Earbuds that resemble earplugs are gaining popularity these days on the internet. These types of earbuds combine comfort, discretion, and audio quality in a single package. As compared to traditional earbuds, the earplug-style earbuds fit comfortably inside your ear canal. As these earbuds move deep inside your ear canal, they help in blocking the external noise to some extent as well.
In addition, such earbuds blend in easily with the contour of your ear canal, unlike traditional earbuds. Their comfy fit allows you to wear them for an extended time period. You can also use them for phone calls or during workouts at the gym.
I personally use earplugs resembling earbuds during long travels or as a sleeping aid to block the external noise. For those who struggle sleeping in noisy environments, these earbuds can show up as a comfortable and noise-blocking solution.
Before you buy earbuds, it’s important to take into account the most important factors like design, sound quality, fit, battery life, connectivity, etc. So, in this guide, we will list the earbuds that we have tested based on the factors mentioned here.
Quick Shopping Tips
Here are some factors you need to look at:
- Noise reduction needs. Earplugs are mostly used for blocking unwanted noise, look for a pair with a high noise reduction rating (NRR). NRRs are measured in decibels (dB), and the higher the NRR, the more noise the earbuds will block.
- Check the fit. Earbuds that look like earplugs should fit snugly in your ears to provide the best noise reduction. Look for a pair with multiple ear tip sizes so you can find the perfect fit.
- Battery life. If you’re going to be using your earbuds for long periods of time, look for a pair with a long battery life. Most earbuds have a battery life of around 5-8 hours, but some models can last up to 12 hours or more.
Best Earbuds That Look Like Earplugs
We’ve reviewed some of the high-quality earplug earbuds for different budget users. Moreover, each product includes a “Reasons to Buy” section to help you ease your buying decision.
Elgin Ruckus Wireless Bluetooth Earplug Headphones – Overall Best Pick
Reasons to Buy:
- ANSI-certified Noise Reduction Rating
- Immersive Audio
- IP65 Dust & Sweat Proof
- Decent Battery Life
- 1 Year Warranty
The Elgin Ruckus Wireless Bluetooth Earplug rifts through the market with its IP65-rated protection and immersive audio quality. If there are any earbuds that I’d prefer over the Plugfones’ products, then it’s the Elgin Ruckus.
I’ll start with the durable design of these earbuds. The Kevlar-reinforced cable for enhanced durability gives you peace of mind that these will last for several years. On top.
For those of you who don’t know, it’s the same material that’s used in bullet-proof vests and helmets. 🙂 May be a good choice if you are out on a war there :), just joking. So, a robust design defies all the complaints that users have in mind when it comes down to wireless earbuds connected to each other with a wire.
Moving on, the Ruckus Wireless safety earbuds comply with OSHA and ANSI workplace standards offering an NRR of 25dB, the same that we have on the previous two earbuds on this list.
Ruckus Bluetooth ear pro comes with noise-isolating medical-grade silicone earplug ear tips that reduce the noise coming from power tools, motorcycle engines, lawnmowers, and other industrial equipment.
These earbuds offer a decent sound with excellent hearing protection. You can listen to high-quality music, podcasts, or audiobooks without getting disturbed by the outside world.
These are the only earbuds resembling earplugs that come with a noise-cancellation mic. This would help you make better audio calls as all the unwanted noise in the background would be filtered out.
Elgin Ruckus Bluetooth earplugs snugly fit into your ears without slipping out even if you do a lot of jerky movements. There’s a clip attached to the wires to keep the battery and control unit in one place.
Moving, the battery life on these earbuds is fantastic, which lasts more than 11 hours on a single charge. Elgin has introduced a USB-C charging port to quickly charge these earbuds within one hour.
The feature that I liked the most in these earplugs-looking earbuds is the IP65 dust and sweatproof rating. Normally, it’s difficult to fix IPX-rated earbuds in an earplug type. But I think Elgin has done a great job in making these earbuds stand up to the harsh external environment.
The dust and sweatproof rating on these earplug earbuds allows them to withstand dust, rain, or sweat if you are out on a construction site or a forest. These are ideal earplugs for hearing protection for landscaping, welding, woodworking, gym, running, or yard work.
To make a secure connection, the Elgin Ruckus makes use of the latest Bluetooth 5.3 technology. This gives you a much more stable connection when connected to audio devices up to 40 feet away. It features QuickConnect technology that allows you to pair these earbuds rapidly with the devices you have connected to before.
All in all, the Elgin Ruckus wireless earplugs offer the most value for the money. When compared with the Plugfones Basic Pro Earplugs, the Elgin Ruckus Earplugs offer much better performance for a lower price.
I highly recommend these earbuds to those who need better hearing protection while listening to their preferred audio in a noisy environment. Lastly, there’s a year of warranty with Elgin Ruckus if anything goes wrong with
Plugfones Basic Pro Wireless Bluetooth in-Ear Earplug Earbuds – Best Value
Reasons to Buy:
- Noise Reduction
- Long Battery Life
- High-Quality Flexible Cord
- Decent bass and treble
To be honest, I’m not a fan of earbuds that are joined together with the help of a cord. However, my perception totally changed when I first came across the Plugfones Basic Pro wireless earbuds. It comes with a flexible cord with a clip that you can fit underneath or over your clothing to prevent it from hanging around.
