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Would these be sutabe for passenger use in commercial aircraft?
How about for use under noise canceling headphones?
Why do you want earplugs for air travel?
And for use under noise cancelling headphones, I don't know how much these effect ANC. But I don't see why you'd want to use earplugs under a pair of headphones. If you want to block out noise and listen to something I would suggest one of Etymotic's IEMs like the HF5/ER3/ER4.
Thanks for your reply.
Living in Australia and traveling internationally the flights are long and noise fatigue can be an issue. Qantas hand out foam ear plugs during longer flights, however, I thought there might be a better option. Sometimes I leave the foam plugs in under my Bose noise canceling headphones.
I‘ve flown to Germany and england a few times last year, and earplugs were definitely a must. Sometimes, it’s not about the music, but just getting a break from the engine drone or trying to sleep. Foam earplugs are comfortable but they get pretty gross after one or two uses, and are always “one size fits all.”
I don’t have these earplugs, but for my small-canal ears the Etymotic IEMs I have are the most comfortable silicone tips I’ve encountered yet. They don’t have the injection molding lines facing the skin in your ears, which always causes me irritation, but with Etymotic I even like the three-flange tips (which have the most passive attenuation). They’re also faster and easier to insert/remove than foam, and reusable.
I don’t like ANC headphones, turn on the circuit and it puts a pressure on my ears. They also work by listening to the sound coming at your ears and play back the inverse of that sound at the same/similar volume, and I know that scientifically that’s not just silent but it should also relieve the pressure... but they always give me a headache after awhile. So far, the Sennheiser PXC 480 has been able to stay comfy the most hours. Earplugs don’t interfere with how ANC headphones work, so you should be able to double-isolate without problems.
Did I miss anything?
Thanks very much for the detailed response - I'll grad a pair and give them a try.
I have these earplugs and they don't block out quite as much noise as typical foam plugs do but they don't muddy the sound nearly as much. I've also found them to be a bit more comfortable. So they're better unless you want even more noise to be blocked out.
Like I said, I would recommend one of Etymotic's IEMs. They block out a large amount of sound (more so than these earplugs, albeit the sound is muddied a bit). They might not be the most comfortable headphone for long flights but if you were going to be wearing earplugs anyway then it shouldn't matter. And I think they (or at least the ER4) also sounds better than the Bose headphones.
I haven’t seen an IEM on the market with noise isolation as good as Etymotic. They get between 35-42 dB of noise isolation, and its passive so there’s no need for battery fuss. To give you an idea, Bose QC25 offers 5-35 dB of isolation depending on the frequency, and in the midrange frequencies where most voices and instruments play the reduction is only 15-25 dB.
This graph is set up that anything below 75 dB represents some isolation.
My first ”hi-fi” headphones were Etymotic ER•6i, which I bought at a Macworld convention in 2005 and I was able to compare against Shure and other brands... even the cheapest Ety had less distortion than several of the Shure models available back in the day. Now, I really like offerings from Audio 64, Empire Ears, Alclair, RHA and others, but my most often used are Sennheiser IE 80 S. I still have the Etymotics and the filter system ensures that they still work well after 13 years, but I’ve spent more money and tried different things. IEMs in general are underrated 🤓
Where do the QC35s and 35 2s come in on that graph?
are these comfortable to sleep on the side? it looks alright but I had a couple of old model (or other models, not sure) and they just popped out of my ear a little bit to sleep on the side. unlike foams these are hard so it gets pretty uncomfortable soon.
Update: I bought these earplugs, and I am satisfied with my purchase... they are perfect for what I wanted them for. I also bring them with me when I go to the movie theater... so many places have the volume turned up alarmingly loud, and with these earplugs and less pressure on my eardrums it’s actually easier for me to hear what’s going on.
Bose hasn’t published graphs about noise isolation/cancellation by frequency, at least not to my knowledge. Graphs and performance transparency are kind of Etymotic’s “thing,” and part of that is because they have performance worth showing off.
Active noice cancelling primarily works on constant, low-to-low-mids frequency droning sounds, which is perfect for engine noise but not so great for baby cries or brief, abrupt noises. The ANC is aided by passive noise cancellation, like ear muffs, which work best with (firm clamping pressure and) upper-mid to high frequency sounds, because the shorter wavelengths have a more difficult time passing through the materials of the headphone/earmuff. ANC works by external microphones recording the incoming sound, using a DSP to create an inverse signal, and then play this inverse in real-time along with the music so that it cancels the energy of the incoming external sound. Since the ANC effect is produced before the sound waves reach your ear, their performance should be unaffected by having something also inside your ear.
Based on that background, the well-known comfort of the Bose QC models comes at the compromise of a little less passive isolation. The ANC is top-notch (though the Sony WH-1000XM2 cancels noise slightly better AND sounds more natural), so overall I’d say earplugs cancel the most isolation, these musician’s earplugs reduce a wider band and greater quantity of noise than the Bose, except the Bose should be capable of cancelling engine drone almost altogether. All reusable earplugs I’ve seen have a nub or bead sticking out to aid in removal, and this will probably be long enough to touch the material on the inside of a headphone earcup: comfort will vary.
These do have a small tab of plastic to ease removal from the ear. I can’t sleep with anything on or in my ear, so I would not be a good judge of that ability.
You had me at baby crying--I'm in!