Most Effective Noise-Cancelling Earplugs for a Noisy Office

Noisy Offices and Earplugs

There are many ways to cope with a noisy office, but the easiest, and cheapest way is to get good earplugs for when you are at work

Working in an office with all of your colleagues can be a significant advantage, especially with communication. Face-to-face communication is always a lot more efficient than an email or talking on the phone. This also can lead to problems when you actually want to work in a quiet environment; this is not possible when you are in an open office.

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In A Hurry?

If require the Best Hearing Protection for this item, and do not want to read the entire article, below are my recommended ear protection.

Which are the best Earplugs For The Noisy Office?

For A Noisy Office, the best ear plugs are cowin E7ANC Bluetooth Deep Bass.

However, this will depend on several things. If you use them a lot, for example, if it is your principal job, or perhaps just minor use. Also, if you want to use these ear plugs for other things, like listen to music, or Answer Your Phone.

There are earplug options available, for example: Convenient Fitting, Noise Reduction Rating (NRR), Long-Lasting, Flexibility, and if you want earplugs or headphones. As you can see, there is a lot in picking the best fit.

Different Types of Earplugs

The best way to resolve this problem is to use earplugs or headphones, these come in several types, and at several prices. The best earplugs for you may not be the best earplugs for everyone else. In this article, I will discuss the different earplugs and headphones that are available, and the advantages and disadvantages of each type, so that you can pick the best for you.

I’ll also be recommending the best earplugs in each of these categories so that you don’t have to do any of the hard work of researching which are the best value ear plugs for the office

Earplugs and hearing protection usually are used when you are in a very noisy environment. It is unlikely that working even in the noisiest office will be loud enough to damage your hearing.

Earplugs are most likely to be worn in this situation, to aid concentration, removing distractions. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) says that frequent and extended exposure to sounds above 85 decibels can cause hearing loss. To give you an idea of what 85dB is, it is like a carwash at 20 feet.

Every time you damage your hearing, any loss is normally permanent. Each piece of damage is tiny. However, these add up over several years until you get terrible hearing and ringing in the ears, also known as tinnitus.

The effectiveness of earplugs is measured in NNR, which stands for noise reduction rating. Most ear plugs will have an NNR of between 20 and 30.

What this means in real terms is a reduction in the volume of the noise that you hear of between 20 and 30 decibels. So if you are in a room where the decibel level is 100, and you are wearing earplugs with an NNR of 30, then your ears will be in fact receiving approximately 70 decibels of noise which is well within the safe range.

Office Questions to do with Hearing

When working, it has been shown – and I believe that most of you will know this already, that if someone is distracted from their work, productivity is reduced. It can also be very annoying when you are trying to get something done if you are constantly being distracted.

Whether you run an office or work in one, you know that noise can be bothersome, but is needed to get the daily work done.

A study into office noise that questioned over 2,000 people in over 50 sites found that

54% of workers were bothered by noise, especially by people talking

There was, unsurprisingly, a direct correlation between noise and dissatisfaction with the working environment and supervisor performance.

This article will not cover reducing background noise and soundproofing the office – I will do that in another article. What we will cover here is what you can do as an individual to reduce these disturbances as and when you feel that this is necessary.

Woman Too Noisy0

We will do this with earplugs, and ear muffs so that you can reduce the surrounding sounds, or masking the sounds with other less distracting sounds.

People are distracted mainly by two types of sounds, these being

Masking these sounds with music, or especially white noise, has been shown to actually improve concentration, and with is productivity.

Types of earplugs to block Noise

When you are trying to reduce distractions from noise in an office, there are many different types of ear plugs that you can try, but they really fall into three main categories. These are plugs which

  1. Block as much sound as possible
  2. Reduce loud sounds and optionally increase quiet sounds
  3. Noise masking with music/white noise

These have different effects, and the type that you choose will depend on the person you are. However, type 2 noise-reducing, are not really suitable for offices.

Noise Blocking Ear Plugs For The Office

Earplugs that block out as much of the noise as possible are an excellent choice for someone who wants to work in an environment that is as quiet as possible. They work basically by blocking the ear canal so that less sound enters the ear.

Because of how we hear, it is not possible to stop all sound when you block the ear canals, as some sound – which is a vibration in the air, also is transferred by the bones in your head. However, it is possible to get other people talking down to a barely audible whisper, which will be far less distracting.

