The Pros and Cons of Earplugs and Earmuffs

Hearing protection devices like earplugs and earmuffs can effectively reduce or eliminate loud noises to reduce your risk for hearing loss. If you spend lots of time in loud, noisy environments, earplugs and earmuffs can help you feel more comfortable and protect your hearing. Here are the pros and cons of earplugs and earmuffs, and where you can find quality hearing protection and custom earplugs in Calgary.


Anyone who spends time in a loud, noisy environment in which noises meet or exceed 85 decibels could benefit from hearing protection, regardless of how long they plan on staying in that particular environment. Music concerts, garages, construction sites, and shooting ranges are examples of loud situations that often require hearing protection. Using or being near loud devices such as power tools, heavy machinery, and fireworks also require hearing protection.

Others who can benefit from hearing protection are those who spend lots of time outdoors in the water, wind, and snow. Performing activities in these conditions—especially water sports such as surfing, swimming, and water-skiing—can increase the risk for ear infections and tinnitus that may lead to hearing loss. However, earplugs can often help prevent activity-related hearing loss.



The number of pros to using earplugs far outweigh any related cons. First, compared with earmuffs, earplugs are considerably smaller and easy to transport in your pocket or purse. These devices are also more comfortable to wear for long periods at work or in hot, humid environments. Earplugs can even be worn under earmuffs for added protection from loud noises and high decibel levels.

Those who must wear earplugs regularly can receive customized earplugs made especially for their ears at Audiology Innovations. Custom earplugs at our Calgary clinic require you to visit us only two times: the first time to have impressions taken of your ears, and a follow-up appointment that allows us to ensure your earplugs fit well and that you’re able to insert them properly.

There are very few cons to using earplugs, including the fact these devices can be easily lost or misplaced. Wearing earplugs also requires you to practice good hygiene to reduce the risk for earwax buildup and ear infection.


Compared with earplugs, earmuffs are more difficult to lose or misplace and are one-size-fits-most to make the selection process relatively easy. Earmuffs may also be worn by those with ear infections, since earmuffs cover the entire ear and aren’t inserted into the ear to cause discomfort, irritation, and worsened symptoms.

Earmuffs do have some cons, such as being far heavier and larger compared to earplugs, as well as being more uncomfortable to wear in hot, humid environments. Those who wear prescription or safety glasses may struggle to keep earmuffs in place or could experience discomfort as a result of wearing the earmuffs over their optical devices.


Which hearing protection device is better for you? Factors to take into consideration when choosing earplugs or earmuffs include your comfort level, temperature, and humidity of the environment in which you’ll be spending time, and whether you’re being exposed to loud noise constantly or intermittently. For instance, if you work in an environment in which you’re exposed to loud noises for long periods, custom earplugs may be the most comfortable, convenient option.


Schedule an appointment with our team at Audiology Innovations right away if you need quality, custom earplugs to wear at work, while performing your favorite outdoor activities, or while sleeping. We pride ourselves on being a leading provider of hearing tests and custom earplugs in Calgary and all of Canada.