Let’s move down to the design quality of these earbuds. These earbuds feel a bit bulky as you see them, but they snugly fit into your ear canals without any problem. The silicon material used in ear tips is softer and it doesn’t hurt even if you wear these earbuds for a longer time.
As far as the sound quality on these earbuds is concerned, I would say it’s mediocre. These earbuds perfectly balance the bass and treble sound like any other low-budget earbuds do. However, don’t expect too much punchy bass out of these earbuds.
The volume on these earbuds is loud though, just as you find on most in-ear earbuds these days. In terms of audio performance, I would say Plugfones Basic Pro earbuds bring you a bag of mixed surprises.
Apart from their minimalistic appearance, these earbuds deliver a very decent audio experience overall. You can expect crispy highs and a decent bass when listening to your favorite music on these earbuds.
Another compelling feature of these earbuds is the noise-isolation. Now most people would think that noise isolation would act as noise cancellation, which is wrong. Both of these are distinct technologies that serve the same purpose, i-e eliminating external or background noise.
Noise isolation is a passive technology that relies on the physical design of the earphones or headphones to block out external noise.
The design of Plugfones Basic Pro helps in blocking external noise to some extent. At least you won’t be hearing somebody talking right next to you on a phone. The Plugofone Basic Pro comes with a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 25 dB, which means it will block unwanted noise to some extent.
So, you can plug these earbuds in and read a book or listen to your favorite music in a loud environment. However, talking on calls might be a disturbing experience for the person listening on the other end because the mic doesn’t have a noise cancellation feature on it.
Furthermore, I was amazed by the long-lasting battery on these earbuds. On a single charge, these lasted for around 10 hours while listening to music at full volume. Although there are earbuds that offer much more battery life than these, for under $50, I believe these are worth it.
Lastly, you can connect these buds to your computer or any other audio device with the help of Bluetooth 5.0. This helps in achieving a greater connectivity range, improved battery life, and other features like Multipoint to connect seamlessly between multiple audio devices at the same time.
Overall, the Plugfones Basic Pro earbuds are an ideal choice for users looking for earbuds that appear as earplugs. These come with a noise-isolation design, longer battery life, and a comfortable fit.
Plugfones Basic Earplug-Earbud Hybrid – Best Budget Pick
Reasons to Buy:
- Noise Isolation
- Comfortable to Wear
- Durable Quality
- Cheaper to Buy
The Plugfones Basic earbuds are a little bit different in the design from the Pro version we’ve reviewed. These are wired earbuds that remarkably reduce the external noise just like other premium earbuds on the market.
As we are rolling through the era of true wireless earbuds, getting your hands on earbuds with a 3.5mm jack looks out of the league. However, some users want to block out the external noise without breaking their bank account. And for those users, the Plugfones’ wired version serves as a great choice.
As far as the design is concerned, the ear tips on the buds are of the same quality and size as we’ve found on the “Pro” version. But in the corded version, you now have a long wire connected to a 3.5mm jack. For users who need earplugs-looking earbuds for reading books or watching movies, I would recommend going with this version.
However, I don’t recommend you buy these earbuds for workouts or sleeping. These are wired earbuds, which means the wire might tangle around your body as you wear these and sleep. For sleeping and workout purposes, I still recommend sticking with the wireless Pro version of these earbuds.
But both the Basic and Pro versions have one thing in common, and that’s noise isolation. It has the same Noise Reduction Rating of 25 dB as found on the Pro version. So listening to music, watching movies, and interacting with any other type of audio is excellent on these buds.
The thing that is more concerning is the audio quality. Unfortunately, the audio quality is not as good as I’ve experienced on the Pro version. But still, it doesn’t feel as if you are using cheap-quality earbuds.
These buds are comfortable to wear as it’s made up of soft silicon material. However, using these every day for longer periods of time might degrade the silicon tips over time. As these are just under $15, getting a new pair once a year won’t put a lot of stress on your wallet.
I won’t say that these earbuds would blow your socks off, but they will do the job they are meant for, which is to reduce noise to a significant level. If you aren’t bothered by the tangling wires, then getting the Basic version of Plugfones earbuds would be a great deal.
Elgin Rebel True Wireless – Premium Earplugs Looking Earbuds
Reasons to Buy:
- Optimal Noise Reduction
- IP65 Rated
- 12+ Hours of Battery Life
- High-Quality Audio
- Robust Build
- Siri & Google Assistant Compatible
- One Year Warranty
The Elgin Rebel True Wireless puts you a few steps ahead of the competition when it comes to looking for the best earbuds that look like earplugs. With these earbuds, you say a long goodbye to tangling cables and control units.
These buds come with 4 pairs of noise-isolating silicone and high-density foam earplug eartips to absorb any unwanted external noise coming from a construction site, machinery, industry, airport, etc.
