I too, have not found any ear PLUGS which do not distort my hearing. BUT...
I religiously use ear MUFFS, which allow the sound of the machine in, but not the ear damage you ARE currently experiencing...
My favorites are some govt. surplus, intended for use around aircraft. But another set I have is for shooters, and works as well, but is heavier on my head. All my employees over the years have become converts. Many were like you at first, but after using the muffs, and finding that they could not only hear machine variations, but ALSO hold conversations WHILE the machines were running (routers, saws, mills, etc.) it's an easy sell.
There are some newer "compact" models which don't work as well, IMO. The best ones (for shop use) seem to have "air space" or "room" inside the earcup. The compact models DO reduce the sound level, but seem to ALSO do more distortion of the sounds we're WANTING to hear...
So look for BIG, ugly<G> round (oval really) earcups, with a metal "connector" to hold 'em on yer hed. (The kind you see the cops on TV shows using when they're at the shooting range)The all plastic ones seems to be the sound distorters...
Hope this helps,
/ Here's a pic (sideways, like the smilies) <G>
\ _ __
Originally posted by inthedark
However, after working in the shop all day, I have trouble hearing my daughter for a an hour or so. But when I wear ear plugs, I can't hear the tones of the machine. I feel it's better to hear the equipment in case something is wrong. It's just to costly to miss a problem, and destroy components. I have found no ear plugs, that block minimal noise only.
It may not be right, but it's my viewpoint... [/B]