Ear Tip Insertion

Importance of proper insertion

  • For effective noise reduction, it is ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL that you properly insert the ear tips.

    It may take some trial and error, but when they’re properly inserted, you should get a level of noise reduction that meets or exceeds traditional headsets.

Step 1

Roll the ear tip in between your finger

Step 2

Pull the top of your ear upwards with one hand to straighten out the ear canal

Step 3

While holding your ear up, use your other hand to insert the rolled-up tip deep into the ear (while still maintaining the ability to pull the ear plug out if needed).

Tutorial videos

Tips and tricks

  • For comprehensive tips and tricks specific to the 3M™ E•A•R® Foam Earplugs, we recommend the following guide:

Tips & Tools for Fitting and Using E•A•R® Foam Earplugs

To summarize some important tips for us as pilots:

– “Begin by rolling the plug into a very thin crease-free cylinder. The cylinder should be as small in diameter as possible, that is, as tightly compressed as you can make it. Do not worry about hurting the plug — it is designed to be compressed in this way.”

– “Crease-free rolling is accomplished by squeezing lightly as you begin rolling, then applying progressively greater pressure as the plug becomes more tightly compressed. Make sure you roll (not twist), the plug into a cylinder rather than any other shape such as a cone or a ball.”

– “Once an E•A•R plug has been properly rolled and compressed, immediately insert it well into the earcanal. The importance of compressing the plug tightly is that insertion into the earcanal can only be achieved when the plug’s diameter is less than the canal’s. The plug then slides easily into place (Figure 5). As with all earplugs, fitting is easier if the earcanal is straightened and enlarged by pulling the outer ear (pinna) outward and upward during insertion (see Figure 6). Pull the pinna firmly, usually in the direction the ear extends from the head. Don’t just press it flat against the skull.”

– “After insertion, it may be necessary to hold the plug in place with a fingertip for a few moments until it begins to expand and block the noise”

– “Once a plug has begun to expand, neither pushing nor twisting it will improve its fit. If the initial fit is inadequate, remove the plug, reroll it, and try again.”

– “Finally, the plugs’ noise reduction can be tested subjectively by pressing firmly cupped hands over the ears while listening to a steady noise. With properly fitted plugs the noise levels should seem nearly the same whether or not the ears are covered.”

– “The primary causes of poorly fitted E•A•R plugs are inadequate roll-downs, and/or too much delay between roll-down and insertion.”


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