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Noise keeps you up at night? The Audiophiliac has the cure

For a better night's sleep a good set of ear plugs will keep you in dreamland.

I'm a light sleeper, and I live in Brooklyn, New York, so when a fire engine races past my apartment at 3 a.m., or the garbage trucks arrive at 5:15 a.m., I'm going to wake up. Then, a few weeks ago city construction workers started digging up my street at 11 p.m., and continued making a racket till 4 a.m.!

It was that night that I started to experiment with wearing ear plugs to bed, but better late than never. I first tried my everyday Etymotic ER20 Ety Plugs and Sensaphonic ER ear plugs which are both designed to reduce sound of all frequencies evenly, so when I wear them at concerts I can still enjoy the music. Those plugs don't dull the treble, they just reduce the overall sound level. The Ety plugs are excellent, but since they each have a plastic stick that extends out from my ears for easy insertion and removal, I couldn't sleep on my side with the ER20 Ety Plugs in my ears. The Sensaphonic ER plugs were flush with my ears, and were more comfortable overall. They worked amazingly well hushing the construction street noise.

3M E-A-R Classic Ear Plugs


The construction continued the next night, and I was ready, with another set of plugs, the Howard Leight Max Lites. These soft little green plugs did a much better job blocking noise than the ER20 Etys and ER Senssaphonics, but I would never use them at a concert. The Max Lites totally dulled the treble, which is why the Lites let me sleep as machines tore up the asphalt! These go for $21.74, £22.99 for 200 pairs on Amazon!

I also tried 3M E-A-R Classic Ear Plugs, which sell for $7.32, £3.79 for 30 pairs of plugs on Amazon. The Howard Leight and 3M plugs worked equally well blocking the din, but while I found the 3M plugs more comfortable, my wife prefered the Howard Leight's. Both plugs work great on the NYC subway, and block noise more completely then even the best noise-canceling headphones.

Still, for loud concerts (and lately they're all too loud) I prefer the ER20 Ety Plugs or the Sensaphonic ERs because they don't dull the treble. For superior overall noise hushing I recommend the 3M E-A-R Classic Ear Plugs and Howard Leight Max Lites. They'll always have a place on my night stand next to my bed. When the neighbors' parties go on to the wee small hours, I won't mind a bit!