Best Noise-Canceling Earplugs for Studying: Noise Off, Focus On

If your study environment is just too noisy, you probably need a pair of earplugs to help you get the work done. But with so many options on the market, how do you know which ones to get?

To help you out, I narrowed the choice down to seven top products you can find on the market. Each option has its pros and cons, which I will lay out for you below.

1. The Ear Buddy Premium Soft Foam Ear Plugs


First off, one pack costs about $20, and you get 50 pairs of earplugs, which means you are covered for a long time. Talk about a great deal!

The Ear Buddy’s premium earplugs are also made of soft foam, making them comfortable enough to wear for a prolonged period of time without a nagging earache starting to form. In addition, they have impressive noise-blocking prowess. With a whopping 32dB noise reduction rating, you can be sure these plugs will do the job well. That makes them a good choice for various scenarios, from construction sites to libraries.


While you can use these plugs more than once, their reusability is still limited. In other words, you will go through them quickly and spend more money in the long run. Furthermore, the earplugs come with specific insertion instructions you must follow to experience the full noise-canceling effect. If you skip some steps, you might not get the desired outcome, which can leave you frustrated.

The Verdict

The Ear Buddy Premium Soft Foam Ear Plugs are a suitable choice for everyone who values comfort as much as the noise-canceling feature. Of course, just like every other product, they have their set of drawbacks. However, considering the number of benefits, like the high NRR and non-toxic material, I believe this brand is worth giving a shot.

The Ear Buddy Premium Earplugs > Check Price on Amazon

2. Mack’s Pillow Soft Silicone Earplugs


First up, these plugs are not some fly-by-night knock-offs; I am talking about the OGs here! Perhaps you did not know this, but this brand has been in the business since 1962. Rocking a unique, moldable silicone putty, these little wonders promise to fit any ear out there like a glove, giving an air-tight and water-tight seal that’s pretty unparalleled.

They’re sold in packs of six for about $15, giving you bang for your buck. The whole idea here is customization and comfort, so you’re not just getting protection but a snug fit every single time.


Over time, like anything else, these plugs can get a tad grubby and lose their stickiness. So, while they’re reusable, you’ll need to replace them when they’re no longer clinging on.

The Verdict

If you’re in the market for earplugs that offer a snug fit, versatile usage, and top-notch protection, Mack’s Pillow Soft Silicone Earplugs might just be it. Of course, they have a few drawbacks, but weigh them against the benefits, and the pros will definitely win.

Mack’s Pillow Earplugs > Check Price on Amazon

3. Howard Leight by Honeywell Laser Lite Earplugs


These plugs are not for the color-shy! They come in neon shades of pink and yellow, which makes them impossible to miss. For some, this is an advantage — for instance, if you keep misplacing your plugs, these bright little things are easy enough to spot.

Howard Leigh earplugs are also made of soft foam, ensuring a comfortable fit. They come in a pack of 100, which means you are set for quite a while.


You may find these plugs to be too out there since they will draw attention to you wherever you go. So, if you wish to stay on the discreet side, perhaps it would be best to go with a different brand.

The Verdict

Howard Leigh earplugs do a good job of helping you work or study in peace. In other words, for a mere $31.99, you get quality, visibility, and maybe a conversation starter. They might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for those who dare to be bold, they’re an earful of fun!

Howard Leight Earplugs > Check Price on Amazon

4. Etymotic Research ER20 High-Fidelity Earplugs


The first thing that stands out with ETY plugs is the design — a chic clear stem with a frosting tip. Meant for more than just helping you sleep better; they are the go-to plugs for every student and worker alike.

Another great feature these plugs offer is the “just right” volume for loud workplaces. They keep the noise to a reasonable level, ensuring you don’t miss an important alert or a subtle change in the sounds around you. For example, professional musicians can use them to hear their own jam without damaging their eardrums with loud music.


ETY plugs will not work well if you need absolute silence to concentrate because they will not cancel the sounds around as well as some other models.

The Verdict

At nifty $18, for those needing clarity of sound, not a perfect silence, these plugs hit the sweet spot. Plus, the sleek design makes them a good pick for most situations.

Etymotic Research ER20 Earplugs > Check Price on Amazon

5. 3M Corded Reusable Earplug


Available in a zesty orange and blue combo, these plugs are bound to catch your eye and provide you with that peaceful environment you need to focus on your tasks. Thanks to the long cord, they are the perfect selection for those who keep losing a plug and need a quick way to find it.

In one package, you get three pairs of reusable, corded plugs, and at just $6.47, they are suitable for everyone’s budget. Plus, even if your mitts are all grimy, you don’t have to fuss with rolling these plugs before putting them in. Talk about convenience!


