Author Topic: Inexpensive musicians' ear plugs for attending concerts?  (Read 3131 times)

Physicsteacher

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Inexpensive musicians' ear plugs for attending concerts?
« on: June 02, 2016, 09:27:57 PM »
I dislike loud environments and always keep a pair of ear plugs handy. I'm planning to attend a concert next month with a friend who suggested getting specialized musicians' ear plugs that will reduce the volume without muffling high tones as much since they have greatly increased his enjoyment of live music. I'm succumbing to analysis paralysis here I'd love suggestions for comfortable, inexpensive, reasonable quality choices.

chesebert

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Re: Inexpensive musicians' ear plugs for attending concerts?
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2016, 09:30:17 PM »
I dislike loud environments and always keep a pair of ear plugs handy. I'm planning to attend a concert next month with a friend who suggested getting specialized musicians' ear plugs that will reduce the volume without muffling high tones as much since they have greatly increased his enjoyment of live music. I'm succumbing to analysis paralysis here I'd love suggestions for comfortable, inexpensive, reasonable quality choices.

This is what you need.

http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=etymotic+research+plugs&tag=googhydr-20&index=aps&hvadid=80202907693&hvpos=1t1&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=9918736987130644428&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=e&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_7se85ihjpv_e

Urchina

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Re: Inexpensive musicians' ear plugs for attending concerts?
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2016, 10:53:07 PM »
I am also noise-sensitive and always carry earplugs. I use these and like them a lot:
http://www.amazon.com/HEAROS-High-Fidelity-Plugs-Comfortable/dp/B0037KM8QY/ref=sr_1_8_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1464929348&sr=8-8&keywords=hearos+musician%27s+earplugs

The key is to look for earplugs that attenuate sound equally across all frequencies, so you don't get "unbalanced" sound (ie, all the treble is muffled and the base still comes through).

I've found that these work well for mellower venues. They're only a 20dba reduction. That's borderline for me -- I've been to a couple of concerts where I was still a bit uncomfortable with the volume level. I think that for really intense rock concerts where volume is really important (ie: heavy metal bands) I'd probably need to get the over-ear headphones.

woopwoop

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Re: Inexpensive musicians' ear plugs for attending concerts?
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2016, 11:03:44 PM »
seconding the Hearos. That's what I use for concerts but they definitely wouldn't work if you are at a hardcore show or something.

NoStacheOhio

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Re: Inexpensive musicians' ear plugs for attending concerts?
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2016, 07:48:01 AM »
I have Hearos and EAR plugs with baffles. Both worked great when I was playing in a rock band. They were also good when I was photographing shows.

Miss Piggy

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Re: Inexpensive musicians' ear plugs for attending concerts?
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2016, 07:56:14 AM »
Related question: why are concerts now amplified to a deafening volume, to the point that they're not even enjoyable? What's with that?

GuitarStv

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Re: Inexpensive musicians' ear plugs for attending concerts?
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2016, 08:02:07 AM »
I've tried Hearos.  They don't block enough noise for me.  I'm a big fan of these yellow -32dB 3M earplugs:



You can usually find them for a buck or so each at places that sell work clothing/boots, and they don't radically change the way that things sound.  They're designed to be replaceable, but can be used over and over again if you wash them off with some water now and again.  If you don't like the blue cord it pulls out quite easily.

They work great when you're drumming or jamming with a loud band, and I use them at concerts too.

Just pull your ear lobe down and jam them in.  They are much more comfortable and easier to use than the foam type plugs that I've tried.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2016, 08:05:01 AM by GuitarStv »

Syonyk

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Re: Inexpensive musicians' ear plugs for attending concerts?
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2016, 08:46:49 AM »
Related question: why are concerts now amplified to a deafening volume, to the point that they're not even enjoyable? What's with that?

Because if you can't use the speakers as a defibrillator, something something can't hear you, sorry...

I have no idea.  I'm OK with it at concerts, but it does annoy me greatly when churches hit the painful point.

I just carry around a few sets of 32db orange shooting earplugs.  I'm sure I'd get more even attenuation out of a fancier pair, but it doesn't bother me at all and they block enough that I can be right up close to the mains by the stage and still be fine.  It's about $3 for a pack of them at Walmart and I use them for all sorts of things - motorcycle, power tools, concerts, etc.

GuitarStv

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Re: Inexpensive musicians' ear plugs for attending concerts?
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2016, 08:58:53 AM »
Related question: why are concerts now amplified to a deafening volume, to the point that they're not even enjoyable? What's with that?

Because if you can't use the speakers as a defibrillator, something something can't hear you, sorry...

I have no idea.  I'm OK with it at concerts, but it does annoy me greatly when churches hit the painful point.

I have a theory about this, and it's directly related to inexpensive high quality speakers and amplifiers.  In the 1930s, the only time that you had loud pumping music was when a big band was blasting it out.  In the 1960s portable transistor radios started to be a big deal but they all had tiny tinny speakers . . . tube amplification was delicate, generated a lot of heat, and was still usually attached to pretty low efficiency speakers.  By the end of the 80s/early 90s loud stuff started getting really cheap.  This trend has just continued and intensified through the 2000s. . . to the point that for a couple hundred bucks anyone can throw some giant woofers in their car and throb away at other people to their heart's content.

