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How to Reduce Traffic Noise: Top Earplugs to Stop Road Noise

Do you hear road noise?

There are many ways to stop road noise. We've compiled some of the top tips that will help you reduce the effects of road noise on your ears.

Whether you spend a lot of time in the city or you live in a rural area, you can do something to help reduce the amount of road noise that you're exposed to. Check out our tips to make sure that you are blocking some of this noise from entering your ears.

Keep reading to learn more about the best ways to protect your ears.

Table Of Contents

How to get rid of road noise

Road noise can be very annoying, especially when you are exposed to it all day. It is unlikely, however, that this form of noise pollution will cause you lasting hearing damage. You may still want to block some of this annoying noise from your working day, or possibly while you sleep.

Which is what this article will help you with!

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different earplugs suitable for blocking noise

There are different earplugs that are suitable for blocking this noise, depending on your situation. This can sleep, trying to block all the road sounds, or still needing to communicate well you have the plugs in.

Creating these articles, I have researched a lot of earplugs and done most of the hard work for you. Below are details of the earplugs that I have reviewed, and I have picked the best earplugs in each category so you can easily make the best choice for your situation.

Myths about hearing - Reduce Traffic Noise

When it comes to hearing, it's not just about volume. The quality of sound is important too.

Myth 1: Hearing loss is inevitable with age

The truth is that only a small percentage of people need to use hearing aids or other devices for their hearing throughout the course of their lives. There are some medical conditions which can impair your ability to hear, but these are uncommon and should be thoroughly investigated by a doctor.

Myths 2 - Build Up A Resistance

Even with traffic noise, you cannot build up a resistance . The ear is incredibly sensitive and will be damaged by ongoing exposure to loud noise, no matter how long this exposure is. If you work in an office, and would like to protect yourself from noise pollution, you can do so by wearing ear plugs. Ear plugs are a simple and effective way to protect your hearing.

Drawbacks of ear plugs: they can be uncomfortable around the ear or cause damage to the ear drum. They only reduce noise levels somewhat as they do not completely block out all noises. A better option is a hearing protector - usually an intercom or mask - that blocks out all external sounds and can be worn during times when loud music and people talking loudly are not desired.

Myths 3 - Noise Can Hurt Me Unless Its Loud

If you are exposed to loud noises, even those that are low in volume, your ear can be damaged. If hearing loss is already in progress, the damage you cause will accelerate and could cause further damage to your ability to hear.

Myths 4 - My Hearing Will Come Back If I Avoid Noise

The truth is hearing loss often comes on gradually over a period of many years. If you are exposed to loud noises, your hearing damage will accelerate and may become irreversible.

Noise can be defined as a sound that has the potential to damage your hearing. There are noise types that should be reduced and others that you must avoid. You can reduce the risk of noise-induced hearing loss by understanding the different types of noises your ears hear, and appreciating that some noises do not have harmful effects on our ability to hear, while others are quite damaging.

lot of traffic noise

Living and working in a city, or indeed anywhere where there is a lot of traffic noise, can become very annoying after a short time. There are very few of us who have not experienced this at some periods of our life. That you are reading this article means you are not one of the lucky people, who are not stuck near noisy, smelly cars a lot.

Living in areas with traffic noise, (well, I suppose that any noise would cause these problems) can cause some health problems if you are subjected to it for an extended period.

The noise can cause hypertension (high blood pressure)

It can stop you from sleeping well, which can lead to

permanent hearing damage

The noise from the traffic should not give you any permanent hearing damage, fortunately, as the average volume of road traffic noise is around 75-80dB, and Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) recommends hearing protection when the perceived volume reaches around 85-90dB.

But these problems and annoyances can be relieved if you buy the Best Earplugs For Traffic Noise

There are several types of ear plug and ear defenders that are useful around traffic noise, and the one that you will need depends on the situation. These situations can be broadly categorised into three different types:

Below we describe each of the situations in more detail, and make some recommendations as to the earplugs that you might buy, and what you should look for.

Block Some Noise But Still Be Able To Hear

If you are working near heavy traffic, or maybe you have an apartment and live with your family there, then you will probably want to block some traffic sounds, but still want to hear what your customers/co-workers or family say to you.

The type of plug that you would want for this situation are high-fidelity plugs. These come in electronic or non-electronic versions. They will reduce the volumes of the loud noises, while not reducing the quieter sounds. Some more expensive of these plugs will even amplify the quiets sounds, making hearing conversations even easier.

Block As Much Noise As Possible, But Still Allow You To Hear Electronic Devices.

If you are in a situation where you need to hear people on a Skype call, listen to the TV, play games, or just listen to music, then you will probably look for some good noise-canceling headphones.

