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Recommendations for Ear Plugs

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Recommendations for Ear Plugs

Old 10-03-08, 04:30 PM
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Recommendations for Ear Plugs

After a nauseatingly loud Dio concert a few years ago I decided I needed to start using ear plugs when I go to concerts (particularly concerts in small clubs). I've been using some cheapo ones I got at the drug store and they work pretty well, but they're ugly, huge, and hard to seat properly so that it doesn't destroy the sound too much.

Anybody have some recommendations for good ear plugs for going to concerts? I'm probably looking for something in the -12dB to -18dB range I'd expect. I'm going to see Opeth on the 16th so I want to be ready.
Old 10-03-08, 04:38 PM
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I have these:

http://www.earlove.net/index1.html

and I highly recommend them. They're supposedly an inexpensive version of musician's earplugs and they do exactly what you're asking - lower the volume without hurting the sound. I've only seen one show where they didn't seem to lower the volume quite enough, but it was an exceptionally loud concert. Other than being fitted for musician's plugs by an audiologist, I don't think you'll be able to find anything better.
Old 10-03-08, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by GoVegan View Post
I have these:

http://www.earlove.net/index1.html

and I highly recommend them. They're supposedly an inexpensive version of musician's earplugs and they do exactly what you're asking - lower the volume without hurting the sound. I've only seen one show where they didn't seem to lower the volume quite enough, but it was an exceptionally loud concert. Other than being fitted for musician's plugs by an audiologist, I don't think you'll be able to find anything better.
I have a pair that look kinda like the ones in the link. They seem to work well for auto racing events with the exception of some F1 cars -- it felt like a toothpick was being driven past the ear plugs into my ear.
Old 10-03-08, 05:29 PM
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I just use those cheapo foam ones they have at CVS or Wal-Mart that you mentioned. They're not the best, but they seem to work well enough. At least I find that I don't have "concert ear" when I remove them. If I went to more concerts, I'd probably spring for the pricier ones.

I swear, if there's only one thing that I could tell Young DJLinus if I could go back in time, next to "easy on the carbs," it'd be "wear earplugs." After many loud concerts in my youth, I now have noise trauma in my ears (and I'm "only" 33). It really sucks.

Periodically, I tell my 12 and 14 year old nephews to wear them, but I'm sure I come across as an old fuddy-duddy.
Old 10-03-08, 05:57 PM
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These are the ones I have. They quiet the sound without muffling or distorting it, while still being able to hear someone next to you talking. I like wearing them to metal concerts, since it helps clear up the wall of sound, allowing me to hear the individual instruments.

http://www.etymotic.com/ephp/er20.aspx
Old 10-03-08, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by DJLinus View Post
I just use those cheapo foam ones they have at CVS or Wal-Mart that you mentioned.
All I use and they work fine. Just "kind of" yawn - shove them in - and I am good to go.
However I have hair that covers my ears so it does not stick out
Old 10-04-08, 08:19 AM
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You don't have to spend a lot. I've been using the Foam Earplugs from CVS as mentioned above for years. Just make sure the sound protection rating is high and you're good to go.
Old 10-04-08, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by mndtrp View Post
These are the ones I have. They quiet the sound without muffling or distorting it, while still being able to hear someone next to you talking. I like wearing them to metal concerts, since it helps clear up the wall of sound, allowing me to hear the individual instruments.

http://www.etymotic.com/ephp/er20.aspx
I looked at the ones GoVegan posted and it seems they are the exact same thing as the ER-20s. I think that's what I'm going to go with.

Thanks a bunch guys.
Old 10-04-08, 11:39 AM
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Yeah, from looking at them they appear to be the exact same thing, down to the carrying case. I just wish those earplugs were slightly less expensive and more readily available because I think a lot more people would use them if they realized that they could protect their ears AND make concerts sound better.
Old 10-04-08, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by GoVegan View Post
AND make concerts sound better.
Really? I guess I'm alone in that I like the muffling of quality foam plugs. They filter out crowd noise and any band with a decent sound system will still sound great. Besides, who the hell cares what anyone else is saying at a show? I came to hear music.
Old 10-04-08, 11:58 AM
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I have Etymotic Research earplugs (www.etymotic.com) that work pretty good.

My complaint about earplugs (especially about the foam ones), is that they block out TOO much of the sound. I usually just resort to going to the bar, getting a napkin, and rolling up a small piece of it and putting it in my year. That blocks out the high end & major vibrations and still leaves the volume loud enough for me to enjoy.
Old 10-04-08, 12:55 PM
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FYI: Amazon has the Etymotic Research ER20BP (clear) for $11.18. They qualify for Prime shipping, as well.
Old 10-04-08, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Giantrobo View Post
Really? I guess I'm alone in that I like the muffling of quality foam plugs. They filter out crowd noise and any band with a decent sound system will still sound great. Besides, who the hell cares what anyone else is saying at a show? I came to hear music.
Good earplugs will help with hearing each instrument being played. Too often, metal concerts are just a barrage of sound, usually a guitar and the drums. With good earplugs, you'll be able to hear each instrument more clearly.
Old 10-04-08, 06:42 PM
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Cheap foam ones are just fine. I like the 28db or higher for loud concerts myself, I saw LCD Soundsystem in a very noisy tent with them in and it was great, 'loud' but not oh-my-god-my-brains-hurt loud like it felt when I took them out for a second. Tinntinitus is no joke, my wife has it after years of loud concerts.
Old 10-04-08, 10:27 PM
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I have the Etymotic ones as well, they sound much better than the cheapo foam ones. I'm on my second pair, I've been using them for like 6 years or so.
Old 10-07-08, 05:31 AM
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Originally Posted by mndtrp View Post
Good earplugs will help with hearing each instrument being played. Too often, metal concerts are just a barrage of sound, usually a guitar and the drums. With good earplugs, you'll be able to hear each instrument more clearly.
Right, and I use GOOD foam earplugs so that's why I said what I said. I find shows sound BETTER with earplugs because I can hear the actual music and not just organized overdriven noise mixed in with crowd noise. That's just my preference. Maybe one day I'll try the other type of plug and like them better. But for now Foam works great for me.

