Many musicians who are gigging regularly wear earplugs. Why you may ask? Are they that bad? No.it’s a simple reason. To protect their ears.
Ear damage caused by exposure to high volume in music is common. And your ears can be permanently damaged. Ask Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey, to name just two.
When you are playing music, your ears are quite important. Some musicians use earplugs so they can hear a particular part of the band they might be playing closely with. Maybe a bass player wants to hear his drummer. If the venue is huge and there is a lot of ambient noise, then the whole band might be wired up to hear themselves. I bet the Beatles wish that the Best Earplugs For Musicians were around back in those heady days.
So let’s have a look at the best earplugs for musicians currently available and find the perfect pair for you…
- Top 10 Best Earplugs For Musicians 2020 Reviews
- 1 Alpine MusicSafe Pro Hearing Protection System for Musicians
- 2 EarPeace HD Concert Ear Plugs
- 3 Earasers Musicians Plugs
- 4 EarDial HiFi Earplugs
- 5 SureFire EP4 Sonic Defenders Plus Filtered Earplugs
- 6 Decibullz – Custom Molded Earplugs
- 7 Etymotic High-Fidelity Earplugs
- 8 Eargasm High Fidelity Earplugs
- 9 Fender Touring Ear Plugs
- 10 LiveMus!c HearSafe Earplugs
- Best Earplugs For Musicians Buyers Guide
- So What Are The Best Earplugs For Musicians?
Top 10 Best Earplugs For Musicians 2020 Reviews
1 Alpine MusicSafe Pro Hearing Protection System for Musicians
Developed especially for musicians, these are earplugs designed to protect your hearing either in live performance or rehearsals. They are made to be hardly noticeable when worn and to have a high comfort level.
Getting the right protection for your ears will depend to a certain extent on what instrument you play and even where you stand on a stage or in relation to the amp you are using. It can also be affected by everybody else. You are not the only one making the noise.
Musicsafe Pro gives you the option of choosing your own level of protection. They include three filters that can be changed when necessary to give you three levels, low, medium, and high protection. Venues, recording studios, rehearsal rooms come in different shapes and sizes, and so should the protection from the noise. The exchangeable filters allow you to decide how much protection you need depending on the environment you are in and the volume used.
Wearing earplugs doesn’t mean you have to be isolated. Not all of the noise is excluded obviously, so you can still stay in touch with what is going on around you. The sound quality they produce is good and accurate and affects all frequencies.
They need to be comfortable and flexible, of course, and they are made from a very soft Thermo shaping material that is flexible but also durable. The warmth of the ear will adapt to the shape of the material to fit your inner ear. If they do not fit as you would like, they are easily adjustable.
They are supplied with a storage case, a spare plug for the ear, and some spray for cleaning.
As a set of earplugs for musicians, they are well-made and a valuable asset. The dB reduction is good but will depend somewhat on the fit in your ear. They come at a reasonable price to give some protection to your ears.
- Well made with good materials
- Three options for you to decide on the protection level.
- Results will depend on the fit in your ear.
2 EarPeace HD Concert Ear Plugs
We think that if you are looking around for some earplugs to buy either for playing in, or just watching some live concerts, and you find a company whose products are worn by Metallica and recommended by Zildjian cymbals then you ought to look a bit closer. These Earpeace ear plugs live in that company.
They are a pro-level of ear protection that manages to deliver a bright sound with clarity at a volume that is not harmful. Three levels of protection are included, Medium, High, and in Metallica’s case, OMG!
They are designed to be comfortable and are made from silicone material similar to the usual earbuds on some headphone products. They are designed with a dual flange that seals as it’s placed in the ear and is made rounded to avoid any sharp edges.
The designers have recognized that musicians do not want a product that sticks too far out of the ear, so they have made these to be discreet and have a low visual profile. They might be easy and soft to wear, but they are also tough and durable.
The filters give a clear sound and allow you to still be aware of what is going on around you. They have been used now for over ten years, and so there pedigree is established as being a valuable commodity for musicians. Are they the best earplugs for musicians? Many seem to think so.
They are supplied in an aluminum case so that they are easy to carry around and to keep them clean and are priced quite reasonably.
- Well made and designed with good materials.
- Used by professionals, including Metallica who understand LOUD!
- Insertion will take some getting used to.