Some might find a cord that long a bit irksome. Furthermore, you will need to clean them every now and then.

The Verdict

All in all, the 3M Corded Reusable plugs provide you with a snug fit and reliable noise reduction. If your studyroom tends to be chaotic as well as noisy, you will find that these earplugs make your job easier.

3M Reusable Earplug > Check Price on Amazon

6. Decibullz Custom Molded Earplugs


Let’s talk about Decibullz—a name that, if you ask me, makes a pretty loud statement on its own. Made in the USA, these custom-molded earplugs come in various shades, including orange, blue, black, green, red, and purple.

This brand is making quite an impact with its modern design and 31dB noise reduction rating. And then there’s the pièce de résistance: the custom fit. Simply put them in boiling water, let them cool, and then mold them according to your ears.

Don’t worry if your first try is not a success! These plugs are forgiving, letting you repeat the process until you get it right.


You will need to dig a bit deeper into your pockets to acquire this model. In addition, if you are not really an arts and crafts kind of person, Decibullz might not be for you.

The Verdict

Quality and customization come with a price. But for earplugs that look stylish and can literally mold to your ears, it sounds like a good deal to me!

Decibullz Earplugs > Check Price on Amazon

7. Mighty Plugs


Imagine a pair of earplugs that embrace the beauty of nature while giving you an ultra-quiet experience. Enter Mighty Plugs. Made from pure beeswax, not only do these earplugs provide a tight fit, but they also stand tall with a high Noise Reduction Rating of 34.


These aren’t your average lightweight foam plugs. They might feel a tad bulkier. Additionally, the unique beeswax texture could be an acquired taste for some.

The Verdict

Hailed and used by the US military, these earplugs aren’t just about promises; they deliver. From workers to students, from motorcyclists to meditation practitioners, Mighty Plugs cater to all. And given their longevity, allowing for 40-50 uses, they offer not just quality but also value.

Mighty Plugs > Check Price on Amazon

Factors to Consider When Choosing Earplugs for Studying

Ah, we’ve all been there: having to choose between several great products. Admittedly, it’s a tough decision. But I’m here to help you make the process easier. Simply take into account the following factors.

Material Preference

All things considered, comfort plays one of the key roles. If you are the type of person who enjoys soft foam, then The Ear Buddy, with its gentle and plush feel, is the one for you.

On the other hand, Mack’s Silicone Earplugs are all about customization and adapting to you. That moldable putty will fill the unique contours of your ear perfectly.

Quantity vs. Quality

If you are a heavy user or someone who keeps losing your plugs, you might want to stick with the Howard Leigh earplugs. With 100 plugs per pack, you get a good quantity for your money. Or you might gravitate towards the reusable options like 3M Corded.

That said, if you want premium quality, and frequent repurchases are not an issue for you, opt for Decibullz.

Noise-Cancellation Rate

While all these earplugs promise to silence the world around you, there’s a subtle difference in their noise reduction ratings.

The Mighty Plugs stands tall with a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 34 decibels. In contrast, ETY plugs will muffle the sounds, but you will still be able to hear them. So, if you’re in the thick of extremely loud environments, The Mighty Plugs might offer that extra layer of soundproofing.

Additional Considerations

Apart from the previously mentioned factors, it’s worth paying attention to a few more nuances:

  • Individual ear anatomy: Our ear canals are unique, so the fit can differ. Moldable varieties might be a solution if fit is a concern.
  • Frequency of usage: Daily users should prioritize durability, while occasional users might lean towards affordability.
  • Application environment: The location of your study spot, be it a cafe or a dorm room, can dictate the type of earplug you need.
  • Portability: If you’re always on the move, compact and easily storable earplugs are a boon.
  • Sleep compatibility: If pulling all-nighters is common, consider how comfortable the earplugs are for inadvertent sleeping.
  • Hygiene & maintenance: Ear hygiene is crucial, and plugs that accumulate wax or dirt can become a health concern. Some earplugs may be washable, while others might require replacement after a certain number of uses.

In Conclusion

Whether you prefer to study in silence or you find the background noise helpful, owning a reliable pack of earplugs is a wise decision. However, finding the perfect brand is not a straightforward process — you might need to try on a few different pairs to find the one that fits you just right.

At the end of the day, it’s about crafting a serene space amidst the hustle and bustle. So, sift through the features, align them with your priorities, and embrace the tranquility that the right choice can bring into your life.

You may also like: Can’t Sleep Without Earplugs? Here’s Why and What to Do

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