Elgin Rebel True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds combine the robust design and immersive audio quality in a single package to stay focused on your task without getting distracted by external noise.
As far as the audio quality on Elgin Rebel is concerned, it’s exceptional. The sound is crispy and there’s no sound tear even if you put the volume all the way to the max. Moreover, I really like the bass, mid, and highs on these earbuds, which really justify the price tag they come at.
And this is what I really liked about these earbuds, they seal to your ear which helps to create extra bass.
Moving on to the build quality, no doubt, the robust build quality of these earbuds makes them last in rough and tough environments. Just like its sibling, the Elgin Ruckus, the Elgin Rebel TWS earbuds are IP65-rated to give you protection from dust, rain, and sweat.
These are a great deal for someone working in dusty or wet weather conditions. The weatherproof enclosure seals out dust, sweat, and rain without interrupting your listening experience.
Pairing these earbuds with your PC or any other audio device is very easy, thanks to the Bluetooth 5.1 technology. Elgin Rebel connects quickly to any device that you have connected to before.
As far as the battery life is concerned, Elgin hasn’t left us disappointed even with this one. Whether you are working all day long on a construction site or you are out there outdoors, the Elgin Rebel lasts over 12 hours before you need to put them back in the charging case.
The charging case that comes with these earbuds allows you to charge them at least 3 times, which means you can expect a total of 50 hours of battery life.
Lastly, Rebel is fully compatible with Siri and Google Assitant which allow you to control your device through voice commands.
Many users have reported that it takes some effort to move the foam earplugs into your ear canals. But I think if you make the foam earplugs sit fully on the earbud’s tips, then you won’t have to push it too hard to fit these earbuds in your ear canal.
All in all, I highly recommend the Elgin Rebel Earplug TWS Earbuds for loud environments. These offer up to 25 dB hearing protection against any noisy machinery or equipment operating close to you. Further, the noise cancellation on the mic, IP65 rating, and punchy bass make these a fabulous choice to go with.
Cuzabe Ear Plugs Bluetooth Earbuds – Ergonomic Pick
Reasons to Buy:
- Water & Sweat Resistant
- Upto 20 Hours of Battery Life
- Fast Connection
These are the most ergonomic earplugs to reduce unwanted noise and listen to your preferred audio. The Tri-layers skin-friendly silicone ear tips on these earbuds offer a secure fit while preventing as much noise as possible.
The Cuzabe earbuds are constructed with high-quality copper wire and Japanese diaphragm to achieve better build quality. Also, these pull-resistant wires make these earbuds lightweight even if you wear them for an extended period of time.
The most catchy feature of these earplugs is that they are sweat and water-resistant. I really don’t know if Cuzabe has used the real IP65-rated material to seal the internal components. But even if there’s a layer on these to protect against wet conditions, it will do the job.
Cuzabe claims that they have integrated dynamic drivers to boost the bass and treble quality of these earbuds. However, I don’t think that there’s something like that used in these buds. Among all the other earbuds on the list, this one has the lowest bass to offer.
The overall sound quality is not too impressive, but isn’t bad as well. You are still able to hear a decent sound when listening to music or podcast files.
But the reason I have included these earplug-looking earbuds in this guide is because of soundproofing and longer battery life. The soft cushioned silicon tips are able to absorb the ambient sound coming from the outside world.
Secondly, the battery life on these earbuds is exceptional. You can expect the battery to last for 20 hours, which is way more than the other earbuds on our list. So you can enjoy uninterrupted music for up to 20 hours without any issues.
Among all the best earbuds that look like earplugs, I would go with the Elgin Ruckus Wireless Bluetooth. Not only do they come with the best build quality, but they offer an all-rounder performance when it comes to listening to music or blocking ambient noise. Also, there’s a year of warranty to claim if something goes wrong with Elgin Ruckus earbuds.
Are earbuds as good as earplugs?
Well, both serve different purposes. Earbuds are mostly used for listening to music and calls whereas earplugs are used for blocking external noise.
Is it healthy to wear earplugs all day?
Yes, you can wear earplugs all day long, but this can somehow result in bacteria buildup if you don’t clean your ear canals. Ear infections can cause pain and hearing disorders if not treated. So, I would recommend wearing earplugs only when it’s needed.
Do earplugs block noise completely?
No, earplugs do not block the noise completely. The only function of earplugs is to reduce noise down to a level where it doesn’t bother you.
Are silicone earplugs better than foam?
Yes, silicon earplugs are better than foam because they don’t degrade over time like foam earplugs. However, foam earplugs offer better hearing protection as compared to the silicon earplugs.
How deep should earplugs go inside ear canals?
There’s no rule of thumb on how deep the earplugs should rest inside your ear canal. However, gently insert the earplugs in ear canals to the point where you feel comfortable and don’t hear much of the external noise.
I’ve been writing about gadgets for over 7 years now. I have a strong taste for music, no matter if it’s pop or classic. My passion for music has enabled me to come closer to audio equipment. I like writing and sharing my personal experience with audio equipment that passes by me.