Custom Noise Plugs
Are They Worth It?

When you work in, or are exposed to an excessive amount of noise on a regular basis, owning some hearing protection that you can use in those situations is always a good idea. 

With so many options of hearing protection available, sometimes it is difficult to know which ones would work best for you. Foam ear plugs, ear muffs, or custom ear plugs are all great options. Most people assume the greatest amount of noise protection will come from the custom noise plugs because they are more expensive, but that isn’t always the case.

The Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) for most products that are made for protecting your hearing while you are working in noise will generally block out the same amount of noise, usually between 22-26 dB. There are other factors to consider when deciding between these options, let’s go through some of the positives and negatives of each.

Generic Ear Plugs  (Foam or Rubber- Often Are Disposable)

Pros +


Easily availability

Low profile

Cons - 

Can be uncomfortable if worn for long periods of time

Will not block noise as effectively if not put in ears properly

Create waste

Might not fit properly depending on size of ear canal

Ear Muffs 

Pros +

One size fits all

Multiple users can use the same set

Lower cost for a reusable product

Cons - 

Bulky and can get in the way if other equipment needs to be worn

Not convenient to carry with you when you aren't using them

Can wear out over time and not provide as much protection

Custom Ear Plugs - (Silicone)

Pros +

Comfortable to wear for long durations

Low profile

Can get with filters to allow for air flow in the ears, and provide custom amounts of noise reduction

Cons - 

Cost - generally start at around $200/ set

Can wear out over time, general lifetime is about 5 years