Noise-canceling headphones actively cancel out external noises by having a microphone on each ear, which listens to the outside sounds. The earpiece then plays the exact opposite sound wave, canceling out the external sounds. The sounds you want to hear are then also played by the earplugs, and these sounds are much easier to hear.

Noise-canceling earplugs work very well on continuous sounds like traffic noise, so should work very well in this situation. Ordinary headphones work as well. However, these will need to be played at a higher volume to hear well, which may be damaging to the ears.

bluetooth earplugs on tray0

Hearing Loss Caused By 3 Things - Traffic Noise

if you are exposed to loud noises, even those that are low in volume, your ear can be damaged. The more you listen to these noises, the worse the damage is likely to become.

The truth is your ability to hear is not fixed and does not last for life. You do have a choice: you can reduce the damage caused by noise-induced hearing loss or you can let it progress and cause further damage.

1) Decibel Level

The decibel level is the volume of a noise and it is measured in a logarithmic scale which means that every 10 level increase represents a 10 times increase in noise. For example, a 60 decibel level is 10 times more powerful than 50 decibel and 100 decibel is 100 times more powerful than 50 decibel.

People can be exposed to an 85 - 90 decibel noise for 8 hours at work without any risk of hearing damage as long as the noise is not too loud, but for this you must use ear plugs or ear muffs so that you can reduce traffic noise.

2) Time Period

The time period that you are exposed to noises can affect your hearing. The longer you are exposed, the worse your hearing may be compromised.

3) Frequency

The higher the frequency of a noise, the more damage it can cause. The higher the frequency is, the more sensitive your ears will be and you will hear it better even if it is very loud. If you are exposed to a 60 decibel sound for 8 hours at work, this is still only 85 decibels and would not have any impact on your ears.

But, if you are exposed to a 90 decibel sound for 8 hours at work, this can damage your hearing although at that time you would not be aware of this as it would be quite loud and repetitive and with some background noise such as conversation in the office.

Block Out As Much Noise As Possible.

Do this for many reasons in a high traffic area when the noise is bothering you. But the most common reason for this by far is so that you can get to sleep.

We have all been in the situation where you have to stay in a hotel – work, or visit somewhere, only to find that the hotel is near a busy road and sleeping is nearly impossible.

No earplugs can block out all the sounds, and you probably would not want to. Shrill noises like fire alarms and alarm clocks are very hard to block out – That’s why alarms and sirens are that pitch because it is so hard to block and easy to hear. Traffic noise is a low pitch, so easier to block.

But the earplugs that you would probably want for this situation are noise-canceling headphones (see above), where you could play some relaxing music. Or if you dislike that idea, then you can get some earplugs that block out most of the noise, like reusable plugs, if you are going to be there for more than a few days, foam plugs, or wax earplugs which are the best plugs for sleeping in – as they are the most comfortable – especially for side sleepers 

Conclusions - Best Earplugs For Traffic Noise

Road traffic noise can be very annoying, but with a good pair of earmuffs the volume can be reduced quite a lot. Should you need to sleep, listen to music or the tv, or even work when this distracting, and often disturbing noise is constant.

The noise of road traffic will rarely be loud enough to cause you any permanent hearing damage. This type of sound is reduced significantly by noise-canceling technology.

When you have the right set of earmuffs, then you find that working or living in an area with a lot of traffic noise does not always have to disturb you. Take action now and stop the sounds of cars and busses sounds from ruining your life!

Recommended Products – Best Earplugs For Traffic Noise

Well, now know quite a lot about earplugs and traffic noise. With this information you should understand the type of earplugs that you need. Below is my list of recommended earplugs for blocking traffic noise. There are some from each category so that you can pick the most suitable pair for your given situation.

Please Note: Just because an ear defender is marked, for example, "Gunshot" - it will still cover other things, like "explosions"

