Ear protection comes in a lot of different types, one of which is ear plugs. Mainly due to their small and compact size, earplugs are largely regarded as the best form of ear protection you can get. They’re light in weight, they are portable and they have very few moving parts, which makes them durable and convenient to not only carry around, but also to store away for future use. Join us as we explore the best earplugs for concerts and the best earplugs for musicians. While you’re at it, you might just find that some earplugs which are especially marketed and sold for musicians and concert goers who want protection for their ears, could quite easily pass off as the best motorcycle ear plugs as well. In fact, you might find earplugs which can be used to offer hearing protection in a whole lot of different settings.
Eargasm High Fidelity Earplugs for Concerts Musicians and More
One of the biggest challenges facing musicians and concert goers who want to protect their precious ears from damaging sounds is having to sacrifice sound quality for the protection they typically get. This is not the case with these high fidelity earplugs from Eargasm. These earplugs prove that hearing-loss or damage can be prevented very easily, at an inexpensive cost and without compromising the primary experience of a night club, concert, or live music performance.
Filtering vs. Explicit Blocking
These Eargasms take things further than earmuffs or foam protection. Instead of acting as a mechanical mechanism to completely block off all sound, the noise is filtered so that “good” sound can still go through. For musicians this can make for the difference between a good performance and a below-par one since your craft undoubtedly depends your interaction with the sounds you produce and those of others, like your fellow band members.
Volume Adjustment for Life
If you ever wished you had a volume adjustment feature for the ambient sounds that you’re exposed to in your life, this is it! There are certain sounds you probably wish you could still hear, but only at comfortable and safe levels, while those loud noises which you can just tell will do damage to your hearing you’d naturally want to block out almost completely.
These Eargasm ear plugs have an impressive Noise Reduction Rating of up to 21 decibels. We say “up to” 21 dB because it largely depends on how you use them and how they fit. With a little practice, you can almost dictate just how much noise they filter out depending on how you wear them. They are really good for musicians because although they don’t come with distinguishable filters, in practice you can hear music from a band quite beautifully and there is no indication that your ears are taking a beating.
EAR Defense High Fidelity Earplugs
A solidly-built aluminum carry-case suggests that this set of high fidelity earplugs is best suited even for those touring musicians who will be on the road for quite a while. Even when it’s all packed-away in its screw-on carry-case, it’s compact enough to fit perfectly in your pocket, but you can also attach it perhaps more conveniently to your key-ring.
It’s all about choice with this set of earplugs from EAR Defense - something which should be more widely provided amongst more manufacturers of musicians’ earplugs. Each package comes with two pairs of earplugs, both of which are purpose design and built to filter loud sounds which can be really harmful to your hearing. The good sounds which any musician would naturally still want to hear are filtered through though, so you can hear your fellow band-mates, the lead (or backup) singer(s) and the adoring voices of the crowd. The two pairs of earplugs contained in each package offer a good variation and range in their Noise Reduction Rating. 27 dB is a really high rating which offers great protection, but depending on the setting and the acoustics of the venue you’re performing in or enjoying live music in, you might want to go a little lower. The other pair comes into play here with a rating of 23 dB.
In order for earplugs to work well they need to fit correctly and fortunately, these EAR Defenses are available in a size which will fit most people. If they aren’t a good fit for you, you can return them.
Better Than Foam Plugs
Foam plugs are synonymous with muffled sound and that’s where these earplugs earn their stripes. They offer way more comfort in addition to filtering the various sounds you’d get exposed to in concert, at a festival, or even at the airport terminal.
EarPeace HD High Fidelity Hearing Protection
When it comes to taking the stance to protect your hearing from the potential damage very loud noises can induce, it’s always good to have choice, variety and some flexibility. That’s exactly what you get with EarPeace’s HD High Fidelity Hearing Protectors because this model comes in two different versions.
HD vs. Normal
Well we are indeed featuring the HD version, but the normal version is worth mentioning because it can be very easy to pick up the normal ones when you’d in fact intended to get yourself the High Definition version. Depending on your own ear protection needs, you might need just a little bit of noise reduction, in which case the normal version of these EarPeace’s has a Noise Reduction Rating of 10 dB. The HD ones on the other hand have a bit of a variable Noise Reduction Rating, which is of course dependent on how you wear them to fit. The rating ranges from just above the normal ones, at 11 dB, right up to 14 dB.
Some Good Improvements
Earpeace HD High Fidelity Earplugs make for a great improvement on the original manufacturer’s product, featuring a much sturdier build to last longer and the integration of filters for much better sound attenuation.
Built for Musicians
If you’re merely a concert goer, you might be better served to go with the normal version of these, which offer 10 dB of noise reduction, but only if you’re comfortable with that level of reduction. The HD ones are perhaps better suited to musicians themselves - those who produce the sound because the sound does tend to get a bit muffled. If you’re the one playing the music, a little bit of sound muffling won’t hurt, but what’s important is that you won’t experience any ominous ringing in your ears because of the protection offered.
