Earplug vs Earmuff | Ear protection. Gibadi

  • May 12, 2022
  • By Tamilore Gibadi

What is Earmuff?

Earmuff consist of two thick soft pieces of cloth joined by a band, which you wear over your ears to protect them from cold or from loud noise,

Earmuffs are a high performance hearing protector. Featuring a proprietary dual-cup design and soft, foam-filled cushions, these earmuffs provide high attenuation and outstanding comfort. Additionally, these earmuffs are available in a variety of attachment types, including over-the-head, hard hat, and behind the head.

Ear muff

The double-shell technology incorporated in 3M™ PELTOR™ Optime™ 105 Earmuffs are designed to boost its noise blocking ability. Thanks to this feature, these earmuffs have a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) between 27–30 dB* (depending on the attachment type), making them an ideal choice for use in airports; construction; manufacturing; food, beverage, & agriculture; oil & gas; heavy manufacturing; pharmaceutical; and transportation.

Hearing Protection

When an employee’s noise exposure cannot be reduced to safe levels, then hearing protection must be worn. There are several options for hearing protection available that include ear plugs, ear muffs, and hearing bands, which are also known as canal caps. Each should be carefully considered for the noise reduction they will provide, as well as for comfort and fit. EHS assists departments with hearing protection selection to ensure that these variables are properly addressed.  See the Noise and Hearing Conservation page for more information about our Hearing Conservation Program.

Typical Hearing Protection Devices

  • Pre-molded Ear Plugs - Come in different sizes and shapes to fit different sized ear canals. They have virtually no expansion or contraction, so obtaining a good seal with the ear canal may be challenging.
  • Formable or Foam Ear Plugs - When placed in the ear correctly, this type of ear plug, will expand to fill the ear canal and seal against the walls. This expansion allows foam ear plugs to fit ear canals of different sizes.
  • Ear Muffs - These devices fit against the head and enclose the entire perimeter of the external ear. The inside of the muff cup is lined with acoustic foam, which reduces noise. Their effectiveness depends on how tight the seal is between the foam cushion and the head.
  • Hearing Bands or Canal Caps - These devices cover the ear canal at its opening. They do not provide as much of a seal inside the ear canal and generally provide less protection than ear muffs or plugs, so they are typically not recommended.


What are the benefits of Earmuffs

  • Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) between 27–30 dB (depending on the attachment type)
  • Double-shell technology boosts noise-blocking ability
  • Made with soft, foam-filled cushions
  • Stainless steel construction resists bending and warping
Recommended Industry
Automotive, Construction, Food and Beverage Manufacturing, General Manufacturing, Marine, Metal Fabrication, Military Maintenance, Military Maintenance, Repair and Operation (MRO), Mining, Oil & Gas, Pharmaceutical, Repair and Operation (MRO), Transportation, music industry 


What is Earplugs? 

Earplugs are made with a triple-flange design to contour to the different shapes and sizes of ear canals to help create a comfortable noise-blocking seal. These earplugs are made of a pliable, soft polymer that can be washed so that the earplugs can be reused, cutting down costs and extending the product life.


Easy to use- hold the stems to insert the triple flange ear tips into the ear canals. One size designed to fit most. Options include with or without cord to suit user preference. Cord material options include vinyl or cloth. EARfit testable to help validate the level of protection the individual user is getting.

If silence and isolation from the loud world around you is your thing, 3m earplugs is your earplug. These scored the highest in our environmental noise test, even outperforming other plugs with higher NRR ratings. They are not the largest nor the densest plugs out of the foam plugs, yet we found them to block the most sound.

They are tied with 3M EARPUGS for being the longest in length, though they are slightly thicker. To the naked eye, we don’t see much of a difference in material besides color. Up close, its tiny foam pores look about the same size as those in the other foam plugs. Hearos Xtreme Protection plugs are rated the highest at 33 dB NRR — beating out the Pura-Fits by 1 dB — and are markedly thicker than the Pura-Fits; however, they simply don’t block out as much sound.

Like all the other foam earplugs, these are disposable. You can use them until they collect too much dirt, wax, or debris at your own discretion. Good thing, because our order came in a large cardboard box with one hundred individually wrapped pairs which could potentially last you a lifetime.

Features of Earplugs

  • Stem helps users insert earplug into their ear canals
  • No need to touch the ear tips during earplug insertion, helping to keep ear tips clean longer
  • Soft polymer is washable and reusable
  • Compatible with the 3M™ E-A-Rfit™ Validation System
  • Noise reduction rating (NRR)*: 25 dB for standard Ultrafit and 27 dB for Ultrafit 27.