We believe that nobody should be without top-tier hearing protection when it’s needed. With so many different brands and models on the market, it can be hard to tell who offers the best product.
With noise-induced hearing loss being one of the most common workplace injuries, it’s absolutely crucial that you choose the best hearing protection available. Once your hearing is gone, it’s gone. There’s currently no known way to treat hearing loss other than hearing aids.
You can’t afford to buy ineffective hearing protection; substandard hearing protection may cost you a portion of your hearing.
To assist you in finding the best hearing protection available, we’ve rounded up a few of the top hearing protection brands and created a rundown of each so that you know where to start looking.
3M is a company with so many products, that it’s almost impossible to have not heard of them. We’re rather large fans of their hearing protection as it’s protective, comfortable, and cost-effective. 3M were founded in June 1902, under the name Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company. They’re based in Maplewood, Minnesota but employ people all over the world.
To give you an idea of their impact on the world, 3M are responsible for inventing masking tape, waterproof sandpaper, Scotch Tape, and Post-It Notes.
Hearing protection is only a small portion of what they make. They primarily make hearing protection designed for industrial use.
Peltor X Series
The Peltor X Series of ear defenders are their modern range of hearing protection designed to cover a range of industry requirements and noise levels. It includes their X5As, which have an SNR of 37 dB, which may be the highest attenuation rating of any headband-style ear defenders available (see the highest SNR ear defenders here).
3M E-A-R Range
3M’s E-A-R range are their in-ear earplugs. They include a whole range of disposable and reusable earplugs. The E-A-R range includes their E-A-R Soft FX earplugs which have an SNR of 39 dB, which is the highest that 3M produce.
Edz Kidz sell a variety of products aimed at children including: sunglasses, watches, drawstring bags, wristbands, and ear defenders. Many of their products are aimed at children who suffer with autism.
They’re an English company based out of Devon, and fairly well-regarded for their products for children. Their ear defenders are entirely aimed at children and should not be used in situations where hearing protection is needed for safety reasons.
Edz Kidz Ear Defenders
Edz Kidz really only produce a single type of hearing protection, Edz Kidz Ear Defenders. These ear defenders are manufactured in a variety of different colours, however. The most notable feature of their ear defenders is the ability to add decorative ‘Capz’ to the ear cups. This can help a child to personalise their hearing protection which is very useful in convincing them to wear it.
Howard Leight have been in the business of protecting hearing for over 30 years. They produce a vast range of hearing protection products for both workplace and sporting applications. Unlike 3M, Howard Leight have a range of electronic ear defenders both for sport and for radio communication. Their products have an excellent reputation, especially their sports hearing protection.
Howard Leight Impact Sport OD Electric Earmuff
Like most electronic sporting earmuffs, these earmuffs automatically transmit all ambient noises through a pair of internal speakers. When the volume raises about 82dB, the sound automatically cuts out.
These ear defenders also have the added bonus of being able to amplify the ambient noise, which can be very useful for communication whilst shooting.
Howard Leight Laser Lite High Visibility Disposable Foam Earplugs
If earplugs are more your style, Howard Leight produce a pair of fairly impressive and cheap disposable earplugs. These earplugs have an NRR of 32 dB, which makes them sufficient for workplace use in mid to high noise level environments.
Moldex are a highly-respected brand for their personal protection products. They primarily produce hearing and respiratory protection. They were founded by Mark Magidson in California in 1980, producing a disposable dust mask.
They began producing hearing protection in 1986 with the introduction of their foam earplugs. Many companies trust their personal protective equipment; they have an excellent reputation for their masks and hearing protection.
Most of their products are designed for use in the workplace, but they sell a number of their products on Amazon to DIY hobbyists or people in need of a sleep aid.
Moldex Spark 7800 Ear Plugs
Moldex produce their own disposable earplugs. They’re similar in style to the Howard Leight ones, but have a higher NRR at 35 dB. The protection they provide makes them suitable for workplace use, though they also find use as a sleep aid for people suffering from a noisy bedroom environment.
Moldex 6130 M6 Earmuffs
As you would expect, Moldex have a range of ear defenders. The Moldex “Series M6” Earmuffs are the most protective of the range with an SNR of 35 dB. They don’t have quite the reputation of the Howard Leight or the 3M products, but Moldex produce good quality hearing protection, so they’re still an excellent choice.
If you’re struggling to sleep at night, Ohropax might be the brand to look at. They produce a huge range of earplugs, both in-ear and over-ear. They primarily produce earplugs as sleep aids or study aids, but they also produce a set of earplugs designed for keeping the water out of your ears when swimming.
The company was founded in 1907 in Germany by Maximilian Negwer. They’ve been in the earplug business for 100 years now and as such have developed a strong reputation.
Ohropax Earplugs Soft & Ohropax Classic Earplugs
Both are extremely similar in use, primarily designed as a comfortable sleep aid. The primary difference is that the Classic Earplugs are wax earplugs designed to be molded over the ear, whereas the Earplugs Soft are traditional in-ear tapered foam earplugs.
DIY hobbyists out there have probably heard of Silverline. They produce a huge range of tools which are fairly well-regarded.
In addition to the vast range of tools, they also produce a small range of hearing protection products, including budget ear defenders as well as disposable earplugs. Silverline was founded in 1978 in the UK and have since grown to become a multinational business.
Silverline 633816 Folding Ear Defenders
If you’re looking for inexpensive hearing protection to help take the edge off power tools, then Silverline has you covered. The Silverline 633816 ear defenders are cheap, comfortable and effective. They’ve got an SNR of 30 dB, which means they’ll work well for protecting your hearing from the noise of your workshop or workplace.