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10 Best Ear Protection Products/Options for Construction in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

man using hammer drill near brick wall

man using hammer drill near brick wall

When you’re on the job site, you need to wear earplugs. Not only are they necessary to protect your hearing, but they’re legally required, too. But just because you have to wear them doesn’t mean they all provide the same levels of protection and comfort.

It’s an extremely important decision, and it’s why we took the time to highlight some great choices for you here. We came up with in-depth reviews for each one, and our comprehensive buyer’s guide will walk you through everything you need to know when picking them out.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2024

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Decibullz Molded Earplugs Decibullz Molded Earplugs
  • Multiple color options are available
  • Higher dB protection
  • Made in the USA
  • Best Value
    Second place
    3M Corded Reusable Earplugs 3M Corded Reusable Earplugs
  • Very affordable
  • Reusable design
  • It comes with a case
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    3M Peltor EEP 3M Peltor EEP
  • It comes with Bluetooth capabilities
  • Rechargeable design
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Decibel Defense Earmuffs  Decibel Defense Earmuffs 
  • A great mix of affordability and quality
  • Multiple color options are available
  • Outstanding decibel reduction
  • 3M Peltor Optime Earmuffs 3M Peltor Optime Earmuffs
  • Hard hat attached design
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Dielectric design
  • The 10 Best Ear Protection Products/Options for Construction

    1. Decibullz Custom Molded Earplugs – Best Overall

    Decibullz Custom Molded Earplugs

    Style: Custom molded plugs
    Decibel reduction: 31 dB
    Weight: 0.71 ounces
    Quantity: 1

    If you’re looking for the best overall earplugs for construction, look no further than the Decibullz Custom Molded Earplugs. While custom molded in the name might make these earplugs sound expensive, the truth is that they’re one of the more affordable options on our list.

    But since you mold the earplugs to your ear, they give you some of the best protection available. They also ensure a custom-fit design, so you don’t have to worry about if the actual protection you’re getting is what the plugs provide.

    Not only do they fit well and provide tons of protection, but they also last a long time and they’re made in the USA, so you know you’re getting a quality product every time. Finally, you get to pick from multiple color options to match your style.

    You do have to mold them yourself, but that’s how they keep the price so low, and if you follow the step-by-step guide, it’s a pretty easy process.

    Pros
    • Multiple color options are available
    • Higher dB protection
    • Made in the USA
    • A great mix of price and quality
    • Custom-fit design
    • Extremely durable
    Cons
    • You have to mold them yourself

    2. 3M Corded Reusable Earplugs – Best Value

    3M Corded Reusable Earplugs

    Style: Reusable plugs
    Decibel reduction: 25 dB
    Weight: 0.7 ounces
    Quantity: 3

    If you’re looking for a super affordable earplug option to take to your next job site, the 3M Corded Reusable Earplugs are the way to go. They’re a common sight at construction jobs, and it’s because they expertly combine affordability with protection.

    They come with a case and they’re easy to use and clean, and the corded design ensures you won’t lose them at the job site. Just keep in mind that while they are reusable, they don’t last quite as long as other reusable options.

    But that’s why 3M gives you three pairs with every purchase. With a value like that, it’s not hard to see why they’re the best earplugs for construction for the money.

    Pros
    • Very affordable
    • Reusable design
    • It comes with a case
    • You get three pairs
    • Very easy to use and clean
    Cons
    • Not the most durable
    • Slightly lower dB reduction

    3. 3M Peltor EEP – Premium Choice

    3M Peltor EEP

    Style: Reusable plugs
    Decibel reduction: 23 dB
    Weight: 6.46 ounces
    Quantity: 1

    If you want the best of the best and don’t care about how much you’re spending, then the 3M Peltor EEP reusable earplugs are what you want. Sure, they’re by far the most expensive on our list, but they’re also the only rechargeable and reusable earplugs on our list that come with Bluetooth capabilities.

    Whether you’re looking to listen to some music on the job site or communicate with the boss, with these earplugs, you’re ready to go. They’re extremely durable and easy to use, and cleaning them is easy too.

    3M makes these earplugs in the United States for the ultimate quality control too. However, while these earplugs are full of nifty features, they’re far more expensive and they have a slightly lower dB reduction. It’s still high enough for construction sites, but it’s not the best possible protection.

    Pros
    • It comes with Bluetooth capabilities
    • Rechargeable design
    • Easy to use and clean
    • Very durable option
    • Made in the USA
    Cons
    • Very expensive
    • Slightly lower dB reduction

    4. Decibel Defense Professional Safety Earmuffs

    Decibel Defense Professional Safety Earmuffs

    Style: Over the ear
    Decibel reduction: 37 dB
    Weight: 12.8 ounces
    Quantity: 1

    The Decibel Defense Professional Safety Earmuffs might not be in our top three, but they’re a near miss. They’re an outstanding combination of price, quality, and durability. They give you reliable hearing protection for years to come without the need to spend a ton.

