There are two things that make a good earplug: comfort and noise cancellation. Well, you might need some other stuff in musicians’ earplugs or earplugs for swimming, but for your general block-out-your-spouse’s-snoring or your-coworkers’-chatter plugs, those two features are the most important.
Our editing department purchased Moldex’s popular Pura-Fit 6800 earplugs and tested them out. This is what we learned.
Moldex Pura-Fit 6800
Price: $29.79 (200 Plugs)
Tell Me a Bit about the Moldex Pura-Fit 6800
The Moldex Pura-Fit 6800 is a foam earplug–polyurethane to be exact–that’s known for being ultra-soft and comfortable. It’s smooth and tapers a bit near the tip, which helps it slide into and fit easily in any ear canal. It feels comfortable enough for long periods of use.
One earplug measures 2.5 cm tall and about 1.3 cm across the base. That’s a big longer than your average earplug, which makes for painless insertion and removal. Just be sure not to shove it all the way in, as you run the risk of earwax buildup and damage to your ear drum.
The Pura-Fit earned a noise reduction rating (NRR) of 33 db, which Moldex calls the “highest independently tested NRR.” And yet it’s cheap and available in huge disposable packs. We recommend replacing your pair every 3-4 days to make sure you aren’t breeding bacteria. Wash after use with warm water and soap.
Putting the Moldex Pura-Fit 6800 to the Test
We had a group of editors put Moldex’s Pura-Fit 6800 to the test. Specifically, we were looking for the two following factors.
Test ①: Fit
Test ②: Noise Reduction
Test ①: Fit
Because discomfort can prove distracting as well.
Soft and Snug; Doesn’t Slip or Hurt Even After Hours of Use
We tried on the earplugs and made sure they
- wouldn’t start hurting over time
- would give us that nice seal we needed for noise cancellation
- wouldn’t make us uncomfortably aware of the fact that there were foreign objects in our ears
- wouldn’t start slipping out over time
Long story short, the Pura-Fit passed with flying colors. It was so soft, it didn’t hurt even after four hours of wear. We compressed it with our fingers before inserting, and after it had slowly risen back up, it gave us that snug fit.
The earplugs did protrude from the ears a bit, but that was to be expected, given the length. But they felt so natural that we forgot we were wearing earplugs after some time, and they didn’t fall out either, so we were satisfied with the fit.
Test ②: Noise Reduction
Because no one wears earplugs as a fashion statement. Probably.
Sounds of Daily Life are Reduced to Nothing More than a Quiet Hum
We used a sound analyzer from Rion Co., Ltd. to measure noise reduction. We put on a pair of headphones and had the machine keep playing beeps at successively lower volumes until we couldn’t hear them anymore. We did this both with the earplugs in and without. We then matched up the numbers and calculated the NRR of the Pura-Fit 6800.
Moldex’s official NRR for the Pura-Fit 6800 is 33db, and our testing corroborated that number. In plain speech, that means that, with the earplugs in, you’ll be able to hear the low murmur of conversation going on around you, but you won’t be able to pick out distinct words. The sounds of daily life are also reduced to a quiet hum.
Fainter background noises (such as the sound of your neighbor shuffling around upstairs) are pretty much inaudible; you’d have to really strain your ears to pick up anything.
The Final Verdict: Comfortable and Blocks out Sound. The Ideal Earplugs for Everyday Use
The polyurethane foam was soft and comfortable. As long as you compress it before inserting, the Pura-Fit should mold itself to the shape of your ear as it rises.
We also double-checked Moldex’s claim that the earplugs earned a NRR of 33 db and found it to be true. They reduced background noise to an indistinct hum. That means they’ll be enough to block out the ruckus of your family/co-workers/neighbors’ lives going on around you.
Earplugs Not Fitting? Have You Read the Instructions?
If the earplugs don’t seem to fit into your ears or keep falling out, there’s a chance that you aren’t wearing them right. Putting on earplugs isn’t as simple as stuffing them into your ears, after all. Here’s how you should insert the Moldex Pura-Fit 6800.
- Compress the tip of the earplug by rolling it in between your thumb and pointer finger.
- Pull your ear up and slightly away from your head with the hand opposite the ear.
- Insert the earplug.
- Hold the earplug in place for about 45 seconds. That’ll give the earplug 40 seconds to rise and an extra five seconds to settle into place.
Worried about Losing the Earplugs? How About a Corded Version?
Price: $27.29 (100 Plugs)
If you know you’ll have to frequently take out your earplugs and then put them back in or if you’re just worried about losing them, then consider the Moldex Pura-Fit 6900. It’s the exact same product as the 6800–and has an NRR of 33 db–it’s just corded.
We put Moldex’s Pura-Fit 6800 to the test. We found it to be both exceedingly comfortable and effective at blocking out background noise. If you’re looking for just an everyday pair of earplugs, it’s a worthy purchase.
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