“Wait A Minute, Are You Saying That These Wont Work?”

How Hearing Works in relationship to Snoring Noise

The Science behind Why it is impossible for Earplugs & Noise Cancellation Headphones to completely block out Snoring Noise

The Challenge: “My Loved One Snores! How Do I Sleep With Them?”

The Challenge: “How Do I Sleep With My Loved One?”

Around the world, people are losing sleep. The culprit? Snoring. Those who live with a snorer can often have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, sometimes leading to friction in the relationship. The person hearing the snoring (the “snoree”) often seeks ways of blocking the annoying, frustrating snoring noise so he or she can finally get some sleep.

The Solution: Could it be Earplugs or Noise Cancelling Headphones? Let’s Explore…

There are a number of devices on the market that claim to block the disturbing snoring noise, but not all are equal. Some common methods that people try include earplugs and noise-cancelling headphones.

How Does Hearing Work And Why Earplugs Earplugs & Noise Cancellation Headphones Can’t Stop Snoring

Hearing is the process by which the different structures of the ear collect sounds, translate it from pressure waves to electrical signals, and pass those signals to the brain for further analysis and response. There are actually two mechanisms by which sound is transmitted to the brain for processing: air conduction and bone conduction.

(Total) Sound = Air Conduction + Bone Conduction

Here is the formula for hearing & sound broken down in more detail:

Air Conduction

In air conduction, sounds enter the outer ear and pass as low-pressure waves down the ear canal. There, these waves cause the eardrum to vibrate, moving the tiny bones attached to the back of the membrane. These bones and their movement raise the sound pressure, passing those waves into the inner ear. Inside the inner ear, the pressure waves cause the tiny hairs of the scala media to vibrate inside the fluid-filled cavities where they are located. This effectively converts the waves into electrical signals. From there, nerves pass the electrical signals to the brain.

Bone Conduction

In bone conduction, sounds bypass the outer ear altogether. Sound vibrations enter the middle and inner ear through the bones of the skull. The conversion from sound wave to electrical signal is the same, however.

In Summary...

So, in summary, the gathering point for sound is not in the ear canal, it is inner ear, and the inner ear receives sound from both air conduction and bone conduction and sends signals to the brain.  It doesn’t even matter about how good the earplugs or noise cancelling engineering are, they can’t stop bone conducted sound.

It is impossible for Earplugs or Noise Cancellation Headphones to Stop Snoring Noise, due to Bone Conduction

Do you see now that It is physically impossible for ear plugs or noise cancelling devices from doing anything to stop Bone Conducted sound?

Oh Yeah, There Is One More Aspect To Consider…..

The Occlusion Effect

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The Occlusion Effect Explained:

Many people who struggle to sleep with a snorer try several methods to block annoying sounds. Some of the most popular choices include earplugs like those used in industrial applications, and noise cancelling headphones. While both of these technologies can help, in a sense, they are insufficient to truly conquer the problem of sleep disturbances caused by snoring.

The Occlusion Effect occurs when your ear canal is plugged and the bone conducted sound becomes trapped inside your ear canal between the ear plug and your eardrum.  The sound bounces back and forth and causes a rise in pressure which you experience as an increase in the volume of the sound that you hear.

With Earplugs, Sound Gets Trapped In The Ear Canal

Sound is now bouncing back and forth

“Trapped” Sound from Bone Occlusion = 20 Decibels

The sound from the bone occlusion is now trapped, it is bouncing back and forth between the earplug and the eardrum because it is trapped, it now equals about 20 decibels for this occlusion effect.

Now, Let’s Do The Math And Pull Back The Curtain:

There is an average of 65 decibels from average snoring volume


Earplugs eliminate about 33 decibels from premium earplugs

Less 33

Now, we have to add back in 20 decibels for the occlusion effect

Add 20

This equals a net 52 decibles of snoring that you still hear!!

= 52

As you can see, premium earplugs rated at 33 decibels, actually only reduce by a net 13 decibels due to the bone occlusion effect.

So, What is the Answer to Snoring? What blocks both Air Conduction & Bone Conduction?

The Answer Is…


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