    Moreover, with 37 dB of noise reduction, they provide some of the best hearing protection compared to any other options out there. But not only do they do a great job, but with tons of color options to pick from you can look great while doing it too.

    Whether it’s matching company colors or personal choice, they’re an outstanding choice. Still, these over-the-ear earmuffs are on the heavier side of things, and they’re a bit bulkier compared to earplugs.

    Pros
    • A great mix of affordability and quality
    • Multiple color options are available
    • Outstanding decibel reduction
    • Very durable option
    Cons
    • Larger design
    • Heavier option

    5. 3M Peltor Optime Cap Mount Earmuffs

    3M Peltor Optime Cap Mount Earmuffs

    Style: Hard hat attached
    Decibel reduction: 27 dB
    Weight: 12.32 ounces
    Quantity: 1

    If you’re on a construction site, there’s a good chance you’re already wearing a hard hat, so why not get some hearing protection that works with them? With these 3M Peltor Optime Cap Mount Earmuffs anytime you have your hardhat you have your hearing protection too!

    They’re easy to use and clean, and the dielectric design helps prevent any static build-up on the job site. Add in their durability and it’s easy to see why this hard hat attached hearing protection is such an outstanding choice.

    However, it is worth noting that this design only works on hard hats, and it’s slightly more expensive. This means if you need hearing protection and don’t need to wear a hard hat, you might want to go with another choice.

    Pros
    • Hard hat attached design
    • Easy to use and clean
    • Dielectric design
    • Very durable option
    Cons
    • It only works with hard hats
    • Slightly more expensive

    6. Howard Leight Disposable Foam Earplugs

    Howard Leight Disposable Foam Earplugs

    Style: Disposable plugs
    Decibel reduction: 32 dB
    Weight: 0.32 ounces
    Quantity: 100

    If you’re trying to provide hearing protection for an entire job site, the Howard Leight Disposable Foam Earplugs are a great choice. Each box comes with 100 sets of earplugs and they all feature a corded design so they’re easier to keep track of.

    But not only do you get a ton of earplugs, but they also do a great job of reducing noise levels. They’re easy-to-use earplugs that are perfect for the job site. But since they are disposable, you’ll be right back here ordering more before too long.

    Because of this, we couldn’t put the Howard Leight Disposable Foam Earplugs any higher on our list despite the great price per set and outstanding protection.

    Pros
    • You get 100 pairs
    • Easy to use
    • Corded design
    • Outstanding dB reduction
    Cons
    • Disposable option

    7. Vibes High-Fidelity Earplugs

    Vibes High-Fidelity Earplugs

    Style: Reusable plugs
    Decibel reduction: 22 dB
    Weight: 0.35 ounces
    Quantity: 1

    If you’re a big Shark Tank fan you probably already know all about the Vibes High-Fidelity Earplugs. Their claim to fame is that when you’re wearing them, they’re form-fitting and practically impossible to see.

    While that’s a great stylistic choice, it’s not always the best for the job site. You legally must wear hearing protection while on the job, and you don’t necessarily want to stop what you’re doing to prove to someone that you’re doing what you should.

    But they’re reusable, lightweight, durable, and even come with a carrying case, so they are a great deal. However, not only are they harder to see, but they provide a lower dB reduction compared to most other options on our list. It’s still high enough for most job sites, but just barely.

    Pros
    • Reusable design
    • It comes with a carrying case
    • Practically invisible when in use
    • A great mix of price and durability
    • Lightweight option
    Cons
    • Lower dB reduction
    • Practically invisible when in use

    8. 3M WorkTunes Connect Hearing Protector

    3M WorkTunes Connect Hearing Protector

    Style: Over the ear
    Decibel reduction: 24 dB
    Weight: 12.35 ounces
    Quantity: 1

    3M makes tons of hearing protection products, and their WorkTunes Connect Hearing Protector is another one of those options. It’s an over-the-ear hearing protection choice with integrated Bluetooth capabilities and an integrated microphone which can be quite useful on construction sites.

    They’re also extremely durable and long-lasting, so you don’t need to worry about replacing them any time soon. And that’s a good thing because while these headphones have a ton of features, all those features drive up the price.

    They’re also a bit heavier and compared to most other sets of hearing protection they don’t reduce the decibel level quite as much. You could do worse than these, but you could also do better.

    Pros
    • Comfortable fitment
    • Bluetooth integrated design
    • Very durable and long-lasting
    • Integrated microphone
    Cons
    • Lower dB reduction
    • More expensive option
    • Heavier option

    9. Macks Ultra Soft Foam Earplugs

    Macks Ultra Soft Foam Earplugs

    Style: Disposable plugs
    Decibel reduction: 33 dB
    Weight: 4 ounces
    Quantity: 50

    Macks Ultra Soft Foam Earplugs are another super affordable disposable earplug option. Each container comes with 50 pairs of earplugs, and they all provide a ton of hearing protection. They’re lightweight and easy to use, and because of their lower price tag, you don’t have to spend a ton to get enough for the entire job site.

