Best Earplugs For Musicians | Reviews 2018

Posted in Gear

Earplugs were first mentioned in the Greek story of Odyssey when his crew was warned about sirens singing on the island they were passing through. Circe, their hostess, tells them of the Sirens' fascinating song that makes men drive their boats toward land and they disappear. She suggested Odysseus to fashion earplugs for his men from beeswax so that they wouldn't be lured to their deaths by the sirens song.

Present-day earplug material was discovered in 1967, at National analysis Corporation (NRC) within the USA by Ross Gardner Junior and his team. As a part of a project on protection joints, they developed a resin with energy absorption properties. They came to call this material "E-A-R" (Energy Absorption Resin). In 1972 the fabric was refined into industrial memory foam earplugs, made up of either polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or polymer.

If you are practicing every day, or just sometimes for fun, or you are exposed in any way to any type of noise from which you are buzzing or ringing, you definitely need to find the best earplugs possible.

Why You Really Need Them?

You’re on the stage and somebody comes up to you and shouts a request into your uncovered ear so loudly it seems like your eardrum split. You almost certainly couldn’t even figure out what they aforesaid because it had been so distorted. And therefore the very last thing you would like them to try and do is to repeat themselves. Your head is spinning and you don’t recognize that song they require. You get up the tomorrow morning and everything simply sounds a bit flat and dull. Birds chirping don’t quite have the same high notes. Or there's a dull whirring sound that doesn’t get away. Worse there could be real ringing or never-ending high-pitched sound.

These are signs of some quantity of permanent hearing damage and/or symptom. Your hearing will feel like it recovers - however it never fully comes back. The hearing disorder is progressive and hard to discover as a result of it’s gradual. The hearing disorder is permanent. The environment you work in is dangerous to yours and your fan’s hearing. Not only that the music is loud, you've got a mass of individuals screaming and shouting at each other too. Additionally, all venues are closed in to spare the neighbors, therefore the sound has nowhere to go however bounce around and deform. What are you able to do? Ancient foam earplugs are essentially unusable because they fully destroy sound quality. It’s also not cool to wear an enormous foam in your ears. The modern ones turn down the amount of volume while not distorting the sound. The birds chirping in the morning will sound crisp. No additional ringing ears after a gig. Earplug is that the excellent for musicians.

There are primarily four varieties of earplugs for hearing protection:

- Foam earplugs are made of vinyl polymer (PVC) or polymer (PU) that are compressed.

- Silicone earplugs are rolled and thoroughly shaped to suit over the external part of the ear canal.

- Flanged earplugs, as well as most varieties of musicians' or 'Hi-Fi' plugs.

- Custom shaped ones are made of a mold of ear and designed to exactly match all ear canal shapes.

Furthermore, they'll be either disposable or reusable, with foam and hand rolled silicone polymer ones usually being disposable or to be used a restricted number of times. Custom shaped are non-disposable and come as either ventilated (for communication) or non-vented (for high noise). A variation of the standard foam earplug is that the no-roll foam earplug that uses an inbuilt central stem to push the foam plugs into the ears. They accomplish a seal thanks to their tapered form, instead of growth once being rolled.

Earplugs and different hearing protection devices will be tested to make sure that they match properly and are successfully limiting sound exposure with a variety of various systems, most of that use massive noise-canceling headphones that fit over the ear and transmit the test sounds. It is particularly helpful to individuals exposed to overly noisy devices or environments (80 dB or more).
Musicians earplugs are designed to smooth out sounds evenly across all frequencies that help maintain natural frequency response in the ear.

These are usually used by musicians and technicians, each in the studio and in concert, to avoid overexposure to high volume levels. Musician's earplugs usually come through this by incorporating a small diaphragm to reduce low frequencies, along with absorbent or damping material for high frequencies. These don't seem to be supposed for protection from very high noise levels (beyond one hundred and five dB). Preformed earplugs, like the ER-20 earplug, are universal (non-custom) ones with a noise reduction rating (NRR) of concerning 12 dB.

A costlier choice is the custom musician's earplug that is made-to-order for the individual listener. These are usually made out of silicone polymer or vinyl materials and are available with a vent and a range of filters that may change the quantity of attenuation provided. Common filter attenuations are 9, 15, and 25 dB, and with these filters, the musician can modify their earplugs depending on the music they're taking part in. In order to own custom musicians' earplugs created, an audiologist administers a hearing test and makes molds of the ear. A company then makes a custom ear-piece into which the various filters could also be inserted.

These varieties can give the flattest attenuation and also the truest isolation from outside noise, as they match firmly into the individual's ears. They additionally give much better protection from very high noise levels. This kind of plug is sort of well-liked among audio engineers who can safely listen to loud mixes for extended periods of time. However, they can be quite pricey, being supposed for constant re-use, not like simple earplugs that are disposable.

