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For total silence: is a custom earplug better than foam, etc?

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

Most (if not all) of the custom earplugs I read about are intended to reduce noise levels while allowing you to still hear accurately. I'm not interested in that. I'm wondering what will block out sound, and hence distractions, most completely. 

 

I've tried several brands of foam earplugs and have found some that I like well enough, but they can become uncomfortable if inserted imperfectly. It's tempting to try a custom.

 

But would a custom really perform better than these disposable ones, for my purpose? 

 

(Incidentally, I realize this isn't the ideal forum for this thread, but there really doesn't seem to be an ideal one.)

 

Thanks.

post #2 of 31
The best isolation I've found are the tri flanges. I've not tried a mold.
post #3 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alec E View Post

Most (if not all) of the custom earplugs I read about are intended to reduce noise levels while allowing you to still hear accurately. I'm not interested in that. I'm wondering what will block out sound, and hence distractions, most completely. 

 

I've tried several brands of foam earplugs and have found some that I like well enough, but they can become uncomfortable if inserted imperfectly. It's tempting to try a custom.

 

But would a custom really perform better than these disposable ones, for my purpose? 

 

(Incidentally, I realize this isn't the ideal forum for this thread, but there really doesn't seem to be an ideal one.)

 

Thanks.

No, the customs are just easier to work with and are more sanitary.   A perfect fit should render 32-35dB isolation.  A well inserted thick foam earplug should isolate 38dB easily.

post #4 of 31

After using silicone custom plugs, comply IEM tips and customs (acrylic), I've personally found the acrylics to have the most attenuation. 

I use them as hearing protection in loud environments.

 


Edited by White Lotus - 8/28/13 at 7:03am
post #5 of 31

I'd say nothing works better than customs because they fit your ear perfectly. But its a benefit cost ratio thing.

post #6 of 31
Thread Starter 

I'm so easily annoyed by others' noise that I've seriously fantasized about being deaf.

 

I'd happily pay a few hundred dollars for custom plugs if they were the equal of perfectly-inserted foams.

post #7 of 31
Custom molded plugs will cost you more than $100. I use the foam ones, and when I operate my chain saw and really want quiet, I use th e foams and then a set of full size hearing protectors. My estimate is about 42db mid band, 30 from the foams and 12 from the cans.

If you use a good sealing set of IEMs and a bit of masking noise or music, you might accomplish your goal and enjoy some tunes along the way.
post #8 of 31
Thread Starter 

But surely a central motive of "audiophilia" is to keeps one's favorite music alive to oneself in the way that it inevitably was when one first discovered it.

 

I don't think using it as sonic wallpaper facilitates that.

 

I would ideally like a switch, on the side of my neck, that I can use to turn my ears off.

post #9 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alec E View Post

But surely a central motive of "audiophilia" is to keeps one's favorite music alive to oneself in the way that it inevitably was when one first discovered it.

 

I don't think using it as sonic wallpaper facilitates that.

 

I would ideally like a switch, on the side of my neck, that I can use to turn my ears off.

"Audiopheilia" is only a small sub-set of audio.  There are many purposes to sound and music, foreground, background, and masking are only a few.  Music can also be used in therapy of various kinds.  

 

If you try good 30dB rated foam earplugs then add good external hearing protectors, you should be just about at that "off switch" point.  What's the invasive noise you are trying to avoid, BTW?

post #10 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaddie View Post

"Audiopheilia" is only a small sub-set of audio.  There are many purposes to sound and music, foreground, background, and masking are only a few.  Music can also be used in therapy of various kinds.  

 

If you try good 30dB rated foam earplugs then add good external hearing protectors, you should be just about at that "off switch" point.  What's the invasive noise you are trying to avoid, BTW?

 

I explained clearly why using my music collection to mask noise is unacceptable to me.

 

"External hearing protectors"--you're suggesting I wear a large headpiece, in public settings. Yeah, I don't think so.

 

The invasive noise is any noise. As I've written, I want to get as close to total silence as possible. The only question at this point is whether foam or acrylic better accomplishes that. Most people seem to vote for foam.

post #11 of 31

They will attenuate outside noises, but won't completely silence them. You may have to look towards noise cancelling. 

post #12 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by White Lotus View Post

They will attenuate outside noises, but won't completely silence them. You may have to look towards noise cancelling. 

Foam earplugs are way more effective than any active noise canceling.  You might try both together...but the OP claims to be wearing a large headpiece, whatever that is, it apparently precludes any sort of head-worn device.  Looks like foam plugs, or if you have the money, custom made plugs would be about the best.

post #13 of 31
Thread Starter 

jaddie, if you don't mind, I'd prefer to hear from people who (a.) have experience or information bearing on the thread's topic and (b.) can read. Thanks.

post #14 of 31

Foam inserts generally attenuate far better than acryllic.  I know sticking 3M foamies in my ears makes the world a heck of a lot more quiet than using my JH13's. 

 

 

That being said... if the sounds of the world, in and of themselves, are driving you nuts, have you considered some kind of medical advice? 

post #15 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alec E View Post

jaddie, if you don't mind, I'd prefer to hear from people who (a.) have experience or information bearing on the thread's topic and (b.) can read. Thanks.

I"ve opted to edit this post because in retrospect I feel my post was insensitive. I've apologized to the OP privately. To everyone else, sorry for corrupting the thread.
Edited by jaddie - 9/1/13 at 9:49pm
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