LIn fact, I started to write an article about earplugs directly, but considering that most people need earplugs because their snoring is thunderous and has built-in sound effects, so it is best to understand what is going on with snoring first. Snoring is a disease that can be cured. If you are planning to buy earplugs for this reason, it is recommended to read both articles to solve this problem from two angles.
| What are sound-isolating earplugs?
The earplugs discussed in this article refer to soundproof earplugs, also known as anti-noise earplugs, anti-noise earplugs, and sleep earplugs. When in use, after being inserted into the ear canal, it is in close contact with the external auditory canal to isolate sound from entering the middle ear and inner ear (ear drum) and achieve the purpose of sound insulation.
Sponge earplugs: Made of high-elastic polyester material, it has the characteristics of softness, slow rebound, and good sound insulation effect. It is very suitable for use as sleep earplugs. The disadvantage is that most of the sponge earplugs are disposable earplugs, and even the reusable earplugs that are currently on the market should be replaced after being used for more than one month at most.
Silicone earplugs: In fact, as a sound-proof earplug, its effect is not ideal, not as good as the above sponge earplugs. Because the size of the silicone earplugs after rebounding is difficult to completely fit the user’s ear canal, it is inevitable that there will be air leakage through tiny holes, and once the air leaks, the sound insulation effect will be greatly reduced. But the silicone earplugs can be reused, and the cost will be reduced a lot. Just like this, silicone earplugs are more used in office and study places. In such an environment, it is inevitable that sometimes you need to communicate with others. Since the earplugs are not completely soundproof, you can communicate normally without removing the earplugs, but at the same time they are effective. Reduced the noise to a considerable extent. Correct understanding of this type of earplugs.
Wax earplugs: the originator of noise-proof earplugs, the effect is not as good as sponge earplugs, and the surface is oily. The reason why there is still a market is that some people’s ears are particularly sensitive. When the above-mentioned sponge earplugs and silicone earplugs are inserted into the ears, they will produce a serious foreign body sensation, which is very uncomfortable. Such people are more suitable to use wax earplugs, but be sure to pay attention to hygiene and cleaning.
No matter what kind of material sound-proof earplugs are not recommended for long-term use, avoid using them if you can, and it’s okay to wear them occasionally. At the end of the article, there is a small discussion on the dangers of wearing sound-proof earplugs for a long time.
| What should I pay attention to when purchasing sound-isolating earplugs?
When choosing earplugs, mainly refer to 5 factors: sound insulation effect, wearing comfort, degree of deformation after multiple uses, rebound speed, and whether it can be reused. Grasp these 5 aspects to choose earplugs, even if the choice is wrong, it will not be too wrong.
Sound insulation effect: In fact, it is the highest noise reduction, which is a parameter that will be marked on sound-isolating earplugs. Currently, the highest NNR① of sound-isolating earplugs on the market is 33dB. Of course, there are also NNR38 earplugs on amazon. Who can brag, right? If you want to achieve a noise reduction of more than 33dB, you need to wear earplugs and headsets to reach 36 dB. Don’t look at the advertisement, look at the curative effect.
Wearing comfort: Wearing comfort directly determines the user experience. Too hard will make the ears feel swollen and uncomfortable. People who are sensitive to long-term use will feel obvious pain in the ear canal. But it is not the softer the better, as I will say below.
Degree of deformation after repeated use: From the above wearing comfort, the softer the sound-isolating earplugs, the more comfortable they are. In fact, they are not. Generally speaking, if they are too soft, they are easier to deform after repeated use.
Rebound speed: When using sound-proof earplugs, you need to rub the earplugs finely before inserting them into your ears. If the rebound speed is too fast, they will rebound before they are plugged in properly, which will seriously affect the sound insulation effect. If it is too slow, the earplugs are easy to fall out. Of course, the impact is not too big, just be careful after wearing it.
Whether it is reusable: The price of reusable earplugs is generally higher than that of disposable earplugs, and their performance and comfort are worse than those of disposable earplugs. But for long-term use, it is still reusable and more cost-effective. Pay attention to the thunder point: There are many disposable earplugs sold on Taobao as reusable ones. Since many earplugs are packaged in English, note that disposable means disposable, and refused means reusable.
From the above three factors of “wearing comfort”, “degree of deformation after multiple uses”, and “whether it is reusable”, we can actually see why the effect of disposable earplugs is better than that of reusable earplugs.
The softer earplugs are more comfortable to wear, but because the density is smaller, the sound insulation effect is worse, so the sound insulation effect is not as good as harder earplugs. Therefore, both manufacturers and users are looking for a balance. It is difficult to find an earplug that is very comfortable to wear but extremely soundproof.
If you are using sound-isolating earplugs for the first time, try to choose small earplugs, otherwise you may feel pain.
| What brands of sound-isolating earplugs do you recommend?
In recent years, several domestic sound-isolating earplugs have emerged. I personally don’t recommend them. The advertisements are quite aggressive, but the actual use effect is not satisfactory. The earplugs of foreign brands on Taobao, because there is not much demand for these gadgets, most of them are from the country of origin, and the quality is quite guaranteed. There are a small number of sound-isolating earplugs that are relatively popular in China. It is difficult to say where the real origin is, and I have not studied them carefully.
