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3M E-A-R Ear Plugs - The leader in hearing protection for over 40 years |

3M E-A-R ear plugs, the leader in hearing protection for over 40 years

The classic, cylindrical 3M™ E-A-R Classic™ ear plug has been protecting the hearing of workers in high noise environments for the last 40 years.Developed in the late 1960’s at the National Research Corporation by chemist Ross Gardener Jr, the Classic Ear Plug has remained unchanged ever since.

Gardener had developed a new vinyl material with exceptional high energy absorption properties and was looking for an appropriate use. Remembering lessons he had learned from an acoustic consultant he decided to make foam ear plugs.The now classic, cylindrical design was quickly arrived upon for its ability to be easily compressed and reform to fit almost any ear canal. By 1972 the first commercially available E-A-R™ ear plug was introduced and over 40 years later it remains one of the worlds best selling single use hearing protection products.

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The 3M™ E-A-R™ Classic Ear Plug has remained unchanged for over 40 years due to the incredible properties of the slow recovery foam vinyl from which they are constructed.


The flat ended cylindrical shape of the Classic Ear Plug allows it to be securely inserted into the ear canal and remain there even while subjected to deformation caused by talking or eating. The unique vinyl foam is both sweat and humidity resistant which ensures a slow and comfortable expansion each and every time; regardless of the environment you are working in. The textured surface of the Classic Ear Plug increases friction between the ear plug and the ear canal preventing it from slipping during strenuous use and therefore maintaining its seal and protection from excessive noise.


Attenuation is the measure of the amount of noise reduction achieved by an ear plug or other hearing protection device. The E-A-R™ Classic Ear Plug has been subjected to many real world attenuation studies comparing laboratory generated data with field performance and has consistently outperformed other ear plugs. The slow recovery vinyl foam construction has been tested in 5 countries, in over 30 laboratories involving over 600 participants – more than any other foam construction ear plugs. Each pair of E-A-R™ ear plugs is CE marked and conforms to all relevant EU directives.


The firmness of the vinyl foam of the 3M™ E-A-R™ Classic Ear Plug is integral to its outstanding noise reducing properties. Too firm and the ear plug would become uncomfortable for the wearer and sit awkwardly in the ear canal, affecting attenuation. Too soft and the ear plug would collapse or fold during insertion. The foams firmness allows it to be quickly rolled and inserted securely into the ear and its slow recovery allows it to gently adapt to the users unique ear canal providing maximum comfort and attenuation.

The E-A-R™brand has continued to expand and innovate the world of hearing protection and the brand now boasts several additional products including Banded Ear Plugs, Corded Ear Plugs and Detectable Ear Plugs to suit any hearing protection need.

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