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Alternatives to Ear Plugs - a guide.

Posted by Chris Thomas on November 09, 2016. 4 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.

Ear Plug alternative

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...


Hi Annemarie – never had a complaint about the strap around the back. At this stage the mask needs to be worn with the ear cups but some customer’s move the mask up onto their forehead to use a headband… Cheers, Chris
Posted by Chris on August 22, 2018
If I sleep on my back, will the strap bother me under my head? Also, will I be able to take the face mask off if I want too?
Posted by Annmarie Puzelli on August 11, 2018
i have found ear plugs make no difference atall to what i can hear ,but ear defenders with the hard shell work for me . i wish to use something for sleeping so was interested in your ear muffs. Would they be as effective not being hard shell?
Posted by v.bishop on June 07, 2018
Posted by Lyndsay Rasmussen on December 01, 2017

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