The brands introduced below are all well-known brands in the field of sound-isolating earplugs. Even so, due to the huge price difference, there is still a big difference in user experience. Regardless of the order, it is a trustworthy brand, unless it is explicitly not recommended.
pluggerz silicone sound-isolating earplugs
Pluggerz is a brand in the Netherlands. It mainly sells silicone earplugs. The sound insulation effect is definitely not as good as sponge earplugs, but it is comfortable to wear and basically does not bulge the ear canal. But the price is much more expensive than ordinary sponge earplugs. It can also be customized according to the user’s ear canal, which is especially suitable for various ear canals. After all, earplugs customized according to one’s own ear canal are much better than conventional models in terms of wearing comfort and sound insulation.
Ohrfrieden Sound Isolating Earplugs
Ohrfrieden is a German brand. Its Chinese name is Aneryou. Although the Chinese name is quite fake, it is still a well-known brand in the earplug industry. It is a brand with particularly good sales in China in the past two years. Many people have more or less heard or heard of it. I have seen this brand of earplugs.
There are many models of this brand. If you are buying for the first time, it is recommended to choose the mini type, which is the most comfortable and avoids discomfort.
Aneryou also has wax earplugs, which are suitable for people who are very resistant to in-ear earplugs. After wearing them, there is no foreign body feeling at all, just oil, but novices should not touch them, not everyone can adapt. When using it, you need to rub the palm of your hand into a ball and insert it into the ear canal. If you have no experience, you may not be able to control it. If you don’t wear it well, the sound insulation effect will be poor.
HEAROS SleepPretty (go to buy) is divided into men’s and women’s models. The colors are quite flamboyant, and the softness is softer than the above Moldex sound-proof earplugs. It is very comfortable to wear, but the sound insulation effect is slightly worse, but it is not bad. No way. Overall the effect is not bad.
3M (go to buy) can be said to be a very popular and cheap sound-isolating earplug. Although it is reusable, many people complain that it is deformed and unusable after not using it many times.
The sound insulation effect of Alpine Sleepsoft is average and can reduce noise, but there is still a certain gap compared to the other brands of sponge earplugs above. The wearing comfort is good, but it cannot be worn directly, and you need to use the auxiliary tools that come with it. Its special earplug structure avoids rebound and is not easily deformed. But the price is not cheap, and the price on Taobao is basically around 100 yuan.
But this earplug also has a special advantage. It is very suitable for use in office and study. It avoids the need to remove the earplug every time you talk to someone, and it can reduce the surrounding noise to a certain extent.
The Chinese translation is Honeywell (to buy). The comfort and sound insulation effect are average, but the rebound speed is fast, and it needs speed to wear, and the deformation is obvious after repeated use. But, but, the price is really TM cheap.
Moldex (go to buy) American medical-grade earplugs, the originator of the earplug industry. The sound isolation is good, and it is very soft (but not the softest), and the wearing comfort and rebound speed are very good. However, its sponge earplugs are marked as disposable earplugs on the official website, although many on Taobao are marked as reusable. However, in actual use, its softness can basically be maintained for about a month.
| How to wear earplugs correctly?
| something else that needs to be said
There is one more point that is not mentioned above, but if you go to Taobao for earplugs, you will find that some earplugs have a string, while some earplugs do not have a string. Generally speaking, if it is a place for work or study, it is better to have a rope, and you can chat with others when you pull it down. But if you are sleeping at home, it is a bit awkward to wear a rope. In addition, it is not recommended to choose silicone material for sleeping.
Some people experience tinnitus after wearing earplugs. It is because the earplugs squeeze the blood vessels in the ear, the blood vessels become thinner due to force, and the blood flow speeds up in the thinner place to produce eddy currents, and you will hear a buzzing sound. In this case, you should choose a smaller model of earplugs. If you still have obvious tinnitus that affects your experience when using small earplugs, you can try wax pill earplugs. But it is very difficult to have an absolute non-foreign body feeling. It feels a little bit stuffed in the ear.
Some people worry that they will not be able to hear the alarm clock after using sound-proof earplugs. This is indeed a possibility. It is recommended to buy a vibrating alarm clock and put it under the pillow after setting the time. It will emit a strong vibration to wake you up the next day.
When using earplugs, make sure the ear canal and earplugs are clean, and wear them correctly according to the instructions. But it should be noted that the sponge earplugs cannot be washed, or at most one or two times, after washing too much, the rebound speed will become faster. Therefore, it can only be replaced periodically.
What are the dangers of long-term use of earplugs?
1. Using earplugs may cause earwax to be pushed into the middle ear, which can cause tinnitus, impaired hearing, pain or bacterial infection. Users with excess earwax should use earplugs more carefully.
2. In a warm and humid environment, many bacteria will multiply more vigorously. Earplugs should be cleaned frequently with water and mild soap, although sponge-type 78 are usually disposable and may lose their slow-rebound properties when soaked in water to dry.
3. When the earplugs are inserted, the air pressure in the middle ear will rise and push to the eardrum causing pain, because the earplugs are inserted too deeply. In order to avoid this danger, please rub the earplugs thinly and insert them into the pre-predetermined ideal position. It is best not to push in when the earplugs are fully inflated. Vice versa, in order to avoid pinching the eardrum when pulling out the earplugs, the earplugs should be unscrewed slowly rather than pulled out forcefully.
Of course, these things are not absolute, and vary from person to person. Some people are fine after wearing them for ten years, while others get otitis media after wearing them for a few months. If you experience any discomfort while using the earplugs, you should stop using the earplugs. In serious cases, seek medical attention.
NNR: The abbreviation of Noise Reduce Rate, which translates to noise reduction in decibels.