Earplugs/muffs to block out a crying baby
June 14, 2013 12:56 PM   Subscribe

In the next two weeks, there will be a new addition to our household -- a baby. (Not mine.) And since it's not mine, I would prefer not to hear it. There are lots of AskMes about earplugs, but many (like the ETY ones) use as a selling point that they don't muffle speech. I want to muffle everything. Best ear protection for the job, <$30?
posted by fiercecupcake to Shopping (16 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
 
I always recommend Peltor.
posted by 41swans at 1:02 PM on June 14, 2013


Ear Plug Superstore has an Ear Plug Assortment to let you try some out. That's probably the best way to see what works for you.
posted by jeffkramer at 1:03 PM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


If you want to block out everything, you're going to need a combined approach: Earplugs and isolation headphones. First, go down to your local drugstore - CVS or whatever - and find the earplug section. Look at the number of decibels blocked and choose the ones that block the most. I have a giant bag of foam earplugs that are so effective that I cannot play drums while wearing them because I cannot hear the drums enough to play. The key here is to insert/wear the foam earplugs correctly. Don't just stuff them in your ears. Roll them in your fingers until they are a super thin, long thing, then pull the top of your ear so it opens your ear canal, insert it in there (it should go in easily) let go of your ear, and wait for it to expand to fill the space.

Once you have your foam earplugs with maximum protection correctly inserted, put on a pair of isolation headphones that also block the maximum number of decibels. I have a pair of the Peltor earmuffs 41swans linked - the maximum protection ones - and they're pretty amazing.
posted by The World Famous at 1:04 PM on June 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


Construction earplugs.

On a related note, living with someone who had a baby (not mine), you adjust pretty quickly. It's annoying, but that overwhelming urge to make them quiet seems to fade pretty quickly.
posted by valoius at 1:05 PM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


The combination of earplugs and earmuffs is the way to go. For earplugs I like the Howard Leight MAX1s. They have a noise reduction rating of 33dB, which is about as high as earplugs get, and they're pretty comfortable.

Anyway, use a high NRR earplug in combination with a high NRR pair of earmuffs (like the Peltor H10A) and you'll be set. It'll also give you an easy way to decrease the level of attenuation without taking the plugs out of your ears, since taking the plugs in and out tends to irritate the ear canal.
posted by jedicus at 1:06 PM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


For motorcycling and batala I find the cheap concertina style plugs on a string work well. Fitting them properly is key.
posted by BenPens at 1:16 PM on June 14, 2013


Also, white noise is pretty effective at drowning out the sound. There are decent iPhone apps and other mp3 files online.
posted by judith at 1:30 PM on June 14, 2013


The Navy uses the David Clark model 19A for flight deck use. Also get the comfy gel ear seals. I used to use a pair when my kid had colic.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 1:49 PM on June 14, 2013


I have a cheap package of Hearos brand foam ear plugs that I can't use because they block in-person speech too effectively, but not the sounds I want to drown out (usually high-bass, high-volume recorded speech from roommate's game casts or TV). I don't know how they'd fare against the higher-pitched whines and screams of a baby.

The attenuation chart on this package lists:
Frequency          125   250   500   1000  2000  3150  4000  6300  8000
Mean Attenuation   38.4  40.3  43.2  41.8  38.6  45.0  45.7  49.6  47.3
Std. Deviation     2.9   3.5   4.0   3.8   2.6   2.8   3.5   3.8   4.3

posted by WasabiFlux at 1:51 PM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I love Hearos...I've found them to be the best of any that you can buy in the earplugs aisle. I use them to sleep every night, but I also used them when I had roommates if I was trying to read or something and didn't want to listen to any kind of noises the roommates made. I think they would definitely work to block out a crying baby.

I would try these first before going with a more expensive brand...they're like $4 for 10 pairs or so.
posted by fromageball at 2:33 PM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


The standard foamy roll ups work great BUT you have to get the 3M ones, all others are pale imitations.
posted by fingerbang at 2:51 PM on June 14, 2013


Hearos worked to block out the sound of my own crying baby.
posted by KathrynT at 4:43 PM on June 14, 2013


I swear by White Noise. Air Conditioner has saved my nerves more times than I can count.
posted by winna at 5:05 PM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Silicon ear plugs. Waaay better than foam. All the restful quiet of divorce without the divorce!
posted by applemeat at 5:12 PM on June 14, 2013


Thanks, all! Going to go with the Hearos under the Peltor H10A.

Luckily, as long as I can get to sleep I can sleep through anything (including when a possible meth lab blew up across the street from my house and shook the windows). So hopefully the combined ear protection will do it.
posted by fiercecupcake at 5:25 PM on June 14, 2013


Another Max Leight fan here.
posted by rmd1023 at 6:04 AM on June 16, 2013


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