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Best Earplugs (2022): Top Picks for Sleeping, Snoring, Concerts & More

Each person has different reasons to wear earplugs. Some may want them to sleep better, while others might just want to minimize noise to prevent hearing damage at concerts, shooting ranges and such. Luckily, consumers are spoiled for choice, and nowadays, there’s always a pair for every situation. There’s the Bose Sleepbuds II for sleeping, the QuietOn 2 to block out snoring, the Flare Audio Isolate for concerts, the Loop Experience for musicians and the Axil GS Extreme 2.0 for shooting. 

Depending on what you’re going to use them for, there are various factors to consider too. For example, earplugs for motorcycle riders need something that can dampen wind noise, such as the Pinlock Earplugs. Also, folks who simply can’t find a good fit can turn to custom earplugs, which adapt to them instead of the other way around, like the Radians Custom Molded Earplugs.

Best Earplugs Comparison Chart

ModelHighlightsPrice
Bose Sleepbuds IIBest EarplugsMasks noise with over 50 sound options available, flush fitCheck Price at Bose.com
Flare Audio IsolateBest EarplugsProtects hearing without loss of detailCheck Price at FlareAudio.com
QuietOn 2Best EarplugsActive noise cancellation, blocks low-frequency sounds like snoringCheck Price at QuietOn.com
Loop ExperienceBest EarplugsDoesn’t muffle sounds, allows for a lot of detail to pass throughCheck Price at LoopEarplugs.com
Axil GS Extreme 2.0Best EarplugsLow-profile alternative to mufflers, doubles as wireless earphonesCheck Price at GoAxil.com
Pinlock EarplugsBest EarplugsReduces wind noise, lets you hear important sounds on the roadCheck Price at Pinlock.com
Radians Custom Molded EarplugsBest EarplugsEasy to mold, sits flush in your ears, comfortable for sleepingCheck Price at Radians.com

Best Earplugs for Sleeping — Bose Sleepbuds II

The Bose Sleepbuds II mask noise and offer more than 50 sounds to choose from.

Best Earplugs for Sleeping

Among the smartest earplugs, the Bose Sleepbuds II are easy to recommend to anyone who finds it hard to get some shut-eye. These aren’t noise-canceling, though. Rather, they mask noise by playing a sound of your choice, keeping you from waking up to sudden loud noises. You get more than 50 options to figure out which one works via the accompanying app, which ranges from white noise to naturalesque sounds. That, coupled with passive noise blocking, make them excellent for sleeping.

They come with three ear tip sizes, and needless to say, you’ll have to find the perfect fit to get the most out of them. Otherwise, they won’t form a seal to keep noise out. They’re comfortable too without creating too much pressure in the ear, and they stay in place for the most part, as they still have a tendency to fall out sometimes. But what makes them stand out is they sit flush, and that means side sleepers won’t have a problem with them.

These are good for up to 10 hours on a single charge, which is plenty of time for getting a full rest. Their included charging case can also provide three extra charges, so they’re good for traveling too.

Best Earplugs for Concerts — Flare Audio Isolate

The Flare Audio Isolate don’t just protect your hearing, but they also let you hear the details of songs.

Best Earplugs for Concerts

When listening to your favorite band live, earplugs may seem counterintuitive because they’re going to muffle sound and all, but they’re crucial in preserving your hearing. Fortunately, there’s the Flare Audio Isolate that decrease sound levels but don’t sacrifice any detail.

This is made possible thanks to their design. These memory foam tips are fitted with plastic, aluminum or titanium material that can let you hear music with clarity because of bone conduction. In short, your hearing is safe, and you can enjoy songs to their fullest.

By the same token, these are also considered to be among the best earplugs for drummers because of their bone conducting nature. You’ll not only hear your drumming but also feel it with these earplugs on.

Coincidentally, Flare Audio also makes some of the best earplugs for sensory overload called Calmer. These don’t exactly block out sound, but they make it more manageable, thus preventing it from becoming overwhelming. They also take the edge off abrupt sounds.

Best Earplugs for Snoring — QuietOn 2

The QuietOn 2 can cancel low-frequency sounds like snoring.

Best Earplugs for Snoring

As a rarity of sorts, the QuietOn 2 are generally regarded as the best noise canceling earplugs for sleeping. It’s designed to keep low-frequency sounds out with active noise cancellation or ANC, and for that reason, it’s among the best earplugs to block out snoring and keep partner-induced insomnia at bay.

With a full charge, they can go for up to 20 hours, which is a bit of an overkill considering the amount of sleep we need. Also, they can play a constant white noise too, so they double as a noise-masking device.

These earplugs may fall out of your ears during the night, as they don’t have any wing tips or anything along those lines to help them stay secure. However, they’re comfortable, and they feel as if you aren’t wearing anything at all.

Best Earplugs for Musicians — Loop Experience

The Loop Experience can keep your hearing safe without muffling sound.

