The Definitive Guide
Musician ear plugs should be absolutely mandatory for anyone that frequently plays a gig or enjoys the concert scene.
Protecting your hearing can be one of the most important decisions you ever make in your life, especially if you are a career entertainer.
There is little excuse for failing to put a plan in place to ensure you are getting the optimal product.
If you are on stage rocking out, there is no question that you are putting your ears through an intense pounding from the venue’s powerful sound system.
If you are in a smaller venue, perhaps you are cranking up your amps, or are standing very close to the drummer.
Drums can be extremely loud and the constant pounding will surely hurt your eardrums, not to mention the drummer’s ears.
Concert ear plugs can be a lifesaver and knowing which to buy can make a difference between a pleasant experience and one that you regret for a long time.
Some people think that they are invincible and that ear protection is “lame” or not “cool” and you will hear people say things like “it’s a badge of honor” to lose your hearing as result of being a musician.
This is absolute baloney and you should never think this way.
Taking the time to seek out music ear plugs not only helps you while you are on stage, but you can also use them while you watch the other bands that are on the same bill as yours, or while you attend a concert simply for fun.
Attending or playing one show can often mean that you are spending a few hours listening to multiple bands in a loud environment.
Let’s look at the top choices, as the price range is everywhere from very to cheap to more expensive and higher technology brands that most people may not need.
However, musicians in particular can get an added benefit from picking a style that is more suited to hearing as much of their own playing as possible, as well as the full sound of their own band.
Choosing the wrong style can result in blunted and bass heavy sounds, blocking out too much of the higher frequency guitar or singing that you may desire to hear.
After all, if you can’t hear what you’re playing, how would you know if you are messing up!
Let’s have a look at our recommended earplugs for musicians.
OUR #1 CHOICE – FOR PRICE AND QUALITY
Eargasm High Fidelity Earplugs Review
These are perfect for musicians for the following reasons:
- They come with two different sizes in each box. This allows you to adjust your level of comfort exactly they way you want it, which increases the odds that you will actually wear them to a show.
- They bring the noise level down about 21 db which is excellent for preventing hearing loss
- The attenuation filter makes them better than foam earplugs, and allows for a wider range of the sound spectrum. This is critical for hearing the full range of sounds and instrument mix. The sound will not be bass heavy of muffled
- Discreet and color options – this is important to many people
- Bonus carrying case made of aluminum. We personally love this because as musicians, it’s easy to lose earplugs. The carrying case can easily be attached to a keychain or guitar case so that they are always by your side.
- Excellent customer reviews
More Earplug Ideas for Concert Goers and Musicians:
Earasers have been developed by a company that has 45+ years of experience in the hearing aid business.
The one complaint that most people have that are seeking earplugs for gigs is that traditional plugs, such as those used while working on a construction site, are too muffled and do not let in enough of the “good” sound.
Earasers filter out extremely loud noise while allowing you the ability to hear at a safe and comfortable volume. This allows you to focus on the various layers of instrumentation and gives you great depth of perception.
They have a soft and comfortable silicone design so that you do not need to have custom earplugs.
2. Westone Tru Universal Fit Earplugs
Let’s quit messing around. If you want to get serious and steel-reinforce your ear drums, then you should stop everything and grab some Westone Tru Universal 16db average attenuation plugs.
Known for their comfort silicone makeup, this is the choice for the musical artist who knows that protecting your ears is just as important as the passion for music itself. Nothing more even needs to be said.
You get what you pay for, and in this case you pay to be able to hear for the rest of your life.
3. LiveMus!c HearSafe Ear Plugs
These are some of my favorite ear plugs performers can buy, simply because of the key chain holder that you get with the purchase.
I for one am constantly losing mine from head-banging and this fine device allows me to bring them with me wherever I go. If I am playing a gig or attending a concert, I am equipped and ready to rock.
They come with a unique attenuation filter and fit precisely into the ear canal with a triple flange design and soft material that many people love. If you are looking for top notch plugs that are made from silicone and made for comfort, look no further.
4. Etymotic Research ER20 Hearing Protection Plugs
One of the best selling pairs, these low-cost and ready fit hearing savers ensure that sound quality is preserved while also keeping your hearing intact.
The advantage of buying the expert recommended earplugs for music is that you can actually hear the music itself. Etymotic Research is well known in the hearing industry, with years of experience and the original inventor of insert earphones in 1984.
Etymotic’s products are heavily preferred by scientists, hearing practitioners, hearing-impaired consumers, professional and amateur musicians, and others who absolutely need that superior sound quality that you lose from using poorly crafted foam earplugs that are optimized for music hearing protection.
5. Alpine Hearing Protection MusicSafe Classic Earplugs
When it comes to live music, few can match the professional quality and popularity of Alpine Hearing Protection. This particular set comes with two different interchangeable sets of music filters that allow for magnificent sound characteristics, great for medium and high attenuation rates.
Again, if you are a music lover and you want to guarantee the best protection with very little loss in quality, why not snag a pair of these for optimal hearing protection for musicians.
One thing I also like about this pair is that it comes with a small storage box that helps you keep from losing them. When you are bouncing around at a rock or metal show and you want to keep from losing them as you move from destination to destination, you’ll know they are safe in the travel container.
