Custom fit Hearing Protection - what you need to know

Hearing protection can be a confusing topic.

In fact, the number one thing we are asked at Snugs HQ is “what is the right noise protection for me?”. Or words to that effect (by the way you can call, chat, email or write to us…..not that anyone has ever actually written. That’s all a bit Conan Doyle). You can contact us here

How to choose the right custom fit hearing protection?

The first thing to understand is that one size does NOT fit all. Figuratively or literally.

For a start, not everyone needs to block out the same amount of noise. Musicians in a brass band have totally different requirements to machine operators for instance. So not only are we looking at the amount of noise attenuation (the reduction in noise) – we are looking at the shape of the attenuation curve: the “HML” figures, which will tell whether noise is reduced predominantly in the high frequencies (for instance) or whether attenuation is relatively flat (ideal for musicians).

And then there is the physical fit of your custom ear plug – if you are going to be wearing your hearing protection all day, then you very quickly notice if it is not comfortable. And because you are investing in a custom made product, trusting your supplier and choosing a supplier with a good track record is essential. Snugs work with one of the longest established custom labs in the UK, who also supply the NHS. Between us, we know a thing or two about fitting a good ear plug. And if there are problems, we have a no-quibble replacement guarantee.

The other thing that is important to say about fit – in the context of noise protection – is that this equation applies:

good fit = good protection

After all, a poor fitting noise plug may let sound in. Even worse – if your hearing protection is not comfortable, you may take it out…..when it should be in place, protecting your ears.

Health & Safety and PPE in the workplace is very important. If you are exposed to unsafe levels of noise, ensure you protect your ears. Photo by Michael Browning on Unsplash

Over protection: potentially worse than under protection

The concept of overprotection is not widely known, but is hugely important. The ideal hearing protection fit brings noise levels down from unsafe levels (over 85dB) to something that is comfortable to hear and safe – somewhere around 70+dB. This is so that you can maintain communication and awareness of what is going on around you.

So while the thought of reducing noise may seem attractive, it is no safer if you are overprotected and you are reducing your ability to communicate (which means you may be more likely to remove your hearing protection). Possibly more catastrophically, if you are over-protected, you may not hear vital warnings, alarms or other alerts that are also there for your safety.

CAUTION – do not overprotect. You still need to be aware of your surroundings! Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Check the specs (and markings)

Every custom hearing protector should have a CE mark. The CE certification process is strict and valuable. CE certified hearing protection means you the hearing product you have invested in has been tested to perform and is manufactured in a controlled way.

Colours and things

Whilst it is easy to get very excited about colours, at Snugs, we find that most of our clients stick to standard transparent for leisure purposes (music protection and protection when doing DIY chores), while our industrial hearing protection is usually high-vis orange. If you like to deviate from the norm, our customer services can help.

We also ensure your name is on each earplug and we include a neck strap (lanyard) to keep your hearing protection together and safe.

And anyone who has paid a visit to the doctor after they have put something in their ear as a child will appreciate the grips we put on each earplug so that you can extract them – even while wearing gloves

Snugs custom fit hearing protection in clear
Snugs Work Protection in high viz orange
Snugs Hearing Protection

Suitable for work, hobby, industry, music and lots more, Snugs hearing protection is CE marked and made in the UK to the highest specifications. The purchase process is simple and quick – just order online and we’ll arrange your visit to one of our impression partners local to you.

Order Snugs Work Protection here

Order Snugs Music Protection here

And as always with Snugs – if there is anything you need to know – just ask us.

Reading next