If you’ve ever been near a crying infant on a flight – and who hasn’t? – you may very well have invested in a pair of ear plugs. For years I’ve carried inexpensive foam plugs in my bag, but recently I’ve been testing something better: SilentEar earplugs. SilentEar claims their ear plugs are the highest rated (in terms of nose reduction) earplugs in the world; they reduce noise by 32 decibels (keep reading for a reality check).
Two things distinguish SilentEar ear plugs from conventional designs: a) they’re sized (S-M-L) to fit your ears better than conventional plugs, and b) they’re made of a soft silicone rubber that makes them easy to insert (no rolling or squishing) and very comfortable.
In actual practice, I can report that they work quite well. Those shown above are size small, by the way. The flanges on the plugs are available in clear (shown here) and a high visibility yellow.
If you’re unsure which size is appropriate for your ears, you can buy a sample set including one each of the three sizes, at a significantly discounted price. Individual pairs are $8.95, and they of course come with the small storage container shown here. The 3 size sample set is $17.90
Although pricey, the plugs are quite durable and should last for years. Learn more about these earplugs at SilentEar; they can be ordered from the EarPlugStore. My order, incidentally, arrived in a couple of days.
If $9 for a pair of earplugs is too rich for your tastes, there’s another option which has been lauded by travelers and other users for years: Hearos foam plugs. Yes, you have to squish them up prior to inserting them, and yes, they’re not nearly as durable as the SilentEars, but – contrary to the claims made by SilentEar – they do offer the same level of noise reduction, and 8 pair can be had for $4.95– They too are available from the EarPlugStore: Hearos
Some travelers feel that a good set of earplugs may be the single most important item to ensure comfort during flights… Do you agree? Please join the conversation by commenting.
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