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The Best Hearing Protection in 2021

If you work in a loud environment, have a noisy hobby, or share a space with an avid snorer, extra hearing protection is most likely in order! Loud environments aren’t just unpleasant—they can cause permanent damage to your ears, especially if you log lots of hours in them. 

Fortunately, there are innovative offerings for every budget when it comes to hearing protection. Longstanding brands like 3M continue to offer products for commercial and industrial use, whereas more niche brands like Alpine Hearing Protection are entering the space for hobbyists and travelers. As more people recognize the need for hearing protection in everyday life, advancements like electronic capabilities are on the rise. 

Whether you’re looking for a simple earplug to help you sleep better or a premium set of audio-enabled earmuffs, we’ve selected the best hearing protection available for almost every situation. 

The Best Hearing Protection You Can Buy 

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Amazon

The Best Overall Hearing Protection: Walker’s Game Razor Electronic Muff

Price: $69.99
Type: Earmuffs
Noise Reduction Rating: 23 dB
Size: 8.1 in. x 3.8 in. x 10.6 in.

For hearing protection that offers the ultimate bang for your buck, Walker’s Game Razor Electronic Muffs give you maximum protection alongside premium, built-in features. These low-profile earmuffs feature a lightweight, compact design for hassle-free protection. They’re equipped with omnidirectional microphones and HD speakers to deliver balanced sound in complete clarity. 

One of the hallmarks of these earmuffs is the blazing fast reaction time—surrounding noises are compressed in just 0.02 seconds, protecting your ears without taking you out of the environment. 

The Best Hearing Protection for Work: 3M WorkTunes

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Amazon

Price: $39.99

Type: Earmuffs

Noise Reduction Rating: 24 dB

Size: 7.05 in. x 5.87 in.

If your profession exposes you to loud noises from heavy machinery, then you know how important it is to protect your ears with something comfortable enough to wear for long periods. WorkTunes Earmuffs by 3M will do just the trick with a noise reduction rating of 24 dB and a comfortable design with a flexible, hat-compatible headband. 

These earmuffs are also equipped with several features that optimize productivity in the workplace, including Bluetooth connectivity, an integrated microphone, and premium speakers. With these work-friendly perks and 30-hour battery life, your workday can be more efficient and more entertaining.

The Best Hearing Protection for Sleeping: SleepSoft Earplugs

best-hearing-protection-for-sleep
Amazon

Price: $15.99

Type: Earplugs

Noise Reduction Rating: 25 dB

Size: 9—12 mm (depending on ear size, as they adjust to your ear canal)

Nobody wants their sleep interrupted by an unwanted sound, whether it’s a snoring partner or a noisy neighbor. When it comes to incorporating hearing protection into your nighttime routine, you want a solution that’s comfortable enough to drift off in. SleepSoft Earplugs from Alpine Hearing Protection were designed with a good night’s rest in mind!

These lightweight silicone earplugs adapt and mold to your ear canal for personalized, premium comfort. Their unique design works well enough to muffle out unwanted noise without canceling out alarms, so you can enjoy a restful night without worrying about sleeping in. 

The Best Hearing Protection for Kids: 3M Kids Hearing Protection PLUS

best-hearing-protection-for-kids
Amazon

Price: $39.99

Type: Earmuffs

Noise Reduction Rating: 23 dB

Size: ‎4.75 in. x 4 in. x 5.81 in.

With 3M’s Kids Hearing Protection Plus, your family can enjoy loud activities together or easily create a quiet study space. These earmuffs are ultra-comfortable, so your little ones will not only put them on but keep them on—giving you peace of mind in loud environments. 

The earmuffs are equipped with an adjustable headband so you can continue to use them as your child grows up. They’re also foldable, making them convenient to pack in a car or backpack for on-the-go protection. With a range of colorful, kid-friendly designs to choose from, you’re sure to find a style that suits your child.

The Best Hearing Protection for Travel: EarPlanes Flight Ear Protection

best-hearing-protection-for-travel
Amazon

Price: $6.00

Type: Earplugs

Noise Reduction Rating: 20 dB

Size: 1.18 in. x 0.55 in. x 0.55 in.

If you’ve ever been seated next to the engine on a noisy airplane, you know how essential it can be to have hearing protection while traveling. EarPlanes Flight Ear Protection helps reduce the loud, harsh noise on planes while limiting other ear discomforts.

