We live near to a noisy woodyard that often works late into the night and so effective earplugs are a part of daily life. Having tried many different types I have found the wax type to be the best, the more common foam ones for me really do not work and make little difference. Wax ones such as these from Quies when properly used can do a good job of seriously reducing outside noise. On the downside, they are messy, fiddly and more difficult to use and have to be discarded after a few uses.
In the robust resealable plastic box were sixteen ear plugs each contained in a layer of cotton wool style padding. A poorly printed and hard to read multi-language information sheet was included.
Each earbud when first taken from the box is quite hard and unresponsive but once warmed in the hand for a minute or so it becomes pliant and malleable and can be pushed into the ear conforming to the shape of the ear canal as it does so. Once properly inserted it does a decent job of reducing the noise, the information sheet attempts to quantify this in technical terms but the reality is that it works well enough to make the effort of inserting it worthwhile. Taking the plug out can be a nasty business as over time it becomes very soft, quite hard to extract cleanly and merges with your natural earwax in a horrid way. After just a few uses the plug becomes unspeakably vile and has to be thrown away.
Currently priced on Amazon at £4.79 this is the best way I have found to cut down outside noise if you don’t mind things getting a bit icky at times.