What are your favorite earplugs?

wipekitty

Junior Member
I've been using disposable foam earplugs for way too long, and am looking to upgrade. With that, I'm wondering: what are your favorite earplugs (or other in-ear hearing protection devices?)

For a bit more context, I'm in my late 30s and already have bad hearing and tinnitus (too much amplifier worship in my late teens/early 20s.) I'm also not playing particularly quiet music. Ideally, I'd like something that will block out quite a bit of noise and prevent further hearing loss and headaches from loud playing. Bonus if it fits easily in smaller ear canals.
 
I picked up a set of Surefire earplugs at the hardware store for about $15. They've been working great for the past 8 months. And there's a cap you can take out if you don't want the full 26 db drop.
 

williamsbclontz

Silver Member
I started micing and mixing my drums at home about a year ago using in-ear monitors. It’s changed my life. My drums sound so much better, I can play along to a track really easily, I can record myself now and listen back to my practicing, and the volume is so much better to handle

Every time I practice it makes me feel like i can get so much more done, now I never want to get off the kit
 

KEEF

Senior Member
I shelled out for custom in ear monitors (UE4's) - expensive - but money well spent. Can't put a price on your hearing my friend!
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
Earasers work best for me. They heavily cut harsh midrange, but only slightly cut the bass and treble. The result is I can hear hihat and ride, kick and toms, while the snare, crash cymbals and guitar amps are mellowed.

Any other ‘hifi’ plugs muffle the sound too much for me, so I can’t hear what’s going on around me.

Earasers are also shaped for left and right, and come in three sizes.
 

BertTheDrummer

Gold Member
When not using in ears, I use the D'addario Full Frequency Earplugs. 19dB of reduction, they are designed to just make things quieter and not mess with the way things sound.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Any of the generic musician earplugs. They all look the same. Reckon they're all made at the same factory and put into different packaging. I replace em once a year.

Used earplugs for as long as I've been gigging. Came across too many children of the 60s/70s/80s that are deaf as posts. Not for me thanks!

IEMs are intriguing but I'm rarely in a situation to use them.
 

hawksmoor

Senior Member
Any of the generic musician earplugs. They all look the same. Reckon they're all made at the same factory and put into different packaging. I replace em once a year.

Used earplugs for as long as I've been gigging. Came across too many children of the 60s/70s/80s that are deaf as posts. Not for me thanks!

IEMs are intriguing but I'm rarely in a situation to use them.
I have started regular weekly lessons and the teacher was amazed I didn't wear ear protection. After a long pause, 'I said, "Sorry did you say something?'"

Anyway, I've just ordered a proper pair rather than the cheap foam ones that make everything sound muddy and muffled.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
I've just ordered a proper pair rather than the cheap foam ones that make everything sound muddy and muffled.
They're better than nothing! When I was a poor student these were a godsend. My dad worked in a noisy factory full of presses so he used to get me a never ending supply of these!

Industrial ear defenders are great if you want a cheap way to jam along to music or record as you can put them over the top of earplugs.
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
IEM's are a life saver..

I have a set of UE5's I use for playing live and jamming with. Does the isolation and sound amazing.

I have a set of custom plugs too made from ear molds. The issue with IEM"s or custom molded plugs are that your ears change shape. I find between 5-7 years I need to get new molds made as the sound is getting louder.


The foam is crap though. They don't cut frequency evenly.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
I use a pair of triple-flange earplugs similar to the ones I used while in the Army. They're effective and stay put. Generally, though, I use them for loud clubs. When playing I'm almost always wearing IEMs or isolation headphones.

I used to wear shooting range earmuffs when playing - they do a very good job but don't work well with hats or glasses.
 

blinky

Senior Member
I bought some very expensive molded earplugs 3 years ago since my tinnitus is getting worse. I'm stupid enough not to wear them though as I don"t hear the nuances in what I'm playing. I tell myself that I have to get used to them and put them in half an hour before rehearsal but I usually end up removing them after a couple of songs. And they only cut down 7 dB. They are very good when I go to a loud concert though.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
The two "best" ones are alpine or vater brand. I've tried almost all the offerings I've been able to find in the 15-40 dollar per pair range. The vaters and alpines are nearly identical to one another, and both work heads and shoulders better than the similar offerings from companies like "hearos". You can really hear live music almost "better" with these things since it equalizes the damaging freqs while not really affecting the more quiet ones.

Interestingly I found some of the more "complicated" ones to be not quite as good on the letting you hear the non damaging sounds as well, if that makes sense.
 

brady

Platinum Member
The two "best" ones are alpine or vater brand. I've tried almost all the offerings I've been able to find in the 15-40 dollar per pair range. The vaters and alpines are nearly identical to one another, and both work heads and shoulders better than the similar offerings from companies like "hearos". You can really hear live music almost "better" with these things since it equalizes the damaging freqs while not really affecting the more quiet ones.

Interestingly I found some of the more "complicated" ones to be not quite as good on the letting you hear the non damaging sounds as well, if that makes sense.

+1 on the Vater plugs. Great option. They aren't too expensive either.

They come with a little screw-top canister that I keep hooked onto my stick bag. Plus a string which (it may seem silly) is my favorite feature. I've lost one ear plug a few times, but I've never lost a pair.
 

WallyY

Platinum Member
I have had Westone custom silicone with interchangeable membranes for many years and I wouldn’t get any other kind for music.
 

mrfingers

Senior Member
I use shooters ‘ plugs- trim the top flanges (so 2 instead of 3) and push them in 1/2 way. Depending on your ears’ inner shapes, trim them or push in a bit. Clean occasionally w. soap and water. Cost about $5, last forever.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Just go to a ny misc store and get whatever "musician's" earplugs. They should be no more than $20 and would give you an idea of how liner damening works.

If you like the idea I'd consider some custom molded ones. Just go to a specialist to get some molds made and you can order any brand you like. Basically, it's a silicone plug with exchangeable filters for different levels of dampening. A bunch of brands and they're all more or less the same.

I recommend not getting new harder materials like carbon fiber or whatever. They're not comfortable and as they're not flexible enough you might have issues with the seal as well.
 
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