Ear Protectors: Westone vs Etymotic

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by jonro, Oct 10, 2017.


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  1. jonro

    jonro

    Jun 26, 2011
    The Hearos earplugs I'm using muffle the sound, so I don't use them often. I'm thinking of buying either the Westone TRU Universal WM25 Full Frequency Earplugs or the Etymotic Research ER-20XS High Fidelity Earplugs. Both claim to have balanced sound, but the Westones are nearly twice the price. They look pretty similar to each other. Does anyone have experience with both or comments on either?
     
  2. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    Ft.Worth/Dallas
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    There's a whole "sticky" thread on plugs at the top of this sub-forum that might provide some answers.
    Hearing Loss and Ear Plugs
     
  3. jonro

    jonro

    Jun 26, 2011
    I checked that thread, but did not find an answer to my question.
     
  4. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    Ft.Worth/Dallas
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    Wow.. 47 pages and nothing like that in it.. sorry.. I figured there might be. I use IEM's not plugs, so I can't help.
     
  5. jonro

    jonro

    Jun 26, 2011
    Several people liked the Etymotic 20XS, but no one had tried both. I’m going to purchase the Etymotics and give them a try. Which IEMs do you use?
     
  6. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    Ft.Worth/Dallas
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    if you look at my sig... 1964 Ears.. my last band were 1964 artists... :)
    I have a set of their old Qi's (quad drivers) and now use A8's.. eight drivers..
     
  7. Bodeanly

    Bodeanly

    Mar 20, 2015
    Chicago
    Never tried the Westones, but I have about 20 sets of the Etymotics in various gig bags and cases, with extras in my car. Love them, but they do nothing for smaller stages, when I'm right next to that effing china. :crying:
     
  8. lakefx

    lakefx

    Sep 14, 2012
    Eugene
    I haven't used the Westone, but I've used a variety of similar musicians plugs, including the Etymotics and they are all pretty equivalent. Better than generic ear plugs, but nowhere close to the custom ones I had made.
     
  9. jonro

    jonro

    Jun 26, 2011
    I bought the Etymotics. I'll test them out at our next rehearsal and see how it goes.
     
  10. deepestend

    deepestend Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 21, 2003
    Brooklyn via Austin and NOLA
    Guitar/Bass Builder and Social Media at Sadowsky
    How did you like them?
     
  11. jonro

    jonro

    Jun 26, 2011
    They were pretty good, but I’m still not used to wearing ear protectors. I don’t have as much confidence playing with them on. I guess it’s an acquired skill. The Etymotics are fairly neutral and I can still hear the full range of sound with them, but it is not a flat frequency response.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2018
  12. deepestend

    deepestend Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 21, 2003
    Brooklyn via Austin and NOLA
    Guitar/Bass Builder and Social Media at Sadowsky
  13. Wasnex

    Wasnex

    Dec 25, 2011
    I have used about 6 custom molds with ER15 and ER20 filters. All of them drastically changed the frequency response and sounded very compressed to my ears. The high frequencies were rolled off and there was a build up in the low mids. The build up occurs due to the resonant space in the ear canal between the plug and the tympanic membrane. To understand, read about occlusion effect on this page. Ear Canal - VIII| Wayne Staab, PhD | hearinghealthmatters.org/waynesworld/

    I recommend you read and understand the commments on the webpage related to this image as I believe they pretty much explain my experience with the ER15 and ER20.
    OE-ER-and-Occlusion.jpg

    Honestly I don't find the sound with musicians plugs all that much better than foam ear plugs...but it is definitely a lot easier to insert and remove ER15s.

    I believe when people are fitted for high end hearing aids, an effort is made to tune the frequency response to account for the occlusion effect. I would think, IEM mixes should be custom equalized for each user for the same reason for optimum performance.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2018
  14. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Jun 20, 2021

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