View Full Version : Earplugs question

December 9, 2012, 09:07 AM
For those that have been to gun shows, you may have seen a booth where you can get custom-made earplugs specific for your ear. The guy has a syringe full of a thick liquid like material that is injected into the ear and hardens. This supposedly will block out noise better and more comfortably than other in-ear style heading protection

I'm curious if anyone here has tried this and how well it works compared to standard expanding earbuds.

thank you

December 9, 2012, 09:46 AM
I have a couple sets.

For me, the foam plugs were coarse enough that they irritated my ear canal after about an hour of use. Some versions are more "foamy" than others, but they still would become uncomfortable after a while.

The "custom" plugs are much more comfortable. There is a technique needed to get them in and out and requires a little spit to lube them as you "screw" them in.

And I think they work better ...

December 9, 2012, 11:26 AM
The custom molded earplugs are more comfprtable and do block a bit more noise. (i think they rate around 32-34db)

I've had a few sets made, mainly for motorcycling. I really liked them while they lasted, but after paying the extra cost and losing them after a bit; I just went back to the yellow foam cheapies.

If you are a little more diligent than me, and can keep from losing them, they work great

December 9, 2012, 12:03 PM
Couple of questions you need to ask the vendor.

What is the NRR?

Who certified the product and the name of the certifying organization?

(note) if he says OSHA approved or NIOSH he does not know what he is doing. Neither OSHA or the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) actually approve a product.

Does he provide a certificate?

If he cannot provide the information I would pass.

Should you be unable to utilize the foam plugs for some reason, I would consult an audiologist. They can evaluate your ears and provide you with a professional assessment.

Prior to the invention of the foam plugs, I used the molded plugs for my high hazard employs. They lasted about 2 months and were expensive.

December 9, 2012, 02:26 PM
I used foam plugs with great success for a while. I had a set of tan-colored plugs that were slow expanding and very dense. As a result they did an excellent job even next to high powered rifles.

I've tried some other brands, but can't seem to find that original ones I had from years ago. The modern plugs I have are lighter weight, faster to expand and don't block as much noise.

December 10, 2012, 09:15 AM

if the company is earinc (or a dealer/provider of earinc), they are great...I have a set of the insta-mold earplugs...just make sure you ask them to not trim down the length too much...the noise reduction is around 33 from what I remember...I've had the same set for almost 2 years now and they still work flawlessly


December 10, 2012, 09:30 AM
a good foam ear plug is "MAX" by Howard Leight with an NRR of 33, highest i've seen so far.



December 10, 2012, 09:34 AM
I use silicone foam plugs extensively. I keep a pair in my pocket at all times. I use them in my shop, when shooting and at night because my wife snores like a locomotive. They work just fine. Just make sure you use the silicone foam type. The spongy foam ones just do not do the job.
The silicone type must be rolled small and inserted into the ear canal, not just propped up on the outside.
I also occasionally use the kind with baffles that are on a string. I think these actually are better sound stoppers but not as comfortable. However, easier to insert. On the range I cannot hear range officer commands when wearing these.