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hearing protection

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Precision345, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. Precision345


    Feb 19, 2013
    Using protection
    For hearing that is... hehe

    All jokes aside, I wasn't quite sure where to put this thread so here it is...

    I am wondering what some of you use for hearing protection during practices, jam sessions, gigs, concerts, etc.?

    I really need to start wearing ear plugs but I just can't seem to wear ear plugs for more than a few minutes before they annoy the **** out of me. I generally use the type you would find in a factory, or construction site or whatever. My friend bought a huge box so i just snag a handful here and there..

    Has anyone tried any of the Hearos brand ear plugs or any of the other brands out there?? I know a few people who use isolation headphones and I hear good things. I've even thought about seeing an audiologist to get some form fitted plugs specific to my ear but I don't think $100 are really practical considering I would probably lose them in a week.

    Please express your thoughtsssss

  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I keep my volume reasonable so I don't deafen myself and don't need earplugs.
  3. TRyan5289


    Jul 18, 2012
    Davenport, Iowa
    Etymotic Research ER20
  4. audioglenn


    Jul 14, 2012
    I'll go right to the obvious...you only get one set of ears, when you screw them up, that's it! You should be using some kind of hearing protection. There are different levels of attenuation and different price points. You're idea of seeing an audiologist is a good one. Having a custom set of earplugs is the most effective protection. Why do you think so many groups use IEMs(in-ear-monitors)? Any of the professional level bands have custom impressions made of their ears for their monitors. A friend of mine had them made and it is extremely important that the mold seals in ear completely or there will be feedback problems.
    It's either use ear protection or get the overall volume of the band down. Using the cheap earplugs is better than nothing. You're just going to have to get past how uncomfortable they feel. Take care of your hearing!
  5. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    If you're not as fortunate as Jimmy that way (I'm not), spend the $100 and figure out a case arrangement that allows you to keep track of them in your gig bag or whatever whenever they're not in your ears. They take some adjustment, especially for vocals, but the form-fitted ones are pretty comfortable and they actually clean up the stage sound nicely if you don't go overboard with the filters. 9-15 db cut works great.
  6. TrevorOfDoom


    Jun 17, 2007
    Austin, TX
    These ones. I love them, and recommend them to everyone I meet. Everyone that gets them loves them too.
    15dB frequency flat. Takes the volume down just enough to protect without removing the "balls".
  7. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    The ear plugs annoy the *%#! out of you? Try ROARING SCREECHING HOWLING ringing in your ears 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the rest of your life, i.e., tinnitus ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tinnitus ).

    Or how about hearing aids? Did you know that lots of musicians not only loose their high frequency hearing and get the "4k notch," but they eventually cannot hear well enough to have a conversation or use a phone without extremely powerful high-tech hearing aids? Some are nearing total deafness (Pete Townsend and others).

    That would annoy the *%#! out of anyone, no? :p
  8. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize!

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I hate wearing ear plugs. For practices I have started wearing ear muffs. I just bought industrial ones that I spray painted black. But when I do wear ear plugs I prefer the reusable ones.

    I don't want the musicians ear plugs for practices since I want the highs more attenuated than the lows so I can still hear myself.

    I use the heareos on gigs when we get too loud. But gigs aren't usually as loud so I usually do not need them. I make sure they are always in my pocket though.
  9. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    I switched over to the silicone putty ones that don't go deeply into the ear canal 6 months ago and I've been pretty happy with them. The foam ones I was using before were really irritating.
  10. bassfran


    Mar 1, 2012
    Endorsing artist: Lakland basses
    Try as many different kinds as you can afford to, then pick the ones you find least annoying and get used to them.

    Buy several pairs and stash them in every instrument case and gear bag you have.

    Learn to use them properly or you'll regret it later on.
  11. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Me too, although I have to wear earplugs for my drummer. Seriously, if your doing it to dampen yourself, turn the heck down. Tinnitus blows from what I hear. (pun intended) For me it was easier to get earplugs than break the habits of a drummer who has played longer than I have lived.

    I got mine from L&M (Canadian GC) the are little metal pieces, almost like lego man heads with a rubber surround that has a plug side with three circles that get gradually larger. I do not know the brand name but they were around $20 for a pair. They also sound more like the highs have been rolled off than having your ears plugged. I have hated earplugs in the past but I don't mind these ones, they do slip out from time to time and they are noticeable to others. This is why I am considering getting some professional ones made up. Money well spent in my opinion.
  12. Hearo Hi Fi's are pretty good, affordable, and readily available at GC's and Sam Ash's and a slew of other music stores
  13. Thor2


    Sep 30, 2006
    I'm so glad that I wear hearing protection at rehearsals and gigs. Despite that, I've exposed to enough volume to have some very mild tinnitus (only noticeable when laying in silence). I have no interest it in getting worse faster than it has to....

