MAX-1 Foam Earplugs


High noise reduction

I love my husband, but he snores – and snores loud. It would wake me up several times at night. I’d even have to get up and sleep in the guest room. I did a bit of online research and found out that Howard Leight MAX-1 earplugs (200 pair for $22) were recommended for snoring. I wasn’t sure what to think because I’d worn earplugs before and could still hear people talking to me. These earplugs are different though. To me they feel somewhere between 50% and twice as quiet as the average earplug. Some sound does get through, but not a lot. If I am waken up in the night by my husband snoring, I can hear it but I don’t have any problem getting back to sleep.

They’re also comfortable enough for me to wear all night unlike my other earplugs, which I’d subconsciously pull out in the middle of the night. It is night and day. With that said, I do have a word of caution — insertion/placement is key. If you don’t insert the plugs properly, you won’t be able to get the best results. For those not used to using them, the trick to proper insertion is to twirl the plug between your thumb and index finger to tighten it down to a small cylinder, and then slide it into your ear quickly before it expands again. To get the best possible seal be sure to keep your fingertip on the end of the plug a few seconds while it expands. Thanks to the shape of Howard Leight ear plugs it’s difficult to push them into your ear too far so they get stuck or hurt my ear drum. I’ve had that happen with ear plugs from other companies.

If you need to wear ear plugs all the time like I do, you learn there are ways to get more out of them. These ear plugs – while disposable – can be used more often than others because of a thin skin on their surface that prevents wear and tear of the ear plug foam. This skin also makes the ear plugs easier to clean. I do this and and they’ve lasted me for a long time.

With the earplugs individually wrapped in double packs, you can stick them into a travel kit and have them readily available whenever you need them. I take them with me when I stay in hotels – in case of thin walls – and airplanes. Even if you don’t plan to sleep on the plane, the earplugs are soothing because they eliminate the noise of the plane and people around you, much like expensive noise canceling headphones. On a final note, I rarely ever lose these because of the bright orange color. Just be careful if you have cats though, because these earplugs are also apparently cat toys and they are likely to run away with them if they find them.

-- Hannah Edmonds 10/2/19

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