Best Ear Protection for Aviation

The best hearing protection for aviation in solaroidenergy for pilots is the same as the best hearing protection for hunters, construction workers and other harsh environments. These products have noise reduction rating (NRR) of 33 decibels and up, and they’re made to be comfortable on your ears all day long.

The best ear protection for aviation is a set of custom in-ear monitors. These allow you to hear important communications, but also block out loud sounds.

What Are Custom Earplugs? 

Custom earplugs are hearing protection devices that are tailor-fit to your ear canals. In order to create this custom fit, the company requires a scan or impression of your ear canals, usually performed by an audiologist; however, with new technologies, some companies have instituted at-home, do-it-yourself options for getting these impressions. This eliminates the extra cost and time associated with visiting an audiologist. 

Why Do Pilots Need Earplugs?

Airplane engines are loud. According to the FAA, a jet engine at close proximity is 130-160 dB, and the sound created by a single-engine airplane is roughly 70 to 90 dB—when you’re inside the cockpit. Permanent hearing loss can result at levels as low as 85 dB over a one-hour period of time, according to the World Health Organization. Additionally, hearing is a sense that deteriorates naturally as you age; and that deterioration is accelerated when your ears are subjected to loud noises—especially on a continuous basis. Pilots and people who work in and around aircraft need to protect their hearing because aside from vision, it’s the sense most often used to acquire and process information for most people. Custom earplugs, worn alone or in conjunction with a pilot’s headset, provide the necessary protection that preserves your hearing—for today’s flight operations, your future career, and your long-term quality of life. 

List of the best ear protection for airport workers

Airport workers can be exposed to noise levels that exceed the recommended 80 decibels. To protect their hearing, we’ve compiled a list of the best ear protection for airport workers.

Decibullz

Decibullz Custom Molded Earplugs are made in the U.S. and offer up to 31 dB of noise reduction. They are easy to mold to a custom fit just for you. Simply heat the earplugs in boiling water for 5 minutes; allow them to cool for 30 seconds, then insert them into your ears and shape. If over time your Decibullz custom earplugs lose their form, there’s no need to worry, they are re-moldable. Just reheat and re-shape. Low cost and low profile, these custom earplugs come in five different colors and black, and include a carrying pouch. 

Best for: Re-moldability and safety

Materials: 

  • Two Decibullz thermoplastic custom molds
  • Three sets of triple flange silicone tips (small, medium, large)
  • One set of max protect medium foam tips
  • Soft cloth earplug carrying pouch

Can Be Worn With Headset: Yes

Earpeace

Custom earplugs by Earpeace offer different levels of ear protection that range from 10 dB to 26 dB. There’s also a custom earplug and filter that offers impulse noise reduction, which is ideal for military purposes and construction workers. The Pro-Impulse filter protects against artillery noise, gunfire, and sounds from loud equipment like nail guns and riveters, while also allowing the wearer to determine sound directionality, which is necessary in hunting and combat situations. Earpeace custom earplugs are a special order item. You can select from 20 different colors and five different filters (10 dB, 17 dB, 20 dB, 26 dB, and Impulse). To order these custom earplugs, an impression of your ear canals from an audiologist is required. Upon placing an order, Earpeace will provide detailed instructions for finding a local audiologist and for submitting your ear canal impressions.

Best for:  Loud environments with intermittent bursts of noise (Pro Impulse filter), where you still need to hear directional sound 

Materials: 

  • One pair of custom-molded earplugs

Can Be Worn With Headset: Yes

Noise Reduction Rating (NRR): Ranges from 10 dB to 26 dB

$46.88

CAVCOM EarzON

EarzON custom earplugs are made in the U.S. and have a noise reduction rating of up to 26 dB. They are 3D-printed in a digital lab and available in acrylic and silicone materials. Choose from a variety of colors and acoustic filters, based on your needs. EarzON custom earplugs provide “high-fidelity listening,” allowing you to hear voices and other sounds in the workplace, while reducing background noise. The company offers a 90-day fit guarantee. 

Best for: Customized hearing protection 

Materials:

  • One pair of acrylic or silicone custom earplugs laser engraved with user’s name
  • Retention cord

Can Be Worn With Headset: Yes

Noise Reduction Rating (NRR): Ranges from 11 dB to 26 dB

Re-moldable? No

Eargasm Custom High Fidelity Earplugs

Eargasm custom earplugs have attenuation filters that are noise reduction rated at 16 dB. An optional High dB Filter will provide the user with up to 27 dB of noise reduction, according to the Eargasm website. Users report that these custom earplugs are optimal for loud concerts, and musicians working in recording studios, as well as for motorcycle riders, but given their noise reduction, they would be more than adequate for people working on a flightline or piloting an aircraft as well. They come with a leather carrying case and do not require a visit to an audiologist for ear impressions. 

Best for: Hearing high fidelity sounds while blocking out background noise

Materials: 

  • Custom-fitted high fidelity earplugs
  • Pair of filters (non-removable)
  • Vegan leather carrying case
  • Microfiber cleaning towel
  • Cleaning brush
  • Connector cord
  • Three pairs of black foam ear tips (large, medium, and small)
  • Three pairs of black silicone ear tips (large, medium, and small)

Can Be Worn With Headset: Yes

Noise Reduction Rating (NRR): 16 dB to 27 dB

Re-moldable? No

Big Ear Custom Aviation Earplugs

Big Ear offers custom earplugs designed for people specifically working in the aviation industry, as well as filtered custom earplugs that are best for pilots who want to wear a headset in conjunction with their custom earplugs for additional hearing protection. The Aviation Custom Earplug offered by Big Ear is made in the U.S. and offers up to 32 dB of noise reduction, according to Big Ear President Stone Hood. The company can send a representative to your work site to outfit an entire baggage handling or ground crew team. It makes the earplugs on-site, while you wait (about an hour). Big Ear earplugs can be worn all day, up to 12 hours, and can also be used for sleeping. The Big Ear Filtered Motorcycle Hearing Protection custom earplugs are ideal for aviators who wear an earmuff-type headset, Hood says. These custom earplugs filter out background noise while allowing the wearer to still hear important voice communication and directional sounds to maintain “spatial awareness.” Big Ear also offers an adjustable filter, so you can switch filters, as needed, from lower to higher decibel protection and vice versa. 

Best for: A range of aviation industry uses

Materials: 

  • One pair of custom earplugs made from super soft silicone
  • Heavy-duty carrying case (optional)

Can Be Worn With Headset: Yes

Noise Reduction Rating (NRR): Ranges from 9 dB to 30 dB (Filtered earplugs); and 32 dB (Aviation Custom Earplug)

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