3 Earasers Musicians Plugs
Exposing your ears to loud noise in any environment can be dangerous, but the excessive constant barrage that a musicians ear takes goes beyond what is referred to as acceptable. Companies that manufacture hearing aids will tell you that, and that is why the Earasers are worth having a close look at.
They were designed by one of the senior engineers at a company that manufactures hearing aids. The fact that he also is a musician means he can appreciate as well as understand the problem. They have turned their attention to preventing the problem in the first place. Good idea.
The principal objective in the design has been to remove the dangerous, loud noise but still letting you hear at a comfortable level. Musicians need to be able to hear the different frequencies and the layers of the sound. It is therefore not realistic to just blank out the highs or lows.
The designers of this earplugs have, therefore, created what they call a ‘V’ filter which will give a 5dB rating in protection, These are the world’s first earplugs with a flat frequency response.
The frequency reduction varies up to a level of 19dB at its highest level but varies out amongst other frequencies to give you a good sound quality.
They have also been designed for comfort. The tips are manufactured from soft silicone, a material used in hearing aids for comfort, and they adjust to the size of your inner ear to create a good seal.
They come supplied with a waterproof case. They are not cheap by any means but have a great design pedigree from a company that specializes in protection and help for ears.
- Great design and built by a company with specialized knowledge.
- Varying frequency response gives good sound quality.
- Some might think they are expensive.
4 EarDial HiFi Earplugs
These are an interesting set of earplugs that utilize what some may call a gimmick but what we prefer to call a sensible use of modern tech.
Some issues with earplugs are more important than others. You want a well-balanced sound that doesn’t muffle or are muddy, but they first have to be safe to use, including getting them in and out of your ear and secondly they do need to be comfortable.
The comfort level on the EarDial HiFi plugs is very good. They are made from a soft silicone material that is used in the medical profession and so is also suitable for use over long periods.
They do though have to be inserted into the ear canal quite deeply to get a good fit and seal. This can cause a problem when trying to remove them, and whilst it certainly isn’t dangerous; they can become a bit fiddly to get out. By having to insert them deep into the ear, they aren’t uncomfortable, but the feeling can be that you have something stuck in your ear until you get used to them.
They come with an app for your smartphone that gives you information on the level of sound pressure you are experiencing. It will also tell you how long you can be safely exposed to that level of sound. It will further give you a dB reading.
Very clever and something we see as using modern tech to your advantage. The app will work in all environments where you have a signal but is likely to explode at the end of the synthesizer break-in ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’ but we already know that level of volume at that point is dangerous.
No doubt a great earplug and certainly a contender for best earplugs for musicians.
- Well made with good materials.
- The useful app will give you sound level info.
- Do fit quite deep in your ear.
5 SureFire EP4 Sonic Defenders Plus Filtered Earplugs
SureFire is a company based in California that is more involved with the military than with music, and they are a major supplier to the Army and Law enforcement agencies. They make a range of sound suppressors for military use, but these are designed for the musician.
The EP4 Sonic defenders are a set of earplugs from a range by SureFire. They are designed and built for people with larger ear canals to gain the optimum fit for the seal and comfort. For the larger ear, they offer better protection than the EP3 model, which fits a slightly smaller ear.
The design includes a triple flange pass-through stem that gives a noise reduction rating of 24dB. Dangerous level of sound over 85dB is filtered out, but the sounds prevalent at a quieter level are left untouched. Therefore very loud music will be removed, but ordinary conversation left untouched.
There are filter caps that give you full protection from all sound when entered into the stems. You can use them without filters in, but the protection against loud volume will cease. They are, therefore offering you two levels of protection.
The comfort, of course, has been considered, and they are constructed using a soft hypoallergenic polymer material that is medical-grade and adjustable. They fit in the ear using seven points of contact to keep them stable and in place during concerts, etc.
They are rugged and well-built but rather bulky, and whilst they are not particularly heavy, you will know you are wearing them. A reasonable price point will make them of interest to some.
- Tough and rugged manufacture.
- Two options for noise reduction.
- Ensuring the EP4 are the right size might be a problem.
6 Decibullz – Custom Molded Earplugs
Is it too much to ask that earplugs can fit your ear exactly and precisely to form a perfect seal and comfortable fit? Well, actually the answer to that question is that it probably isn’t possible because we are all different. Different shapes and sizes, and so are our ears. So we make the best of it and try to find other ways to ensure that what we put in our ear is firstly safe and secondly actually does what we want it to.
