Go Back   FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > Travel Products
Sign in using an external account

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Feb 10, 13, 12:49 am   #1
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 95
best noise isolating earplugs?

The mechanical jet noise during long flights is a pain. Im looking for a pair of earplugs which could isolate this noise as much as possible.

Im not looking for active noise cancelation earphones since: a) they're bulky, which is the bane of the carryon only approach, and b) expensive.

Any suggestions?

TIA
mzzxx11 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 10, 13, 7:21 am   #2
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Maryland
Programs: ET, SB, NSPA, OIL, AOR, DAOPA, HH
Posts: 405
I first bought a passive noise cancellation earbud. Based on my experience, you need to push the passive ones too far in for them to work. If you want to go that way, I was told etymotic research was good. So I bought them. It was ok.

I later switched to $60 audiotechnica active noise cancellation ear plugs. They are not bulky at all and found them to do a much better job.

I am a single bag person and these are as compact as any passive ear bud ones.
arjunrc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 10, 13, 11:10 am   #3
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Tundra Land (MSP)
Programs: DL Plat, DL SkyClub, SPG Plat, HH Diamond, National Emerald Exec
Posts: 267
"Noise canceling" and "earplugs" don't really go hand-in-hand. Sound vibrations are collected by the entire outer ear, funneled into the canal and inner ear (think: kind of like speaking into a megaphone). Blocking the ear canal dampens most of the inbound sound, but the outer ear will continue to pick up ambient vibrations.

In real world terms, even with really good earplugs/earbuds, a certain amount of ambient sound will still transmit "into your head" via vibration. For me, it's higher pitches that bleed through (think: female voice, kids). For others, it's midrange that gets through.

If you want to avoid full ear coverage (headphones) your best bet is:

1. Find a really, really good set of audio earbuds

2. Listen to a white noise program on your mobile device (I'm partial to White Noise Pro, on my iPhone and iPad)

If you're in hopes of canceling noise to sleep, begin using the app each night at home (with or without earbuds) about two weeks before departure, acclimating yourself to it. Makes a BIG difference.

I use White Noise Pro for both sound canceling and my alarm in hotels. Given how often that is, the custom mix I created has a Pavlovian effect. I hear it...I sleep.

Hope that helps...happy travels!
__________________
How many pairs of hotel spa slippers is considered “excessive” in one’s closet at home?
PaperQueen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 10, 13, 2:19 pm   #4
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Programs: BAEC Silver (woo! hoo!), LH M&M Member
Posts: 2,399
For normal, regular earplugs I swear by silicone earplugs, and in particular the brand "BioEars".

On flights I squish those into my ears then use ear covering noise-cancelling headphones (although I'm tempted to try the white-noise idea, thanks).

Nothing is going to get rid of all the noise but this certainly cuts out a huge amount.
NeverFirst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 10, 13, 3:04 pm   #5
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Maryland
Programs: ET, SB, NSPA, OIL, AOR, DAOPA, HH
Posts: 405
Thanks for the tip on the white noise app. I just downloaded one of them onto my iphone. I am going to try it next week when I get on a particularly painful journey.
arjunrc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 10, 13, 3:26 pm   #6
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: SFO/JFK
Programs: AA EXP 0.6MM, UA 2P, Starwood Gold
Posts: 285
Radians custom ear plug kit, about $10 on Amazon. Very comfy and stays in ear better than off the shelf plugs.

There are some reports of the silicone not solidifying properly (read the reviews), so I tested it by mixing a little of the compound beforehand and had no problems.
sithjedi333 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 10, 13, 3:28 pm   #7
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 573
I'm confused by the recommendation of white noise to drown out mechanical noise. White noise adds noise and does and can drown out other noise sources, but doesn't quiet noises.

Passive blocking (ear plugs, tight fitting earbuds, full ear headphones to varying degrees) and active noise cancelling (playing frequencies that attempt to counter the noises that the included microphone hears) both effectively block engine droning and mechanical sounds.

Only passive blocking stops conversations, crying, etc... White noise will drown these out, but is effectively adding noise.

I often use cheap, disposable (though I use them several times) foam ear plugs as passive blocking. I'll occasionally wear them with active headphones over them (though I'm contemplating a pair of active ear bugs). If I want to listen to something, I tend to use etymotic earbuds (passive cancellation). But I find that I need to turn the volume on the source down very very low because these go well into my ear. If the static noise level in the source is high (e.g. airplane av systems, some computers, etc...) I sometimes use the active headphones instead.

The great thing about earplugs and passive measures in general is that I can use them from boarding to deplaning, without worrying about electronics restrictions. Especially for redyes where I endeavor to sleep from the gate until landing.
oshelef is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 10, 13, 3:32 pm   #8
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 945
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaperQueen View Post
2. Listen to a white noise program on your mobile device (I'm partial to White Noise Pro, on my iPhone and iPad)

If you're in hopes of canceling noise to sleep, begin using the app each night at home (with or without earbuds) about two weeks before departure, acclimating yourself to it. Makes a BIG difference.

I use White Noise Pro for both sound canceling and my alarm in hotels. Given how often that is, the custom mix I created has a Pavlovian effect. I hear it...I sleep.

Hope that helps...happy travels!
Great tip! Will give this a shot in the upcoming weeks.
vecta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 10, 13, 8:42 pm   #9
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Programs: NH Plat
Posts: 578
Quote:
Originally Posted by sithjedi333 View Post
Radians custom ear plug kit, about $10 on Amazon. Very comfy and stays in ear better than off the shelf plugs.

