Ear molds offer superior protection from noise, moisture, dirt and other irritants. They are your first line of defense against noise-induced hearing loss.
While a basic set of foam earplugs is helpful, you’re better off with custom plugs molded to fit the unique shape of your ears.
There are several different styles of ear molds, some designed for specific listening environments.
Custom Molds for A Variety of Situations
Custom ear molds are available for a variety of situations. If you are going to be exposed to excessive noise, you’ll want to protect your hearing by investing in a good pair of ear molds that are comfortable and durable. These may be constructed from memory foam that expands when placed in the ear to offer a firm seal; silicone that is molded to fit over the external portion of the ear canal; or other materials. They are rated by decibel level, and the cost varies depending on whether they are disposable or non-disposable.
Special hi-fidelity musician’s ear molds are designed for those who are frequently exposed to loud music (band directors, musicians, concertgoers). They work by reducing the volume of music and speech equally, enabling a full range of sound to enter the ears and preventing muffled speech and distortion. These often include several attenuators rated for different decibel levels.
Electronic ear molds are an excellent choice for those exposed to sudden loud noises that can damage hearing, such as hunters or police officers. They come with an acoustic filter that includes a valve that will automatically close when exposed to a very loud sound pressure wave (examples include gunshots or explosions). In addition, they boost softer sounds.
Swimmers, surfers and others with frequent water contact should consider swimmer’s molds. Water entering the ear canals can lead to an inflammation, infection and bony growths that may eventually cause hearing damage. These custom ear molds are designed to keep water out of the ears, and are usually made of wax or foam.