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3M™ E-A-R™ Classic™ Ear Plugs

Discover what makes 3M™ E-A-R™ Classic™ ear plugs different

As the world's first foam ear plug, the 3M E-A-R Classic ear plug revolutionised hearing protection in the workplace. Since its introduction to the market no other ear plug has been studied and assessed in the field more comprehensively than the 3M E-A-R Classic. Explore this site and discover what makes the 3M E-A-R Classic ear plug so different and why it remains one of the most popular choices of ear plug in the world today for attenuation, comfort and ease-of-fit. 3M E-A-R Classic ear plugs are available in three different sizes and a wide range of packaging options (pdf) to better meet the needs of the individual wearer.

 
Product Catalogue

Product Catalogue

View our catalogue for ordering information on the Classic Ear plug.

Product Catalogue

Featured Videos

Featured Videos

Discover what makes the 3M E-A-R™ Classic ear plug different by watching our product video. You'll also find videos on how to correctly fit our ear plugs.

See More

History

History

The 3M™ E-A-R™ Classic™ ear plugs are a textbook example of an invention so fit for purpose that the need for redesign has not been necessary. This seemingly simple but revolutionary product was the brainchild of Ross Gardner Jr., a chemist at the National Research Corporation (NRC) in the late 1960s.

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Attenuation – the measure of protection

Attenuation is the measure of sound reduction levels achieved by a hearing protector. Attenuation levels of a foam ear plug can be affected by the chemistry of the material used, this includes its density, the foam cell structure as well its physical shape. The attenuation values of 3M™ E-A-R™ Classic™ earplug are provided below:

High-performance Classic foam


The E-A-R Classic foam is a proprietary slow recovery vinyl formulation engineered specifically to protect against noise and vibration. When inserted into the ear, the compressed cylindrical polymer plug slowly expands to conform to the individual's ear canal shape thereby providing an effective acoustic seal.

  • Reliable protection: E-A-R Classic earplugs have been subject to many 'real world' attenuation studies looking at the comparison between laboratory generated data and field performance. See complete attenuation data below.
  • Independently tested and approved: E-A-R Classic earplugs are fully tested and CE approved against the Harmonised European Standard EN352-2:1993 by an accredited test and certification body (INSPEC International). The E-A-R Classic earplug has been tested in more than 30 laboratories worldwide, more than any other foam earplug.
  • Proven performance: The E-A-R Classic earplug has consistently outperformed other earplugs in a dozen 'real world' studies, in 5 countries, with over 600 subjects.
  • Individual protection validation: The unique 3M E-A-RFit™ Validation System* allows individual users of the E-A-R Classic earplugs to obtain their own Personal Attenuation Rating to help ensure best fit and protection.

*In one published study (Berger, Voix, and Hager 2008) the field attenuation measured using the EARfit Validation System on the E-A-R Classic earplug more closely approximated labeled test data based on laboratory measurements, than did the results for a competitive polyurethane style foam earplug.

Attenuation values (3M E-A-R Classic earplug - Uncorded):

3M E-A-R Classic uncorded earplug attenuation values table

SNR = 28dB   H = 30dB   M = 24dB   L = 22dB

Attenuation values (3M E-A-R Classic earplug - Corded):

3M E-A-R Classic uncorded earplug attenuation values table

SNR = 29dB   H = 30dB   M = 26dB   L = 23dB



Mf = Mean attenuation value
sf = Standard deviation
APVf = Assumed Protection Value

 
Product Catalogue

Product Catalogue

View our catalogue for ordering information on the Classic Ear plug.

Product Catalogue

Featured Videos

Featured Videos

Discover what makes the 3M E-A-R™ Classic ear plug different by watching our product video. You'll also find videos on how to correctly fit our ear plugs.

See More

History

History

The 3M™ E-A-R™ Classic™ ear plugs are a textbook example of an invention so fit for purpose that the need for redesign has not been necessary. This seemingly simple but revolutionary product was the brainchild of Ross Gardner Jr., a chemist at the National Research Corporation (NRC) in the late 1960s.

Read more

What makes a comfortable earplug?

The comfort of an earplug cannot be assessed by its look or feel. The only true measure of comfort is the one the user experiences in-ear, by wearing it.

The 3M™ E-A-R™ Classic™ earplug has a number of unique in-ear characteristics which are determined by their shape, density, texture and resistance to moisture. These combine to ensure all-day comfort and protection in a wide range of working environments.

Built-in comfort

  • Cylindrical shape: Flat-end cylindrical ear plugs helps provide an effective seal even when the jaw is subject to constant movement thereby providing 'customisation' to best fit the changing dynamics of the ear canal when, for example, talking or eating.
  • Sweat and humidity resistant: E-A-R Classic foam is resistant to moisture, preventing the ear plugs expanding too quickly which can make it harder to re-insert the ear plug into the ear canal.
  • Stays in place: The textured surface of the E-A-R Classic earplug provides greater friction which improves grip inside the ear canal. This helps prevent slippage and maintains an effective seal over prolonged wear time.
 
Product Catalogue

Product Catalogue

View our catalogue for ordering information on the Classic Ear plug.

Product Catalogue

Featured Videos

Featured Videos

Discover what makes the 3M E-A-R™ Classic ear plug different by watching our product video. You'll also find videos on how to correctly fit our ear plugs.