I have a buddy who goes to at least 2 or 3 shows per week and he never uses earplugs. I think he'll be deaf in a few years.

You know what's funny? All this talk of earplugs at concerts is great but I'll bet most here,and I include myself, listen to ipods and car stereos at elevated volumes daily. Loud shows are bad without protection, but it's the day to day stuff like this that sneaks up on a person and screws up their hearing.

Last edited by Giantrobo; 10-08-08 at 06:18 AM.
Old 10-07-08, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Giantrobo View Post
You know what's funny? All this talk of earplugs at concerts is great but I'll most here,and I include myself, listen to ipods and car stereos at elevated volumes daily. Loud shows are bad without protection, but it's the day to day stuff like this that sneaks up on a person and screws up their hearing.
Yep!

I've seen thousands of live performances (most without earplugs), but I think most of my hearing damage has been due to listening to music so loud in my car.
Old 10-11-08, 08:43 PM
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I purchased the ER-20s and they arrived yesterday. I tried them out last night and couldn't get a good seal with them at first but eventually I think I got it. Unlike the foam plugs the sound isn't completely changed so I was having a hard time knowing if I was putting them in right. Also, I thought the stems were supposed to stick up inside your ear, but they way they fit for me, the stems stick out of me ear which looks really stupid. I couldn't find any pictures of anybody wearing them though so maybe that is how they're supposed to be. Anyway, I'm not wearing them to look cool. They do seem to fit really tight and I wouldn't say they're very comfortable. I wonder if I should have gotten the ones for small ear canals.

We'll see how they do at the Opeth concert Thursday.
Old 10-11-08, 10:01 PM
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I hope you aren't trying to shove them all the way in your ear. I only get the first bulb into the canal, with the second bulb creating the seal on the entrance of the canal. The third, largest bulb doesn't touch much of anything.

Yes, they look goofy. I got some strange looks from my friends the first couple of times wearing them, but then most of them realized it's a good idea. If you get in the pit, or are walking through a large crowd, it might be a good idea to take them out. I'd hate to have one shoved into my ear.
Old 10-12-08, 01:59 AM
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I recommend purchasing a pack of Good Quality Foam plugs as back up....I'm just sayin'
Old 10-12-08, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by mndtrp View Post
I hope you aren't trying to shove them all the way in your ear. I only get the first bulb into the canal, with the second bulb creating the seal on the entrance of the canal. The third, largest bulb doesn't touch much of anything.

Yes, they look goofy. I got some strange looks from my friends the first couple of times wearing them, but then most of them realized it's a good idea. If you get in the pit, or are walking through a large crowd, it might be a good idea to take them out. I'd hate to have one shoved into my ear.
Well I got the third bulb in most of the way and it didn't feel very good... j/k. I think it's the second bulb creating the seal. Good to have confirmation that they're being worn properly though.

I don't usually participate in mosh pits or anything so I think I'll be good. I will be bringing my foam plugs in case these get knocked out or something though.
Old 03-30-19, 11:12 AM
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Re: Recommendations for Ear Plugs

So this thread is over 10 years old and wanted to get any opinions here on what the our posters/concert-goers currently use.

I have several loud concerts I will be attending soon and wanted to get some that still give you decent sound. I figured there have got to be some improvements on this in the last decade.

I have read dozens of reviews on different ear plugs for concerts on Amazon and I have googled 10 ten type articles. But for every few great reviews of a product, there is one that sounds legit saying the good reviews are bullshit.

So I just wanted to get some opinions from some real users her.
Old 03-30-19, 10:13 PM
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Re: Recommendations for Ear Plugs

Not cheap (~$200?), but I use Westone custom ear plugs. You get a mold taken at an audiologist's office, and then get the custom plugs in the mail. The have different filters you can swap out, like -15db, -25db and solid blocks. I've used them for over 10 years now, and wear them all the time (concerts, airplanes, even just driving with an open window).
Old 03-31-19, 08:06 AM
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Re: Recommendations for Ear Plugs

Recommended already, I'm currently using these, they work great for me. These are updated versions, removes a dangerous handle that could cause the old model to get shoved into your ear if pushed during a show.
Etymotic High-Fidelity Earplugs Etymotic High-Fidelity Earplugs
Old 03-31-19, 10:04 AM
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Re: Recommendations for Ear Plugs

I wore a pair of cheap foam earplugs to the last concert I attended, years ago. We were in front of the speakers, and the bass was so loud that it was making the cuffs of my bluejeans flap. The foam plugs protected my hearing, but it blocked some frequencies a lot more than some others. The music sounded significantly better with them out. But it was so loud that I put the earplugs back in.

If you're going to spend serious money on concert tickets, you should be willing to get high fidelity ear plugs.

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