But then along comes Deciibullz with a set of earplugs that mold and fit exactly to your ear shape. They are made to fit easily and quickly, are reusable time and time again and are very comfortable. They will give you a perfect fit so not only giving you a good seal they become extremely unlikely to just fall out as some do.
And further, they will give a high level of isolation from extremes of noise. They have a noise reduction rating (NRR) of 31dB.
No, you set them up at home. Just get some near-boiling water. Soak until they become pliable, let them cool and then shape them by fitting them in your ear. And they are re-moldable, so if you don’t get the fit, you want first time simply repeat the process.
Included in the package are two thermoplastic molds, Foam tips in a medium-size, three sets of flanged tips and a carry bag.
It is an interesting concept, and to have personally fitted earplugs is a big plus. They are not cheap to buy but will last for a long time if taken care of. Just don’t lose them.
- Interesting design for a complete seal of the ear.
- Made with good materials.
- Some may feel unsure about molding them in their ear.
7 Etymotic High-Fidelity Earplugs
What you really need with a set of earplugs is the ability for them to ensure the warmth and all the tonal inflections of the music remain the same and any speech is clear and preserved to a high level, but just quieter. Seems easy, doesn’t it. It isn’t!
It’s not just a case of blocking the ear canal with something it takes a bit of technical know-how, an appreciation of how sound works. As well as understanding the limitations of what the ear can take and then combining them all and producing a product that will satisfy all the demands of the technical aspects, while also letting us poor humans appreciate it.
Etymotic Research are specialists in all those areas. Founded in 1983 the word Etymotic means ‘true to the ear’ and for over thirty years they have worked on improving people’s hearing and also protecting it. These earbuds are just one of the quality products they produce.
Designed to incorporate a tuned resonator and using an acoustic resistor, they create the behavior of the inner ear when it is exposed to sound. They then take an approach that evens out all the frequencies and reduces them but ensuring the quality of the sound is not affected.
We suppose you could say that they act partly like a the best compressor pedal on a guitar, just taking away the top of the frequency range when it peaks too high. Sounds over 4kHz have a clear sound but without compromising protection. They have a 20dB reduction of sound.
The design sits comfortably in the outer ear but does not protrude. They can also be fitted with foam tips without affecting the sound. The ear tips may be changed around. Removal is easy after use, and they come with a carrying case.
Given the technical input and the quality of the product, these are not expensive, but some might consider they are. Best Earplugs for musicians? They might take some beating.
- Impressive technical design and performance.
- Well made and secure.
- Some might think them expensive.
8 Eargasm High Fidelity Earplugs
A huge problem and challenge for musicians today is to play loud but be able to hear what exactly is going on whilst protecting your hearing at the same time.
Years ago with Vox AC 30s, it wasn’t so much of a problem but then a Mr. Hendrix in association with an amp and speaker builder, a Mr. Marshall, blew the walls out of the Ealing club one night and West London rocked the world. From that moment on, we all needed earplugs. We just didn’t know it.
We stood at the Streatham Locarno one Friday night and a girl one of us had taken had blood coming from her right ear. The ear closest to Mr. Townshend’s four Marshall 4 x 12’s. A ruptured eardrum the hospital said. It could be dangerous. Now we do know we need protection, a bit late for some of us, but today’s musicians need a practical form of protection.
There are many different options on the market. Ranging from very good to a total waste of time and money and a lot of them forget that it’s not just a case of blocking out sound it’s more filtering it. Remove the seriously damaging loudness and leave us with a quality sound that isn’t harmful.
With the fantastically named, Eargasm earplugs, you can protect your hearing without the loss of the live ‘feeling.’ They will reduce volume levels but won’t destroy the sound quality. And are made from a hypoallergenic silicone material that is very soft for comfort and boast a noise reduction about 21dB depending on how well you get them to fit.
And they have a volume adjustment that governs the amount of background sound you can hear which is a useful tool.
They also have an aluminum carrying case. Priced a little higher than the norm they are an outstanding set of earplugs and certainly could be the best earplugs for musicians.
- Good design and well made.
- No compromise on sound quality.
- Some may find them expensive.
9 Fender Touring Ear Plugs
Yes, here they are, wherever you find music and in whatever disguise it comes in, you will usually find Fender.
