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Best Ear Protection for Explosions: Noise Attenuation is Key

Protect your ears from explosions!

You want the best ear protection for explosions, but you're not sure which ear plugs are the best ones for the job?

We've put together a list of the top ear protection for explosions available right now. Take a look and find out which ones are the best for you!

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

I tried a bunch of earplugs for explosions and this is what I learned

If you have never heard an explosion, you might be surprised to find out that they all sound quite the same and, most importantly, they can all cause irreversible hearing damage if you lack the best ear protection for explosions.

Just imagine that it is a shock wave, a massive volume of energy accumulated into the air, causing a pulse that moves faster than the speed of sound.

This shock wave causes a booming sound that can, in the case of nuclear blasts, for example, literally burst the eardrum of an individual (if they survive the initial heat of the explosion, obviously!) and apply a pressure that causes lethal damage to organs such as the lungs or stomach.

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Knowing this alone should be enough for you to start looking for the best ear protection for explosions available on the market

Is Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Really Needed for Explosions?

Asking if you need ear protection for explosions is like asking if you need a safety helmet in construction work or if you need gloves and gauntlets when working with chemicals, biological agents, or extreme temperatures.

How Can You Protect Your Ears from an Explosion?

Since each increase of 10 dB doubles the loudness of a sound and that any sound that is 85 decibels or higher presents a high risk of damaging your hearing, explosions, which can get as loud as 200 dB and beyond, depending on the type of explosion, protecting your hearing cannot be stressed enough.

Just so that you can get an idea of how loud explosions are, nuclear explosions are considered one of the loudest phenomena on Earth and they can reach a whopping 280 dB!

Another interesting fact to keep in mind is that the loudest sound sustained by our planet’s surface is of about 194 dB, so anything close to that level of noise can obviously do irreversible damage to the human body in general, not only to the auditive system, by causing an air embolism in your lungs.

This air embolism causes death by reaching the heart. It is also possible to be killed merely by the increased air pressure caused by a loud sound.

Noises When There Is An Explosion

The following infographic shows a list of the various noises when you are out and about. Any noise over 70-80db over a long period of time may cause damage to your hearing. A noise of over 120dB may cuase immediate harm to your ears

So How Can You Avoid Hearing Damage from Explosions?

How can you protect your ears from an explosion? Usually, the best ear protection for explosions is adequate for the worst-case scenario that you may encounter, which means you should choose hearing protectors with a noise attenuation capacity that will reduce even the loudest potential sound to a level that is close or below the recommended safe noise level of 85 dB.

Aim for Earplugs designed for shooting and impact, these types of ear protectors are specially designed to protect your hearing from the noise made by explosions, gunshots and even artillery shots.

An alternative to earplugs is over the ear hearing protection, such as noise-cancelling headphones, headbands or earmuffs designed in a way that protects your hearing during an explosion. For the best hearing protection during explosions, you should aim towards ear protection designed for the military, as they are manufactured to protect the inner ear from mechanical damage that may result in the permanent hearing loss while being exposed to dangerously loud sounds.

These types of ear protection equipment have the added advantage of allowing you to maintain auditory awareness so that you can avoid losing your hearing, but still be able to hear regular sounds and have conversations with those in close proximity.

Last generation technology used in hearing protection earplugs and earmuffs can adjust the volume as it gets louder. What they do is practically lower the volume perceived by the individual gradually as the outside sound gets louder and louder.

Should you cover your ears in an explosion or should you open your mouth during an explosion?

These are frequently asked questions related to protecting yourself while in the proximity of an explosion. The reason why this is believed to be necessary is that explosions cause shockwaves, and the pressure of that shockwave on your body and especially on your auditory system can cause permanent damage.

Opening your mouth during an explosion can, in fact, save your life and your hearing, since what this does is that it equalises the pressure created by the shockwave inside your body to protect the eardrums and minimize the damage. What many people do not know is that it also helps if you cover or plug the ear that is closest to the explosion and leave the other one uncovered while opening your mouth.

Covering your ears during an explosion is, unfortunately, a tricky subject. Its efficiency depends on how close you are to the explosion and what you use in order to protect your ears. If you just cover the ears with your hands while being in close proximity of an explosion, it won’t help much.

What Level of Hearing Protection do You Need for Explosions?

Since explosions count as a very dangerous noise level, it is important to understand the noise reduction rating or the amount of noise that a product is able to cancel out, of the hearing protection equipment needed in such conditions. The higher the NRR, the safer your ears are during an explosion.

What is The Best NRR for an Ear Plug or an Earmuff for Explosions?

The highest DB reducing rating for earplugs is around 33 decibels, and since each increase of 10 dB doubles the loudness of a sound, you should evaluate how loud the sound you are going to be exposed to is and figure out if you may need double protection, which means that you should add a pair of earmuffs on top of the high NRR earplugs. The highest NRR for earmuffs is around 31.

Noise Attenuation of Hearing Protectors Against Heavy Weapon and Explosion Noise

Usually, when exposed to the noise of explosions, bazookas, cannons or other types of heavy weapon, your hearing needs some sort of protection, and choosing which one is best for such dangerous sounds can be difficult.

We provide some estimate values of the noise attenuation usually offered by the two types of hearing protectors available so that you can choose one suitable for your situation.

Studies show that earplugs usually offer an attenuation of 16 to 23 dB, while earmuffs provide a noise reduction of 10 to 20 dB. If you combine earmuffs and earplugs, you get double hearing protection with a sound attenuation of 24 to 34 dB.

Explosions and hearing protection

Many people think that simply using cotton buds or ear plugs will protect their ears from an explosion. This is not the case, as these objects are too big and move around too much to provide a good seal.

