Ear Protection Advice

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EggmanEggman Frets: 8
Hello
I need some advice on earplugs. We have been using some cheap ones. Whilst these do protect our hearing, the music is very muffled, they're uncomfortable and they make my band sound rubbish ( ;))
I'd like to get some good ones for under £30. I want earplugs that will last for a while, and lower the volume without ruining the sound. I've researched it a bit and thought that these look good: 

https://www.andertons.co.uk/blackstar-acs-high-fidelity-ear-plug-hearing-protectors ;

https://www.alpinehearingprotection.co.uk/earplugs/musicsafe-pro/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIyqDsmtjj3QIVyLTtCh0zDAeeEAAYASAAEgIHCvD_BwE

Does anybody use these? What other earplugs would you suggest?
Thanks.
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Comments

  • GrunfeldGrunfeld Frets: 2711
    Etymotic ER-20
    The more a plug attenuates the volume the more you will notice it.  
    I remain utterly unconvinced by claims of filters that do this and that.
    More attenuation = more muffled.
    However the good news is that you don't need 35dB plugs to remain safe.
    Even the 12dB which the ER-20s provide puts you well into the safe zone (unless you're going to sit in it for many hours on end).  And 12dB sounds pretty clear.

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  • Guitar_SlingerGuitar_Slinger Frets: 1389
    edited September 30
    If your budget is under £30, I'd go with what @Grunfeld said.

    I have those, plus the more expensive custom made ones.   For your budget...   go with Grunfeld.   Coo coo-ca-chooo. ;)
    “Supposing a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?' 'Supposing it didn't,' said Pooh after careful thought. Piglet was comforted by this.”
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  • poopotpoopot Frets: 1403
    Spend the money.... it’s your hearing at the end of the day.

    http://www.read-audio.com/

    Can wholeheardedly recommend the above. 
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  • GrunfeldGrunfeld Frets: 2711

    I have those, plus the more expensive custom made ones.   For your budget...   go with Grunfeld.   Coo coo-ca-chooo. ;)
    @Guitar_Slinger -- for what it's worth I've got custom ones too.  These were definitely the best and most comfy under a crash helmet.  Also, I used to do distance work (before I realised more money could be earned doing City to West End double-ups), and the years I spent being exposed to stupid dB on a bike, doing long runs, without hearing protection is what's done me in I reckon.  No one bothered back then.  You can have strongly attenuating plugs on a bike too -- it's not like you want to hear the noise in beautiful clear definition!  But for rehearsals and gigs it's not the constant high dB day in, day out and yes, the ER-20s are super safe.  I wouldn't jeopardise what I've got left.

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  • I agree with the motorbike stuff...  People didn't used to do it.   I only started long runs about 4 years ago and used my ER-15s.

    Spooky enough, my bike exhaust snapped on Thursday, but I had to travel 50 miles last night with it patched up with Gun Gum.  I kept the motorway speed to 60, sat behind a MRA screen with earplugs in and it was so peaceful, I could hear myself breathing.  Wierd sensation. :/
    “Supposing a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?' 'Supposing it didn't,' said Pooh after careful thought. Piglet was comforted by this.”
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  • Used to use the ER-20's. Good for people on a budget or who don't go to gigs very often, etc. Now I use the Custom Pro 17's which is a moulded fit. Everything is clear in frequencies just at a lower volume. Have had them 5 years now and never go to a gig without. The ER-20's are still good just very bulky esp if you have small ear canals like me.
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  • GrunfeldGrunfeld Frets: 2711
    The ER-20's are still good just very bulky esp if you have small ear canals like me.
    They do small ones too, got some for a gf once.  Same thing, just smaller.

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  • Grunfeld said:
    The ER-20's are still good just very bulky esp if you have small ear canals like me.
    They do small ones too, got some for a gf once.  Same thing, just smaller.
    They must have been a recent thing unless I just didn't notice them in the music shop lol.
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  • EggmanEggman Frets: 8
    I can't really afford to spend loads of money on moulded earplugs, although that would be ideal. However, we practise at a fairly moderate volume, so it is not particularly urgent. Just a matter of preservation.

