There are many different types of hearing protection on the market today. They all serve different purposes and one may be better than another in a certain situation.
Foam Earplugs- Visitors to factories or construction sites are often given such ear protection. The advantage is that they are very easy to use and cut out a sufficient amount of noise if inserted correctly. The disadvantage of these is that they can irritate the ear and can be difficult to insert properly for some. When these are inserted into the ear with dirty fingers, there may be a risk of external ear infections. Use once only.
Wax Earplugs- These completely seal off the hearing so you get the sensation of being closed off from the outside world. They are affordable and easy to use. If these get wet, they can be more difficult to remove from the ear. Use only once.
Earmuffs- Available in various models. These are most often seen when operating heavy equipment such as a lawn mower or on a construction site. They can be clicked onto a safety helmet. There are also special earmuffs for children who wish to learn in a focused manner, for instance. The earmuffs cover the ear completely. Depending on the material used, the earmuffs can irritate around the ears, particularly in warm weather.
Silicon Plugs- These resemble the (yellow) foam plugs but are made from a less irritating material. They are often called the ‘christmas tree’
earplugs given their appearance. They are often found to be more comfortable than the foam earplug but tend to slip out of the ear more. Use once only.
Universal earplugs- Now the most popular earplugs. These completely seal off the auditory canal, but the layer system prevents a sense of being shut off from the outside world. You can purchase these filtered or unfiltered. The filter system enables users to determine the muffling themselves. They are also often called the ‘christmas tree’ earplugs given their appearance.
Otoplastics- Customized hearing protection. Motorcyclists and musicians often use customized otoplastics. This type of hearing protection fits perfectly and can last for years. There are various muffler values and functions depending on the desired purpose. For example, we often see these used with firearms to cut out gun noise while allowing other environmental noise through.