Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


What are the best earplugs?

ZenPlugs Molded Ear Plugs are highly comfortable and effective at blocking sound from the ears, making them suitable for sleeping, swimming, studying and any other time you need ear plugs. They are individually moulded to your ears from a kit so cost less than having them made by an audiologist. They are also unique in that they contain an antibacterial and can be remoulded as many times as you like.


How were guns fired before earplugs?

The first recorded mention of earplugs is in the Odyssey, predating the invention of the firearm.

I've also seen soldiers in poorer countries that were not given earplugs. They usually took two piece of brass and put them in their ears.

I can't find much on the subject, but I suspect that some soldiers may have found similar means to protect themselves by just finding something that fits in their ears. It wouldn't have to be a perfect fit to at least reduce the noise.

I also suspect that a great many soldiers simply suffered varying degrees of hearing loss. This happens even today so I can't imagine the problem was much better in the past. However, once you go back far enough to predate the invention of smokeless powder, black powder at least generates lower pressures and wouldn't be as damaging on the ear.


What are the best earplugs for blocking the sound of my roommates' sexual moans?

Place your earplugs on a hot pan and burn them until the smoke alarm/sprinkler system activates and solves your problem.


Can one wear earplugs at a rave?

It's not impractical at all. Many of the people I've arrested from raves have had earplugs with them.


Why do I feel like choking when wearing earplugs?

There is an explanation (medical) - rather simple. Deeply inserted plugs will cause irritation of Arnold's nerve (it connects directly to 10th cranial nerve). This might cause cough, choking sensation, hoarseness or a need to constantly clear throat.

Not everyone experiences that.

If you don't put your plugs too deep in the ear canal, you might simply have wax in your ear canals. See your doctor to make sure you don't need wax removal.


How can you wake yourself up with an alarm if you're wearing earplugs?

There is an alarm clock called the Sonic Boom that has a vibrating disk that goes underneath your mattress. Additionally, it can emit a really loud alarm (113db, whereas a rock concert is 115db).


Why would wearing earplugs help with dizziness / vertigo?

The vestibular-cochlear Cranial Nerve VIII runs together. Suppression of sound can potentially affect vestibular signals.


Are there any long-term effects of sleeping with earplugs?

I've been using ear plugs for years and have not had any adverse effects other than becoming slightly dependent on them. I've had my doctor check my ears just in case. Sometimes my ears might get a little sore if I sleep funny or the positioning is off.

There's a tradeoff between comfort and sound-minimization. My favorites are the blue Hearos ones which block the most sound but are still soft enough to not irritate my ears. My sister prefers the softer ones.

Also, if you are a ridiculously light sleeper like I am, you may want to keep a white noise application on your iPhone and get an extra long iPhone charging cable (or daisy chain a few). I keep the iPhone near my bed and crank white noise or ambient techno music which combined with earplugs drowns out 90% of cases.

If I have to share a room with a snorer, I use in-ear Shure headphones with white-noise on the ear that's away from the pillow and then an earplug in the pillow ear. If it's really bad, I'll use headphones in both ears but that's less comfortable and means I have to position my head properly to make it work.

Other Protips:

Go on Amazon and buy 3-4 different varieties and experiment with what feels comfortable to you.

Buy bulk packs on Amazon. It's way cheaper than the stores.

Once you settle on a kind that you like, buy a lot of them and keep them in your backpack, suitcase, jacket, etc for emergencies. Use a ziplock bag. There's nothing like the peace of mind of getting on a subway and tucking in earplugs to drown out an arguing couple.

Keep extra ones in your pockets at night or near by so if one falls out of your ear, you can just tuck another one in without having to try to fish around for the lost one until the morning.

Warn a bed partner when you're putting them in. Simultaneously serves as an indicator to your partner that you'd like it to be quiet.


What functionality could smart earplugs provide over normal earplugs?

Hush are noise masking earplugs that “block out the world while still letting you hear the things that matter most.” That second part is performed through an iPhone app, which features an alarm, multiple soothing sounds, a notification filter, and a tracker, in case you misplaced your earplugs. The app can also play binaural beats, which are said to create a “sleep stimulating experience,” by combining different sounds.


Should one wear earplugs in a datacenter?

No, unless you are in a particularly noisy area like a generator room when the generators are running. Typically you'll find a container for earplugs on the wall.


How does one clean disposable foam earplugs?

They're not called disposable for nothing. Every cleaner you use stays in the PU/PVC and is hard to get out. Do you really want that to be absorbed by the skin in your ear canal? The only safe way to use them multiple times is to not clean them. As long as you have not too much cerumen (earwax) that is the best solution. Then again.