Max Earplugs


Best inexpensive noise blockers

I travel constantly and have, over time, become a big fan of earplugs on flights, especially long distance flights. I can feel the difference; I arrive more relaxed if I can block out the roar of the engines. But I’ve never sprung for the Bose noise-cancelling headphones, partly because I’m too cheap and partly because I don’t really like to listen to music on planes. I just want quiet, and the idea of wearing a big set of headphones doesn’t appeal to me. What I’m waiting for is noise cancelling earplugs, like white noise generating hearing aids — that’s a winner in my book.

Until then, I’ve settled on cheap, high-quality disposable earplugs by Howard Leight. I use their “MAX” model, with an NRR rating of 33, the highest I’ve been able to find; the higher the NRR rating, the more sound they block. I’ve tried every kind of earplug, from balls of silicon to wax and cotton and these work best for me.

I buy my earplugs from Ear Plug Superstore. It’s amazing to me to learn that there is an “Earplug Superstore” in this world, but there you go.

11/11/03 -- Edward J. Murphy