Because it's so cheap to be loud, more and more people are getting used to loud as the new normal.  A concert can't be concert volume any more . . . it has to be deafening because otherwise you could get the same experience at home with your 400$ stereo and an album.  Throw in the modern dickishness of cell phone users, and theaters/musicians have even more reason to try and drown out all the electronic devices.

There is going to be a very large portion of my generation in need of hearing aids in their forties and fifties.

Midwest

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Re: Inexpensive musicians' ear plugs for attending concerts?
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2016, 09:08:43 AM »
Related question: why are concerts now amplified to a deafening volume, to the point that they're not even enjoyable? What's with that?

Because if you can't use the speakers as a defibrillator, something something can't hear you, sorry...

I have no idea.  I'm OK with it at concerts, but it does annoy me greatly when churches hit the painful point.

I have a theory about this, and it's directly related to inexpensive high quality speakers and amplifiers.  In the 1930s, the only time that you had loud pumping music was when a big band was blasting it out.  In the 1960s portable transistor radios started to be a big deal but they all had tiny tinny speakers . . . tube amplification was delicate, generated a lot of heat, and was still usually attached to pretty low efficiency speakers.  By the end of the 80s/early 90s loud stuff started getting really cheap.  This trend has just continued and intensified through the 2000s. . . to the point that for a couple hundred bucks anyone can throw some giant woofers in their car and throb away at other people to their heart's content.

Because it's so cheap to be loud, more and more people are getting used to loud as the new normal.  A concert can't be concert volume any more . . . it has to be deafening because otherwise you could get the same experience at home with your 400$ stereo and an album.  Throw in the modern dickishness of cell phone users, and theaters/musicians have even more reason to try and drown out all the electronic devices.

There is going to be a very large portion of my generation in need of hearing aids in their forties and fifties.

I don't know about you theory, but when during high school my friends would come back from Metallica bragging their ears were still ringing.  I always though - Awesome?  Don't get the ear splitting decibel levels and never  have.  I typically take ear plugs to all concerts.

Scandium

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Re: Inexpensive musicians' ear plugs for attending concerts?
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2016, 01:29:46 PM »
Related question: why are concerts now amplified to a deafening volume, to the point that they're not even enjoyable? What's with that?

Because if you can't use the speakers as a defibrillator, something something can't hear you, sorry...

I have no idea.  I'm OK with it at concerts, but it does annoy me greatly when churches hit the painful point.

I have a theory about this, and it's directly related to inexpensive high quality speakers and amplifiers.  In the 1930s, the only time that you had loud pumping music was when a big band was blasting it out.  In the 1960s portable transistor radios started to be a big deal but they all had tiny tinny speakers . . . tube amplification was delicate, generated a lot of heat, and was still usually attached to pretty low efficiency speakers.  By the end of the 80s/early 90s loud stuff started getting really cheap.  This trend has just continued and intensified through the 2000s. . . to the point that for a couple hundred bucks anyone can throw some giant woofers in their car and throb away at other people to their heart's content.

Because it's so cheap to be loud, more and more people are getting used to loud as the new normal.  A concert can't be concert volume any more . . . it has to be deafening because otherwise you could get the same experience at home with your 400$ stereo and an album.  Throw in the modern dickishness of cell phone users, and theaters/musicians have even more reason to try and drown out all the electronic devices.

There is going to be a very large portion of my generation in need of hearing aids in their forties and fifties.

I don't know about you theory, but when during high school my friends would come back from Metallica bragging their ears were still ringing.  I always though - Awesome?  Don't get the ear splitting decibel levels and never  have.  I typically take ear plugs to all concerts.
So since "everyone" is wearing ear plugs they will turn it up even more? Everyone lose?...

Being too cheap/lazy/lame to go to concerts is saving my hearing at least

Physicsteacher

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Re: Inexpensive musicians' ear plugs for attending concerts?
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2016, 02:04:46 PM »
I appreciate the suggestions, everyone. I carry reusable 32 dB noise reduction rating plugs daily, and they are great for dealing with situations such as having to chaperone obnoxiously loud school dances, but the ones I have definitely do produce a muffled and flattened effect to music. I think I'll buy something like the Etymotics or Hearos but bring my usual pair as backup in case the volume is completely ridiculous. Thanks!

Monkey Uncle

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Re: Inexpensive musicians' ear plugs for attending concerts?
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2016, 04:37:19 AM »
I appreciate the suggestions, everyone. I carry reusable 32 dB noise reduction rating plugs daily, and they are great for dealing with situations such as having to chaperone obnoxiously loud school dances, but the ones I have definitely do produce a muffled and flattened effect to music. I think I'll buy something like the Etymotics or Hearos but bring my usual pair as backup in case the volume is completely ridiculous. Thanks!

I'll second Syonk's suggestion of using the cheap Walmart plugs.  No need to drop a lot of cash.  The trick to getting the sound quality right is to insert them all the way in at first, then gradually pull them part way out until you get the desired balance between volume and sound quality.  I find that I can distinguish the various elements of the music (vocals, for example) better this way than I can without plugs.  I think it attenuates just enough of the overdrive/distortion to clear things up.

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