Best Hearing Protection?


Junior Member
I play drums for my youth band in one of those enclosed boxes of padding so that they can control the sound better. We also use the in-ear monitors.

What's the best hearing protection I could use for that situation? Right now I wear Vic Firth headphones hooked up to the monitor, and then I wear ear plugs underneath that. Unfortunately I have to turn up the monitor then to compensate for the ear plugs.

Also, do the musicians ear plugs (the custom ones) protect your ears 100%? Cause I just bought some, but they haven't come back from the manufacturer yet. Would they work well with the in-ear monitors?



Silver Member
Sorry to hijack a thread but how much protection do IEM provide.

I am looking at getting some and was just wondering if I could use them as ear plugs on their own.


Hi, I am in the exact same position as you, I play behind an enclosed screen with in-ear monitors. The best earphones I have found for this without paying loads for expensive personalized ear molds are these, which have sadly now been discontinued, but there are some similar ones linked to on the page

They block out 90% of external sound so all you can hear is your own mix. Hope this helps


Senior Member
can't say if it's the best - but I've had good luck using standard in-ear phones and then wearing sound reducing ear muffs over that. I bought the ear muffs at Lowe's or Home Depot - they're rated for about 25 dB attenuation. It's just an educated guess, but I figure the in-ears block about 20 dB of ambient on top of that. That leaves you with pretty good flexibility as far as deciding how much signal you want to send to the in-ears.

The downside is that you can't really hear anybody talking to you unless they're talking into a mic that's being fed thru the monitor mix (or you have to take off the top layer of sound blocking).


Platinum Member
My Etymotic 6i's just arrived last night to replace my Vic Firth isolation headphones... The Etymotics are amazing for their price (~$80 on amazon).

Meat the beat

Senior Member
Whatever custom mold you get , they should offer you between - 20 & 28bd of attenuation.
You can then if you need more (!!!) just get a pair of Peltor ear defenders to go over the top.

Trip McNealy

Gold Member
I have Klipsch S4 in-ear buds - great sound and whole isolation, about 25dB.

If I don't mind looking like I belong on a aircraft carrier, I use Peltor ear muffs.

Finally, I ALWAYS carry around and now are fond of my custom musician's plugs by Westone... they come with a 25dB filter and a (pretty much) 33 dB filter.. almost like a cap to seal off the filter hole.


Platinum Member
Confused, if you have in ear monitors, you should have attenuation of ambient sound levels. You could always put muffs over them.

More likely that you have "on" ear monitors, better known as consumer ear buds. Best way to hearing damage there is. Too much ambient sound leakage and you have to crank the buds to hear them making the sum at your ear drums totally excessive.

Get real IEMs. Last I checked, single driver Sensaphonics were something like $150-200. There's not much on a decent drum kit that costs less. So instead of another cymbal, snare or bass pedal, spend the money on proper gear for your ears. You should get between 25-30dB attenuation with properly fitted IEMs.


Silver Member
My JH-16s are fanstastic...I would highly recommend them.

I love my JH-16's from JH Audio, they're flat out amazing. They block out -26 db so when you're playing drums they're about as loud as a conversation with someone. The clarity and range of them lets you hear every single thing in the track. I can't recommend JH Audio more, I never practice without my JH-16's anymore. No more ringing ears or make shift setups to hear the track/metronome!

Jerry Harvey was the original inventor and producer of CIEM's for the music industry with his company Ultimate Ears. He lost the company to logitech, then eventually reformed into JH Audio and is still the leader in CIEM tech to this day.


Platinum Member
I think there is no other alternative besides earplugs for protecting ear against unwanted noise. I personally recommend you to use earplugs. After wearing you will see the difference.
Earplugs are the best choice for the musicians. The quality of resisting noise varies from one ear plug to the other one. To buy earplugs you should choose the authorized earplugs dealer.

Dear Colon

You never post anything other than garbled responses in threads on hearing protection.

It's very tiresome.