This type of ear plug is cheap and readily available. The most common types are:

Hi-Fidelity Ear Plugs

This type of plug is really used for protecting the ears from loud sounds. The electronic versions will also increase the quiet sounds, so that you can hear them in noisy environments. They are mainly used for hunting and construction sites, etc.

I personally over the last 30 years have never worked in an office where this type of plug would be the best choice, but I suppose there must be some office that is loud somewhere!

Ear Plugs / Headphones That Play Music

These are, by far, the most common type of plugs that are used in offices. Most people use them to play music while they are working. Music is less distracting as there is no conversation that you can get engrossed in, and there are no unexpected distracting noises, as you have probably heard the song hundreds of times in the past.

Audio headphones can also play brown or white noise. This can mask out external sounds; should you also find music distracting.

The best type of headset for reducing the distractions in a noisy office is the “Noise-canceling headphone.” These have two effects.

Can I hear my alarm with earplugs?

Yes, you can hear your alarm with earplugs. The noise from the alarm is high pitched which your hearing is more sensitive to. As a result you are able to hear it despite the earplugs.

Other things that you will be able to hear are fire alarms and car alarms as these both have a similar high-pitched sound.

When you try to sleep during the night, many people will find that they arrive at work tired. Some people can sleep through anything while others are unable to sleep through a ringing alarm clock.

Most people find it difficult to sleep when they are in an environment with a lot of noise, such as heavy traffic on the road and loud music playing in the background.

One way in which you can help yourself get to sleep is by using earplugs. Earplugs are great at blocking out annoying noises whereas noise-canceling headphones are very good at keeping outside noise out but may not be as good at letting sounds such as alarms and music from your phone inside your head.

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

People Also Ask


How do you block out noise in an office?

The office is the place where you want to pay your full attention to your work with no disturbance, but if you work in an office where your coworkers are usually loud or if you work in an open office, then it can distract you.

More than half of high-performing workers find their workplace distracting, which is quite a lot, so you need to reduce the noise.

Earplugs come in quite handy in such a situation. They help you block out loud, disturbing noises so you can concentrate on your work.

How do you deal with working in a noisy office?

If you work in an open space office, it might be difficult for you to concentrate and perform tasks that require focus because of the noise of your colleagues. But there are some techniques you can use to help you deal with such noisy coworkers. First, you can take a silence break as studies have shown that silence makes the brain more relaxed than any kind of music.

It gives the brain an opportunity to process all the information with no interruption. Second, using earplugs can help as they are recommended by hearing experts. They act as a barrier to prevent loud noises from reaching you by decreasing their severity.

How do you mentally block out noise?

Using earplugs is a great way to reduce noise, however some people may feel irritated by them. For such people, mental techniques to block out noise can work the best.

To mentally block out the noise you can use white noise because it contains all frequencies at the same intensity so it can conceal the loud sound that stimulates your brain.

Another way is to take a break and give your brain some time to relax and process all the information it contains with no distractions. In the end, it is important that you learn to adapt to work in a noisy environment and plan your work in such a way that you can do the tasks which do not require your full focus during the time when the noise is the loudest.

How Can I Sound Proof My Office To Reduce Noise?

Conclusions - Best Earplugs For The Noisy Office

Most offices are not noisy enough to damage your hearing; however, the noises that you hear may be very distracting when you are trying to concentrate on the arduous task.

You have several options that you can use to mask or stop these distractions, and what your decision really comes down to is whether you still need to communicate with co-workers while you are wearing these earplugs.

Should you not need to talk with your co-workers then something that plays music, white noise, or blocks the sound completely up, probably most suitable.

However, if you need to communicate with your work colleagues at all times, and listen to what’s going on in the surrounding environment, then you’re probably better off with some high fidelity electronic ear plugs

Recommended Products – Best Earplugs For The Noisy Office

Below are the recommended products – these have been based on the use, price, effectiveness, and reviews of each type of ear plug. I have tried to include some from all the categories, with different price points to suit everybody’s pockets

The Ear Buddy Premium Soft Foam Ear Plugs

The Ear Buddy Premium Soft Foam Ear Plugs are a pair of soft, comfortable, reusable ear plugs that offer you protection from harmful noise levels and give you peace and quiet.

These ear plugs have been designed with the highest quality materials to provide you with maximum comfort and durability.

They have been tested in accordance with ANSI S3.19-1974 standards for hearing conservation devices, which means they will protect your ears from harmful noise levels without compromising on sound quality.

