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View Full Version : PROTECT YOUR EARS - ear plugs, hearing loss, deafness


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Chonson
07-26-2009, 08:32 PM
- Cheap foam earplugs. Great for a last resort or for just killing a lot of volume - or if you just want to do it on the cheap. Several pairs for $10.

- Rubber flanged tip earplugs - eg the inexpensive Etymotic ER-20 or the Hear-O's or other varieties: slightly flatter (but not "flat") attenuation, good for about 15-20 DB, IMO more comfortable and better sounding. One pair for $10-15

- Isolation headphones - eg Firth or (my preference) Extreme Isolation headphones. I've got a pair of ER-29s that are great when you're recording or playing along to tracks. On their own they cut a significant amount of high-end. One pair - about $30-70

- Custom molded earplugs - eg Westones or Sensaphonics. Flat attenuation, several reduction options (-9, -15, -25 + solid -29 plug that's not flat), custom fit. I just got a pair a week ago and all I can say is I wished I'd done it long ago. Very comfortable, fantastic sound quality. Does require a trip to an audiologist for the mold. One pair (custom mold, your choice of one set of filters (I went -15) and a solid plug) - $140-$180

I used to switch between flanged tips & iso headphones; the custom plugs are absolutely the best and most comfortable thing I've ever used.

caddywumpus
07-26-2009, 08:45 PM
I use shooting range earmuffs. They are comfortable and seem to work the best out of all of the options (avoid the water-filled ones...if you get some, you'll know why). They look kind of silly when you play live, though, so invest in some foam ear plugs, too. Both of these can be found at a sporting goods store in the hunting section.

bobdadruma
07-26-2009, 08:49 PM
You can also buy hearing protectors at your local home improvement store in contractors quantity packs. Cheaper That way!
Huh! What did you say!

Stoney
07-26-2009, 11:18 PM
I just use the cheap foam earplugs. I've grown accustomed to hearing low frequencies on the set and don't feel comfortable playing without them anymore... especially the high ends of cymbals! If I forget them I'll stuff some bog roll in my ears if need be....
Ideally I'd like some in ear monitors though.

SharkyBait911
07-29-2009, 03:04 PM
I use in ear monitors and they are truly great !

lifetime
07-31-2009, 03:00 AM
I wouldn't have it any other way. I use vic firth headphones and ear-plugs when I play and record. When I rehearsed with a band, I used ear-plugs. Now if I could only get that headphone sound on my cheap drums. It's like when I see people use ipods and they put those ear pieces right in their ear. I use those 'old' style headphones for my ipod.

alparrott
07-31-2009, 07:06 AM
The first few years I played drums, I didn't use any sort of hearing protection, and, being a young drummer, I played as hard and loud as I could. This has led to a pretty annoying and sadly permanent case of tinnitus that, when exposed to any loud, sudden noise, flares up and becomes nearly painful. This is now almost 25 years later.

I began to use shooting headphones as a matter of course when practicing, and foam or rubber earplugs when performing live. My newest set is reversible, with an "open" side for quieter gigs, and a "closed" side for loud gigs. I simply don't compromise on this issue any more.

If you're just beginning to play drums, I strongly advise researching and picking up some kind of hearing protection. It doesn't have to be expensive - most sporting goods stores stock earplugs or shooting muffs for very reasonable prices. If you've been playing for a while without them, I still suggest you look into it before you end up like like me, missing words and unable to hear parts of the music we all love.

Stixxs
08-08-2009, 04:57 AM
Sorry if i missed this...But is there a company out there that makes a In-ear device with a belt clip microphone set up???

Basic ear plugs just ruin the dynamics IMO... It would be nice to be able to adjust the ambient db level...you know?

what the funk of it
08-09-2009, 03:51 AM
I had a bit of a scare the other day.

Though I usually use my Vic Firth isolation headphones, I was at a friends house jamming on his gear without any protection. Afterward we were outside and I knocked over a golf ball that bounced down his driveway onto the road. I couldn't hear it bounce... Nothing!

After reading through a few of these horror stories I understand the danger is very real. Even though I've always done my best to protect my ears, I still feel as if they are slowly deteriorating.

Is hearing protection really enough for us drummers? Or are we all doomed to suffer to a certain degree. Not that it isn't worth it...

Pollyanna
08-09-2009, 04:04 AM
Another with hearing loss and tinnitus here. I'd tried using both ear plus and loo paper in earlier years but didn't like the sound.

The hearing issues become a hassle if I'm anywhere with a lot of ambient noise - music or loud talking. I can't socialise in those situations because most of the time what I'm hearing is, "rararararararararara". My contribution to the conversation is usually, "WHAT?", "SORRY?" and "I CAN'T HEAR YOU! CAN WE GO SOMEWHERE QUIET?". Either that or smile and nod.

