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Need stronger earplugs but not for music

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by rabid_granny, Apr 13, 2004.

  1. Can anyone recommend some small earplugs that can cut off ALL hearing? I have ER-20's from Etymotic Research but those are designed to allow some sound in. I want to be able to hear nothing. It's hard to study with so much noise pollution.
  2. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    You might want to go to an audiologist and have some custom fitted earplugs made. Once you have the mold, you can put in different inserts for various levels of attenuation. Those are kind of expensive, though. I get a student discount and they're still gonna set me back about $130. :meh:

    One thing I haven't tried myself, however, is some kind of pink or white noise generator and a pair of headphones. (I prefer pink noise.) I think you can get CDs with noise on them, as well. Just put on your headphones and turn on the colored noise of your choice, and it's supposed to help you focus on whatever you happen to be doing. It drowns out any of the ambient noises that are distracting you as opposed to making them quieter. I saw one in an electronics catalog as a kit that was about $30, and let you pick between pink or white. It was about the size of a small walkman.
  3. tim99

    tim99 Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2003
  4. I don't think it's possible to kill ALL hearing, but I've never tried customs; perhaps the "perfect" seal would actually cut off all sound, but I have my doubts. It might help to try using two layers of attenuation: that is, use the strongest pair of industrial earplugs you can find, and then put a pair of soundproofing headphones (like the ones guys who use jackhammers wear) over them. SD's noise generator idea might be more effective though, and less trouble.

    Are you in college? If you live near campus and your campus is anything like mine, you've probably got several libraries to choose from that would make great study locations. I usually have no trouble finding a spot that's all but completely silent as long as I stay off the main floor of whatever building I'm in; you might even have some soundproofed study rooms designed for group work (one of the UM libraries does), but if you're that sensitive to noise, you could be one of those people that monopolizes an entire cubicle for yourself :p
  5. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    The round barrel like foam ones which usually have the highest rating in the 30's may be what you're looking for.
  6. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    These definitely do not cut out talking and randomly occurring noises. I tried some at the Bose store and they cut out constant, ambient noise...such as a/c running or airplane engine noise. They don't cut out other noise and from what Rabid Granny is saying they probably do not fit his needs.


    You just aren't going to find earplugs that cut out ALL noise. Your best bet is to go to a store with a good selection and pick the ones with the highest decibel cut rating.

    brad cook
  7. Chris A

    Chris A Chemo sucks! In Memoriam

    Feb 25, 2000
    Manchester NH
    I have the custom earplugs, and yeah, they set me back $125. I have a filter and a "dead plug" for them. The dead plug does cut down a lot on noise but doesn't cut it altogether. I don't use them much when I'm playing, because I have a hard time singing with them in, but I use them a bit when I'm forced to share sleeping quarters with others. I always seem to get stuck with someone that snores like Fred Flintstone. The plugs don't cut it all out, but they help. They are very comfortable, too.

    Chris A. :rolleyes: :bassist:
  8. I usually study at home and need my computer (which has all of my files and emails). Unfortunately, it's situated near a TV (and I don't watch TV). So I get a lot of irritating laugh tracks and commercials which distract me. The custom plugs are too expensive so that's why I have the ER-20's. Does anyone know what is the biggest db cut you can get with earplugs?
  9. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    The best I could find was -33dB. I found them at a "Safety First" store that sells your typical safety apparel (flouro vests, dust masks etc etc)They're orange foam and designed for people who use industrial machinery. I wear them to bed because my housemate's dog and 8 yr old daughter start making noise at dawn, even if I've just finshed a gig a couple of hours before. I can sleep right through with these plugs in.
  10. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    OH - TV is the worst!!! I have slept with earplugs since my university days when I had the worst downstairs neighbors who had thier TV blasting constantly. Nothing gets rid of TV noise (unless you jimmy the house's electrical current... :rolleyes: )

    I get those drugstore variety tapered orange foam dealies and it's made life so much better - even without having the downstairs neighbors anymore...I couldn't sleep without 'em.

    I typically study/write listening to music that's repetitive and sung in another language - Gipsy Kings or BuenaVista Social Club comes to mind.

  11. When you mentioned the foamies, I realized that I had a pair kicking around. I didn't realize that they cut the sound level by that much! I think I'll give those a try.

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