The Custom Earplug Buying Cycle

By Glenn Hood, CEO and Founder

There are specific events which prompt a buyer into purchasing a product. The Buying Cycle explains this process which may look different for every product or service. In the case of purchasing hearing protection, this cycle can be divided into four stages: awareness, research, purchase and advocacy. Customers go through the cycle as they educate themselves and move closer to the final purchasing stage. But what do the stages really mean?

Custom Earplug Buying Cycle Infographic

Finding the right hearing protection is a process. What works for one person may not work for another. You need to take the time to ask questions, discuss your needs, and have a conversation about your hearing rather than buying the first item that pops up online.

Big Ear, Inc. was created with the sole purpose of helping our customers find the perfect solution for their hearing protection the first time. I personally offer to guide you through our products and solutions in order to get it right. Consider the Chinese proverb: ‘if you give a man a fish, you’ll feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime.’ Our solution is the same; you can buy earplugs and attempt to correct your problem, or you can learn from the experts in hearing loss prevention and walk away with a lifetime skill that not only saves your hearing but helps you save the hearing of others. If you read on, I promise to make you a proud fisherman. I’ll give you the answers to hearing protection that no one else will or can.


How can I find the best hearing protection for me?Looking back at the graph, we start with awareness. You woke up today with an issue that did not exist yesterday. Now it is up to you to look into your options in correcting the problem. Add it to your to-do list and check the box, so to speak.


Here is where it gets interesting. Your first thought is to look to the internet. You may or may not know about earplugs and hearing protection. You might ask Siri, “Why are my ears ringing?” or search using phrases such as “my ears hurt from the concert,” or “what is the ringing in my ears?”

You list your symptoms and find yourself, most likely, on Amazon’s pages. This is research; as you are working to make sense of what you need. Though Amazon has fantastic benefits, the company has created a culture of mini-stores capitalizing on the ability to misrepresent products. Their sellers make money by telling stories. The better the story; the higher their sales. It’s the old snake-oil salesman and unfortunately, until you have been stung and he is run out of town, he’ll say whatever he needs to in order to make a dollar. Let’s take a stand together and run him out of town. Turn to, instead, the expert in hearing protection.

Big Ear ResearchI’ve spent over 15 years helping hundreds of thousands of people get the exact solution they need. Don’t fall victim to the social media myth that ‘if it’s in print, then it must be true.’ The irony here is that I’m doing just that. Sitting at a computer, writing my story, in order to convince you to spend money on my product. Yet, here is where I differ. I want to help you uncover the truth and find the perfect solution to your problem. We want to pick up the phone and talk with you or meet you at a convention and listen. I don’t want to sell you anything until I hear YOUR story.

Learn How to Research Correctly

First, start by following the money. Companies pay high-dollar for ads related to their keywords. Type in any phrase: 10 best earplugs, best style earplugs, cheapest earplugs, Custom Ear Plugs, best earplugs…you get the idea.

Now, right click on any of the links that appear and open that site in a new tab. Scroll through the site. You’ll see their products and made up comparisons. Now in the final step, scroll to the bottom. You’ll see that there is no listed authority regarding their products. Clicking on a product most often redirects you to the affiliate website like Amazon or the earplug superstore. These are ad pages where everyone gets paid by you clicking on the link. They aren’t experts; they simply have really good content writers working on their behalf.

Missing from these ads are real testimonials. Now you’re getting frustrated. You are still on a mission to research and find the best product to resolve your issue. You’re learning that buying earplugs isn’t as simple as you thought. My goal is to make this easier for you, so first let’s break down the categories of hearing protection earplugs.

There are 3 general categories of earplugs:

  • Who knew there were 3 different kinds of earplugs?Solid full stop earplugs come in a variety of styles, material, and have various NRRs (Noise Reduction Ratings). You can choose from wax, soft vinyl, heat, and molds, do it yourself styles, and more.
  • Filtered earplugs typically reduce sound through a sound reduction mesh that allows sound in. When shopping for filtered earplugs it is important to recognize what you are buying. Often companies say they can filter out damaging sounds. The problem is that they may be filtering out the wrong types of sounds leaving your hearing unprotected. Check the products certifications to learn what sound is precisely reduced. I recommend using a sound meter (available here) to take a reading of what you need to be protected.
  • Communication earplugs allow your hearing protection and full, clear communication or audio via a communication hookup like a radio, walkie-talkie, or Bluetooth device.


Once you understand the categories, you’ll need to figure out the size and fit. For the reason that the onus on you if it doesn’t fit? Sure. They’re simply selling the product. Once it arrives on your doorstep, it’s out of their hands; they have their dollar. You may be able to return it, but that includes the hassle of boxing, shipping, labeling, and extra fees as well as your time. I promise you, the more you research you do, you’ll end up finally seeking out Custom Ear Plugs.

I'm going to try these earplugsCustom Ear Plugs are available in any of the 3 categories. (Beware here that there are many companies that offer a material that you mix, heat up or just jam in the ear bowl). They say they are custom but they have a generic end on them and THIS is not Custom Ear Plugs as there is no seal down in the ear canal. It looks lit it might do something but it doesn’t, Read the NRR ratings, most are not certified or even have any data, just claims.

It seems like the bonus with a true Custom Ear Plugs is that they are perfectly molded to your ears. The time investment in getting this step right is minimal but a large reason why generic styles fail. Your ear canal is unique. A one-size-fits-all plug won’t protect your hearing.

Most noteworthy, Big Ear, Inc. Custom Ear Plugs are made perfectly just for you so you don’t have to guess at what noise reduction ratings are and what the sound reduction is. They fit within seconds. On paper, the upfront cost may be a little more, but if you take into consideration generic sets that have to be replaced after so many uses or the unknown factors of noise filtration, the cost is much less.


AdvocacyThe final step is where you become the fisherman who eats for a lifetime. If you’ve gotten this far, you may want to share your experience. You’re aware of the problem, you’ve researched to find the best earplug available, you’ve made your purchase, and now understand why Custom Ear Plugs are best. It’s human nature to want to share with others so you become an advocate for hearing loss prevention. Tell your story and see where it takes you.

People of all ages have been exposed to a variety of unsafe sound levels unless they’ve lived in a silent box for their lives. Stadium noise, marching bands, industrial sounds, concerts, recreational hunting, and motorcycling. All these noises come into our lives and affect our hearing. By spreading the word and sharing your success story, you can help prevent someone else from suffering the same way you have.

Final Thoughts

As a parting thought, I’ll leave you with an example: Marching bands or concerts usually run around 100-120 dBs. Using 2 different hearing protection devices, readings were taken and over 500 tests were performed to see what protection was gained. Considering that OSHA says hearing damage occurs at 85 decibels and above, at an average of 112 decibels during these music events, you will damage your hearing. And that’s only if generic solutions manage to get the size right so the product fits in your ear correctly.

My promise to youSo take the time to do your research and have a conversation with me. I’ve stood on the fields of marching bands and taken readings. We’ve been at bike rallies and tested the sound levels. Putting myself in the shoes of my customers in order to find the solution to their exact needs. Take a look at my competitors, and tell me if they’ve done the same, look at the guarantees and certifications. I promise you, they haven’t.

So here is my promise to you if you made it this far, reach out to me and I will help you get the solution right the first time. I have personally helped over 250,000 people find a solution that works, and I will help you too.

Furthermore just contact me here below and let me know the situation that you are trying to resolve and I will walk you through a solution.

Big Ear USC Marching Band

Glenn Hood speaks to a student at the University of South Carolina.