Between 10 and 40 million Americans suffer from hearing loss caused by short or long-term exposure to noise. About 25 million Americans have experienced tinnitus (ringing in the ears) in 2015. Roughly 50 percent of Americans over the age of 70 have disabling hearing loss.

You have to protect your ears from noise. Any noise above 85dBs can cause damage. To put that into perspective, 85 dBs is equivalent to loud city traffic. You have options when thinking of protecting your ears – you can move to the middle of nowhere, where there is literally no noise unless you make it or, the easier option, you can just buy some earplugs.

Ear protection is serious business and a business where a lot of companies sit with plugged ears and serious faces, but with Mack’s and Hearos, this very serious industry gets tackled with a certain level of playfulness. Which brand of whimsy would suit you better between Mack’s vs. Hearos?

​They’ve got the look…

Both Hearos and Mack’s have quite an impressive range to choose from. But there is a definite difference between Mack’s vs. Hearos. Both will allow you to be funky while protecting your ears. Mack’s is definitely the traditional but fun brand. Hero’s have tried to make earplugs cool.

With exception of their Flightguard Pressure relief plugs for flying and their musician’s earplugs, all of their plugs have a colorful “I don’t care” attitude. Words like invisible were not used in the production of Mack’s earplugs. The colorful attitude helps to make kids want to wear them and also helps spot the earplugs should they fall out.

Hearos have items like Dazzlears. A hot pink earplug with a securely fastened diamante detail on the end. It’s as cool as earplugs get. Hearos have tried and succeeded to make others envy your earplugs. They have made it a fashion item. They care very much. Other plugs also have bright colors; some come in neon blue and pink.

They’ve both got a strong look to them. Which one you prefer is entirely up to your personal taste.

Quality test anyone?

Mack’s truly are the old timers of the earplug world. They’ve been in business since 1962 and have got the earplug thing down. Mack’s great quality have ensured their name makes its appearance on reviews and lists in almost all ear protection branches. They also hold the #1 recommended by doctors of the USA award.

Quality takes time and Mack’s have had a lot of time to perfect their product. They have shuffled past normal ‘stick them in your ears’ ear protection and boasts with designs like the Rollup wallet earplug and the ear band. All whilst keeping to their great quality and protection.

With an NRR of 32 dB, both brands offer the highest decibel ear plugs available, so either one you choose will provide significant protection.

The plugs are made from Silicone or high-grade foam.

Here’s the thing: Hearos is 30 years younger, and their product quality is not to be hid in an elder’s shadow. They have improved the brand by leaps and bound to where their name is also seen and heard regularly, always with praise of good quality. They are younger and it shows.

The verdict: Both brands have high quality. Mack’s have a small advantage purely because they’ve been in the industry for longer.

Keep it dry and quiet.

Both brands have waterproof earplugs. They both have the same silicone discs that the user molds between their palms to get the silicone to melt and then stick it over the ear to create a waterproof seal. The quality of this silicone depends on a property called tackiness. Not socks and sandals tacky but how well does it stick to your ears tacky.

Both brands also have traditional plugs made from silicone. Both brand’s feature a silicone, washable and reusable plug. Mack’s offer a noise reduction of 26dBs and Hearos promise a reduction of 27dBs. Both Brands claim this to be a multi-use plug but advises against sleeping with it or using it when wearing a helmet or anything else that might put pressure on the earplugs.

Mack’s, however, have something Hearos doesn’t. They have the ear band. This neoprene headband helps keep your earplugs in place and add an extra layer of water protection. Additional benefits include keeping your ears warm in cold water and keeping kids from pulling out their earplugs. The band has adjustable Velcro fasteners that accommodate children to medium sized adults.

Both brands have excellent waterproof earplugs. Mack’s however, has a slight advantage with the ear band.

Bill please!

The Mack’s vs. Hearos comparison get heated when looking at the price. The biggest difference between the two brands is that you can’t buy Mack’s directly from their website. You can, however, find them in numerous stores countrywide and online. This will either be a huge perk or a huge drawback, depending on your relationship status with online shopping.

It does make price comparisons tricky. The two brands will differ in price but those prices will differ between stores. On Amazon, the soft in-ear water resistant plugs sell for $9.99 from Hearo’s and $2.99 from Mack’s.

On the other hand with the softy range from either brand, the tables get turned. On Amazon, Mack’s’ Slim fit Soft foam earplugs for sleeping and sensitive ears sell for $6.55 for a pack of 10 pairs. Hearos’ Ultimate Softness series sells for $5.56 for a pack of twenty pairs.

The rest of the ranges follow pretty much the same pattern, with no clear winner in the price category.

What have they got?

You’ll be spoilt for choice with Macks vs. Hearos. Hearo’s has an impressive range. They have clear vs. a whole rainbow of color. There are choices for ladies sleeping next to their snoring husbands and workmen on a construction site. The styles of earplugs range from traditional single-use foam to clear flanged silicone earplugs for musicians and motorcyclists. Hearos also have their extreme protect and Waterproof earplugs which are a jack of all trades.

The downside to Hearos is the lack of extras. With the exception of an earplug dispenser, they do not have anything to care for your ears or to care for your earplugs. If you admire single-minded focus, Hearos won’t lose their shine, but if you don’t you might get slightly bored.

Mack’s, on the other hand, has tons of options and extras. You have 30 different types of earplugs to choose from. They also have sorted their earplugs into easy sections. For example, if you need earplugs for the shooting range, you can simply pop over to shooting on their website and have a look at the shooting earplugs available.

Other ranges include sleeping, swimming, motorcycle, and travel. There are earplugs for when you travel and need to reduce the pressure in an aircraft, or wallet earplugs. Yes. Wallet earplugs. These nifty little pieces of foam are packaged flat to fit in your wallet. If you need them at say, an impromptu jam session, you have them nearby and can simply roll them into a plug shape and protect your ears on the go. Even these can be bought specifically for shooting or multi-use.

Mack’s also have a huge range of extras. There is ear dryer solution and ear dryer machines (yes it’s a thing), sleep masks, lens cleaners, ear protection muffs and safety shooter glasses.

The trophy for variety definitely goes to Mack’s.

The verdict.

Mack’s and Hearos are both great brands. Can you really compare a young man’s greatness against his grandfather? Granddad has had a lot of time to perfect his trade, but the young man is running so fast. Doing so much. Time will tell where Hearos stands in 20 years. Where will Mack’s be in 20 years? Both companies are giving it their all and having fun doing it.

There is a lot of research and awards on Mack’s side, and for this reason, Mack’s wins today’s Mack’s vs. Hearos. Despite all the info given, the choice ultimately remains with you. What works for others might not work for you. The best brand out there is the one that works for you, for what you need.

Whatever brand you’re choosing the most important thing is to protect your hearing and ensure a full and happy life. According to statistics, you have a 50/50 percent chance of being deaf over the age of 70.

We can prevent a lot of that hearing loss. It’s all so easy to say stay away from loud noises, but any city is a loud noise to start with. Add on to the daily strain with concerts and airports and construction sites. Protect your ears from early on and make sure you end up on the right side of that 50%.

Josh Roberts

Josh spent many years of his life working in an industrial environment where hearing protection is paramount to workplace safety. Since then he has been on a mission to share how important taking care of your hearing is for living a great life.

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