It can be frustrating trying to study with background noise. Whether you’re studying at home, in the library or in a noisy coffee shop, background sounds can be very distracting. Ear plugs can be very useful for dulling background noise and helping you stay focused.
In this article we’ll look at some of the best pairs of ear plugs you can get in the UK in 2017. First, here’s what to look for in a good pair of ear plugs for studying:
- High SNR: SNR stands for Single Number Rating. It refers to the reduction in noise ear plugs offer and is measured in decibels. Ear plugs typically have an SNR ranging from 20 dB to about 35 dB.
- Comfy: Everyone’s ears are a different size and shape, so you might need to try a few different pairs to find some that are comfortable.
- Good value for money: Disposable ear plugs are cheap when bought in bulk, and they can be reused a few times if you keep them clean. Alternatively you could buy a pair or two of reusable ear plugs, but they tend to have a lower SNR.
Best Ear Plugs for Studying
Honeywell 3301105 Howard Leight Laser Lite Ear Plugs
The Howard Leight Laser Lite Ear Plugs have a contoured design and are made from soft polyurethane foam that can be easily squeezed to fit inside your ear. They feel softer than a lot of ear plugs, and shouldn’t hurt your ears during long study sessions.
These ear plugs have an SNR of 35 dB, which means they can reduce loud noises by around 35 dB. They won’t block out all background noise, but they do a better job than most at dulling distracting sounds.
These ear plugs are only intended to be used once, but if you keep them clean you should be able to use them several times. The Howard Leight Laser Lite Ear Plugs are very affordable when bought in packs of 100 or 200, so you should be able to use a new pair every few days.
One good thing about these ear plugs is that they’re brightly coloured, which makes them easy to find.
Moldex Spark 7800 Ear Plugs
The Moldex Spark 7800 Ear Plugs are made from soft foam and have a tapered design making them easy to insert in your ears.
They have an NRR (noise reduction rating) of 35 dB, which means they offer a substantial amount of noise attenuation. You’re unlikely to be studying in an environment loud enough to require a 35 dB reduction in volume, but this high NRR level means the ear plugs do a good job at dampening annoying background noise.
Like the Howard Leight Laser Lite Ear Plugs reviewed above, you can buy these ear plugs in packs of different sizes, and the more you buy at once the cheaper each pair will be. However, it might be a good idea to buy a small pack to start with to make sure they’re a good fit.
Ear Plug Variety Trial Pack
Since ear plugs are very personal and no pair fits everyone perfectly, it’s a good idea to try several different pairs to find the best one for you. This variety pack features 11 different pairs of ear plugs including the Moldex and Howard Leight ear plugs reviewed above, as well as ear plugs from 3M, one of the leading names in hearing protection.
Each pair is individually wrapped with a label so you can easily order a bigger pack of your favourite once you’ve tried them all out. The ear plugs are made from soft foam and soft silicone.
If you don’t want to risk ordering some ear plugs only to find they don’t fit your ears properly, this trial pack is a great option.
Ear plugs aren’t the only option for dealing with distracting noises when studying. Another option is to wear ear defenders, which can be comfier as they go over your ears rather than in them. Ear defenders are also reusable, helping you save money in the long run and protect the environment.
If you can concentrate while listening to music, you might prefer noise-cancelling headphones or earphones to ear plugs.