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Ear Plugs

Army Female With Hearing DeviceTraditional ear plugs are effective in eliminating hazardous noise from entering the ear canal, but can interfere with mission communication requirements, such as speech communication or low-level combat sounds. Level-dependent ear plugs were created to help address these issues.

Level-dependent ear plugs have a small filter that enables soft noises to be conveyed with full strength while eliminating hazardous steady-state or impulse noise. This allows Service members to hear key verbal and combat sounds and reduces dangerous noise levels, such as explosions or machine gun fire.

Keep in mind that ear plugs provide freedom to move around and communicate verbally. They’re easily transportable and can be used in a variety of situations. Ear plugs provide less noise reduction than aviator helmets or headphones and are only recommended for operating aircraft or combat vehicles in combination with other hearing protection devices.

Ear plugs should be placed snugly in the ear canal so they completely block the canal. When correctly in place, a seal will form between the surface of the skin in the outer ear canal and the ear plug. To test the ear plug, talk and listen to the sound of your voice. If it’s working effectively, your voice will seem louder and slightly muffled.

Additionally, you may notice a vacuum sensation or feeling of backpressure in the ear canal. This is normal. To make sure the ear plugs fit and are in place correctly, follow the device’s insertion instructions or ask a specialist to check their fit.

Ear plugs come in many forms and are widely used across the military. Each type of ear plug has its own advantages and applications. Check with your installation for a list of available options.

Ear Plugs Collage

Types of Ear Plugs

Ear Plug Type & Size Nomenclature NSN Fitting Requirements
Triple-flange (Small) Ear plug, hearing protection, triple-flange, 12 pairs/package 6515-00-442-4821 For small-size fits. (~10%)
Size fitting REQUIRED (contact local HPM)
Triple-flange (Medium) Ear plug, hearing protection, triple-flange, 12 pairs/package 6515-00-442-4818 For medium-size fits. (~85%)
Size fitting REQUIRED. (Contact local HPM.)
Triple-flange (Large) Ear plug, hearing protection, triple-flange, 12 pairs/package 6515-00-467-0092 For large-size fits. (~5%)
Size fitting REQUIRED. (Contact local HPM.)
Elvex Quad-flange (Regular size fits most.) Ear plug, hearing protection, quad-flange, 100 pairs/box 6515-01-492-0443 Regular size fits most. (~90%)
Size fitting REQUIRED. (Contact local HPM.)
Howard Leight Quad-flange (Small) Ear plug, hearing protection, quad-flange, 100 pairs/box 6515-01-461-7931 For small-size fits. (~10%)
Size fitting REQUIRED. (Contact local HPM.)
Combat Arms Ear plug (Small, O.D. Green) Combat Arms Ear plug (single-ended), 100 pairs/box 6515-01-576-8837 For small-size fits. (~20%)
Size fitting REQUIRED. (Contact local HPM.)
Combat Arms Ear plug (Regular, Desert Tan) Combat Arms Ear plug (Single-ended), 100 pairs/box 6515-01-576-8861 For regular-size fits. (~70%)
Size fitting REQUIRED. (Contact local HPM.)
Combat Arms Ear plug (Large, Coyote Brown) Combat Arms Ear plug (Single-ended), 100 pairs/box 6515-01-57-8869 For large-size fits. (~10%)
Size fitting REQUIRED. (Contact local HPM.)
Sound Guard Foam Ear plugs, Hand formed Ear plug, hearing protection, foam, 200 pairs/box (orange/green color) 6515-00-137-6345 Medium size fits most. Orange color must not show after insertion. For disposable, “back-up” use.
Amigo (Small) Foam Ear plugs, Hand formed Ear plug, hearing protection, Foam, 200 pairs/box (yellow-orange-yellow color) CS7981730-WYSTVH, GSA #:
GS-06F-0070R
For small ear canals. Orange ring must not show after insertion. For disposable, “back-up” use.
Grande (Large) Foam Ear plugs, Hand formed Ear plug, hearing protection, foam, 200 pairs/box (yellow-orange-yellow color CS7981729-WYST19, GSA #: GS-06F-0070R For large ear canals. Orange ring must not show after insertion. For disposable, “back-up” use.
Plug Ear Foam Tipped (Small)
Surefire, LLC
Ear plug, hearing protection, foam, 25 pairs/box 6515-01-622-1984 For small-size fits. (~20%)
Size fitting REQUIRED. (Contact local HPM.)
Plug Ear Foam Tipped (Medium)
Surefire, LLC
Ear plug, hearing protection, foam, 25 pairs/box 6515-01-622-2539 For regular-size fits. (~70%)
Size fitting REQUIRED. (Contact local HPM.)
Plug Ear Foam Tipped (Large)
Surefire, LLC
Ear plug, hearing protection, foam, 25 pairs/box 6515-01-622-2558 For large-size fits. (~10%)
Size fitting REQUIRED. (Contact local HPM.)
Battleplugs Impulse Ear plug (Small) Ear plug, hearing protection, 50 pairs/box 426-4J, 6497 For small-size fits. (~20%)
Size fitting REQUIRED. (Contact local HPM.)
Battleplugs Impulse Ear plug (Medium) Ear plug, hearing protection, 50 pairs/box 426-4J, 6498 For regular-size fits. (~70%)
Size fitting REQUIRED. (Contact local HPM.)
Battleplugs Impulse Ear plug (Large) Ear plug, hearing protection, 50 pairs/box 426-4J, 6499 For large-size fits. (~10%)
Size fitting REQUIRED. (Contact local HPM.)
Ear plug Carrying Case Ear plug, carrying case, 20/box 6515-01-100-1674 ACU, front pocket, etc, as applicable, for ear plug, carrying case

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