Howard Leight FirmFit Earplugs: A Comfier, Safer Fit

Howard Leight Firm Fit Earplugs

FirmFit Earplugs: The Key Features

Honeywell has introduced a new innovation in foam earplugs called the Howard Leight FirmFit. While classic foam earplugs have been around for years, the FirmFit represents an advance that makes them significantly more comfortable and effective at blocking hazardous noise levels.

The FirmFit earplugs feature a softer, more pliable foam material that moulds gently to the shape of your ear canal. This softer fit exerts 29% less pressure compared to traditional foam earplugs. At the same time, the unique design provides maximum noise protection, with the highest Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 30 decibels in its category.

Here are 5 things that make the FirmFit earplugs stand out:

  • Superior Comfort: The standout feature is the soft, comfortable fit that causes less fatigue and irritation with extended wear. The earplugs are 40% softer than leading classic foam styles.
  • Effective Noise Blocking: Despite the softer feel, FirmFit earplugs offer best-in-class noise protection at NRR 30dB to guard your hearing in high-noise environments.
  • Bright Colour for Visibility: The vibrant orange colour makes FirmFit earplugs easy to spot and retrieve if dropped, promoting worksite safety.
  • Familiar Rolldown Shape: Workers accustomed to inserting classic cylindrical earplugs will find the FirmFit shape familiar and easy to roll down before use.
  • Available Corded Option: Like most disposable earplugs, FirmFit comes in both corded and uncorded versions to suit user preferences.

Comparing FirmFit to Other Earplugs

But how does the FirmFit compare to other popular foam earplug options on the market? Let’s take a look at two key alternatives:

MAX Foam Earplugs

Howard Leight MAX foam earplugs are renowned for providing maximum noise reduction in high-decibel environments. How do they stack up against the newer FirmFit model?

Overall: The MAX excels in maximum noise protection while the FirmFit offers greater comfort. The choice comes down to whether supreme hearing protection or luxurious wearability is the top priority.

  • Noise Reduction Rating (NRR): MAX Earplugs have a higher NRR of 33 compared to 30 for FirmFit, making MAX the winner for superior noise blocking.
  • Comfort: FirmFit earplugs are designed with 40% softer foam and 29% lower expansion pressure for enhanced comfort over extended wear.
  • Ease of Insertion: Both have a cylindrical shape, but the FirmFit’s softer foam allows gradual compression for potentially easier insertion.
  • Longevity: The MAX’s denser polyurethane foam may resist compression set slightly better than FirmFit for longer lasting wear.
  • Visibility: The FirmFit’s bright orange colour makes it easier to spot if dropped compared to the MAX’s tan colour.

Moldex Mellows Soft Foam Earplugs

Moldex Mellows Soft Foam Earplugs

On the other end of the spectrum, Moldex Mellows soft foam earplugs put an emphasis on all-day comfort and moderate noise reduction. Here’s how they compare:

Overall: The FirmFit excels for high noise reduction, while the ultra-soft, tapered Mellows provide great comfort in moderately noisy environments where you need to hear some sounds.

  • Noise Reduction Rating (NRR): FirmFit has a higher NRR of 30dB compared to 22dB for Mellows, making it better for blocking louder noises.
  • Comfort: Mellows are made of extra-soft, extra-light foam designed for superior all-day comfort with very little pressure.
  • Fit: Mellows have a tapered shape to accommodate even smaller ear canals, while FirmFit’s cylindrical shape may not.
  • Visibility: FirmFit’s bright orange colour gives it an edge over Mellows’ muted colours for visibility.
  • Use Case: FirmFit aims for maximum protection, while Mellows allow more ambient noise for better communication in lower-level noise.

Here’s a quick comparison table summarising the key differences:

NRR: 30dB
Comfort: Very High (40% softer foam)
Expansion Pressure: 29% Lower
Fit: Cylindrical Shape
Visibility: 🔷 Bright Orange
Longevity: Good
Ideal For: Hazardous Noise
Key Advantage: Balance of Comfort & Protection
NRR: 33dB
Comfort: Good
Expansion Pressure: Standard
Fit: Cylindrical
Visibility: 🟠 Muted Tan
Longevity: Slightly Better
Ideal For: Maximum Protection
Key Advantage: Top Noise Blocking
NRR: 22dB
Comfort: Extremely High
Expansion Pressure: Very Low
Fit: Tapered for Smaller Ears
Visibility: 👎 Muted Colors
Longevity: Good
Ideal For: Moderate Noise
Key Advantage: All-Day Wearability


When selecting earplugs for hearing protection, there are several important factors to weigh based on your needs and environments.

The Howard Leight FirmFit earplugs represent an excellent balance of comfort and noise-blocking ability for those exposed to hazardously loud noises. Compared to classic foam earplugs, the FirmFit’s soft, gradually expanding foam delivers a comfier fit with less fatigue, yet still achieves NRR 30dB protection.

If maximum noise reduction is the highest priority over all else, the Howard Leight MAX earplugs take the crown with their impressive NRR 33dB performance. However, the FirmFit might be preferable if you value extended wear comfort nearly as much as protection.

For moderately noisy environments where you need to hear some ambient sounds, the ultra-soft and tapered Moldex Mellows (NRR 22dB) provide incredible all-day wearability with very low pressure.

No matter your hearing protection needs, the latest foam earplug innovations offer more effective and comfortable solutions than ever before. Take the time to explore the options and discover what fits best for you.

Photo by Anthony Cunningham for Zoom Health

Zoom Health is a leading UK supplier of Home Health Tests and Earplugs

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