Moldex Spark Ear Plugs Review
The Spark ear plugs are Moldex’s mainstream disposable foam ear plug, intended as a low cost effective hearing protector which comes in a 1970s acid-trip colour scheme.
Moldex Spark ear plugs - the basics
Price: £0.10 (When bought in large packs from The Safety Supply Company)
Features: High attenuation, soft foam, contoured to the ear canal, can be corded or uncorded. One size fits all. Disposable.
Moldex Spark ear plugs - performance
35dB of noise attenuation puts these at the higher end of the performance scale for an ear plug, with only a handful going 3dB or so higher. This does mean companies choosing to use them have to make sure they are not too powerful for the noise risk present and that the users are not being over-protected.
Moldex Spark ear plugs for musicians
Their impact across the frequency range is pretty low, with only a 3dB difference between their impact on the high and the low frequencies. This means that for musicians, they will have a minimal impact on how the music sounds (very little distortion or altering of frequencies), while making a big difference to overall volume. There are however plugs available with even less of a difference in the high to low frequency range and the 35dB of protection will be suitable for rock concerts but may be a bit too much for the more nuanced noise of a professional orchestra.
Moldex Spark ear plugs - price and value
At 10p a pair it is impossible to argue against them on cost - they are right down at the cheaper end of the price range. Moldex market them as disposable but I must admit that I have tended to make sure I keep them clean when taken out and have used them for four straight days meaning in effect I was now paying about 2.5p a day instead. Repeated use saw no degradation in their fit or ability to expand back to shape. The only proviso is to make sure they are kept absolutely clean between uses or you will give yourself an ear infection. Being foam they don’t take too well to washing.
Moldex Spark ear plugs - fit and comfort
As well as my normal practice of wearing hearing protection when doing noise assessments, I have also recently had a need for hearing protection in bed at night at home. We recently took on a rescue dog who had spent her previous six years in a concrete pen in a barn and had never been in a house. Putting her into an environment in the kitchen at night with six other dogs (don’t ask…) lead to much two-tone warbling and singing for a few nights until she settled down. With the Moldex Spark ear plugs I couldn’t hear her at all and slept perfectly, and also had no issues with pain in the ear canal from eight-plus hours of nightly use.
Interestingly, my wife has tiny ear canals and she also used the Moldex Spark plugs for five nights or so and again had no issues at all with pain or aches from them.
Moldex Spark ear plugs for motorbikes
I’ve tried these on my motorbike under the helmet and had no issues at all - no pain and they stay in place. They are maybe a little too effective as they muffled the helmet intercom to such an extent that there was little point in trying to listen to music as I rode.
Moldex Spark ear plugs - summary
✔︎ Great value
✔︎ Strong protection
✔︎ Comfortable to wear for long periods
✔︎ Good for motorcyclists
Excellent - effective and pain-free. They are already cheap to start off with, and if you manage to keep them clean and reuse them even once then they get even cheaper.
It would be nice if the individual pairs could be packed in something other than their own plastic bags - a card pack such as that used by 3M for the E-A-R Classic would be an improvement.
These cost 10p and give you the same noise attenuation as the Flare Isolate which cost £25. The Moldex Spark ear plugs have a far more even impact across the frequency range so are better for listening to music through as well as wearing at work and are so much more comfortable to wear that there is no real comparison between the two despite that price difference.