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October 22, 2015

The Best Earplugs in the World


22 decibels sound attenuation: earplugs don't get any better than that.

This past Sunday's New York Times Magazine featured Jamie Lauren Keiles' love letter to Mack's Foam Earplugs (below).


Trust me: the silicone iteration works much better.

$2.48 (fluorescent orange — top) to $6.75 (neutral grey — below).


I've used these for over 40 years: they are the best earplugs in the world.

Note: I prefer the orange version for four reasons:

• They're more fun

• They're much easier to locate should they fall out of your ear

•  They are perfectly sized for use right out of the box whereas the grey iteration is so large, you have to break them in half before using them

• The orange ones cost only about 1/3 the price of the grey ones

October 22, 2015 at 08:01 AM | Permalink


I use the foam ones at 29db , works good for me though I will try these

Posted by: Fritz | Oct 29, 2015 9:13:27 PM

Tomasso: I have horrible tinnitus, constant, loud, steady never-ending, and have had it unchanged for 55 years (since I was 12 years old). I don't even notice it.

Using Mack's earplugs doesn't make any difference whatsoever.

Try them, they won't break your bank.


Becs: I have tried Quies and find them much inferior to Mack's for the following reasons:

• They leave a waxy residue on your fingers and in your ears, unlike the silicone-based Mack's

• They are more expensive than Mack's

• They are far less widely available

Posted by: bookofjoe | Oct 23, 2015 11:05:50 AM

How about when you have tinnitus, like I do?

I am afraid blocking my ears would increase the imaginary hum.

Cheers from Kraków!

Posted by: Tomasso | Oct 23, 2015 9:49:54 AM

My favorites are Quies. They're made in France and consist of soft, malleable wax in cotton wrappings. (At least I think they're wrappings. I've always taken them off.) Fit perfectly to the shape of your ear. You can get them on Amazon.

Posted by: Becs | Oct 23, 2015 6:17:52 AM

I had a set of musicians earplugs a year or two ago before losing them quickly. Much better than these ones that indiscriminately remove sound at odd deattenuations. You could actually hear music decently, could hold a conversation, could hear things around you...just the sound was reduced greatly. None of the disorientation from sounding like your ears were clogged up. I'll have to find these again...

Posted by: clifyt | Oct 22, 2015 10:49:47 PM

I work in an animal shelter and the grey ones are a must have! May have to looking into the others, though.

Posted by: Puptentacle | Oct 22, 2015 10:09:06 PM

Yes! The foam ones have a "crawly" feeling as they expand in your ears.

I've got a full box of the gray ones but will look at the orange ones for next purchase. I never travel without them--you never know what strange sounds invade your hotel room.

Posted by: Pictou | Oct 22, 2015 10:15:43 AM

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