Alternatives to Ear Plugs - a guide.
Posted by Chris Thomas on November 09, 2016. 0 Comments
No doubt about it, good quality ear plugs are awesome for reducing noise!
But if ear plugs aren't the best option for you, perhaps due to infection or discomfort, then what are the best alternatives?
Clearly, external ear muffs are an alternative option which you can use instead of ear plugs. They can be worn in nearly any situation, and are widely used by most professionals in dangerously noisy situations.
Of course earmuffs are often worn for recreational use too, for example when you're using power-tools, your lawnmower or shooting.
When ear plugs are used with ear muffs the resultant reduction in noise is almost scary!
One thing to note though is that even when you wear ear plugs, or ear muffs, or both together, sound can still travel through to your ears through what's known as bone conduction.
Ear plugs and ear muffs reduce air conduction of sound by creating an effective barrier to sound waves travelling through the air to your ears.
But sound waves still penetrate your skull and make their way through your skin, bones and other tissue to the fine inner ear bones (Hammer, Anvil and Stirrup), effectively by-passing hearing protection altogether!
That's why people still often complain about the effectiveness of hearing protection devices.
The main situation where ear muffs aren't so useful is sleeping, as they're typically hard and designed for waking hours, not when you're lying down and trying to sleep.
That's of course the main reason I created the Hibermate ear muffs for sleeping and while it's not as effective at reducing noise as ear plugs, it's an alternative worth giving a try.
I've also recently released the Hibermate Headband with ear muffs.
Other options to ear plugs worth considering are white noise machines which mask sounds (good for snoring partners) and sleep headphones.
What do you use as an ear plug alternative?
Let me know in the comments below...