I now play in a quiet band and now my ears don't ring after playing. It only me took 34 years to do something about it ...

davis_carel
08-11-2009, 04:25 AM
My ear is painful when i hear sharp sound,

after 3 years play

randerson
07-25-2011, 06:18 AM
I am new here but just happened to run across this post, and thought I would put my two cents in : )

Check out JamPlugs; they are earphones that look like earplugs, and they function like combining the two to block drumming while monitoring quite nicely.

http://www.JamPlugs.com

jeffwj
07-25-2011, 07:02 AM
I am new here but just happened to run across this post, and thought I would put my two cents in : )

Check out JamPlugs; they are earphones that look like earplugs, and they function like combining the two to block drumming while monitoring quite nicely.

http://www.JamPlugs.com

Thanks for the info but I would be aware of the statement on the manufacturer's website.

Are JamPlugs certified hearing protection?
No. While JamPlugs may appear to have the same hearing protective properties of standard industrial earplugs, the foam used to isolate extraneous noise, has been altered in order to properly channel sound from the speakers. Since this is the case, our products have not been tested by OSHA for their decibel reduction ratings, and should not be considered as hearing protection.

Jeff

ineedaclutch
07-25-2011, 07:39 AM
Hearing protection without all the protection nonsense. Perfect!

HipshotPercussion
07-26-2011, 12:06 AM
The opening post in this threat intrigues me because of this:

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y290/nuthajason/qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq.jpg

A couple of months ago, after I got my hearing aids (which I needed primarily because of 50+ years of drumming), I discovered that I was hearing the most complex and musically satisfying sounds ever from my cymbals. Shimmering and vibration I hadn't been able to hear in several decades, so I'd forgotten it was even there.

With my hearing aids in (wish I could think of something cooler to call them), I get all the conversation, background and foreground noise and music, and much less of the risk because they're set to keep the decibel level no louder than 100db. Anything over that level automatically is dampened down to it.

I'm bringing this up primarily to say that if you discover you need to augment and/or protect your hearing don't hesitate - if you get the right stuff you'll never be sorry.

Of course, all gunshots now sound like 22s, but, hey, as long as you stay away from the wrong kinds of women (those with jealous men) everything'll be fine, right?

nickg
08-01-2011, 05:55 AM
loss of hearing becomes crucial as you get older and are married!! you always have an excuse for not hearing the wife. :)

tbdd
08-03-2011, 03:43 AM
I keep trying to use ear protection and i got use to no highs for a while there( only at practice...) its been a bit hard to keep up still trying, but is there any type of ear protection that keeps it sounding the same and drops all volume not just muffles everything?

HipshotPercussion
08-03-2011, 03:50 AM
I keep trying to use ear protection and i got use to no highs for a while there( only at practice...) its been a bit hard to keep up still trying, but is there any type of ear protection that keeps it sounding the same and drops all volume not just muffles everything?
My hearing aids do that (see my earlier post). But at $5000 for the pair with very few insurance companies contributing anything (my insurance is absolutely the best and it only covered 2 grand), the price is a bit steep.

Technology being what it is, though, I'm figuring that if the manufacturers can do it for this much money now they'll be able to do it for much less in the foreseeable future. Of course, then the question becomes, "Will they want to?" which in my experience has as its answer, "Only if forced to."

But if a smart music tech company got into this as a musician's tool on a mass production basis things might fall into place. Know anyone?

tbdd
08-03-2011, 04:09 AM
wow man that's epic coin, wish i did but unfortunately not.
Thanks for that!

SergiuM
08-03-2011, 04:26 AM
Sorry if i missed it throughout the entire post, but with my Firth headphones, my toms seem really loud. The overtones just kill, i almost don't like using my toms. I was thinking of getting actual earplugs instead of using my Firths. Any advice?

The Gedge
08-03-2011, 04:16 PM
Why hasn't this thread been stickied? It discusses an extremely important issue that must be brought to all drummers.

HipshotPercussion
08-03-2011, 06:58 PM
Sorry if i missed it throughout the entire post, but with my Firth headphones, my toms seem really loud. The overtones just kill, i almost don't like using my toms. I was thinking of getting actual earplugs instead of using my Firths. Any advice?
For me, every drum sound seems "wrong" with any kind of protection I've tried except the hearing aids. My thought, in those circumstances, is just to keep trying things until you find the "Least Objectionable Wrongness," which is, I suppose, just a more pragmatic way of saying, "what works best for you."

While I was getting my pennies together for my hearing aids, I practiced using the same kind of sound suppressor headphones you use at the shooting range. Playing alone, it was kind of interesting. All ringing/overtones were gone from drums and cymbals. All I heard was the initial sound made by my sticks contacting them, and as a result I was able to appreciate much more of what I was doing right and wrong. They suck when playing with others, though.

richkenyon
08-04-2011, 02:32 PM
Just wanted to pitch in with my enthusiasm for the Vic Firth isolation headphones. I use them on all loud-ish gigs & for any practice session where I'm playing anywhere close to loud.

They seem to offer a Pre-EQ effect that I really like. It's rather like hearing a recording of your kit with all the harshness rolled off.