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by Thomas M. Sipos, managing editor  [February 11, 2024]




[]  I am very sensitive to sound, and have used many different types of ear plugs over the years. Protechs had long been my favorite, because of its unique fibrous material.

The most effective way to deaden sound, I have found, was to coat my ears with a 50/50 mix of rubbing alcohol and vinegar (which kills bacteria that can cause ear infections). Then I would slide a Protechs ear plug into my wet ear, then press it down, compressing it into a small piece. This would leave room for me to place wax ear plugs atop the Protechs, which further deadens any sound.

Unlike other foam ear plugs, Protechs used a fibrous material that was easy to compress. But now Protechs has changed its ear plugs using the same cheap, rubbery material as many competing brands. Protechs claims on its container: "Now softer for more comfort!"

Well, they're not more comfortable. The old fibrous ear plugs were more comfortable, compressed or not.

I assume the real reason Protechs change its material was because it was cheaper to manufacture, as so many competing brands use the same cheap rubbery material. So there are many more factories set up to mass produce this cheaper type of ear plug.

Protechs's new ear plugs are less comfortable. Worse, they can't be compressed as easily, so as to allow me to place wax ear plugs atop them. And if I do try to compress them, they're really uncomfortable.

These photos comparing the old fibrous and new rubbery Protechs ear plugs depict the difference:



Curiously, the old Protechs came in a larger container, though both containers hold 100 pairs of ear plugs. I assume this is because the old ear plugs were wider.


Read more about the Weekly Universe editorial team's consumer reporting in Hollywood Witches!




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