The 8 Best Digital Ear Plugs
This wiki has been updated 17 times since it was first published in October of 2018. Whether you’re a gun hobbyist, hunter, or an industrial worker, you probably have something to gain by owning a pair of electronic ear plugs. These can actively suppress sound above a certain decibel level, so as to protect your ears from hearing damage. Aside from this, though, some models also enhance soft noises, providing you with a heightened degree of situational awareness. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
February 23, 2021:
With a number of our previous selections afflicted by a variety of availability issues – namely the Otto NoizeBarrier, Etymotic Research MP9-15 Pro and Silynx Clarus Pro – it was a busy round of updates that saw this list evolve quite a bit. We also decided to eliminate the SportEar Ghost Stryke, believing that its lack of a power button was an obvious and unacceptable oversight, as far as Best lists go.
We ended up retaining the Walker’s Razor Silencer, as it remains a relatively affordable choice that would make a great pick for many, but we also beefed our list up with two step-up models from the company: The Walker's Silencer 2.0 and Walker's Silencer BT. The 2.0 separate themselves from their original model – which runs on size-10 hearing aid batteries – with built-in lithium cells that can be conveniently recharged via USB using their included dock. The BT sees this recharging functionality and raises it some useful Bluetooth connectivity, offering the ability to tweak their settings via the company’s companion app. They’re also a khaki color, which some users may find a less obtrusive look, if it happens to be closer to their skin tone, and others may find attractive, if it happens to match with the rest of their camouflage gear.
Our last new addition was the 3M Peltor EEP-100, a pair that closely resembles the 3M Peltor TEP-200, although it seems like they may not be compatible with the same range of accessories and are slightly less dust and water resistant. However, the EEP-100 do have a few things going for them, like a lower cost, the inclusion of a charge cable and a clear lid for their storage case, which makes it easy to track their charge status while they’re plugged in.
They won’t offer any of the slick, selective cancellation provided by options in this category, but if you’re having trouble finding a pair that fits well, sometimes there’s still no substitute for comfortable pair of ear muffs.
November 19, 2018:
While many of the models we chose have similar technical specs, the quality gap between the highest- and lowest-ranking products is important. Many of the lower-ranking items are decent, if not plain old good, except for a major technical flaw here, or a design oversight there, such as the SportEar Ghost Stryke's lack of an on/off button. The items that are at the top of the list, then, tick all the right boxes. The 3M Peltor TEP-200 are the perfect example of this. Between their dust- and water-resistance, sheer comfort, intuitive accessibility and their inclusion of an on/off button (genius!), they've got it all.
SoundGear If comfort counts for big points with you and cost is of no concern, consider a custom-fit option from a company like this. Just note that you'll need to coordinate an appointment with a local hearing specialist for fitting. soundgearhearing.com
EAR Inc. Not sure which unit's best for your purposes? This company organize their offerings according to which applications they're best suited for. So, whether you're looking to set yourself up for sleep and meditation or law enforcement and military work, they've likely got a section setup that's full of selections suitable for your needs. Options come in a range of prices, too. earinc.com