What earplugs do you use?


Senior Member
Heard about this one. But it's too expensive for me.
No denying they're expensive, but can you put a price on your hearing? I would rather have cheap drums than cheap earplugs - because at least I'd still be able to hear my cheap drums in 20 years time!! Can't stress it enough - hearing protection is not something to scrimp on !!
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Dj magic d

Senior Member
Westone ES49 with the ER25 db reduction filters. They have to be custom molded by an audiologist. About $250. I use this only when using a floor wedge monitor, which is rare. However, between band sets when the dj is pumping dance music these go in my ears. Otherwise, the stock tips on my Shure SE425 in ear monitors. I can usually get a decent seal in my ear, so it blocks the drum volume. You can get custom molded tips for the in ears as well, but I haven't.
For me, someone who suffers from tinnitus, it was worth it to invest in a good pair. What you get just depends the specific application. You are paying for an audiologist to fit your ear canals so the seal will be tight. A lot of the less expensive ones available can be effective, it just has to give a good seal on your ear canal.


I have custom plugs and custom IEM's. The custom plugs were AMAZING. Yes, you need to go get your ears fitted and they cost a bit more, but you can get filters with different db killers. I opted for the most isolating ones as my band is very loud. The best part of this is that they bring the sound down evenly. using regular construction plugs, or the cans over your ears cut out a ton of highs and alter the sound. With the customs the sound is exactly the same, just quieter. Plus they can stay in for hours. I can only wear the cans or non custom plugs for so long before it's uncomfortable.

The custom IEM's double up as really good isolation too. I just put my UE5's in and leave em unplugged. I can wear them for hours as well. The only difference is that they don't have the filters.

Custom fitted is where it's at, if you can afford them. Just decide if you want hearing protection or IEMS. the nice thing about the custom IEM's is that you can mic up your kit, turn the volume to a very low level and still hear everything perfectly.
Been planning to buy custom IEMs too but it's out of my budget range. LOL Thanks for responding!


Gold Member
I have tried a ton of plugs over the years. I eventually settled on Vibes. For me, they are the Best plugs for drumming.


Silver Member
I've been using cheap silicon ones which last a good while with care. I bought them for shooting but for that I also wear over the ear protection.
But the plugs alone allow the highs to be heard, which I really want. I hate how some earpro cancels out my cymbals and drum attack almost entirely.


Silver Member
Can an expert here answer this question please.
Comfort, longevity and ultimate sound quality aside, in terms simply of hearing protection does a custom moulded plug provide better protection than one of the “Christmas tree” silicon plugs IF the silicon plug is a tight fit?
To my way of thinking whether it’s a Christmas tree plug, a custom plug, foam plug, over ear protectors or fingers in your ears, I would have through that the action of blocking the ear canals itself is the protection. Obviously the more you spend the greater clarity and comfort you can achieve but if I’m right in my theory (& I might be wrong) IF you find a Christmas tree plug that’s comfortable at around £15, then after that the diminishing returns are huge if you’re a leisure or pub gig player. When I stepped up to Christmas tree plugs from foam ones the leap in sound quality was immense at a cost of about £14. I can’t see that that quantum leap is available even if I put another £200 on the table (I’m talking ear protection , not IEMs). And this is speaking as someone doing 3-4 gigs a month for pub money. If I was doing 3-4 gigs per week as my profession then a £200 investment would simply be the cost of doing business.

Sorry I’ve digresses from my original simple question but I wanted to provide a bit of clarity to avoid fielding answers about IEMs, comfort etc.


Senior Member
Woolwich - The usual numbers claimed by custom molds is around 26db of reduction with the fully isolating version. Those with ambient ports fitted
( which is a TINY hole) claim to be 13-15db, -a considerable difference for the size of the hole. Most generic/multi tip type models claim 8-10db reduction.
Rock bands are cited to be an average of 110db peaking at 120-125db, so in the grand scheme of things 12db doesn't sound much.
However I found that fully isolated 26db was too much and i genuinely struggled to hear and I had to pull the plugs out of the ambient ports. So, for me, (and to answer your question) in the realms of PURELY noise reduction, no -the extra cost for molds doesn't relate to the amount of protection.
Standard (non iem) molds were about £100 last time I looked- so 5 x the price of generic fit for 'up to' 15db gain.
Is the comfort and longevity worth the 5 x cost? To each to their own........
I am only a weekend warrior but I have stated on here the £480 I paid for my custom IEM's is the best money I've ever spent on 'drum equipment' and I stand by that as my gigging experience has been vastly improved by using them - on top of protecting my hearing long term.
Hope that helps.


Platinum Member
Been planning to buy custom IEMs too but it's out of my budget range. LOL Thanks for responding!
Even if you get cheaper ones you can get the Comply Foam Tips for them and the isolate and fit your ears great.
I had a pair of the MEE M6 Pro IEM's from amazon and with the Comply foam tips they worked pretty amazing for music and drumming. The low end was thick and not distorted. A bit hyped but for the $40 when I got them I was happy. The price has gone up a bit since then but not a ton. The foam tips need to be replaced every few months but it's like $20 for a set of 6 I think.

I believe they make different sizes for the Shures and all other types too.


Senior Member
I use silicon “Christmas tree” type, shooter ear plugs and cut off the top or narrow part to fit better(don’t have to push them as far into my ears to get results.)


Senior Member
I tried some Radians DIY custom moldable earplus last week. They work very well. They are incredibly cheap when one considers the sound attenuation levels they provide.