Yeah. earplugs are an idea - never occurred to me - LOL.You can tune for the room, but in a big open space like a gym, it's gonna be echoey and boomy. Kit position and tuning play a lot, but you can't really treat the room. Earplugs might help also. The noise (drums) directly in front of you should come through louder and cleaner than the room (echo, boom, reverb) when your ears are stuffed.