Loop Earplugs Are the Best $35 You Can Spend to Improve Your Focus

So says one besotted PureWow editor

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loop earplugs review purewow100
Abby Hepworth
  • Value: 20/20
  • Functionality: 20/20
  • Ease of Use: 17/20
  • Aesthetics: 20/20
  • Sound Clarity: 19/20

TOTAL: 96/100

This past winter, I went out dancing with friends and found my ears were ringing by the time I got home. This was pretty normal for me—I’ve grown to accept that concerts and dancehalls aren’t doing my ears any favors—but the following morning I went to a workout class that also had music blaring, and let me tell you my ears were not happy. I was venting to my husband about the pitfalls of growing older as the ringing continued long into the evening when he started to wax poetic yet again about his Loop earplugs. The man had been raving about them since November, but finally I relented and decided to test them out for myself. And you know what, reader? I’ve gotta admit, Loop earplugs are 100 percent worth the hype.

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Together, my husband, Brian, and I tested three different Loop earplug styles. I wore the Loop Experience earplugs ($35) and the Loop Quiet earplugs ($30) for a variety of occasions over the past three months, and Brian tested the Loop Engage earplugs ($35) over the past six months. We’ve worn them at concert venues both big and small, while hanging with friends at crowded bars and restaurants, while working out at Barry’s Bootcamp and while commuting on subways of NYC. In Brian’s case, he’s also worn his earplugs on occasions when his tinnitus is acting up to tamper the effects.

The Loop Engage model is designed for managing everyday noise and has a noise reduction rating of 10 dB (decibels). It’s what works best if you want to better hear what your friends are saying in a bar at happy hour or if you have a hard time tuning out the screaming and giggling of children at the park when trying to connect with the other parents. The Experience model is best for concerts or other loud events when you want to maintain as much clarity as possible while still protection your eardrums. It has a noise reduction rating of 7 dB. And lastly, the Quiet earplugs are a dream for folks who want to reduce noise as much as possible while traveling, commuting or even napping, and have a noise reduction rating of 14 dB.

purewow100 loop earplugs review abby
Abby Hepworth

When I first opened the package containing my Loop earplugs I found included a handy, lightweight carrying case (with a stretchy loop you can easily slip onto a keyring) and two earplugs with four size options for the rubber tip. The earplugs come pre-fitted with the medium size, which fit Brian well, but I ended up swapping mine for one size down. I will say, swapping sizes is not the easiest, and I had to fiddle with them for a minute or two before they would snap on. But once they were in place, I felt very confident they wouldn’t come slipping off the base, no matter how hard I was dancing or sweating. And the case loop proved more important than I realized—because I could hang these on my keys without much fuss, I never forgot them at home, unlike my earbuds, which I am constantly leaving behind.

The next challenge, after resizing, came when I first attempted to put my earplugs in my ears. The two earplugs are identical (there’s not designation between left and right), but I could not for the life of me get them to sit correctly or comfortably. I felt like a dope asking Brian to teach me how to insert earplugs, but watching another person do it actually made significantly more sense. “It’s not entirely intuitive,” he admits, “though some people may get it right away.”

I may have struggled a bit with the set-up, but once it came time to actually use the earplugs I swiftly fell in love with how simple yet effective they are. All three models deliver on exactly what they promise to do, while remaining comfortable and conveniently portable. For the Enagage and Experience earplugs, Brian and I both found it easier to focus on the things that needed focusing (our friends’ voices, my Barry’s instructor’s direction) while tuning out the excess junk that made it so hard to hear in the first place (glasses clinking, general chatter, the base thumping, etc.). And Quiet earplugs gave me peace of mind to relax and tune my mind inward while on the subway or in our open floorplan office. They were a welcome alternative to music or podcasts on days when all I really wanted was silence.


That said, none of the earplugs fully silenced our surroundings. They allow just enough background to keep you aware and in touch with your surroundings, so you won’t feel disoriented or off balance. They do, however, avoid one of the biggest pitfalls with earplugs, which is a sort of blocked ear sensation called ‘occlusion,’ wherein your own voice or breath is amplified. “I never feel overly distracted by my own noises,” Brian tells me about the Engage earplugs, and I can say the same for both the Quiet and Experience versions.

As for aesthetics, Loop earplugs are barely noticeable and lay flat within your ear when properly inserted so they don’t stick out on the sides in any way. The colorful options feel like a cute, but still subtle, accessory. Most of the time my friends don’t even notice I’m wearing them.

Bottom line, Loop earplugs do exactly what they promise to do, for all the models tested. “They’re comfortable, have clean noise reduction and are incredibly portable,” notes Brian. They’ve successfully prevented that ear ringing sensation after concerts, loud weddings and late night dancing. They’ve made it easier to tune in to and focus on my friends’ funny stories and keep me comfortable while working out in a high intensity fitness class. All for just $35.



Abby Hepworth is an RRCA-certified running coach who has worked in fashion for over 10 years. Want to know what shoes are in this season? She's got you. Need recommendations on...

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