trying to get water out of your ears for the
entirety of the following week. As such, it only makes
sense to have a pair of earplugs around whether
or not you plan on using them. Better to
have them and not need them than to need
them and not have them.
Earplugs for Swimming Buying Guide
What is an Earplug for Swimming?
When it comes to earplugs, as well as any other product meant to go in or on your body, your experience may be vastly different from another person’s experience. As such, while all of the three products listed above may be the very best in the business, you may find yourself wanting to go off on your own and see what products are out there. To keep your shopping excursion as easy and fruitful as possible, try keeping some of the following considerations in mind.
Do you care how your earplugs look?
While there are certainly a few models which meet somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, the vast majority of ear plugs will have you choosing between a sleek look with little effectiveness and a clunky look with a whole lot of effectiveness. If you don’t care how your earplugs look, this is no matter. Otherwise, keep in mind that an earplug which looks great doesn’t necessarily do the best job at all times. This all comes down to whether or not you prioritize practicality over aesthetics. Do you tend to wear shoes that were meant for walking?
Are you willing to undergo an initial learning curve?
Much like headphones, certain earplugs won’t feel all that great in the ear until you’ve used them a few times. Whether you need to learn how to use the ear plugs or the ear plugs need to learn the shape of your ear all comes down to the type of earplugs (a topic we’ll cover in just a moment) you decide to go with. Typically, the best types of ear plugs will require a bit of fidgeting at first.
How comfortable do your earplugs need to be?
If small earplugs worked just as well as large earplugs, nobody would make large earplugs. Of course, while larger models have a tendency of not budging unless you so choose them to do so, they may not always be the most comfortable thing to have in you ear. On the other hand, you’ll likely not even notice smaller earplugs after having them in for a couple of minutes. The obvious downside here is that you’re going to have to sacrifice at least some level of effectiveness. Once again, which one you decide to go with comes down to a matter of priorities.
Should your earplugs be easy to put in and take out?
If a set of earplugs is easy to use, that’s great. What could possibly go wrong? Well, if they come out easily, do you think you can trust them in the water? Perhaps. Perhaps not. It’s up to you to decide whether or not you’re willing to take the risk. Of course, nobody can deny that having a product which is easy to use has some benefit to it. Take the time to consider if you’re willing to spend an extra few seconds taking your earplugs out in the name of having a more reliable product.
Types of Earplugs
While you could categorize earplugs through a varying degree of metrics all day, generally speaking, there are two main types of earplugs; custom earplugs and everything else.
- Custom Earplugs – We actually covered a brand of ear plugs (Radians) earlier which makes earplugs belonging to this category. There’s no question about it, custom earplugs are about as effective as it gets. Because they can actually take on the shape of the portion of your ear which needs to be plugged, you can bet that they’ll create as air tight a seal as possible. Of course, this is their main benefit. On the other hand, they can feel somewhat clunky in the ear and take a bit of fidgeting around initially to get set up in the first place.
- Everything Else – The type of earplug you may be most familiar with is that which resembles a misshapen cylinder which is to be placed in the ear. While these can never be as effective as their custom counterparts, getting the right model can still yield a fairly reliable product which has little in the way of inconveniences of any sort.
Common Earplug Features
Which of the above two types of earplugs you decide to go with depends entirely on what you prefer. I can’t even begin to tell you which is best. Though, I can offer a few features which you should always look out for, no matter which product you decide to go with. Keeping the following list in mind can end in much more fruitful shopping excursions.
- Suction Layers – Two of the earplugs we covered above have this feature in their make. Unless you decide to go with a pair of custom earplugs, you should see some sort of layered area which serves to create a more reliable seal within your ear.
- Wiggle Room – Perhaps a figurative term in this context, I refer to an earplug’s ability to “contour” to your ear. This requires a careful level of squishiness; enough that it can change shape, but not so much that it can’t form a seal.
More so than a whole lot of products, the type of earplugs you decide to buy will depend entirely on your priorities. Does their look matter? Do they need to be comfortable? Are you willing to put in a bit of work at first to come out with a more effective product? Neither of these questions have a right or wrong answer, though they do have an answer and said answers will ultimately play a deciding role in which earplugs you finally decide to go with. By keeping all of the above factors in mind, asking the proper questions and knowing which features you should look for in a pair of earplugs, walking away with the right product should prove a very easy ordeal.