LiveMus!c HearSafe Ear Plugs
Most musicians’ earplugs are specifically made to protect musicians and maybe even concert goers, but that’s usually where it ends. LiveMus!c’s HearSafe Ear Plugs however take things a step further and can even be used to offer protection for shooting. That says a lot about the Noise Reduction Rating the manufacturers managed to achieve with these, earning them official EN352-1:2006 and EN352-2:2002 certifications. But what does that mean exactly?
Highest NRR in Musician’s Earplugs?
These certainly carry one of the highest Noise Reduction Ratings we’ve seen in earplugs which are specifically marketed as musician’s / concert protective earplugs. Because of the two color-coded filter options, it’s as if the one package you buy comes with two different sets of ear plugs. The green filter gives you a Noise Reduction Rating of 23 dB, while the white filter comes with a colossal 29 dB of Noise Reduction! This type of choice and subsequent variety in the ratings means you only have to carry one pair of earplugs and still have the freedom to choose the level of protection you get. Musicians will especially appreciate this if they’re performing at different venues within a short space of time, with different sound systems used and acoustics.
Protection Can Never Be Too Much
Well, it turns out that you actually can get too much protection. When protection takes away from the hearing experience then it borders on too much protection, but you just stick it out because what matters is your hearing. That’s not the case with these ear plugs however because these contain what the manufactures call precision filters. What this means is that 29 dB of noise reduction isn’t explicit noise-blockage, but rather weakens high frequency background noises while keeping speech and music at suitable signals for drummers, musicians, concert goers and even clubbers. Just be careful not to get the filters loose and stuck in your ear canal however and always use the user guide for safe use instructions.
DownBeats Reusable High Fidelity Hearing Protection
Considering their impressive fidelity and the hearing protection they offer, it’s very easy to see why these reusable DownBeats can very quickly turn into a musician’s best friend. Those potentially damaging noise levels you want to avoid get toned down by the hearing protection, but naturally as a musician, you still want to hear how the sound you’re contributing to project comes out. These DownBeats are purpose-built to do just that, filtering sound so that you optimally hear music and conversational communication at levels which are safe enough to preserve your natural hearing ability.
Stylish, Easy Portability
Musicians who are serious about their craft don’t only strut their stuff in front of the microphone or on stage. Musicians themselves are music-lovers too, so even if you’re not the one performing, these High Fidelity Hearing Protectors could still come in handy. Attending a concert, live recording, or are you just constantly called upon to do sound-checks or just listen to a few bars? These DownBeats offer hearing protection wherever you go and you can conveniently carry them in style too, as they come in a very sturdy aluminum case that’s very easy to carry around. In fact, you might even forget to pack them in.
Take care of these DownBeats and they’ll continue to take care of your hearing. Their soft silicone makeup can be easily cleaned with a moderate dish washing liquid and some water, after which you should simply rinse and dry.
Well perhaps you do have to be 18 years and older to get into a noisy nightclub, but in this instance the rating of 18 refers to the DownBeats hearing protector’s Noise Reduction Rating. 18 dB of reduction means you can safely listen to sounds from nightclubs, music festivals, and all other loud noises (apart from gunshots) which will be suitably filtered.
V-MODA Faders VIP Tuned Metal Earplugs
Now this must be the coolest pair of musician’s earplugs currently available for the market, which is why they’d indicatively be a real hit among even those famous musicians who have already made it far in their art. If you’re performing for multitude of adoring fans, those who are closer to the stage and can possibly catch a glimpse of your VIP Tuned Metal Earplugs will have even more to appreciate. They definitely look as professional as they look cool!
Preserving Your Hearing and Preserving Sound Clarity
Throughout the evolution of the noise reduction and filtering technology which goes into musician’s earplugs, there has been an ongoing tug-of-war between sound clarity and the level of protection one gets. Muffling of the sound you’re often trying to protect yourself against sort of defeats the purpose because you still want to hear the sound, not completely shut it out or garble it. These earplugs do well to preserve both your hearing and the clarity of the sound you’re listening to, reducing the pitch of dangerous sound levels by 12 dB. While this Noise Reduction Rating is decent for a pair of musician’s earplugs, in all honesty the, preservation of sound clarity applies more to people who produce the musical sounds as opposed to those who consume (listen) to it. So if you’re the drummer, guitarist or maybe even the lead singer then you can make do with a little bit of muffling, but if you’re in the concert crowd, the muffling could get a bit too much for you.
Great Fit, Portability and Solid Protection
These earplugs definitely prevent hearing-loss, but they look extremely good too, they come in four different sizes to ensure fit (XS, S, M, and L), and they come in a convenient carry-case which allows you to wear around your neck or keep them in your pocket.