These premium foam earplugs are available at an affordable price so that everyone can enjoy the benefits

The Ear Buddy Premium Soft Foam Ear Plugs, Noise Cancelling Earplugs...
  • BLOCK OUT THE NOISE, PROTECT YOUR HEARING, AND ENJOY A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP OR YOUR MONEY BACK! Our Noise Cancelling Ear Plugs Are Perfect for Sleeping, Construction, Concerts, Hunting, Shooting Ear Protection, Snoring, and General Hearing Protection From All Types Of Loud Activity
  • SAY GOOD BYE TO CHEAP IMITATORS THAT CONSTANTLY FALL OUT OF YOUR EARS AND GIVE YOU HORRIFIC DISCOMFORT AND PAIN: When Wearing Our Premium Foam Earplugs You Can Expect Incredible Results Without The Earaches & Discomfort
  • VERY IMPORTANT** For Optimum Results Ear Plugs Must Be Inserted EXACTLY As Directed; Follow The Simple Instructions As They Are Stated On Product Package To Experience OUTSTANDING Results!
  • 60 DAY 100% MONEY BACK GUARANTEE; There’s a reason we offer the STRONGEST GUARANTEE industry-wide!

Last update on 2021-06-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Earasers High Fidelity Musician's Ear Plugs

Earasers Musicians Hi-Fi Plugs provide superior hearing protection for musicians, concert-goers, and anyone who wants to listen to music at a safer level.

Earasers' patented Smart Seal technology provides a perfect fit in the ear canal every time, so you can enjoy your music without sacrificing comfort or sound quality.

The 19dB filters are designed specifically for people who want to protect their ears from loud noises while still being able to hear everything around them clearly.

Last update on 2021-06-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Ear Plugs for Sleeping

Active Noise Cancelling technology.

Significant noise reduction for travel, work or sleep. Proprietary 45mm large-aperture drivers.

Deep, accurate bass response.

Last update on 2021-06-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

COWIN E7 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones

COWIN E7 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones are the best wireless headphones designed for travel.

They feature Active Noise Cancellation technology that can reduce background noise by 95%.

It means you'll be able to enjoy your music without any distractions while traveling. The earcups swivel 90 degrees, which makes it easy to store and carry them in the included carrying case.

The built-in microphone allows you to take calls easily. With a 30-hour playtime per charge at Bluetooth mode, these headphones will last all day long on a full charge.

COWIN E7 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones Bluetooth Headphones with...
  • Active Noise Cancelling technology. Significant noise reduction for travel, work and anywhere in between. Advanced active noise reduction technology quells airplane cabin noise, city traffic or a busy office, makes you focus on what you want to hear,enjoy your music, movies and videos. The noise cancellation function can work well both in wire and wireless mode.
  • Proprietary 45mm large-aperture drivers. Deep, accurate bass response. The Active Noise Cancelling around-ear headphones from COWIN give you crisp, powerful sound and quiet that helps you enjoy your music better. The goal that provide Customers with better sound quality, is our constant pursuit.
  • High-quality built-in Microphone and NFC technology. COWIN E7 provides high-quality built-in microphone for hands-free calls, Which is convenient for you to free yourself from wires. NFC pairing aided by voice prompts, promises quick and stable connection with your Bluetooth enabled devices, Powerful Bluetooth Function.
  • The professional protein earpad and 90° swiveling earcups. More durability and comfort, Enjoy high-quality, Long-listen comfort. Skin texture, lightweight comfortable around-ear fit you can wear all day long. Gentle Reminder: please take off the headphone every 2-3 hrs to get your ears relax, in order to get better hearing enjoyment, and keep the head comfortable.
  • 30 hours playtime per charge at Bluetooth mode. A built-in 750mAh battery won't allow your headphones power off, you can enjoy your world without noise for 30 hours' long time. Don't need to worry the power shortage problem on the long travel. 18-month warranty and quick response & friendly customer service. Dedicated customer service team, provide you with quick response and friendly customer service, which will always serve for you and certainly satisfy you.

Last update on 2021-06-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


If you require more information, please check these references

Noise Reduction , article, “en.wikipedia.org”, retrieved on, Mon 28-October-2019

Office noise and employee concentration , article, “www.tandfonline.com”, retrieved on, Mon 28-October-2019

Office Noise, Satisfaction, and Performance , article, “journals.sagepub.com”, retrieved on, Mon 28-October-2019

Author: Nick

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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