    I use custom molded plugs (sound the best), or in-ears, and in a pinch I'll use the silicon putty (don't like the foam cylinders).
  14. ModuMan

    ModuMan How many is too many? Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2007
    Bristol, CT #19
    I made the switch to musician's earplugs. They need to make a mold of your ear and I won't say it was a cheap experience but considering they are a custom fit and really do the job I feel it was well worth the investment.

    I went with -15db flat. I also got a set of -20 discs just in case but I haven't been in a situation when I felt I needed to change. Maybe when I go see the Saints play!

    These are the equivalent of simply turning the volume down. You'll still hear everything as it really sounds without messing with the frequencies.


    The OP mentioned that he wasn't sure about spending the money on something he might lose in a week. You'll lose your hearing for a lot longer! And you'll have even more incentive to keep track of them. Kind of like sunglasses... the more you spend, the less likely you are to sit on them.
  15. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize!

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I bought a pair of these but haven't tried them. How long does it take to put them in?
  16. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    Hey I like those! Fancy carry tube too! I typically use Etymotic ER20s They work pretty well and aren't too irritating. Give a decent sound. Those foam or rubber covered foam Hearos are crap. they really muddy up what you hear and irritate your ears fast too. I can grab a couple of the rubber coated ones at Sam Ash store every time I go because they have a huge dispenser there. But they are worth exactly what I paid for them.

    Usually Like Boomie I don't have to deal with loud bands or situations except loud OTHER bands which I carry the ER20s for, but honest to God I've been to a BLUES contest where I had to put in the hearing protection. What are these guys thinking?

    For any loud playing molded $100 are the only ones that give you comfort for a period of time. Worth the money. Your ears are not a place to take chances! What if it were proven that if you didn't wear a glove on your right hand playing bass after so many hours of gigging your hand falls off. What would you do? Well, if you are like a lot of kids today, you say how uncomfortable wearing the glove is and real men aren't seen wearing one etc. and then later you are looking for a job you can do with one hand. If your profession is your ears how can you be so dumb as to not do EVERYTHING to protect them no matter how uncomfortable.

    When I used to practice drums a lot, I just wore muff type protection for practice (not gigs) It was ugly but more comfortable. What I like about the earpiece plugs is they don't have the big hi fi filter sticking out like my ER20s do.

    PS. Keep the wax cleaned out of your ears when using plugs. What happened to me was I went to a drum circle and shoved in the ER20s and they somehow pushed the ear wax into a plug in my ear. And I lost hearing in that ear. Well the old days when you went to the doctor and he just picked it out for $50 are over! The only ear, nose, throat doctors in town all seemed to work for this big medical corporation. So I go there, but you can't see a doctor. NO. First you have to have the tech run these tests on your ears for him. Then the NEXT appointment you finally get to see him. And then in 5 minutes he picks the wax plug out. But is he happy? No. Now he wants to run some additional tests. The bad news: Two week of fooling around and a bill for $600. The good news what the tests showed I had some loss in one ear but NOT due to loud noises like drumming or bass playing. So it took me $600 to find out ear protection really does work!
  17. sketch


    Oct 16, 2013
    Tacoma, WA, USA
    I also use Etymotic Research, they're great. One thing to note: they come in two sizes, the first set I had fit fine, but the second set aren't big enough to "seal" inside my ear.

    I have another set of cheapo earplugs that are made from rubber in the same shape as the ERs. They were for construction or logging and had a cord connecting the two earpieces. They attenuate the highs a little, but also take the volume down more then the ERs. I use these at super loud spots like the night clubs or playing directly in front of speakers.
  18. Rockin Mike

    Rockin Mike

    May 27, 2011
    +1 for more reasons than hearing protection.

    Playing softer lets you hear more detail and become a better musician.

    The "wall of sound" can waste years of your musical career. To me that's as important as my hearing.
  19. spaz21387


    Feb 25, 2008
    Portland oregon
    I hate the heros musicians earplugs the skin colored ones are the ones im talking about. They made everything sound muddy. I usually use the ones they use in factories and they are less muddy. I think ill try out the ones that come in the handy tube someone posted in here.
  20. superheavyfunk

    superheavyfunk Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2013
    I always use hearing protection, at both practices and gigs. I don't care how silly it may look... Hell, in a pinch, I've been known to roll up toilet paper, moisten the end and shove them in my ears. It makes me look like a caveman with little dinosaur bones sticking out the side if my head but I couldn't care less. My ears and fingers are my bread and butter - I'd rather look the fool than try to live without either of them.

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