When you’re in a plane, it’s not uncommon to experience popping, ringing, and even temporary hearing loss from the change in pressure. EarPlanes have filters that help to regulate the change in pressure to make traveling more comfortable. They also help to reduce cabin noise, making for a more pleasant flying experience overall.

The Best Budget-Friendly Hearing Protection: SureDire EP3 Sonic Defenders Earplugs

best-budget-friendly-hearing-protection
Amazon

Price: $13.95

Type: Earplugs

Noise Reduction Rating: 24 dB

Size: Sizing varies

Are you looking to offer your ears some extra protection without breaking the bank? Don’t overlook the SureFire EP3 Sonic Defenders Earplugs! Although they’re smaller than other options on this list, these are some of the best earplugs with a whopping 24 dB noise reduction. Their double-flanged stems help to filter harmful noise levels while still allowing softer sounds to be heard. 

In addition to being great for the value, these earplugs feature a detachable lanyard and ear-lock rings that fit flush with your ear to stay securely in place. They come in several different size and color combinations, so you can find the exact fit you need at the price point you’re looking for. 

The Best Top-of-the-Line Hearing Protection: Sordin Supreme Pro X

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Amazon

Price: $268.80

Type: Earmuffs

Noise Reduction Rating: 25 dB

Size: 10.16 in. x 7.32 in. x 4.57 in.

If you’re looking to invest in hearing protection that goes the extra mile, Sordin Supreme Pro X are some of Amazon’s top-rated earmuffs. These premium earmuffs were designed to offer high-performance hearing protection for hunting, military settings, and industrial use. 

In addition to offering four different levels of sound amplification, these earmuffs have speakers that work to amplify quiet sounds while reducing unsafe noise levels. They’re also equipped with two waterproof microphones, moldable ears cups, and a conveniently foldable headband. 

The Best Discreet Hearing Protection: DownBeats High Fidelity Earplugs

best-discreet-hearing-protection
Amazon

Price: $14.95

Type: Earplugs

Noise Reduction Rating: 18 dB

Size: 0.75 in. x 0.75 in. x 2 inches

If you find yourself in crowded rooms where you need to make conversation but still want to be proactive about protecting your ears, DownBeats High Fidelity Earplugs are the perfect solution. With a clear, understated design, these earplugs are nearly undetectable while still providing extra protection for your ears. 

These low-profile plugs enable you to clearly hear speech and music because they act as filters that deliver sounds at a safer level. With an aluminum case, you can easily clip them onto your keys or backpack for ultra-portable ear protection whenever you need it!

The Best Hearing Protection with Built-In Radio: ZOHAN EM042 AM/FM Radio Headphones

best-hearing-protection-with-built-in-radio
Amazon

Price: $49.99

Type: Headphones

Noise Reduction Rating: 25 dB

Size: 8.19 in. x 6.3 in. x 4.21 in.

Whether you’re mowing the lawn or operating machinery, supplementing your hearing protection with some entertainment can help make any task more enjoyable. ZOHAN EM042 AM/FM Radio Headphones give you the ear protection you need with access to your favorite radio shows, programs, and music. 

These headphones offer an impressive 25 dB noise reduction rate along with soft, anti-sweat earpads, an adjustable headband, an audio jack, and AM/FM radio compatibility. Now, you can take on that backyard project with added protection and enjoyment.

The Best Hearing Protection for Live Music: Loop Experience Noise Reduction Ear Plugs 

best-hearing-protection-for-live-music
Amazon

Price: $27.95

Type: Ear Plugs

Noise Reduction Rating: 18 dB

Size: 5.79 in. x 4.17 in. x 0.75 in.

When you want to help protect your ears but still enjoy the experience of live concerts and events, look no further than the Noise Reduction Earplugs from Loop Experience. These sleek, discreet earplugs reduce unsafe levels of noise without compromising sound quality. 

These silicone plugs come with four sizes of ultra-soft tips so you can find your perfect fit. They also feature a compact, stylish design while still maintaining a low profile. With all-day comfort and superior protection, you can enjoy your favorite musicians live while preventing damage to your ears. 

Our Hot Take:

If you’re around loud machinery regularly, double down on hearing protection with an offering that combines a high noise reduction rating with built-in features that filter unsafe noise levels. For every day, crowded environments, consider options that give you added protection without compromising comfort and conversation. 

When looking for added protection for your ears, select a product that matches the environment you frequently find yourself in. You’ll make your experiences more pleasant while gaining peace of mind in knowing that you’re helping to protect your ears from damage!

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