Also comes in a PRO version for even better quality and durability. I highly recommend this pair.
— Guitar Center (@guitarcenter) April 11, 2017
The Best Drummer Ear Plugs – Vater Percussion
It’s pretty obvious that not everyone in the world is a guitar player, and probably the one person in the band who truly needs music plugs is the drummer.
Drum ear protection is vital to being able to hear the entire dynamics of the band but also protect your own eardrums from being blasted out!
The Vater Percussion plugs are specifically design for the rhythm keeper, ensuring that they are able to hear everything that is going down without losing their place in the song.
The great thing about this particular model is that they come with removable filters, allowing you to not only find two levels of drummer ear protection, but they are easy to clean.
Come on, we all know that ear wax can really cake up and turn these into some real disgusting objects. Never fear however, as you can also carry them in a nice cylindrical carrying case to keep them from getting dirty outside of your ears. Talk about a great set!
Check out this great video on the subject:
All of these various brands and styles offer excellent ear protection for musicians, and are especially useful for practice sessions.
Any professional or high quality band practices more than once per week, and all of the extra time rocking out comes with the need to buy a professional musicians ear plug.
Singers may also be looking for a specific type to help them hear themselves sing during a loud and long gig. In some instances it may be necessary to take the extra time to have custom earplugs created specifically to fit inside your ear canal.
Everyone has a different makeup so what is comfortable for one person may not offer the same level of music ear protection for another person. It’s hard to determine the right product unless you really try them out for yourself.
Whether you are attending a concert or you are seeking ear plugs for gigs, look no further than the products found on this page. The top musicians will use the right product at whatever cost in order to ensure that they do not suffer from tinnitus and ears ringing after concerts.
Hearing Protection Types
The are many hearing protection types. We’ll help you choose the one that’s right for you.
Earplugs and other hearing protection types come in a variety of designs, materials, and sizes. Here are just a few examples of the types of earplugs and hearing protection we offer.
OUR #1 CHOICE – FOR PRICE AND QUALITY
These earplugs use shape and material type to create a sound barrier for the ear. They are passive in that they do not use any electronics to perform their function, and are generally made of silicon rubber. They tend to reduce the sound of all frequencies in the hearing spectrum to the same level. Because of this trait, passive earplugs have a tendency to make soft noises more difficult to hear. Sample uses: mowing lawn, using power tools, vacuuming, snowmobiling
Active earplugs feature electronics that compensate for the difference between soft sounds and loud sounds; hence, louder sounds are reduced more than soft sounds. Softer sounds may even be amplified, allowing you to hear sounds that are in the safe range of hearing levels while still safeguarding against loud and sudden noises. Sample uses: hunting, rifle range, boating
Music Specific Ear Plugs
Have you ever wondered how musicians can stand the loud sounds emanating from the stage or the recording studio?
They wear quality custom hearing protection that is designed to reduce sound levels across the musical audio frequency band in an even manner, rendering a “flat” and uncolored sound, which is what musicians generally seek.
Most have adjustable settings or attenuator modules, allowing the musician to choose the proper level of sound reduction.
A well made set are always custom molded to fit the ear properly and provide optimum performance and comfort. Sample uses: playing in a band, dancing in clubs, listening to music, concerts
IEMs are top quality, custom-molded active electronic earplugs/headphones that allow for optimum control in noise reduction and effectively replace the bigwedge speakers musicians have traditionally used to hear themselves play.
They are also excellent for music lovers and audiophiles, and retain their ability to block loud external noises from other sources. Sample uses: concerts, recording, band practice, listening to music
Other Specialty Ear Plugs
There are a variety of specialty ear plugs and earplug features that are also available for a variety of uses:
- pressure relief for frequent airline travellers
- pressure relief for swimmers
- floatable for swimmers, boaters, water skiers
Whatever your need, we can ensure the right type of earplug, custom-fit to ensure performance and comfort.
Quality earplugs come with a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR), expressed in decibels. Depending on the quality you choose, your earplugs may reduce noise levels anywhere from 15 to 35 decibels.
For example, a high-quality earplug with an NRR of 35 decibels would reduce the sound of truck traffic to that of a library. Want to know more? Click here for a table of comparative sound levels.
In order for earplugs to do their job properly and meet their performance ratings it’s critical they be fitted properly to your ears.
As no two ears are identical, we always recommend custom moulded earplugs to ensure the most comfortable fit and the optimum level of performance.
Beware of bargain deals like those sold in most retail stores. In addition to providing marginal noise reduction, they generally don’t fit, often fall out, and require continuous adjustment.
Comparative Loudness Chart, courtesy of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
150 dB = fireworks at 3 feet
140 dB = firearms, jet engine
130 dB = jackhammer
120 dB = jet plane takeoff, siren
110 dB = maximum output of some MP3 players, model airplane, chain saw
106 dB = gas lawn mower, snow blower
100 dB = hand drill, pneumatic drill
90 dB = subway, passing motorcycle
80–90 dB = blow-dryer, kitchen blender, food processor
70 dB = busy traffic, vacuum cleaner, alarm clock
60 dB = typical conversation, dishwasher, clothes dryer
50 dB = moderate rainfall
40 dB = quiet room
30 dB = whisper, quiet library
Written by Ryan Rodden
Guitar player in the band Night Mission