The Independent's journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission. Why trust us?

Loop’s new earplugs for kids have transformed homework time – here’s our review

These earplugs can filter out background noise and improve concentration – music to our ears

Zoe Griffin
Thursday 21 September 2023 12:47 BST
<p>Suitable for kids aged 6-12, the Loop engage earplugs come in three different colourways </p>

Suitable for kids aged 6-12, the Loop engage earplugs come in three different colourways

Little ears can be extremely sensitive to noise. Whether it’s a jumble of voices and excited screams in the playground, a cacophany of squeals at soft play or the everyday sounds of traffic, car alarms and emergency sirens, children have to put up with a lot of background buzz.

Loop earplugs are a tried and tested way to help grown-ups avoid overstimulation, protect their hearing and aid focus. Our tester rated them a perfect five stars in a recent review, after using the earplugs daily to “feel less frazzled by backgrond noise”. Now, the earplugs are available in a child-friendly size, designed for little ones aged between 6 and 12, to help cut out distractions.

Offering up to 18dB of noise reduction, the Loop engage kids’ earplugs come with four different ear tips, in sizes XXS, XS, S and M, so growing kids can continue to use them. They’re also available in three different colours: berry blue, watermelon red and ocean orange.

In the past, the most common option to reduce or block out sound for children was over-the-ear defenders, which we’ve used in the past for festivals and gigs. While they’re awesome for protecting tiny ears, they’re not always suitable for everyday use, as they leave a child unable to hear instructions. We were intrigued to try the Loop earplugs, to see whether a child could function normally and go about their daily activities while wearing the earplugs.

Would the fit be snug enough to stay in lively children’s ears all day without falling out (or getting pulled out because they irritated the youngster)? Our two testers, aged six and seven, took the earplugs on days out in London and used them around the house while doing homework. It’s completely changed the way they approach their tasks. Read on to find out why.

How we tested

Our tester tried out the Loop engage earplugs during a game of bowling

With the help of a six-year-old and a seven-year-old, the Loop engage earplugs were tested over several weeks. We asked the children to rate the earplugs for comfort as well as noise reduction while at home, during bowling trips, when out for dinner and when walking to school. While the children were wearing the earplugs, we tested to see whether the kids could hear our voice, the doorbell, car horns and other sounds. We looked carefully for differences in the children’s behaviour as they did activities while using the Loop engage, compared with doing the same tasks without ear protection. Keep scrolling for our full tried and tested review.

Loop engage kids' earplugs

Blank 2048 x 1536 (100).png
  • Number of colourways available: Three
  • Ear-tip sizes included: XXS-M

The Loop engage earplugs are packaged in a compact, recyclable cardboard box that contains the earplugs, a small storage case and four pairs of different ear tips to try. We tested the berry blue colour, which was a hit with both our testers (one boy, one girl), who said it looked “fancy”.

While we love the lack of excess packaging, we were slightly worried about the dinky carry case, as our testers have been known to misplace items, especially small ones. We told them to make sure the case was keep in their coat pockets while out and about, so there was no danger of it falling out of a bag.

It was a relief that our testers never had a problem finding the earplugs in their pockets, and the case never once slipped out – even though the coats were thrown over chairs, put in cloakrooms and generally treated with the reckless abandon young children show towards their clothing and personal belongings.

Our first outing was at a bowling alley, which has been known to overstimulate both testers in the past. Without earplugs, the noisy environment of skittles being knocked down, people in other lanes yelling and background music has left our testers frazzled and tearful after their games, and they’ve exploded over something trivial in the car on the way home. With the Loop engage earplugs in their ears, I was wondering if there would be a dramatic improvement in bowling ability, due to our testers being better able to focus. It’s safe to say we still needed the bumpers on both sides of the lane but there weren’t any tears on the way home, and there’s a strong probability the earplugs had a part to play.

The earplugs come with four pairs of different-sized silicone ear tips. We started with the XS size, given that the earplugs are designed for children of up to 12 years old and our testers are at the lower end of the recommended age range. We found this size to be just right, and it’s the one we used throughout the whole testing period. We did try out the small and medium sizes but our testers said they caused irritatation in their ears. Also, the larger the tip, the greater the noise reduction will be, so, if your child isn’t used to cutting down on noise, you may want to try the smaller size first and work your way up.

Read more: The best earplugs for swimming

We were impressed by the fact the earplugs didn’t seem to budge or come loose while our testers were walking, running, jumping and playing. Because our testers didn’t complain of any pressure or ache in their ears, we almost forgot the kids were wearing the earplugs.

On another occasion, our youngest tester wore the earplugs for afternoon tea on a London bus. All the sights of London going past our eyes combined with the noise of London traffic could have contributed to our tester becoming overstimulated, but the Loop engage earplugs helped her stay calm and enjoy the experience.

We also tested the earplugs during homework time, and were amazed by how useful they were. In fact, we won’t do homework without them going forward. The first time the seven-year-old put the earplugs in his ears, he wrote a page full of sentences in his English book. Previously, he’d been so distracted by younger siblings or the noise of the TV or food cooking on the stove that getting him to write two paragraphs would take almost an hour. Even the maths-avoiding six-year-old seemed to be working harder to understand the concept of adding tens and units. We could still talk to the children to explain what they needed to do, but the earplugs really got the children into ‘work mode’.

Loop’s earplugs could also come in handy during car journeys and flights, helping little ones wind down and rest, instead of having endless screen time.

As the silicone tips can be easily removed, cleaning is simple, too. For less than £30, these are earplugs that will last you years and hopefully save you hours of nagging kids to finish their homework.

Back to top

The verdict: Loop engage kids’ earplugs

After several weeks’ use, we’ve found the Loop engage kids’ earplugs really helped kids to focus and cut out background noise. Wearing them improves a child’s behaviour when they’re out and about but the real difference can be experienced at home. It sped up the time it took both our tetsers to do their homework, and meant less need for nagging, which made the whole household happier. The lightweight, stylish finish meant the earplugs stayed in our testers ears, and we appreciated the carry case, which kept the earplugs safe when not in use. Should you be tired of arguing with little ones about homework or want to make going out for meals less stressful, these earplugs could really make life easier.

Looking to bag a bargain? Here are the best Amazon deals this week

Voucher Codes

TUI Discount Code
£100 off all bookings over £1000 - TUI discount code
ASOS Discount Code
20% off everything with this ASOS app discount code
Travelodge Discount Code
5% off all bookings with this Travelodge discount code
The Body Shop Discount Code
20% off everything with The Body Shop discount code
The Perfume Shop Discount Code
15% of all orders with The Perfume Shop birthday discount
Cult Beauty Discount Code
Up to 20% off all orders over £40 - Cult Beauty discount code

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in