Westone TRU Universal WM16

Designed specifically for professional musicians enjoy woodwind, brass, acoustic, and jazz music. The TRU WM16 provides a tuned, flat attenuation response so that all frequencies are reduced by almost the same level, making it the best high fidelity universal ear tips on the market. These hearing protection earplugs are really comfortable. This allows you to enjoy music at concerts for long periods of time without "hot ear" as these ones are fully ventilated. Unique musicians' membrane ensures that music retains the sound equalization. Lose none of the original sounds with these universal ear tips while bringing the sound down to a safe level to listen. The TRU WM16 reduces the sound by 16 dB. This helps you avoid hearing damage like tinnitus, hyperacusis, or long-term hearing loss caused by listening to unsafe volume levels.

  • Ergonomic design.
  • Comfortable.
  • Comes in two sizes.

  • Price.
  • “High-frequency sounds don't make it through, resulting in a somewhat muffled sound”.

Alpine MusicSafe Classic

The MusicSafe Classic offers professional hearing protection from Alpine. Alpine MusicSafe Classic delivers two totally different sets of music filters with great sound characteristics, excellent for medium and high attenuation rates. These special filters provides optimum protection without loss of clarity, while at the same you'll be able to absolutely enjoy the music. High-pitched sounds are, as on other earplugs, reduced more than low-pitched sounds. The sound filters allow a little but important amount of air flow. Package contains 2 filters, 1 pair of earplugs and hygienic storage box which ensures that they are protected and always carried with you.

  • Music filters offering outstanding sound quality.
  • Comfortable, compact, and hardly visible in the ear.

  • Uneven reduction.

Zildjian HD Ear Plugs

Editor's choice best pick badge

The Zildjian Company is an American-based (Massachusetts) cymbal manufacturer founded in Istanbul in the 17th century. Being nearly 400 years old, it is one of the oldest and largest cymbal companies in the whole world. Zildjian also produces drum related accessories, such as drumsticks, tune keys etc. Zildjian and Earpiece have teamed up to bring you the best earplugs for drummers on the market. Zildjian HD Ear Plugs are made from soft, strong, hypoallergenic silicone and with them you can hear all the high notes and your friend speaking to you while the music plays. You can wear them comfortably all day without a risk them falling out of your ears. Package includes multiple filters (NRR 11/14) which improves the sound clarity in loud environments for more protection.

The “pull tab” allow you to easily put the plugs to the point where they “disappears” and then remove them easily from the ears.

  • Easily fit.
  • Can hear everything but it keeps your ears safe.
  • Keeping the sound real.

  • N/A 🙂

LiveMus!c HearSafe Ear Plugs

One of the products that I accidentally found was this one. I was interested because I found a lot of positive but also negative comments about it.
The manufacturer claims that those provides an amazing hearing protection of your ears against loud sounds or noises that can deliver a lasting damage to your hearing.
Claims that professionally hold back music, noise or voice volume through two distinctive sets of earplugs with filters which don't muffle the sound like standard foam earplugs.
Perfectly fits the ear canal with cone formed earplugs to fit a variety of ear sizes and to make sure an excellent and lasting seal for your specific desires.

So you wonder what I found. I will brief you, in short, some comments and reviews that I found around the web so you can bethink:

“Best protection and most user-friendly musician's plugs”; “Worth every penny”; “No ringing ears after live music. Woot!”; “Will Never Go Without These Again.” ; “Perfect fit and great sound quality”; “Comfortable, Convenient, And Beautiful”; “The 29 DB plugs are probably the best pair of mass-produced earplugs”

These are positive reactions, but on the other hand, we have comments of this type:

“Too small stem, overpriced, very cheap look and feel.”; “Not suitable for wind instruments!”;
“They help but will get stuck in your ears! ...”; “Terrible sound quality”; “I regret this purchase”; etc…

After some time analyzing, the result will be…

  • Clear sound, not muddy.
  • Very comfortable.
  • Easy to clean.

  • Very difficult to remove them from ears.
  • For some people they are overpriced.
  • Smaller size.

Final Tips

Using them is usually safe, however, some precautions could also be required against a variety of potential health risks, with further ones appearing with long use:

- Pushing them into the outer ear canal could cause the air pressure to rise in it, in result pushing against the eardrum and causing pain. This might be caused by pressure on the ear while lying down on the side, and is additionally the case once fully enlarged foam earplugs are pushed more into the ear. To bypass the latter risk some plugs are better rigorously screwed or jiggled out instead of yanked out.

- If pushed too far into the ear canal, they'll push wax and dust into the canal and probably against the eardrum.

- There could be a risk of allergic reactions, however, this is often doubtless rare, as they usually are made from immunologically inert materials.

Musicians are usually exposed to harmful levels of sound, which may cause deafness, tinnitus, and different auditory symptoms. Due to this, musicians could prefer to use earplugs. Depending on the kind of music or instruments being used there are multiple sorts of earplug that a musician might make a choice. Looking for their type of instrument, musicians could prefer to use preformed earplugs, custom ones, custom in-ear monitors, foam plugs, or level-dependent.

Choose wisely.