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  #1  
Old 05-19-2009, 07:43 PM
Heiden Heiden is offline
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Default Is EX-29 Extreme Isolation enough?

I went and bought myself a pair of EX-29 Hearing protecting cans the other day in hope that I would not need my ear plugs anymore in drum rehearsal.

I used them today and well.. They don't work quite as I expected. They indeed lower the noise considerably but it is still very loud. I have a pair of moulded ear plugs with -15dB noise damping which is not enough.
Now with EX-29 on I hear sounds more clearly during rehearsal but after three hours of practice my ears feel a bit dull and damped. It feels like they're not muffling outside sounds good enough or something. Before my ears got tired and strained.

I have no tinnitus and there's no noise in my ears luckily, but I really don't like this dull feeling.

So my question is; is a pair of EX-29 Extreme Isolation enough to practice for 4-5 hours with? Do I need to have my earplugs underneath them, or additional protection?
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Old 05-19-2009, 08:44 PM
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bermuda bermuda is offline
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Default Re: Is EX-29 Extreme Isolation enough?

There's going to be some dulling of the sound with phones like that, but remember that they're hearing protectors meant to reduce sound levels, not necessarily convey fidelity.

If your molds are only reducing by -15db, they're probably not real molds (or the impressions weren't taken well, or the molds are old and you need new impressions.) Foam and ear-bud type plugs (a la Shure, etc.) just don't have much isolation.

Bless you for practicing for 4-5 hours, but I think it's that length of time causing the ear fatigue, not the phones or plugs themselves.

Bermuda
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Old 05-19-2009, 09:45 PM
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Les Ismore Les Ismore is offline
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Default Re: Is EX-29 Extreme Isolation enough?

Consider changing the filters up to -25 db

Solid molds without filters are in the -30 db range. So if you have a -15 db molded plug, most likely the filters can be swapped-out for some offering greater protection. Its also nice to have more than one set of filters for different apps.

It is a bit costly ($40 US ea.) but you can start with one. Its usually the right ear of a right handed drummer thats gets assaulted the most, easy to do your own experimenting.

Check with who you bought the molds from for replacement filters, then shop the web for prices (they're usually about the $ame though).

For practice I say use the cans, as they enhance lower frequencies. The cans do have a physiological effect. The ear canal is also an airway, (can be 'loosely' related it to an air vent on a drum), block it off for too long and effects become noticeable.
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Old 05-20-2009, 02:09 AM
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konaboy konaboy is offline
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Default Re: Is EX-29 Extreme Isolation enough?

Other thing you could do is double up use the molds with the headphones. Like Les said if you had a true custom set of plugs made most have a disc inside that can be swapped out for different dampening. I would also agree that it's probably the length of time you are using them that's causing the dull feeling as you are cutting off normal sound that you hear for 4-5 hours just something your body isn't used to.
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Old 05-20-2009, 03:33 AM
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Default Re: Is EX-29 Extreme Isolation enough?

I've got my pair of EX-29s here and I'm worried about how loud you're playing.

These cut 29 dB of outside sound, IMO that should be enough for anyone.

Do you find they get uncomfortable to wear after a while, or is it just that you don't like the sort of 'muffled' sound they give you?

I would suggest you reorganize band rehearsals into 2 sessions: get the whole band to go out and have a break for 30 minutes. It'll give your ears a chance to rest from wearing headphones, and it'll give your band a chance to rest from your loud drumming.
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Old 05-20-2009, 09:34 AM
ermghoti ermghoti is offline
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Default Re: Is EX-29 Extreme Isolation enough?

The EX-29 are shooting muffs with drivers built in. They have a ton of attenuation. Assuming you're not monitoring through them, and jacking the dB right back up, I'd have to assume there is a fit problem. You have a lot of hair? Odd shaped head? Goat horns? The 29 dB attenuation figure assumes the pads are flush against your scalp, with your ears entirely contained. Anything else will steeply impede performance.
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Old 05-20-2009, 04:39 PM
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bermuda bermuda is offline
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Default Re: Is EX-29 Extreme Isolation enough?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ermghoti View Post
The 29 dB attenuation figure assumes the pads are flush against your scalp, with your ears entirely contained. Anything else will steeply impede performance.
That's one of the reasons I keep my hair really short while touring: so that my phones fit better.

Also, I never have 'bunk hair'. :)

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Old 05-21-2009, 12:44 AM
Heiden Heiden is offline
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Default Re: Is EX-29 Extreme Isolation enough?

My moulded plugs have changeable filters, the current ones are -15dB. Didn't think It would be a very good idea to have them in all day long as Les Ismore said, that's why I bought a pair of cans for day to day practice.

New filters are $100+ over here so I'm putting that purchase on hold unless I have to :) (the plugs were $300)

quote
The EX-29 are shooting muffs with drivers built in.
/quote

That's what I was hoping, in that case It should be no problem to practice with them? They dampen the sound a lot. But it feels like some sounds are carried in through the cable/plastic shell so I can actually almost hear some frequencies better (not sure if louder) with them on. It's difficult to describe.
Drum peaks like the snare is much lower, so are the cymbals, but the closed hi-hat is still pretty loud and ringing. Speaking voices seem almost louder than normal.

/edit - I think I figured it out; playing loud music in the other room I put the cans on and off a bunch of times. The sounds that are not damped at all are the ones that normally go through walls and make things vibrate (the bass and low freq on a booming speaker), all other sounds are lowered as they should.
Should I be worried?

I plug my ipod into the EX-29 and don't use very loud volume (much lower than my standard earbuds in fact). Made a test today and wore my moulded plugs underneath and while it felt better in the minutes afterwards; a few hours later it was back to that damp/dull/strained feeling (but no ringing, noise or apparent loss fortunately)


Being a new drummer I'm sorry for being paranoid about my hearing. My ears are a bit sensitive from playing cello a few years.
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Old 05-21-2009, 01:25 AM
ermghoti ermghoti is offline
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Default Re: Is EX-29 Extreme Isolation enough?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heiden View Post
I think I figured it out; playing loud music in the other room I put the cans on and off a bunch of times. The sounds that are not damped at all are the ones that normally go through walls and make things vibrate (the bass and low freq on a booming speaker), all other sounds are lowered as they should.
Should I be worried?
That is exactly normal. Low frequencies are higher energy than high frequencies, this is why PA speakers will have like 2x15 and a weenie little tweeter. The lows are difficult to stop, while the highs roll off easily, which, in turn, is why it's expensive to get accurate-sounding earplugs.

Fortunately, low frequencies are also less damaging to hearing, so if they're a little loud, it won't kill you as fast. Still, the -29's will be knocking down a lot of noise. If you're worried, throw in a set of the foamies, and wear the -29's over 'em. You'll be darn near deaf. I do this when I get ear fatigue, but still have to play.
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