See More

History

History

The 3M™ E-A-R™ Classic™ ear plugs are a textbook example of an invention so fit for purpose that the need for redesign has not been necessary. This seemingly simple but revolutionary product was the brainchild of Ross Gardner Jr., a chemist at the National Research Corporation (NRC) in the late 1960s.

Read more

Why is ease-of-fit so important?

Every ear canal is unique. Which is why ease-of-fit is so important in optimising hearing protection. This is where the vinyl foam of the 3M™ E-A-R™ Classic™ earplug has a material advantage over other foam plugs. Its unique properties achieve the perfect balance between stiffness and softness, helping to ensure a custom and comfortable fit, every time.

Designed to fit

  • Firm foam properties: The stiffness of the E-A-R Classic earplugs strikes an optimum balance between the softness needed for comfort and the firmness that prevents the ear plug collapsing or folding when inserted into the ear canal.
  • Roll down quickly and easily: E-A-R Classic earplugs roll down into a tightly compressed cylinder, making them easier to insert into the ear canal.
  • Slow recovery foam: Slow recovery helps ensure a good custom fit inside virtually all ear canals.
  • Fits most ear-canals: The standard-sized E-A-R Classic earplug fits a wide range of ear canals. Also available from 3M are the 3M™ E-A-R™ Classic Small™ earplugs for narrow ear canals, and the 3M™ E-A-R™ Superfit 36 earplugs for larger ear canals.
 
Product Catalogue

Product Catalogue

View our catalogue for ordering information on the Classic Ear plug.

Product Catalogue

Featured Videos

Featured Videos

Discover what makes the 3M E-A-R™ Classic ear plug different by watching our product video. You'll also find videos on how to correctly fit our ear plugs.

See More

History

History

The 3M™ E-A-R™ Classic™ ear plugs are a textbook example of an invention so fit for purpose that the need for redesign has not been necessary. This seemingly simple but revolutionary product was the brainchild of Ross Gardner Jr., a chemist at the National Research Corporation (NRC) in the late 1960s.

Read more

E-A-RFit™ Validation - taking hearing protection to the next level

In order to help ensure individual workers are protected against noise-induced hearing loss it is vital to select the right product for the work environment and then fit-test the user to ensure they know how to correctly fit the product.

3M's unique 3M™ E-A-Rfit™ Validation System allows you to do this by generating a personal attenuation rating (PAR) for each worker for a given 3M ear plug. This provides you with a powerful training and motivational tool to help achieve optimum protection. The system can also help determine if adequate protection is achieved in relation to the workplace noise hazard.

Designed by researchers at our Indianapolis Laboratory Centre of Excellence and validated by 3M's E-A-RCal Laboratory, this objective test procedure differs from many other systems on the market in that it provides quantitative data that doesn't rely on subject response. The objective measurements are typically carried out in less than 10 seconds per ear and include seven different test frequencies (125 Hz - 8 kHz). This measurement can quickly reveal if the chosen ear plug is adequate for the workplace noise hazard and whether there are any further training needs on correct fitting and usage.

 
Product Catalogue

Product Catalogue

View our catalogue for ordering information on the Classic Ear plug.

Product Catalogue

Featured Videos

Featured Videos

Discover what makes the 3M E-A-R™ Classic ear plug different by watching our product video. You'll also find videos on how to correctly fit our ear plugs.

See More

History

History

The 3M™ E-A-R™ Classic™ ear plugs are a textbook example of an invention so fit for purpose that the need for redesign has not been necessary. This seemingly simple but revolutionary product was the brainchild of Ross Gardner Jr., a chemist at the National Research Corporation (NRC) in the late 1960s.

Read more

A Classic in the making

Ross Gardner Jr
Ross Gardner Jr

The 3M™ E-A-R™ Classic™ ear plugs are a textbook example of an invention so fit for purpose that the need for redesign has not been necessary. This seemingly simple but revolutionary product was the brainchild of Ross Gardner Jr., a chemist at the National Research Corporation (NRC) in the late 1960s.

Gardner was looking for a use for a new vinyl material he had developed which had exceptionally high energy absorption characteristics. Drawing on lessons learned through association with an acoustical consultant, he decided to try making foam ear plugs.

He quickly arrived at the cylindrical design, which could be compressed for easy insertion, and in 1972, after NRC was acquired by Cabot Corporation, the first E-A-R™ foam ear plugs were commercially introduced. Thanks to their exceptional combination of comfort and attenuation, they rapidly became - and remain to this day - one of the world's best-selling hearing protectors.

In April 1990, the E-A-R Division of Cabot Corporation became part of Aearo Technologies which was subsequently acquired by 3M in 2008. 3M continues to strive to develop products that are safe, comfortable, protective, and easy to use, and to maintain the E-A-R Classic ear plug's place at the vanguard of hearing protection.

 
Product Catalogue

Product Catalogue

View our catalogue for ordering information on the Classic Ear plug.

Product Catalogue

Featured Videos

Featured Videos

Discover what makes the 3M E-A-R™ Classic ear plug different by watching our product video. You'll also find videos on how to correctly fit our ear plugs.

See More

History

History

The 3M™ E-A-R™ Classic™ ear plugs are a textbook example of an invention so fit for purpose that the need for redesign has not been necessary. This seemingly simple but revolutionary product was the brainchild of Ross Gardner Jr., a chemist at the National Research Corporation (NRC) in the late 1960s.

Read more

 

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Education and Tools

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