E-A-R Classic Corded Ear Plugs Review
The E-A-R Classic Ear Plugs have become such a, well, ‘classic’ really in hearing protection that they are pretty much the default ear plug and the one against which all others are measured. They’ve been around for years and years now, so long that historical dates of ‘BC’ actually means ‘Before Classic’. But after so long on the market, are they still any good and worth using?
This review is the corded version, which is the standard E-A-R Classic with a blue plastic cord stuck on.
E-A-R Classic Corded Ear Plugs - the basics
Price: 47p (when bought in a box of 20)
Features: foam, reusable up to 3 times, also often written as E.A.R. Classic or just EAR Classic.
E-A-R Classic Corded Ear Plugs - performance levels
29dB is not the most powerful hearing protection out there but it is worth stressing that ‘most powerful’ does not mean ‘best’. In all my years doing noise assessments it is very rare to come across a job where only the most powerful plug is needed, with a common fault being ear plugs in use which are too powerful for the noise risk present.
The E-A-R Classic Corded’s 29dB is pretty much bang-on the sweet spot for what you want in a hearing protector and really is the ‘suits almost all jobs’ decent all-rounder.
EAR Classic Corded Ear Plugs for musicians
These have a difference of 7dB between the high and low frequencies meaning they perhaps aren’t the best choice for musicians as they will alter the sound slightly rather than just reducing all frequencies evenly.
E-A-R Classic Corded Ear Plugs - price and value
At 47p and partly reusable it’s hard to argue against them in terms of value.
The only question is whether you really want the corded element. If not, the same EAR Classic plugs can be bought uncorded for about 19p.
E-A-R Classic Corded Ear Plugs - fit and comfort
This is where I was suspecting the E-A-R Classic Corded plugs would fail - they’ve been around so long now that surely their fit and comfort must be a bit old-fashioned and maybe a little uncomfortable. As I’ve been working away all week and staying in a hotel which seems to be full of noisy shouty types who forget there is only a door between them bellowing on the corridor and people in bed, I wore the EAR Classic Corded plugs every night for four consecutive nights. A minimum of eight hours of continuous wearing at a time so if there were any problems with pain in the ear canals caused by the plugs, this definitely would highlight it. Especially exacerbated by the pressure of the head on a pillow slightly pushing the ear against the plug.
Not once did they hurt, or give even the mildest ache. On Thursday, when I woke I was lying there and reading my phone before getting up and completely forgot they were in my ears. It was only when I felt the cord brush against me I remembered they were there.
3M describe the material as one which only expands very slowly and this is borne out in use - when you roll them and pop them in they do seem to take longer to expand and fill the ear canal than many others, but consequently the pressure they place on the ear canal is very low and therefore, for me anyway, completely eliminating any pain or discomfort.
Old they may be, but for an ear plug their comfort is faultless.
E-A-R Classic Corded Ear Plugs - summary
✔︎ Great value
✔︎ Comfortable fit
✔︎ Good level of protection for all but the most extreme jobs
Nothing to say against them. I wore mine for four straight nights in the end, so less than 12p per day and not once had any discomfort or pain with them. They are ‘classic’ for a reason.