    Still, while you’re not spending a ton on each pair, since they are disposable, you’ll need to keep buying them forever. Eventually, you’ll spend more overall even if you’re spending far less for each pair.

    But if you don’t trust yourself not to lose your earplugs, these are a pretty great choice. Just don’t expect them to fit quite as securely or as comfortably as some of the other options.

    Pros
    • Very affordable
    • Outstanding noise reduction
    • You get 50 pairs
    • Lightweight design
    Cons
    • Disposable earplugs
    • Not the most secure fitment

    10. FBFL Quiet Noise Reduction

    FBFL Quiet Noise Reduction

    Style: Reusable plugs
    Decibel reduction: 33 dB
    Weight: 0.32 ounces
    Quantity: 1

    The FBFL Quiet Noise Reduction earplugs might be the last choice on our list, but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth checking out. They’re another reusable earplug option and they’re extremely affordable.

    Moreover, they provide tons of protection with an outstanding decibel reduction rating, and they’re comfortable to wear for longer periods. Add in the fact that they’re easy to use and clean, and it’s not hard to see how they made the list.

    Still, they fell to the bottom of the list, and that’s in large part because they’re not the most durable. And while they might be comfortable, they don’t always stay in place. You can do far worse than these, but you can do far better too.

    Pros
    • Very affordable
    • Outstanding noise reduction
    • Comfortable fitment
    • Easy to use and clean
    Cons
    • Not the most durable option
    • Not the most secure fitment

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    Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Ear Protection for Construction

    With so many great earplug options out there, it can be hard to narrow it down to just one option. We understand the dilemma, and it’s why we came up with this comprehensive buyer’s guide to walk you through everything you need to know to get the best possible earplugs for a construction site.

    Earmuffs vs. Earplugs

    When shopping for hearing protection, there are two main styles to pick from, earmuffs and earplugs. Earmuffs are larger and they fit “over the ear.” This gives you a very secure fitment every time and you don’t need to clean them as often.

    Typically, earmuff-style hearing protection provides slightly higher levels of noise reduction, but they’re also much bulkier and can get in the way if you have other equipment you need to wear, like a hard hat.

    Earplugs don’t have this problem. Earplugs are much smaller, and they fit inside the ear. This means you never have to worry about them getting in the way, and they’re not quite as bulky or heavy on your head.

    However, earplugs are more likely to have two problems. First, they don’t always provide the same level of protection. In fact, even if they have the same” rated” level of protection, if you don’t get a secure fitment inside the ear, you won’t get that level of protection.

    Because of this if you’re going with an earplug style, it’s important to get earplugs that fit your ear. Not only will this keep them in your ear and make them more comfortable, but it’ll ensure you get the best possible protection.

    How Much dB Reduction Do You Need?

    The answer to this question depends on how loud your job site is. Construction sites range from 80 to 120 dB, and OSHA recommends keeping exposure levels below 85 dB. This means for the loudest construction sites you’ll need hearing protection that provides a 35 dB reduction.

    But since most construction sites stick around 100 dB and peak at 115 dB, having hearing protection that provides 25 to 30 dB is what we would recommend. But if you’re not directly working with the air tools on the site, you might be able to get away with lower levels.

    man wearing ear muffs
    Image Credit: Virrage Images, Shutterstock

    Bluetooth Capabilities

    There are a few hearing protection options on our list that provide Bluetooth capabilities. But do you need these capabilities on a job site? That really comes down to your job. If you’re constantly answering the phone and making calls while you’re there, these features can make a big difference.

    But if not, you might be paying for a feature you never use. In fact, while you can play music through the earplugs, many employers won’t allow this activity for safety reasons.

    Getting a Secure Fit

    This is by far the most important part of any hearing protection option you go with. Each hearing protection option on our list comes with a dB rating. However, this rating is if you get a secure fitment. If the fitment isn’t completely secure, then you could be getting far less protection.

    You need to have hearing protection that fits securely into place, doesn’t shift around, and completely covers and blocks the ear canal. Anything less and you’re not getting the protection you need.

    Cleaning Your Earplugs

    If you’re using reusable earplugs, it’s essential to clean them after each use. This will ensure you’re not allowing bacteria to build up on the plugs. If bacteria builds up and you put them back into your ear, you can easily end up with an ear infection.

    Cleaning your earplugs after each use can easily prevent this, so do yourself a favor and clean them before using them again!

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    Conclusion

    If you still can’t figure out which earplugs to get after reading the reviews and the buyer’s guide, why not go with the Decibullz Custom Molded Earplugs? They’re our top choice for a reason and will provide you with the best possible hearing protection day after day.

    Of course, if you want a more traditional option at a lower price, the 3M Corded Reusable Earplugs are a great choice too. Just don’t put off getting earplugs for long. Because when you need them at the job site, you need them.


    Featured Image Credit: LightField Studios, Shutterstock

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