We live in a noisy world. Any time you are on the street, going out shopping, in crowded areas or concerts you are exposed high levels of noise. If the level of the sounds around us is greater than 85 dB it can even damage our ears. The number of people with hearing problems has been increasing over the years according to a study.
It is best to prevent this hearing damage before it happens. You can use earmuffs, but they are huge and not always portable. Other options are either using noise canceling headphones or earplugs to reduce background noise. While earplugs physically block noise, noise canceling headphones create sounds with inverse wave lengths to cancel out external noises.
Noise cancelling technology has been in headphones for quite some time now, and Bose is the king of the noise cancelling headphones realm with their over-ear Bose Quiet Comfort 25 and in-ear Bose Quiet Comfort 20. Sometimes, we just need to reduce a bit of background noise and enjoy the presence of the sound at a lower volume level. Other times it is nice to hear white noise to help us fall asleep. This is where smart earplugs come in.
We’ve rounded up some of the best smart earplugs with active noise cancelling features to reduce background noise no matter where you are.
Doppler Labs previously produced the Here Active Listening system. Recently the company announced the Dubs, which control the volume of external noises that you want to hear. For example, if you are at a concert and the music is too loud, wearing dubs will allow you to hear the surroundings and adjust how much volume you want to allow in your ears. Despite the ability to lower the volume, sound fidelity is kept intact. On the other hand, if you wore earplugs or earmuffs, the volume would be lower, but the sound quality would be distorted and muffled.
The dubs work best at mid-range frequencies, but can also be used for shooting, hunting and sleeping. For hearing protection, this is the best, most affordable option.
- Adjustable volume
- No active noise cancelling feature
These earbuds are tiny and comfortable to wear. They feature earhooks and tips to ensure a secure fit and maximum noise isolation.
The built in flash memory stores a variety of smooth sounds that you can play anytime. Instead of hearing annoying sounds in your bedroom like snoring, dogs barking, or noisy neighbors you can choose to hear sounds you which will help you sleep better.
The charging case keeps the Sleepbuds full of juice and ready to use. Simply store Sleepbuds in their case when they are not in use and they will automatically charge.
You can set alarm from the connected app and it will wake you up without disturbing others.
Why smart ear plugs?
Studies show that wearing earplugs provides better sleep, which reduces the rapid eye movement latency. If you are exposed to noise during sleep, wearing earplugs will definitely improve your quality of sleep.
Hush Smart Earplugs
These earbuds were introduced at CES 2016. With variable sizes of foam eartips that form a custom fit to your ear, these earplugs are wireless and comfortable to wear, even while sleeping on your side. The foam tips together with active noise cancellation will maximize the noise isolation capacity and can reduce up to 70 dB from the ambient sound coming in. They can play white noise to filter out ambient sounds for up to 8 hours while you sleep. They even do a decent job for blocking out snoring, honking, or sounds your neighbors make through the wall.
The charging case works similarly to wireless earbuds and will charge on the go. The case can offer a total of 3 full charges, giving you a total of 32 hours of playback or active noise cancellation. The case magnetically locks the earbuds in place for charging so you don’t have to worry about losing them.
Because these earbuds are small, they can be dropped and easily lost. Not to worry, though, as these come with a handy app that helps you find your missing earbuds.
- Included soothing sounds from waterfalls to beaches and more
- Good active noise cancellation performance
- May fall out when you sleep
- Software issues
QuietOn Active Noise Cancelling Earplugs
The QuiteOn earplugs fit comfortably and provide good sound isolation with bi-flange eartips. The design of housings and eartips combine to fit your ear perfectly. They even feel comfortable when sleeping on your side.
The company claims the earplugs provide noise reduction comparable to to Bose QC20, but in a smaller form. They work well to block snoring sounds and provide up to 50 hours of battery life per charge.
- Great battery life
- Automatically turn on when taken out of the case
- No “find my earplugs” feature from app