They are always aware of potential opportunities, and this is an area which might be considered new for them. Ironically they have manufactured guitars that have all but blown our heads off over the years, with a little help from their amps, of course, especially the ear-crushingly loud Fender Twin Reverb! But now they want to reduce the volume or at least quieten it down a little.
They have come up with their product – the Touring Series. Designed specifically with musicians out on tour they tell us, but we think what they mean by that is that they are good for live work. They can of course also be used in a studio if necessary and at rehearsals and can also be used by musicians who don’t necessarily tour but are still gigging.
We think they just wanted to get the idea of professionalism over a bit. Nothing wrong with that. Fender has been at the forefront of pro guitarists since the 50s.
They have done a good job with the design, and they are comfortable to wear. Importantly, they are latex-free for those people who suffer from a latex sensitivity. They provide a noise reduction level of 12 dB and are so calibrated as to allow you to communicate with others while you use them. Importantly they do not muddy the sound or favor particular frequencies in the sound reduction.
They are supplied with a carrying box. And have a reasonable price point.
- Offer a 12dB noise reduction.
- Reasonable price set.
- Don’t offer the advantages of some other brands.
10 LiveMus!c HearSafe Earplugs
Living Stones Biz has produced these earplugs. They are involved in a variety of product manufacture in non-music related industries that carry a health theme and have designed and manufactured the HearSafe earplugs.
They are made from hypoallergenic silicone that is non-toxic. Because of this, they do not cause any allergic reactions to materials used in the manufacture. They are soft to the ear and comfortable to wear.
The design is a common triple flange for stability and which is designed to stop them from becoming loose. The tips are cone-shaped and will fit different ear sizes to make sure they give you a good seal.
The HearSafe earplugs have been designed with a built-in filter that has various levels of operational strength. This filter will bring down the volume of background noise and any high frequencies that exceed limits. This will provide you with a safe environment to listen or work in whilst also allowing other conversations to be heard where necessary.
This makes them particularly suitable for those most noisy of band members. You know, the ones with the sticks!
They have been designed to protect your ears whilst not lowering the level of the quality of the sound, and they include two sets of earplugs at different noise reduction levels. One at 23dB the other at 29dB. This is a very good idea allowing you to choose the level of noise reduction based on what activity you will be involved with.
They come with an aluminum carrying case and a cord. Not cheap by any standards, but they do the job very well.
- Two sets included at different noise reduction levels.
- A nice fit to the ear.
- Expensive, but worth it.
Best Earplugs For Musicians Buyers Guide
You Only Ever Get One Pair Of Ears…
…so it’s probably a good idea to thinking about protecting them if you are involved with loud music. But there are other places you might need noise reduction earplugs other than in musical circles. If you work in a noisy environment, then there may be a need. Certainly going to a rock concert or a night club is another, but for the purposes of this review, we are going to relate them to musicians.
How Can You Decide If You Need Earplugs?
Well if you are playing in a band that is pumping out more than 85dB, then you do. That might not sound a lot, and we are sure when you hear 85dB, you may disagree, but that is when damage may occur. Obviously, the higher the decibel level goes, the more dangerous it becomes.
Most modern rock bands pump out quite a bit more than that. It will also have an effect where exactly you are positioned on the stage in relation to the speaker cabinets. If you happen to be standing right in front of them, the risks are much higher.
What Size Of Venues?
If the venues are quite small, then the risks are higher. The sound is enclosed and has nowhere to go. In the larger venues, the sound can dissipate a little, which is less damaging. Recording studios and rehearsal rooms tend to be smaller so earplugs will also be needed if you are pumping it out a bit in those places.
There is a good chance you are going to need them in which case don’t put buying them off too long. Get yourself equipped with a decent of earplugs and protect those ears, as we just mentioned; you’ve only got one pair. And when they are gone, there is no reversing the damage.
So What Are The Best Earplugs For Musicians?
It’s an important area and to be 100% honest, we do not know enough technical information or fully appreciate it for us to make an informed decision. It is a difficult one because in every review we conducted each product had something very good about it.
In the end, we decided to choose the earplugs made by people with some experience of producing and knowing a lot about the ear and hearing. We think the best earplugs for musicians is the….
Manufactured by people who completely understand the ear and have years of experience in the field.
Therefore they are our choice for the best earplugs for musicians.