Best Earplugs for Musicians

For musicians, a potential issue with earplugs is they may muffle sound and reduce detail, but that won’t be a problem with the Loop Experience. For one thing, they let a lot of sound in, so you won’t be missing out on anything. And despite that, they can minimize noise levels by 18 decibels, providing a degree of protection for your hearing. All in all, that makes them the best high fidelity earplugs around.

They come in plenty of color options too: Midnight Black, Swinging Silver, Glorious Gold and Rose Gold. The manufacturer also throws in four sizes of silicone tips, so it’s hard not to get a good fit with them.

Best Earplugs for Shooting — Axil GS Extreme 2.0

The Axil GS Extreme 2.0 are a lightweight alternative to the usual heavy mufflers.

Best Earplugs for Shooting

Shooting without any form of protection for your ears is an easy way to damage your hearing. While most are of the muffler variety, there are lightweight options with a low-profile, namely the Axil GS Extreme 2.0.

Out of the box, they come with foam and silicone tips. The foam tips are used for shooting, blocking up to 29 decibels when worn properly, and the device itself can cancel out sounds of more than 85 decibels. They also have a hearing enhancement functionality increase awareness of your surroundings.

Meanwhile, the silicone tips can only reduce 19 decibels of noise, but they’re meant to be used for music. That leads us to their extra functionality as a pair of wireless earbuds. They feature Bluetooth 5.0 and nine hours’ worth of music playback on a single charge. Sure, it’s not something that audiophiles will like, but if nothing else, they have excellent noise isolation.

Best Earplugs for Motorcycle — Pinlock Earplugs

The Pinlock Earplugs can reduce wind noise and let you stay aware of your surroundings on the road at the same time.

Best Earplugs for Motorcycle

Wind noise is what can commonly damage motorcyclists’ hearing, and the Pinlock Earplugs are made specifically to minimize it. 

They sport a flanged design and come with two sizes to ensure a good fit for a nice seal, but what sets them apart is their precision filter to reduce wind noise. Despite that, they will still let you hear important sounds while driving for safety purposes, such as horns, sirens and rumbling of other vehicles on the road. That also means you can hold a conversation with someone while wearing them. For the record, they’re rated to block out 24 decibels of sound.

Best Custom Earplugs — Radians Custom Molded Earplugs

The Radians Custom Molded Earplugs are more useful and better than disposable earplugs in many ways.

Best Custom Earplugs

Arguably, the best earplugs for noise reduction are the ones that adapt to the shape of your ear, and that’s where the Radians Custom Molded Earplugs come in. 

As their name suggests, they’re made out of moldable silicone, and since they provide a personalized fit, you can make sure they’re comfortable and form a good seal, offering a 26-decibel noise reduction. In other words, they’re flexible in that you can use them not only for reducing noise in general but also for sleeping since you can mold them in a way that they sit flush in your ear (side sleepers, rejoice). 

The best part is, they’re reusable and easy to wash. As opposed to using disposables, you’d not only be doing yourself a favor by saving cash in the long run but also Mother Nature.

Verdict

With so many options available, it’s hard not to find a pair of earplugs for whatever purpose.

When we think of earplugs, the first thing we consider is how much noise they can block, but that’s not all there is to it. Other factors to keep in mind include comfort and reusability, and in some cases, we take into account their features. And as luck would have it, there’s a pair for just about any situation.

On that note, the Bose Sleepbuds II are the best for sleeping because of their noise-masking capability, and the QuietOn 2 are the best for snoring, as they have ANC. The Flare Audio Isolate are best for concerts because of how much detail they allow to pass through, and the Loop Experience for musicians since they don’t muffle sound. Then there’s the Axil GS Extreme 2.0 for shooting, the Pinlock Earplugs with an advanced filter to minimize wind noise while riding a motorcycle and the Radians Custom Molded Earplugs that adapt to the wearer’s ear shape.

FAQs

📌 Is it OK to wear earplugs every night?

Yes, as long as you make sure to keep the earplugs and your ears clean.

📌 Are there noise canceling earplugs for sleeping?

Yes, the QuietOn 2 feature active noise cancellation that can block low frequencies such as snoring. They can also help prevent sudden sounds such as car horns and noisy neighbors from jolting you awake.

📌 Should I wear earplugs at concerts?

Yes, it’s recommended to wear earplugs at concerts to protect your hearing. The Flare Audio Isolate fit the bill since they block enough sound to keep your hearing safe, but at the same time, they let you hear live performances without losing detail.

📌 Are custom earplugs worth it?

Yes, custom moldable earplugs provide a personalized fit, so they’re comfortable and form a good seal more often than not. They’re also typically reusable and washable, making for a cost-effective alternative to disposables.

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Vincent Lanaria

Senior Editor, researcher and writer passionate about running, cooking, and how technology mixes with the two.