However, there are alternatives that can provide a proper fit and won't cause harm to your ears if you don't have any problems with them already.

Properly fitted ear plugs can reduce noise levels by up to 25 decibels, which is enough to protect your ears from hearing damage if you're standing near an explosion. If you don't know how to fit them properly then either ask a friend or go to your local pharmacy for some assistance.

Choice Of Plugs

Your choice of ear plugs - If you have never tried ear plugs before then it is a good idea to buy some samples and try out different ones. Just because they look the same as others you may have seen before, doesn't mean that they will be comfortable enough for you to wear all day. This is especially important if you're using them for work or spending a long time outdoors.


You can buy some really cheap ear plugs, however, they often don't fit well and can be uncomfortable, especially if you have to wear them for extended periods of time. We'd recommend that you either look for higher quality products or fit ear plugs yourself at home. This will cost you a little more but in the long run will end up being cheaper because you won't have to replace them too often.


If your child has never used ear plugs before then don't try them out on the night of a big fireworks display. They may take longer than usual to fit them properly and could get frightened by the noise levels. Keep trying until they are comfortable enough with using them, especially if they need to wear them regularly for work or school projects.


Ear plugs should be no more than a third of an inch in diameter. If they are much larger then they will get stuck in the ear canal, which can cause damage to your ears and lead to hearing loss. In some cases these ear plugs can even become dislodged by the pressure exerted during exercise or physical activity. If you think that your plugs are too big then ask someone else to help you out, as it's not always easy fitting them yourself.

Material & Build Quality  

As with any other type of equipment, don't buy cheap ear plugs from the supermarket as this could end up costing quite a lot in the long run if they don't last very long. You should be able to find some ear plugs that are made from silicone or natural rubber, which should be hygienic and easy to clean.

Decibel Reduction Values (NRR)

Some manufacturers also provide a decibel reduction rating, which provides you with an idea of how much noise they will reduce. However, this is not very accurate and the best way to decide whether they are suitable for you is to try them out for yourself. If you are working in a noisy area then it may be worth buying a pair of plugs with a higher noise reduction rating.

Noise Isolation

If ear protection is required in a noisy environment then make sure that your ear plugs will offer adequate noise isolation. This will prevent any further noise from entering your ears, which can easily become damaged.

Test Them Out First  

It's worth trying out a few different brands just to make sure that they fit well and don't cause too much discomfort after wearing them for a long period of time.

Make sure that you put them in correctly, otherwise they will be useless. You should have a decent seal around the ear. When you speak and breathe out, there should be some resistance as air is escaping through the filter. If you didn't achieve this then make sure that they are inserted correctly. Gently squeeze the plug while pulling it out until the seal is broken, then try again to insert them in your ears.

Clean Them Regularly  

You should clean your ear plugs before and after every use to prevent any buildup of bacteria or dirt which can cause hearing problems in the future if they are not kept clean.


Ear plugs are not just for concerts and hearing protection. They can be easily used to protect your ears from harmful noise levels. You should try to buy a pair that will fit you well and offer good protection if you are often exposed to loud noises.

Explosions are one of the main sources of noise that can cause ear damage. You need to protect your ears by using ear plugs if you are going to a fireworks display or events where explosives are used in large quantities, such as military exercises. Not doing so could lead to permanent hearing loss, which can be very distressing and have an impact on your life.

You don't have to choose between comfort and protection when buying ear plugs. There are plenty of products on the market that offer both features, which means that they can be worn on a daily basis without causing irritation. Make sure that you invest in a pair of ear plugs that will last for many years, especially if you need them for work or studying.

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

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Other Questions

Should you cover your ears in an explosion?

Ear security is essential because during an explosion to cover the ears. No one wants to risk their hearing sense. The goal is for pressure to be controlled. A spike in pressure and negative pressure can cause an eruption that can be very dangerous to the ears and inner organs.

A rapid rise in intensity resulting during a blast wave is the main, immediate impact on human beings. It can damage human organs like ears and lungs that are vulnerable to pain.

Should you open your mouth during an explosion?

It is said that leaving the mouth open equalizes pressure, thereby reducing internal injury. The intention is to put weight on both sides of the eardrum to be on equal footing. The field, heavy or medium bombardment bang can be pretty much a thing!

Explosions respond with increased shock waves, which can be very harmful to ears and internal body parts, accompanied by negative pressure. So, yes! Keep your mouth open during explosions.

What level of hearing loss requires a hearing aid?

This relies solely on how severe a hearing loss is. This frequently raised question cannot be resolved definitively. Hearing loss is rated as mild if it is between 25 and 40 dB; moderate when between 41 and 55 dB; moderate to severe when between 56 and 70 dB; severe if it is between 71 and 90 dB; profound if it is over 90 dB.

In contrast to moderate hearing loss, there are several reports of people with minor auditory loss. Cognitive skill, age, health conditions, or other auditory associated disorders can impair the ability to perceive sound.


If you require more information, please check these references

The Effect of ear Protectors Against Sound Waves from Explosions , article, "www.tandfonline.com", retrieved on, Fri 20-November-2020

Explosions and blast injuries , article, "www.sciencedirect.com", retrieved on, Fri 20-November-2020

Effects of Gun Explosions on the Ear and Hearing Mechanism. , article, "www.cabdirect.org", retrieved on, Fri 20-November-2020


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Nick Le Page

Experience : Hi, I am Nick, and I have suffered with ear problems my whole life, mainly tinnitus. I have tried a lot of products to help protect my ears over this period, and several devices to block out the constant ringing

“Are you having problems hearing? If so, those around you already know it. Hearing loss is no laughing matter, so don’t be a punchline.”

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