Invisible Earplugs: How to Totally Hide Foam Ear Plugs

Foam earplugs are what one thinks of when hearing the word "ear plugs".

They are usually colored in yellow or similar so they are visible when workers wear them on construction sites business or other loud work environments.

For someone wearing ear plugs at a concert, night club, or loud bar not visibility, but invisibility is desired.

Fortunately, foam earplugs can be hidden well, such that no one can notice them anymore.

In addition, foam earplugs usually have strong sound protection, so they are sufficiently strong for even loud concerts.

Here are the steps to make them invisible:

1. Usage of Skin Colored or Black Earplugs

While most earplugs are colored in aggressive yellow or orange, there are also products in discreet skin color or black color on the market.

Examples are:

Mack's Ultra Soft Earplug
Mack’s Ultra Soft
Hearos Ultimate Softness Series
Hearos Ultimate Softness Series

2. Pain Them Black

Black is usually the best color to hide earplugs. This is especially true if the plugs are used at darker venues like clubs or bars.

If the plugs you have are not black, then paint them black.

A permanent marker can get the job done.

earplug painted black

3. Insert the Earplugs Correctly

Foam ear plugs are supposed to be mostly in your ear canal. ⅔ up to ¾ should be in your ear canal. That leaves only a small piece sticking out into your outer ear.

To insert them properly, roll them between your fingers until they are strongly compressed. Then insert them into your ear canal. Pulling your ear back and up with the other hand can also help.

hand rolling foam earplug correctly compressed foam ear plug, ready for use

4. Cut the Plugs Shorter

If invisibility is extremely important, then cutting the earplug shorter can help. As explained above, usually ¼ up to ⅓ of the earplug remains in the outer ear. This part can be cut away.

Be advised that it will then be difficult to remove the ear plugs again afterwards. Therefore, it is advisable when inserting the cut earplugs to leave a very small piece (at least 1 mm) in the outer ear, such that it can afterwards be used to get a hold of the earplug using ones fingernails. If that also fails, then tweezers will be required to get the plug out. Have them ready at home or take them with you.

Please also consider that this will weaken the hearing protection of the plug. Depending on how loud the environment is and the strength of the hearing protection of the plug in its original state, the hearing protection might still be sufficient with a cut ear plug. In our own subjective experience, a cut foam earplug is still strong enough for loud music at concerts, clubs, and bars, since the foam earplugs are usually too stronger than necessary to start with.

earplug cut shorter


If a black earplug is cut shorter and inserted properly, it will be truly invisible. It cannot be seen by anyone around you. There is simply a black dot where your ear canal is. And since your ear canal usually appears black anyway, people will not notice.

In our own subjective experience, a black earplug that still sticks out into the outer ear (maybe cut only ⅕) is still sufficiently well hidden that nobody will notice it.

earplug cut and painted earplug cut and painted black in use earplug cut and painted in use 2

Extra deep inserted:
invisible earplug: cut and painted foam earplug and extra deep inserted

More on Invisible Earplugs

More about how to hide foam earplugs or invisible alternatives to foam earplugs (with higher sound quality) can be found on, for example:

Last modification:

Amado - November 22, 2019
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