Hearing protection is a must-have for any musician. Noises over 85 decibels (dB) can begin damaging your hearing. However, anyone who has ever been to a concert knows that the noise level can be significantly higher than that, often topping over 100db.
However, if you’re a musician, you’re constantly exposed to these loud noises and high volumes. Regularly performing in concert, listening to music at loud volumes, or otherwise being exposed to loud noise can damage your hearing. And the worst part is that this hearing loss, for the most part, is irreversible.
Therefore, it is imperative to make sure that you take the necessary steps to prevent this hearing loss while you still have time. One of the best ways to do this is to consider getting a pair of foam earplugs or high-fidelity earplugs. These work by using technology such as noise reduction to help lower loud noises to volumes that would not be damaging to your hearing.
In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about earplugs for musicians, including whether you should get silicone or foam earplugs, the different types of earplugs, and other factors that you should make sure to pay attention to. In addition, we have provided a list of the best earplugs for musicians according to reviews.
6 Best Earplugs for Musicians Overview
As a musician, you have to protect your hearing without compromising your ability to perform. So the best musician earplugs will balance hearing protection with fidelity to properly perform your music. Today we’re going to take a look at the best earplugs for musicians, including ones using by the pros.
Musician's Noise Reduction Ear Plug Reviews
I think you’ll find that any one of these selections will allow you to perform at your peak during concerts, band practice, live shows, and other events without compromising your hearing in the process.
Even the pros need to use earplugs when they work, and some of the different options included on this list are also used by your favorite bands when they perform. Here are some of the best earplugs for musicians.
The EarPeace High Fidelity earplugs set comes with three earplugs to ensure that you have an extra on hand in case you lose one, which is a very thoughtful feature and one that none of their competitors emulate.
They also have a proprietary sound attenuation methodology with medium and high filters to ensure that you get just the right amount of sound passing through to allow you to hear everything you need to at a lower volume level. This noise reduction quality will help you hear all the highs and lows without worrying about damaging your ear canal.
These are also the only hearing protection we’ll be looking at that are flesh-toned, so no one will be able to tell that you are wearing hearing protection. These are the same earplugs that bands such as Metallica and Red Bull sell onsite at their events, so you know it’s a trusted name in the industry.
Many pro bands use earplugs of all sorts in concerts or other loud venues to protect their ears and hearing. Therefore, many people are willing to trust these earplugs, and, of course, the price and good quality attest to this fact. Their sound quality is impressive even though they operate by lowering noise levels.
The LiveMus!c Hearsafe Earplugs take a slightly different approach than the first brand we looked at on the best music ear plugs list. Rather than have an interchangeable filter system, these come with two sets of earplugs, a medium attenuation set and a high attenuation set.
Having more than one pair of earplugs can help if you lose one accidentally or, in this case, depending on what you need them for. In terms of attenuation design approaches used to make musicians’ ear plugs the best, this seems to be the one piece set up that LiveMus!c has taken.
Attenuation refers to the noise reduction capabilities of the headphones, or the volume reduction, which will enable you to hear sound still but at levels that will not damage your ears.
Many people, especially those who work in the music industry, see this as an advantage when choosing a pair of silicone ear plugs. These silicone earplugs go into your ear canal, making them a convenient option instead of pairs with neck cords or plugs that go over the ear.
This pair of earplugs offer a noise reduction rating, or NRR, of 23 and 29 dB depending on the pair used while still offering great clarity. Most earplugs with replaceable filters tend to be in the NRR 15 range, so these provide some outstanding protection.
With a high NRR rating, you can ensure that the noise reduction will be at a frequency spectrum to protect your hearing. They are also backed by a lifetime guarantee and come with a handy carrying case, so you should be able to keep using these earplugs for a long time.
One of the most innovative things about the Eargasm earplugs is their case. It is designed to be shorter than any of the competitors’ cases for easier storage on your keychain. This is a thoughtful design choice that I, for one, appreciate.
The pair of earplugs themselves have a three-flange system that comfortably fits most ears and a proprietary attenuation system that users report provides outstanding clarity.
These are made from transparent material for a minimally noticeable profile while wearing and include a tab to grab onto for easy removal. However, these only provide a marginal noise reduction NRR of 12, so they may not offer enough hearing protection for louder concert environments. This is something to consider if you are frequently exposed to loud sound levels.
The Vibes High Fidelity Earplugs reduce damaging decibel levels by up to 22dB. They are suitable for musicians and concerts since they provide a clear sound experience due to their attenuating filters.
They have a low-profile design and are virtually invisible due to their clear-out shells. The Vibes High Fidelity earplugs come with three size tips: small, medium and large and are sure to fit any ear type.
The earbuds are made of silicone and are comfortable to wear even for long periods. In addition, they offer a snug fit for all ear types, including those of men, women, kids and adults.
When you buy the Vibes earplugs, they also come with a convenient hard portable case. This way, you can carry them with you whenever you need hearing protection.