Buying Guide of Earplugs for Concerts and Musicians
Hearing damage isn’t always permanent and that’s perhaps permanent hearing loss is the worst case scenario. Usually though, one never just goes straight to experiencing permanent hearing-loss, unless you’re unfortunate enough to get exposed to very high levels of noise for a period of time which is enough to cause permanent damage. It’s usually a gradual process with lots of warning signs, like experiencing a buzz or ring in your ears after attending a concert. If that buzzing or ringing happens to go away, you can consider yourself lucky because that’s hearing damage which has managed to take care of itself naturally. A situation you don’t want to find yourself in however is upon seeking professional medical help for you hearing problem, you find that your hearing has been permanently damaged due to repeated exposure to high levels of impulsive noises, like perhaps the insanely loud speakers used at a music concert, festival, etc.
Protecting your hearing from such an unfortunate but preventable eventuality is indeed possible and it starts with the mere process of using suitable ear protection. Do not write off hearing-loss has a mere occupational hazard if you’re a musician because it can be prevented, quite easily in fact if you have the right set of musicians’ earplugs. The same goes for concert goers - nobody in this day and age will subtract five “cool points” from you simply because you were spotted wearing a set of earplugs which block out or filter down dangerous noise levels by 5 five decibels or more! That said; there are some very cool-looking earplugs for musicians and concert goers to wear, so protection never has to come at the expense of “coolness”, or the other way around. You have to know exactly what to look for however, if you want hearing protection that does way more than just block out noises or even muffle what is otherwise some good music you want to enjoy.
Noise Reduction Rating
Depending on your position in relation to where the concert speakers are, the biggest and most powerful of these speakers can belt out up to 120 dB. You’re most likely going to be subjected to about 100 dB or less though, again depending on where you’re located, which direction the speakers are facing and how close you are to the speakers. This is where Noise Reduction Rating in earplugs becomes important because using earplugs can make the difference between being able to withstand the sound for 15 minutes before you start suffering ear damage, or being able to enjoy the bellowing music for eight hours or more. Typically though, a concert won’t last for more than four hours, but it helps to be prepared in case it does.
By now you’ll be well aware that it isn’t just about the noise reduction rating in terms of decibels, but rather about the noise reduction rating in relation to the time you’ll be exposed to a certain level of noise. So, if a certain pair of earplugs has a noise reduction rating of 10 dB, that’s good enough to offer you protection for up to two hours - two hours in total, because no concert just goes on and on and on without any breaks between songs / performances. The higher the Noise Reduction Rating, the longer you can withstand the filtered down and reduced levels of noise. Some of the highest NR Ratings in the musicians‘/concert earplugs we’ve used and reviewed go up to about 29 dB.
When we speak of design we’re not just talking about the outward appearance of the earplugs. Yes, there are some earplugs which look very good, but our design considerations are centered more on the functionality than the outward appearance. For example, what if you land on a sweet spot at a concert you’re attending and find that you don’t need to use your earplugs? Can you pack them away conveniently, perhaps put them in your pocket and forget about them, or attach them to a key-ring or around your neck? Do they come with a robust casing, like aluminum, in which they suffer no risk of getting damaged should you sit on them by accident or anything of that sort?
Functional design goes beyond storage however. Some earplugs simply block out the sound in a mechanical fashion (plug out the sound waves), while others which are considered to be much more effective merely filter the sound to safe levels, maintaining the clarity of the sound.
It Helps to Have Options
Sometimes different options come conveniently packaged into one set of earplugs. Usually different filters which you can attach and swap around will give you different Noise Reduction levels, so you only need to carry one case and effectively one pair of earplugs, even though you might need different levels of protection. Some packages come with two different pairs of earplugs which then give you different options by way of protection, while others give you the option of being able to vary the amount of protection you get by simply fitting them in different ways.
Ultimately, when going through the many different options you’re considering for your concert or musician’s earplugs, you have to think about the typical setting in which you’d use them. It doesn’t help you one bit, for instance, to go for all-purpose earplugs with a rating so high that you can use them for shooting, if those earplugs muffle the music at a concert.
Why Should I Wear Earplugs to Concerts?
Attending a concert with your earplugs in tow may seem like an action which sort of defeats the whole purpose of going to a concert. After all, you’re only really going there for the music, right, and so you want to actually hear the music? Just how much damage could your ears suffer though if they were exposed to a couple or more hours of loud music coming from some of those huge speakers? Also, the mere exercise of wanting to attend a music concert means you want to express your contemporary style and taste and so you’d naturally want to look cool, which brings another question of whether or not that’s possible wearing earplugs to protect your ears from the very sound you came to hear.
