Loop Earplugs: An Audiologist's Review

September 13, 2023
Amy Sarow, AuD, CCC-A
Written by
Amy Sarow, AuD, CCC-A
Amy Sarow, AuD, CCC-A

Dr. Amy Sarow is a practicing clinical audiologist and serves as Audiology Lead for Soundly. Her expertise and experience span topics including tinnitus, cochlear implants, hearing aid technology, and hearing testing. She holds a doctoral degree in audiology from the University of Iowa. During her residency at Mayo Clinic, Dr. Sarow was inspired by the three-tiered, patient-centered approach, incorporating clinical work, teaching and research.

Soundly Staff
Reviewed by
Soundly Staff
Soundly Staff

Soundly conducts in-depth research to guide prospective hearing aid wearers. Our work is funded through reader support. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission.

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Review takeaways ✍️

  • I reviewed Loop Engage and Loop Experience
  • Both devices are comfortable and offer balanced sound
  • I recommend Loop to my patients and friends

Plenty of patients come to me with noise-induced hearing loss or tinnitus caused by loud sound exposure. I've seen the devastating effects this condition can have on people's lives. 

It's essential that we take good care of our hearing, and there are many ways to do this. That’s where earplugs come in. Comfortable, versatile, and necessary for protecting your ears, earplugs are a must-have accessory for any music lover, motorcyclist, or power tool user. 

But they're not just for noisy activities—earplugs can also help you focus, sleep better, and even provide sensory comfort for those on the autism or ADHD spectrum. 

As an audiologist, I'm all about protecting your hearing while enjoying life to the fullest. That's why I put Loop Earplugs to the test. These colorful, cylindrical earplugs are made of soft silicone and come in exciting colors like Rose Gold and iridescent. 

They're not just pretty—they also tick all the boxes for what makes a good earplug: comfort, fit, protection, sound quality, and lifespan. 

In this review, I will share more about why and when to wear earplugs, including what you should know about earplugs and my experience with Loop Earplugs.

Let's get into it!

First, why wear earplugs?

Want to know the secret to superhero-like hearing? Earplugs! 

They're the ultimate sidekick for anyone who wants to protect their ears from the villains of loud sounds that can cause hearing damage over time. Exposure to sounds at 80 dB or above for prolonged periods, or even intense sounds for short periods, can cause hearing damage. 

Some activities are obvious, such as concerts, motorcycling, or using power tools. However, any activity that reaches or exceeds 80 dB has the potential to cause damage, and hearing protection is a great option.

Activities That Require Earplugs:

  • Concerts
  • Motorcycles
  • Power tools
  • Heavy machinery
  • Some kitchen blenders

Loop for focus and sensory management.

Earplugs can also save the day when it comes to focus and concentration? Yes, it’s true. Many loop fans openly share that the devices help them manage autism or ADHD by dampening sensory overload.

Sometimes, an open-plan office or noisy coffee shop can make it impossible to get any work done. But slip in some earplugs, and suddenly your superpower is unleashed.

Distracting sounds are muffled, and you can focus on the task at hand. If you focus better in quiet, earplugs are a great way to find that solace amid a noisy or chaotic office space. 

Loop's brand took off during the pandemic as more people shared office or study space with family and friends.

Don't forget sleep.

Earplugs can help you get the rest you deserve. Block out the city's noise, pesky neighbors, or anything else keeping you up at night. Sleep is such an essential part of your overall wellness. With earplugs as your trusty partner.

Loop's low-profile design is especially comfortable for side-sleepers and their range of noise reduction options offer something for every kind of sleeper.

What should I look for in good earplugs?

Loop Vs. Traditional Foam Earplugs

Here are questions I had before my Loop review:

  • Are the earplugs comfortable enough to wear for extended periods? 
  • How long will the earplugs last?
  • How can I maintain the earplugs to keep them in tip-top shape?
  • Do they distort the sound of music? 
  • Importantly, how much noise do they block out? 