Decibullz is the most unique and highest NRR earplugs on this list of the best music earplugs. At an NRR of 31, they should be more than adequate for even the loudest of venues.
Make sure that you pay attention to the NRR on any pair of earplugs you choose since this will determine whether or not the earplugs are good quality and if they will provide you with the protection you need while still being able to hear.
They come with three sets of triple flange tips in small, medium and large, as well as one set of medium foam tips so they will fit any ear. In addition, the set comes with a unique thermoform plastic that you can use to custom mold to your inner ear.
This is the only set of earplugs on our list that are custom moldable and is a unique feature not seen in any other product. The downside is that these don’t have the other products on the list’s attenuation feature, but if high protection is what you are after, then these may be the earplugs for you.
Please read our review of all Decibullz products, including percussive filters and high-fidelity molded earplugs.
These are Europe’s #1 best musical earplugs, and they are made by Alpine, a leader in producing some of the best earplugs for musicians. The case comes with one set of earplugs but two sets of filters. The filters are a small hole that passes through the earplug to allow a bit of sound to pass through.
Still, hearing some sound is a good feature for any of these earplugs to include. For one, you will still be getting all the protection from loud levels of noise you need, but on the other hand, you will still be able to focus on your work and music without having difficulty hearing.
This case comes with two interchangeable filters with both medium and high attenuation so you can adjust how much protection you are receiving. This way, you may choose which pair you need depending on where you will be and what you will be doing.
The different sound levels are good if you want to have extra protection. If you are listening to loud music, for example, if you will be attending a concert, you might want to choose the high protection option. But if you will be going somewhere that doesn’t require exposure to such high noise levels, then selecting the medium protection option will work.
In general, people use these earplugs for multiple different purposes, and they like the fact that they can choose based on the various features. They also come with a great carrying case design, which contains two chambers, one for the earplugs and another for the filters, as well as a keychain ring to ensure you can have them handy at all times. They are made out of a reusable, washable material to ensure they’ll have a long life.
What to Look for in Music Protection for Ears
There are many different types of protection that people working in the music industry use for their ears, but the most common is the earplugs described in this buying guide.
Generally, people like to be able to hear what is going on around them, but at volumes that will not be damaging to their ears over time. Here are some of the things that people like to pay attention to when they go to purchase a pair of earplugs.
Noise Reduction Rating
We have emphasized the importance of noise reduction ratings many times. The higher the noise reduction rating, the better your ears will be protected. That means you can be exposed to loud noises as much as you want, especially ones that are part of the job, without having to worry about irreversible hearing damage over time.
In addition to that, the NRR will still enable you to hear music and other sounds around you, but it will be at lower levels than in actuality because of the protection that the plugs provide. Many of the options we included in this article have an NRR of over 20, which is very good for providing you with overall hearing protection.
Most of the options we provided here are made of either foam or silicone. The one you choose will depend on personal preference—some people like foam earplugs, whereas others like silicone. In most of these reviews, people said they wanted earplugs that would conform to their inner ear shape without difficulty.
Since this article is mainly geared towards those in the music industry, those working in the industry tend to choose earplugs that go in the ear canal for added convenience. Therefore, it is essential to choose the suitable material that will provide you with the best fit during a live performance.
Also, please make sure the earplugs are reusable, so you can use them again in the future when you’re attending another music event or a concert.
How well do the earplugs fit? This is extremely important when deciding upon which pair to get. Based on the average music performance, you should expect to be wearing them for long periods.
Therefore, you want to ensure that you get the top option on the market that provides supreme comfort for all wearers. Otherwise, you will spend the entirety of the music performance scratching your ears and waiting for it to be over.
As we mentioned earlier, people choose between silicone and foam, with foam tending to adjust to the shape of your ear better. At the same time, it is a good idea to read reviews to get a better idea of the top options. In addition to that, many brands offer different sizes, so you will be able to choose the right size for your ears.
What do you need them for?
In general, it is a good idea to ask yourself what you need the earplugs for. People will most likely need them to listen to music at lower volumes. That is one of the most popular uses of earplugs.
However, if you need them for a different career path or want some protection if exposed to loud volumes, you might not need to buy the maximum protection available. Therefore, it is vital to check out the different levels of protection offered by brands to get a better picture of what you need.
As you’ve seen in this review of the best earplugs for musicians, there are many great options out there for you, no matter how loud the venue or your personal preference on style.
After careful research, our number one recommendation is the EarPeace High Fidelity Earplugs which come with a set of three filters for Medium, High or Max hearing protection, depending on the venue you’re going. They are made from hypoallergenic silicone and are comfortable to wear.
The best part is that these earplugs do not only have to be used for musicians or concert-goers; anyone who is exposed to loud noise levels, including people in a band or people who work near loud noises such as construction, shooting, or manufacturing, will be able to find a good use for any of these high-quality earplugs.