Most powerful hearing protector

Sometimes in a high noise area nothing beats the good old fashioned approach of 'most powerful is best' when it comes to hearing protection. But that doesn't always mean cost is a good indicator.   

Out of the 170+ types of hearing protector listed on the Hearing Protection Data page on this site, these are the top ones ranked by SNR, the single number which is an indicator of how powerful they are at reducing noise.


As you can see, of the top 17 only 3dB separates the top and the bottom but don't forget that a 3dB change is important as due to the frankly mad way decibels work, 3dB is equivalent to a doubling in the energy of the noise and therefore equitable to a doubling in the danger. So those which are 3dB higher are effectively offering double the level of protection offered. 

What is interesting is the price differences. The top of the list E-A-R Soft Fx plugs are around 27p each, while the ISOLATE Pro plugs rank in the bottom group but are £50 a pair! Cost is most definitely not an indicator of noise reduction ability. The ISOLATE Pro plugs are reusable, but then again so are the number two plug, the E-A-R Push-in which are only around 58p per pair. 

I would therefore caution anyone looking for the most powerful ear plug protection to start at the top of this list and work their way down - if you can spend a few pence for better protection then there is no point spending a hell of a lot more for slightly less proction.