After being inspired by an article in Slate, I decided to buy earplugs. Since earplugs are really cheap, I went with the foam earplug trial pack from The Ear Plug Super Store. Note for the divisionally challenged that this comes out to around 30 cents per pair. Slate also had an article on earplug effectiveness which I did not read until just now---long after having gotten my variety pack by mail.
So far Elaine and I have only tried the EAR classics. They are very effective, and are easy to insert, but I find that they become slightly painful after more than an hour or so of wearing. It may just be a size issue, which I should know when I get to trying the smaller size.