Other things to keep in mind when choosing earplugs? Ease of use. For regular use, you don't want to fight with those little pieces every time you put them in. You'll also want a nice carry case to take them on the go.

Unboxing, Testing, and Notes

To begin, the packaging is super cute and vibrant; popping open these earplugs felt like opening a cool pop-up art card. 

The Loop Earplugs come in a small, compact case, and the earplugs themselves are cylindrical and made of soft silicone. I got the Experience earplugs in Rose Gold and the Engage earplugs in iridescent. 

But they're not just cute—these earplugs actually work. They are comfortable to wear, and the stem makes inserting and removing the plugs easy. 

Sound Reduction and Quality

As expected, both Loop earplugs reduce sound significantly. I tested loud music, everyday sounds and traffic noise. 

Importantly, Loop Earplugs do not block out all sound, which can be helpful for someone who may need to hear warning sounds or enjoy a live music performance.

Loop uses specially designed filters to let sound through evenly and preserve sound-quality across frequencies.

This design sketch gives a look at the design inside the eartip. 👇

Depending on your needs, Loop has different options for levels of hearing protection.

  • Loop Engage - great for those who need to tune out background noise while still hearing conversation. SNR: 16 dB 
  • Loop Engage Kids - perfect for kids 6+ who want to focus or hear their environment, just at a lower volume. SNR: 16 dB
  • Loop Experience - ideal for music listening with great fidelity of sound while reducing the volume overall. SNR: 18 dB
  • Loop Quiet - for those who want to focus and cut out all the noise. SNR: 27 dB
  • Loop Experience Plus and Loop Engage Plus - come with an additional accessory that adds another 5 dB of sound protection.

Another bonus? The silicon design is easy to clean which means I'll be able to keep these earplugs for years to come.

Loop Engage Kids

How to choose a style.

The Engage earplugs are perfect for anyone who wants to block out noise while still staying connected through conversation. Folks who need support with sensory overload in everyday situations should choose Engage. Engage Kids are a great option for kids to start learning healthy hearing habits, to help with focus, or to manage sound sensitivity.

Loop Experience is really for music lovers. If you want to enjoy a live performance with crisp (but reduced audio) this product is for you.

Loop Quiet is right for anyone in extremely loud situations or users who want to totally block out sound during sleep or study.

Loop Experience Plus and Loop Engage Plus are designed the same priorities listed above, just with boosted protection and a $10 premium.

My Verdict

I was impressed with the sound quality of the Experience earplugs and overall, they were so comfortable to wear. 

I experimented with listening to music and watching TV, and I was surprised at how well the earplugs reduced the volume while still coming through clearly. The Engage earplugs also allowed easier speech understanding while reducing background noise.

Opening the box was like unwrapping a present that left me feeling like a kid again. I also like that the packaging includes a range of sizes for the silicone ear tips, as the fit is critical for these earplugs to do their job effectively. 

These earplugs are the perfect blend of style, functionality, and ease, making them a must-have for any music lover or noise-hater.

Maintenance is easy—just wipe away any wax or debris with a cleansing wipe or Kleenex, and replace the ear tips every three to six months (which you can conveniently purchase from Loop). 

Pros

  • Fun color offerings
  • Stylish product design
  • Range of sizes for silicone ear tips (for a perfect fit)
  • Easy maintenance

Cons

  • Amount of hearing protection might not be enough for some heavy-duty settings.

The Experience earplugs have an SNR of 18 dB, but depending on the sound exposure, might not be enough noise reduction. 

Fortunately, Loop has a range of options, such as their Quiet earplugs with an SNR of 27 dB and their "Mute" add-on that can boost the earplug's effectiveness by 5 dB. I like that they offer these options so that you can customize them for your needs. 

Final Thoughts

As an audiologist, I recommend Loop as the ultimate choice for noise protection. They're small yet mighty, cushioned for maximum comfort, and they'll keep all the loud things away so you can focus on being in the zone.

These earplugs are an excellent investment for anyone who wants to protect their hearing from loud noise or for someone who needs sensory relief.

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