There are some reports of the silicone not solidifying properly (read the reviews), so I tested it by mixing a little of the compound beforehand and had no problems.
Professional-made custom earplugs and earphone sleeves are amazing at noise isolation and are extremely comfortable. However, they are expensive. DIY kits can also give excellent results. Radians and other similar kits appear to be small packs of 2-part medical grade firm silicon; like the type dentists use for impressions. 1kg of this can be had for less than $10 so these packs have a nice mark-up. Problems with solidifying are likely to be issues with mixing. The temperature will also affect set times, so use from fridge if you want to have longer to play with the fit.

Last edited by BalbC; Mar 18, 13 at 6:43 pm.
BalbC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 10, 13, 9:29 pm   #10
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: BKK
Programs: UA MP 1K, Priority Pass, SPG Gold, Hyatt Platinum
Posts: 287
Quote:
Originally Posted by arjunrc View Post
I first bought a passive noise cancellation earbud. Based on my experience, you need to push the passive ones too far in for them to work. If you want to go that way, I was told etymotic research was good. So I bought them. It was ok.

I later switched to $60 audiotechnica active noise cancellation ear plugs. They are not bulky at all and found them to do a much better job.

I am a single bag person and these are as compact as any passive ear bud ones.
I agree. I have the previous model Audio Technica earbuds as Arjunrc, and they come in a nice compact case only about 8"x3"x1.5" when closed. Every major brand, Sony, Panasonic, etc, makes active noise cancelling earbuds. You don't have to buy the big over ear ones. The large over ear ones like the Bose are better, but I'm fine with the small size and effectiveness of active noise cancelling earbuds. I also like that you can rest the side of your head on things since they are not big cans on the outside of your head. And i'm with you those bog haedphones, even in their case take up way too much carry on briefcase space.

Noise isolation earbuds on airplanes are not as effective as active noise cancelling because of all the vibration noise.
dko3tgk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 11, 13, 9:02 am   #11
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by dko3tgk View Post
I agree. I have the previous model Audio Technica earbuds as Arjunrc, and they come in a nice compact case only about 8"x3"x1.5" when closed. Every major brand, Sony, Panasonic, etc, makes active noise cancelling earbuds. You don't have to buy the big over ear ones. The large over ear ones like the Bose are better, but I'm fine with the small size and effectiveness of active noise cancelling earbuds. I also like that you can rest the side of your head on things since they are not big cans on the outside of your head. And i'm with you those bog haedphones, even in their case take up way too much carry on briefcase space.

Noise isolation earbuds on airplanes are not as effective as active noise cancelling because of all the vibration noise.
The big headphones also make wearing glasses uncomfortable.
Rusearch is online now   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 11, 13, 10:36 am   #12
 
Join Date: May 2012
Programs: UA Gold
Posts: 66
I'm following this thread with interest, since I would like something more compact then the Bose over the ear.

I'm trying to decide between air buds or one of the recommended ear buds in the thread, so this has been really helpful

The home remedy example may have solved my problem with sleeping at home (I'm a very light sleeper) My girlfriend (soon to be wife) does snore like a freight train, and the foam earplugs don't cut it.

Thanks!
ck777 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 11, 13, 2:05 pm   #13
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Tundra Land (MSP)
Programs: DL Plat, DL SkyClub, SPG Plat, HH Diamond, National Emerald Exec
Posts: 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by arjunrc View Post
Thanks for the tip on the white noise app. I just downloaded one of them onto my iphone. I am going to try it next week when I get on a particularly painful journey.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vecta View Post
Great tip! Will give this a shot in the upcoming weeks.
Hey, happy to help. FlyerTalk's been good to me...feels nice to "give back."

If you've downloaded White Noise Pro, try mixing 2x brown noise + 1x white (if on an iPad), then push the sound icons toward the lower left edge of the radius.

If using an iPhone, mix brown + white, then dial the white volume down quite a bit.

For some reason, lower tones seem to mask engine noise better...at least that's the recipe that works for me. (No affiliation with the developer...just the world's lightest sleeper.)

Play at will.
__________________
How many pairs of hotel spa slippers is considered “excessive” in one’s closet at home?
PaperQueen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 11, 13, 3:08 pm   #14
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: BUR
Programs: AA, UA, SWA, US, OZ, BA, SPG ... Banned from Delta forever
Posts: 413
Etymotic works best for me. They don't block out low frequencies as but I dont lolike hearing the constant hiss from active noise canceling phones. Make sure to get the plug that fit your ear. They comes with different kinds.
Mellonc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 12, 13, 1:24 pm   #15
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by ck777 View Post
I'm following this thread with interest, since I would like something more compact then the Bose over the ear.

I'm trying to decide between air buds or one of the recommended ear buds in the thread, so this has been really helpful

The home remedy example may have solved my problem with sleeping at home (I'm a very light sleeper) My girlfriend (soon to be wife) does snore like a freight train, and the foam earplugs don't cut it.

Thanks!
If your ears are used to them, in ear monitors are much better than regular ear buds for isolation. They're also safer for your ears as you don't need to crank the volume as high to be able to hear the recording.

Etymotics are probably the best for isolation outside of custom in ear monitors. They do go pretty deep into your ear. It'll take a while to get used to (you might have to wear them for short periods at first, then start wearing them for longer), but with a good seal, it cuts out a whole lot of noise.
jamescho is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Bookmarks


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 4:28 pm.