Im sat here thinking about earplugs...as random as it is when I'm sat here on the taxi rank waiting for my next "punter" I find myself gazing out the window staring into nothingness, deep in thought about those little foam things you poke in your ears to shut the world up...
Over the last last decade or so, I have gone from never wearing them to sometimes wearing them, to always wearing them. I now find myself looking at various types of earplugs and the pros and cons of each type or brand. There is so much choice out there.
Some look good, some have a great sound killing rating(dB), others are more comfortable, some allow ambient (low level noises). So what do you pick?
Clearly it's a personal choice. Ive always liked the little squishy pink and yellow Laser ones, however, they dont offer the best available sound deadening...The 3M ones that are yellow cone shaped things are far bigger (almost 3 times the size) but offer the best available protection (from earplugs of this style). i am currently using these 3M ones but find after a few hours they are ready to fall out and after a couple of uses they are destined for the file labelled LITTER.
I find myself now beginning to look at the newer Personal Gel Moulded ones that you near choke over the price of when you look at them. They range from £65 to over £250 per set. But they are guaranteed to fit your specific ear as they have been made from a mould taken from each ear. The £65 ones give you a basic complete numbness to everything around you by blocking all sound as best as possible. But according to the dB Attenuation they are no better than a basic set of plugs, other than the fitment being more "secure". The more expensive ranges then vary from having built in headphones to having sound filters that allow certain low level (Hz) noises through allowing you to hear audio instructions from satnavs and music along with general chat amongst yourselves when stopped without haveing to remove the earplugs. Most companies keep your ear profile on record too so if you lose one they can just mould a replacement and bill you half the price and ship it out. Although they do recomend taking a new mould if its been longer than a few years as your ears apparently never stop growing, but thats a different topic altogether.
So now i sit here as xmas fast approaches, in a dilema, do i order a set as a xmas gift to myself or stick with the tried and tested use and replace squishy ones...