RYB HOME Soundproof Blackout Thermal Insulating 3 in 1 Set Curtains 3 Layers Heavy Grommet Curtains...
  • 3 LAYERS - Package includes 2 panels total width 104 inch. 1 layer in front (pure white), 1 layer in back(grayish white) & 1 detachable felt fabric lining in the middle. No Toxic & formaldehyde.
  • NOISE REDUCTION - Detachable felt fabric liner is in the middle of the 3 layers, which can absorb annpying noise. Soundproofing effect is influenced by your environment and personal feeling. Different people have different reactions to curtains' noise cancelling effect. Note that this curtains are not 100% soundproof.
  • 100% BLACKOUT - Triple weave blackout fabric & 3 layers design make it possible to completely keep out the harsh light and UV ray. Open the time of daytime sleep.
  • COST SAVING - Balance room temperature by insulating against summer heat and winter chill. It's both save your energy budget and bring you a dark & quiet surroundings.
  • EASY CARE - Easy to install and maintain. Detach the felt liner before machine wash, using only non-chlorine bleach & warm iron when needed. Tumble dry low.
Homedics SoundSleep White Noise Sound Machine, Silver, Small Travel Sound Machine with 6 Relaxing...
  • White Noise Sound Machine: The Homedics White Noise Sound Machine includes 6 digitally recorded relaxing sounds designed to mimic the natural environment: White Noise, Thunder, Ocean, Rain, Summer Night, and Brook
  • Compact and Portable: This portable sound machine is lightweight, compact, and easily fits into your purse, bag, or suitcase
  • Baby Sleep Aid: Add these rhythmic sounds to your baby’s sleep routine to help them fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer; it makes the perfect baby sound machine and baby registry must-have
  • Auto-Off Timer and Volume Controls: Choose to play relaxation sounds on this ambient sound machine continuously or opt for the auto-off timer; the timer features 3 options: 15, 30, or 60 minutes; adjust the volume with convenient volume control buttons
  • What’s in the Box: (1) Homedics White Noise Sound Machine, (1) Wall Outlet Adapter, (1) Quick-Start Guide
Stand Up Desk Store ReFocus Raw Freestanding Acoustic Desk Divider Privacy Panel to Reduce Noise and...
  • Acoustic panels enhance privacy and reduce noise while helping foster safe separation between coworkers, students, employees and customers, and more
  • Freestanding design, lightweight panels, and sturdy steel feet make it easy to set up and move
  • Sound absorbency rating of 0.85 NRC (85%); tackable for pinning up photos and documents; panel meets UL94-HB flame resistance standards
  • Overall Dimensions are 23.6" W x 14.625" D x 62" H; panel Dimensions: 23.6" W x 1" x 60" H; panel material is recycled PET (60% post-consumer); feet are powder-coated steel
  • Stand Up Desk Store is a US-based company and stands behind all items we sell; this item comes with a 5-year limited warranty against defects
High Fidelity Concert Earplugs, Reusable Musicians Ear Plugs, 24dB Advanced Filter Technology Ear...
  • ADVANCED FILTER TECHNOLOGY reduces noise (up to 24dB,NRR)evenly to maintain the full spectrum of sound while protecting hearing. Mumba concert earplugs deliver crisp, clear sound at a safe volume. Won’t muffle music or voices as foam plugs do. Suitable for Concerts, Musicians, Drummer, Percussion, DJs
  • DESIGNED FOR COMFORT: The soft, reusable earplugs for concerts keep you comfortable whether you’re making music or dancing to it. These are absolutely safe for your ears and health. Hearing protection ear plugs are incredibly lightweight, soft and comfortable to wear.
  • INVISIBLE: Mumba high fidelity ear plugs seems to disappear in your ear when using, just like custom molded ear plugs. The professional ear plugs are small and low profile, making them discreet noise reducers.
  • GET THE PERFECT FIT with a pair of standard-sized earplugs(with filters inside) and a pair of small-sized shells. Fits most normal to large ear sizes. Easy removal with a tug on the elongated pull tab.
  • ALWAYS HAVE THE EARPLUGS WITH YOU: The musicians ear plugs come with an aluminum container and a carabiner that you can hang it on your keychain and carry it around with you wherever you go. You never know when a pair of protective ear plugs may come in handy!

Last update on 2023-11-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

People Also Ask

What Is Traffic Noise?

Traffic noise can be a nuisance for many people. It can be loud and annoying, especially during rush hour. Traffic noise can come from any number of sources - cars, buses, motorcycles, and planes among them.

The level of traffic noise varies depending on the time of day and location. Most of that sound comes from the tires as they move along the road surface. Engine noise is the second biggest sound that makes up traffic noise, and the bigger the engine, the more noise it will produce.

How Can We Reduce Traffic Noise?

Why Does Traffic Sound Louder At Night?

Temperature does not really affect how sound travels that much – Even though some people think that this is right -  things sound louder at night.

The real reason is that it only sounds louder because it is quieter. Your ears actually turn down the volume when it is noisy and turn it up when it is quiet. At night it is quieter, so when traffic passes, it seems louder to the ear. If you were to measure the volume, it would be the same as it is in the daytime (almost)


If you require more information, please check these references

www.sciencedirect.com , article, “Annoyance From Road Traffic Noise”, retrieved on, Mon 11-November-2019

www.sciencedirect.com , article, “Effects of road traffic noise and the benefit of access to quietness”, retrieved on Mon 11-November-2019

link.springer.com , article, “Health effects of traffic noise”, retrieved on, Mon 11-November-2019

oem.bmj.com , article, “Road traffic noise and hypertension”, retrieved on, Mon 11-November-2019

en.wikipedia.org , article, “Roadway Noise”, retrieved on, Mon 11-November-2019

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