at a 32 SNR, which means you’re going to be blocking up to 32 decibels of noise when worn. As mentioned, the aluminium body makes this the strongest degree of sound attenuation that you can get out of an ear plug. This makes it more practical in contexts where you’re expecting to study amidst louder noises: a noisy apartment building, the din of a cafe, these are the situations where the Flare will really show off. Each set of Flare Isolate2 comes with four separate tip sizes: XS to L, allowing you to confidently fit your ear right out of the box.
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 VeraShield is a ‘Class 5’ hearing solution: this means you can wear it in industrial settings to protect your hearing. As such, you can trust it’s going to upgrade your study atmosphere, blocking out on average 27 decibels. It’s made with memory foam ear cushions, designed to mitigate any squeezing pressure on the head while also creating a comfortable seal around the ear. The headband is lightweight and cushioned, it fits comfortably around the head, with a large dimension range designed to fit all head sizes.
In contrast to some industrial range earmuffs, it’s made in a subtle grey and 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with your situation and what you’re looking for -- all inquiries are treated as confidential and there is no obligation to purchase.