At some point you have to think about how much value you place on your sense of hearing because yes, exposing your ears to prolonged loud noises can in fact damage your hearing, permanently in the most severe of cases. You only get one pair of working ears and you simply don’t want to throw away your hearing just because of some ill-advised perception that wearing ear protection to a concert or live music festival makes you look out of place and “old.” Besides, it is indeed an ill-advised perception because nobody whose opinion matters is probably even looking at you. There are no anti-earplug police scouring the concert audience floors for people wearing earplugs and if anyone who doesn’t have earplugs in their possession happens to spot you rocking yours, the only feelings they’ll have towards you are those of jealousy. Furthermore, you’d rather be over-prepared than underprepared in instances such as these. If the music emanates at comfortable levels from the speakers and doesn’t hurt your ears at all, then you can keep your earplugs in your pocket or on your key-ring, paying them no further attention. Most musicians’/concert earplugs are built very small and compact, even if they’re packed away in their carry case, so they won’t be a bother at all should you not need them. What you do not want however is a situation where you paid a lot of money for the concert ticket which landed you a good spot on the audience floor, yet the speakers are belting away at such high volumes that you not only have a bad experience of the concert itself, but your precious sense of hearing takes a real pounding. Be prepared and just get yourself a pair of earplugs to take along with you to your concerts and live music events like festivals.
Hearing-loss induced by noise is fast growing into the most common cause for people going deaf. The risk your hearing suffers is very closely associated to the loudness of the noise you’re exposed to, the period of time you’re exposed to it, and just how close you are to the source of the loud noise. Amidst all the craze and superstar-induced delirium, something like a rock concert has the capabilities of generating between 100 and 120 dB of noise, which is akin to being exposed to the noise a chainsaw makes. Nobody needs to tell you that the noise generated by a chainsaw is potentially damaging for your ears and so nobody should needs to tell you that a rock concert can result in the same damage to your hearing.
120 dB is way above what is considered to be safe noise levels of around 85 dB. If you get the right earplugs, your experience of any concert you attend will be enhanced via the protection your ears get as well as the attenuation of sounds you ideally still want to hear, like your friends’ voices and announcements.
How Loud Is Too Loud?
Well there are apps for that now, but still, walking around with a decibel meter in order to measure whether or not your ears are being exposed to dangerous levels of sound is counterintuitive. Understandably, you want to protect your hearing from those high impulse noises which could even cause permanent hearing loss, but even if you do indeed use a decibel meter to indicate to you whether or not you need to whip out your selected preference in ear protection, it helps to know exactly which sounds are dangerous. So how loud is too loud then?
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), when it comes to quantifying the ear’s threshold of safe noise-level exposure, it isn’t simply a matter of the noise level itself. It’s rather a matter of the ear being able to withstand certain levels of noise expressed as a factor of time. For instance, 85 dB is where most comparisons of safe noise levels rightfully start, but it isn’t a straight forward matter of saying that anything above 85 dB is dangerous. Exposure of 85 dB of noise is still safe, but the threshold is 85 dB of continuous exposure for a period of eight hours.
Here’s where it gets interesting…
Every next threshold measured is done so in increments of 3 dB, simply because that’s how the human ear seems to be wired. But now the interesting part is that for every increment of 3 dB added, the amount of time your ear can withstand those noise levels is halved. So from your ear being able to withstand 85 dB for 8 hours, if you add 3 dB and you’re now looking at 88 dB, the total time your ear can handle exposure to 88 dB is 4 hours. It goes up proportionately, give or take a few split seconds as you go higher and higher, so to complete the picture a bit more:
91 dB - 2 hours
94 dB - 1 hour
97 dB - 30 minutes
100 dB - 15 minutes
103 dB - 7.5 minutes
106 dB - 3.75 minutes (less than four minutes)
109 dB - 1.875 minutes (less than two minutes)…
Now the speakers used in rock concerts and similar music festivals or events generate between 100 and 120 dB. Your ears cannot handle those levels of noise for more than 15 minutes at most, but which music concert lasts 15 minutes? That’s definitely too loud for the amount of time you’ll be exposed to those levels of noise.
In our exploration of some products which could potentially make for the best earplugs for concerts and musicians, we put a few options through their paces. What we paid special attention to were the key features which determine the effectiveness of the protection one gets when listening to loud music and also how well the “good” sounds are attenuated. It is after all about the quality of the experience you get when you’re out and about at a live concert, music festival, at a club or anywhere else where the music / sound can get a bit too loud for you, yet while you protect your ears you still want to enjoy the music / sound. What we found was that the highest Noise Reduction Rating doesn’t necessarily equate to the best experience, since sounds can get muffled. Variation came into effect as a very important factor as earplugs with different sound filtering options cover a wider spectrum of ear-protection-needs while maintaining good sound quality.
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