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Earplug Suggestions?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by GreggBummer, Feb 25, 2008.

  1. I apologize in advance if this is not in the right forum.

    I am an Iraq vet who picked up some hearing damage in the sandbox. I am out now. I have started playing in a band with a drummer who beats his kit like an angry 800 pound gorilla on speed. The guitar players are turned up to eleven, distorted to all hell, and when they make a mistake... turn up louder.

    So I like this band.

    With my hearing already damaged, I am afraid that playing once a week with these guys is going to push my fragile hearing even farther over the edge. I know if I ask, they will turn it down. But volumes creep back up, and to be honest I don't want to spoil anyones fun.

    I need earplugs. Can anyone suggest a comfortable, high quality set? I would like something more than the foam things that you roll up and stick in your ear. Something for musicians.

    BTW: I am rather new to the forums here... it is a great community. Thanks.

  2. anderbass


    Dec 20, 2005
    Phoenix. Az.
  3. Yep, and immediately at least get Hearos (usually available from most decent drugstores) in case you want custom musician earplugs, as it takes a while for the custom ones to be delivered.

    Every time you hear a loud cymbal, N amount of tiny fibers in your ears are permanently damaged. You only get one set in this lifetime. --Kent
  4. scottbass

    scottbass Bass lines like a big, funky giant

    Jul 13, 2004
    Southern MN
    Welcome to TB, and welcome home!

    I just use the foam ones - the brand name is Hearo's. I know a few people who bought the non-disposable ear plugs made for shooters, you know, like on a rifle range. They seem to like them, but I can't give you any firsthand opinions.
  5. Get these instead of the soft foam ones:


    i.e. attenuates the highs the right way so things don't sound muffled.

    It takes a little bit time to get used to them, but that's nothing compared with losing hearing permanently. --Kent
  6. I hate going to GC (I prefer to use my local bass/guitar guy)... but he just doesn't have what I need. I will go to GC before my next rehearsal and pick up a pair of these Hearos HIFI. I have to find an audiologist... the VA won't take a mould of my ear.... they wont take the rest of the shrapnel out of my leg either... but that is a different topic for a different website.

    Thanks one and all for your help.
  7. Horny Toad

    Horny Toad Guest

    Mar 4, 2005
  8. +1

    I've been using Hearos for a while now and have foun them to work quite well. The custom ones are quite expensive but at the end of the day it's a small price to pay to protect your hearing.
  9. Dodgy


    Jun 12, 2007
    Aiken, SC
    what i used to use were those foam earplugs that you twist and stick into your ears and they expand to fit into your ears.

    those blocked out too much sound, but did more than enough to protect my ears.

    so i just took some skull candy earbud headphones and just stick those in during practice/shows. they work great. don't block out too much, but they do block out damaging sound.
  10. amos


    Oct 23, 2003
    SE Portland Oregon
    Etymotics Hi-Fi ear plugs.
  11. Warpeg

    Warpeg Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2005
    Look at Alpine earplugs. They're a British company. Mine are great; I hear everything perfectly. It's just quieter. They come with 3 different pairs of -dB inserts. Plus they are unnoticeable to the audience.
  12. GreggBummer:

    First off, thanks for doing the job and welcome home!

    I went to a hearing aid shop and got hooked up with some quality protection. It cost about $135 but is well worth it.
  13. Surly


    Feb 2, 2007
    South Florida
    I've heard good things about Hearos.
  14. Yes, those are the same as Hearos HiFi, ER-20s branded with a different name. --Kent
  15. I just got some and they don't muffle at all, the just do a straight volume cut, they're great. Everything is very clear.
  16. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    +1 on the Hearos/Etymotic ER-20s... they're good interim plugs while you find an audiologist.

    I can't say it enough: getting custom molded earplugs was the best money I've spent on gear, ever.

    And if you have hearing damage already, it's way easier to get more hearing damage. Kudos for wanting to protect your ears.

    And thank you for serving.
  17. doktorfeelgood

    doktorfeelgood layin' it down like pavement Supporting Member

    GregBummer...Congrats on getting back home safe. I'd like to Thank You for taking the fight to those who need their butts kicked. As for earplugs, I play bass in a Blues band and I have used earplugs for about 6 years now and could not even get onstage with out them. I started with the foam ones and then 3 years ago I got fitted for the custom molded ones. The custom ones are the hot set-up as you can alternate levels of attenuation to suit your environement by switching out the filters. Here's a link for the info.


    You will need to find an audioligist in your local area that does the molds. Look in your local yellow pages. It will cost you around $100-$125 bucks and take a couple of weeks to get once the impressions of your ears have been sent to the Etymotic Research lab. They will come with one set of filters of your choice. Use the foam ones until you get the custom ones. You can actually get -32 db beige foam Hearos at Wal-Mart. Even though I have the custom ones, I still keep a couple of pairs of the foam plugs in my gig bag. PM me if you have any other questions. I take the custom ones with me even when I go to local shows. It's going to be a little bit of a hassle to get thru the transition of using earplugs but it's worth it... we only get one set of ears. All the guys that I play with that don't use them can not carry on a decent conversation without a lot of "what" as their ears are in tough shape. )-(
  18. i prefer hearos for the band/livesound situation and the annoying prick/teacher moments
  19. My biggest gripe with the custom musician earplugs is that if you lose them, they are expensive to replace. Expect to nearly pay the same amount of money. At least nowadays you could save the mold so you could send that back in. I lost mine a year ago and I'm still debating if I should get again custom musician earplugs or just use the ER-20/Hearos. The ear plugs are so small, easy to forget them somewhere, or drop them somewhere...

    Also, if you carefully read the ER-20 specs (the PDF file), the paper claims that the audio quality is close to the custom musician ones. I think the biggest difference is really if you feel comfortable with the non-custom ones or not, the musician ones are indeed very comfortable as they exactly fit your ear.

    The other issue is that the filters inside the custom musician earplugs get dirty and you need to replace them every 1-2 years or so. Same with ER-20/Hearos, I tried to wash mine but the sound of my one year+ ER-20s were still bad. So it's pretty cheap to go to WalMart or a similar place and pick up another set of $12-$15 Hearos. --Kent
  20. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    I am happy with ER20's. Thanks to their being inexpensive, I can have a pair in each of my amp cases, so I never forget.

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