People who run noisy machinery, fire guns or spend much time around loud music -- such as DJs or musicians -- should wear earplugs to protect their hearing. The best earplugs have a high noise-reduction rating (NRR), are typically made of silicon or some type of foam, and will cost you anywhere from 60p to over £65 per pair.
Hearos Ultimate Softness Series
These polyurethane foam earplugs are the best overall earplugs, according to the website Galtech and Slate Magazine. They have a 32 NRRrating and one pair costs 60p. Comfortable to wear and easy to insert, they mute loud, shrill noises and make background noises inaudible. In addition to being easy to clean, they should last for a while. While these plugs effectively block out all noise, professional musicians recommend that you buy the much-more expensive, custom-moulded musician's earplugs to protect your hearing.
Howard Leight MAX
Similar to the Heroes plugs, Howard Leight earplugs are also made out of polyurethane foam and cost only 60p per pair. Their NRR rating is even higher -- 33 -- but according to Slate Magazine, they are not as comfortable as the Heroes plugs. Some people may find the bright orange colour annoying, but it does make them easier to find if you lose them. Because these plugs, along with the Heroes, block out noise so effectively, you might risk sleeping through your alarm clock or a fire alarm.
Like America's top-selling Mack earplugs, these plugs are also made out of silicon, but, at a 33 NRR-rating, they more effectively block out noise. At £5.80 per pair, they are more expensive than the Heroes and Howard Leights, but easier to insert and wear because of the more pliable silicon putty. You do not have to roll or shape them before inserting them into your ears. The company also offers a "QuietEar" option, which enables the user to participate in conversations while wearing the plug.
These custom-made silicon earplugs are supposed to have the best NRR rating attainable and, according to its company website, are used by organisations such as the U.S. Air Force, F.B.I., U.S. National Guard and the U.S. Olympic Shooting Team. Count on paying more than £65 to have these custom-made for you.
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