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Good concert ear plugs?

firewaterwordfirewaterword SatchitanandaPais Vasco to San FranciscoRegistered User regular
edited February 2012 in Help / Advice Forum
Hey folks - quick question. I'm seeing Sleigh Bells live on Thursday, and need a decent pair of earplugs.

The last two concerts I saw were crazy loud, and since my hearing is kind of crap already, I'd like to be proactive this time. I've got a bunch of cheap foam ones for travel, but I'd like to get a pair that are designed for live shows. Nothing over $20, since I'll likely lose them down the road. Hearos are pretty well reviewed on Amazon - anyone know how they stand up? Anyone have any other suggestions? Thanks!

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
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    NoisymunkNoisymunk Registered User regular
    http://www.amazon.com/Etymotic-Research-Protection-Earplugs-Standard/dp/B0044DEESS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1329857360&sr=8-1

    I wear those when I practice, perform, and attend loud concerts. They're fantastic.

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    EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    Hearos are fantastic for the price. You can usually find them at Target or Riteaid or Walgreens or wherever, too, for essentially the same price.

    They're not as nice as Noisymunk's, but the important thing is that both will simply reduce decibels, rather than block sound. I wear Hearos because they're cheap and disposable, and a 5-pair pack is like $7 i think? They are a little tricky to get in -- you have to roll them into a "worm" with your fingers and then stuff them in your ear, far enough that the end is pinchable but not protruding. They shouldn't want to fall out or wiggle around at all once they're in, but you obviously don't want to jam them in so far that you hurt yourself. With either type, practice before you go to the show.

    I've been using earplugs at shows for about 10 years now, after realizing that most house PAs are pretty bad at high volumes, with buzzy basses and distortion, and the earplugs fix all of that. The shows are still plenty loud, but the fidelity improves when it's not rattling my teeth. And then I leave the show, take the earplugs out, and everything sounds normal, which is awesome.

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    firewaterwordfirewaterword Satchitananda Pais Vasco to San FranciscoRegistered User regular
    Thanks you'se two! Gonna see if I can get some Hearos locally, and if not, grab the Etymotics. Definitely don't want to block out all that glorious bass and distortion, but I'd also rather not go deaf if it can be avoided.

    Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
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    NoisymunkNoisymunk Registered User regular
    I carry a pack of these in my stickbag and in my car, too, just in case friends want a pair for the night.
    http://www.cvs.com/CVSApp/catalog/shop_product_detail.jsp?filterBy=&skuId=857159&productId=857159&navAction=push&navCount=1&no_new_crumb=true

    The biggest difference I've noticed between the Etymotics and the squishie foam ones, is that the foam makes you feel like you're locked inside your head. The Etymotics feel like the sound is able to 'breathe' a little more.

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    matt has a problemmatt has a problem Points to 'off' Points to 'on'Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    The Etymotics seem to be confused whether they're 12 dB or 20 dB noise reduction. For a concert I wouldn't use anything less than 20 dB reduction.

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    firewaterwordfirewaterword Satchitananda Pais Vasco to San FranciscoRegistered User regular
    Good eye, thanks matt.

    Munk, I've got a bunch of foam ones like those, mostly for air travel and sleeping in hostels, but yeah, I'd like to go a step up, as I know what you mean about felling in your head.

    Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
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    taliosfalcontaliosfalcon Registered User regular
    re: the etymotics they block 20 db, but "The ER-20 has an NRR of 12 rather than 20 because the frequency weighting used in the NRR calculation assumes blocking of higher frequencies more than of lower frequencies, and these plugs do not do that. They are designed to let you hear the full range of music, without distortion across the frequencies."

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    EmpharaEmphara Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Noisymunk wrote:
    http://www.amazon.com/Etymotic-Research-Protection-Earplugs-Standard/dp/B0044DEESS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1329857360&sr=8-1

    I wear those when I practice, perform, and attend loud concerts. They're fantastic.

    Ditto to that. I have quite sensitive ears and I'm a bit of a wimp about super loud concerts, but these work great and are pretty comfortable, and you can still hear everything (even people next to you talking to you) without your ears hurting or ringing or having a hard time hearing after the concert. I've been to a few shows and metal concerts (read: loud) and they work great : ) My fiance also uses these for practicing/preforming and going to shows as well. I really recommend them!

    Also, if you get these make sure you get the blue ones unless you have abnormally large ear canals. The blue are supposed to fit pretty much everybody.

    Emphara on
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    Giggles_FunsworthGiggles_Funsworth Blight on Discourse Bay Area SprawlRegistered User regular
    How do the Hearos reduce dB instead of blocking sound? They just look like a pair of foam earplugs.

    This thread has me very interested in earplugs that don't block sounds. Usually I just skip the protection at live shows because of how crap it makes the music sound. Didn't know there even was a better alternative.

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    NoisymunkNoisymunk Registered User regular
    How do the Hearos reduce dB instead of blocking sound? They just look like a pair of foam earplugs.

    This thread has me very interested in earplugs that don't block sounds. Usually I just skip the protection at live shows because of how crap it makes the music sound. Didn't know there even was a better alternative.

    There are always alternatives. If you're serious about it and have the cash, a custom fit earpiece, like this little bugger, is the way to go.

    http://www.westone.com/hearing-protection-products/custom-fit-hearing-protection-products-4

    However, for budget hearing protection, I like those Etymotics that I linked over all the foam plugs. Just make sure you keep them clean.

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    iRevertiRevert Tactical Martha Stewart Registered User regular
    I keep a set of sonic defenders in my car, work bag, house, and range bag. I used to wear them under my Sordins and at the times the Sordins were off my head or slipped and broke the seal on my head the SDs did their job.

    http://www.amazon.com/Surefire-Sonic-Defenders-Medium-Clear/dp/B0012XT8B6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1329923694&sr=8-2

    For the price though I'd grab a pair of Hearos

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    EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    How do the Hearos reduce dB instead of blocking sound? They just look like a pair of foam earplugs.

    This thread has me very interested in earplugs that don't block sounds. Usually I just skip the protection at live shows because of how crap it makes the music sound. Didn't know there even was a better alternative.

    Any porous material is going to work as a buffer rather than a block. It's not magic, just a statement of the physical properties of the material. Any music headphone makes the distinction that their job is to attenuate volume without affecting sound quality in order to differentiate from noise blocking headphones used for firearms, airplane work, and other loud things.

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    EWomEWom Registered User regular
    I use the cheap orange shooting earplugs you see in sporting goods departments, and don't have any problem with them. Ever since I went to a NIN show w/out earplugs and my ears rang for 3 days, I keep a pack of these in my coat. They're like a buck or a buck fifty for a pack of 6 I think.

    Whether they find a life there or not, I think Jupiter should be called an enemy planet.
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    firewaterwordfirewaterword Satchitananda Pais Vasco to San FranciscoRegistered User regular
    Hey guys - thanks for the advice. I ended up getting a pair of 12db Hearos. I actually only had them half in, as they were dulling the sound a little too much for my taste. Worked well enough though - no ringing in me ears this morning, so call it a success.

    The show was absolutely incredible. Haven't seen anything that intense for ages. However, I've gotta admit I had a bit of an irrational fear of getting elbowed in the head and having an inch of hard plastic rammed in my brain, so I might stick with the soft ones in the future.

    Anyway, thanks again, and happy Friday.

    Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
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