You might be saying, “Why does it matter to know the differences between earplugs vs. earmuffs? They are both ear protection anyway.” However, these two ear protections have a lot of differences. Each of them has its benefits and disadvantages.
Each user has different reasons why they buy earplugs or earmuffs. Target shooters use them to protect their ears from the loud sounds of the gun. Common individuals use them to help them fall asleep peacefully.
Depending on the situation or purpose on why you want to buy ear protection, it is important to know which device is the right one to use.
If you choose to buy the one that does not work out well with you, then you might find yourself scratching your ear all the time. You might even find yourself suffering from hearing damage because you chose the wrong kind of ear protection.
Ways to Know Which Between the Ear Plugs and Earmuffs to Use?
1. Look at the Structure and Appearance.
Although the majority of people know how earmuffs and earplugs look like, there are still a few people who are not aware of it.
The earplugs, from the word itself, are in the form of plugs that you insert into your ear. Its goal is to prevent the maximum volume of noise from reaching your ears.
Earmuffs are over-the-ear protection. It covers both sides of your ears. You do not have to insert anything in your ears when using the earmuffs.
2. Know How Do They Work.
The earplugs work by reducing the volume level of the sound that will reach your ear. It creates a barrier between the noise from the environment and your ear. By doing its job, it protects your ear from sounds that are loud.
Meanwhile, the earmuffs have two major types depending on their function.
The first one is the thermal earmuffs. Its primary function is to protect the ears from the cold by warming the ears and sealing the heat inside.
The second one is the acoustic earmuffs. This type of earmuff is the one that is usually compared to ear plugs. This type of earmuffs has material inside the cups that deadens the sound by absorbing the sound waves of the noise by increasing the air’s resistance to lessen the frequency waves’ amplitude.
Some acoustic earmuffs use the active noise isolation technology. It works when the mic installed in the earmuffs catches the sounds in the environment. This sound will be transferred to a compression device to eliminate loud sounds.
Take note that earplugs may employ either active or passive noise cancellation technology.
3. Know the Advantages and Disadvantages of Earplugs and Earmuffs.
Earplugs are more convenient to use because you can take them anywhere. You can slip them in your bag or even in your pocket. They can be quite comfortable, too, if you have the right ear tips that snug perfectly inside your ears.
However, earplugs may provide discomfort, especially to new users. You may also have a problem of them falling if they do not have the right fit. You cannot wear them, too, if you have an ear infection.
For this reason, earplugs are not shareable, too. You might spread the infection to other people if you share them.
On the other hand, the earmuffs are easier to wear. You can just place it over your head and fit the cups on your ears and you are done. It is also good to wear them in cold weather because of the warmth it provides.
The disadvantages of the earmuffs include less protection and convenience. Earmuffs are bulkier compared to earplugs. It provides discomfort, too, during warm climates.
Moreover, on the average type, the ear muffs provide less hearing protection because they only sit over the ears, unlike the earplugs.
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4. Know That Not All Products in the Market Are the Same
I am referring to the average type of earplugs and earmuffs. It does not mean that all earplugs are similar. Same goes with the earmuffs.
Some manufacturers produce their products with low-quality standing. Not all earplugs and earmuffs can provide you with the protection that you need. For this reason, do not base your product standard based on its price.
5. Assess Your Needs.
As what has been mentioned, earplugs and earmuffs have their advantages and disadvantages. Not one is better than the other. Each has been created to cater to the different demands of the market.
For this reason, what you can do is to assess what you need. Ask yourself: do you need ear protection that can warm your ears at the same time? Do you need ear protection that is easy to take around?
6. Search for Different Products.
Earplugs and earmuffs are available in various features and models. Read on the different reviews about the product and the features that they are offering. You may also do canvassing to check out which among the products are available at the lowest price but can still provide the features that you need.
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Now, you already know the differences, benefits, and the downsides of earplugs vs. earmuffs. You now know that they are not the same, and on the average, they cannot provide the same level of protection. You know that there are two types of technology incorporated to protect your ears from a loud noise.
Personally, knowing the differences and the benefits of each of these products has helped me find my quiet place when I am reading my book. I use both of them. I use the earmuffs during the cold weather, and I use the earplugs most of the time.
I personally love to go to different places while I am reading my book and I do not want to hear the noises around me. Therefore, I personally prefer the earplugs because I can take them anywhere I like, although I am not saying that the earplugs are better than the earmuffs.
Which between the earplugs and earmuffs do you prefer? Write in the comments section below.