    So am I right in thinking that the ER-20s will not ruin the sound too much?
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  • PolarityManPolarityMan Frets: 4285
    Before we switched to IEMs I used the apline and elacin ones both seemed fine to me, pretty interchangeable
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  • JalapenoJalapeno Frets: 3416
    Eggman said:
    I can't really afford to spend loads of money on moulded earplugs, although that would be ideal. However, we practise at a fairly moderate volume, so it is not particularly urgent. Just a matter of preservation.

    So am I right in thinking that the ER-20s will not ruin the sound too much?
    Correct, however singing with them in is a bit odd at first. You'll need to practice.  These are not the same as earplugs.

    Started with the ER20s, and moved on to custom jobs.

    Imagine something sharp and witty here ......

    Feedback
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  • Despite years of abuse at loud rock/metal gigs in my youth, the thing that finally knackered my ears was practising with drummers in small, inappropriate spaces.  I now have fairly substantial and constant tinitus which is definitely aggravated by exposure to loud environments.

    I tried a few of the lower end 'specialist' ear plugs for musicians, such as Apline MusicSafe Pro and ACS ER20 and they work fine but kept going missing - usually uder the care of younger family members.  This ends up being a pricey exercise so for my careless, drummer step son I grabbed a bunch of Moldex Comets off amazon at a couple of quid a pair and honestly can barely tell the difference between them and the ones weighing in at £15-£20 a pair.  I now have a healthy stock of them, scattered liberally among guitar cases, car glove boxes and jacket pockets, because you never know when that pub band you're going to see are going to be that little bit too loud or harsh.

    I still don't like singing with earplugs though.
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  • EggmanEggman Frets: 8
    Used to use the ER-20's. Good for people on a budget or who don't go to gigs very often, etc. Now I use the Custom Pro 17's which is a moulded fit. Everything is clear in frequencies just at a lower volume. Have had them 5 years now and never go to a gig without. The ER-20's are still good just very bulky esp if you have small ear canals like me.
    I purchased some ER-20's for our rhythm guitarist - he's the guinea pig! He seemed to like them today in rehearsal. He said it didn't make my playing sound any worse. It didn't seem to affect his singing in any way either. Success! Thanks (all) for your help and advice.
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  • Eggman said:
    Used to use the ER-20's. Good for people on a budget or who don't go to gigs very often, etc. Now I use the Custom Pro 17's which is a moulded fit. Everything is clear in frequencies just at a lower volume. Have had them 5 years now and never go to a gig without. The ER-20's are still good just very bulky esp if you have small ear canals like me.
    I purchased some ER-20's for our rhythm guitarist - he's the guinea pig! He seemed to like them today in rehearsal. He said it didn't make my playing sound any worse. It didn't seem to affect his singing in any way either. Success! Thanks (all) for your help and advice.
    As I said they will do for the present if you haven't got much money. But since I play with loud drummers almost every weekend its the cymbal thrashing that would destroy my ability to hear high end frequencies. My left ear is a bit damaged I think due to the first few months of playing in bands not using hearing protection.
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  • maltingsaudiomaltingsaudio Frets: 947
    edited October 11
    Slightly off topic but it really irks me when trying to mix wedges on stage and musicians wearing earplugs complain they can’t hear their monitors. You then have to run the monitors hotter so they can hear them with all the extra problems that brings. And befor everyone here starts saying IEM in the real world more musicians wear earplugs on stage than have IEMs

    And whilst not wishing to cast aspersions on the OP there is something fundamentally wrong with the statement that we use cheap earplugs which makes us sound muffled and rubbish to paraphrase his original question. The problem isn’t with the earplugs.
    www.maltingsaudio.co.uk
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  • EggmanEggman Frets: 8
    Slightly off topic but it really irks me when trying to mix wedges on stage and musicians wearing earplugs complain they can’t hear their monitors. You then have to run the monitors hotter so they can hear them with all the extra problems that brings. And befor everyone here starts saying IEM in the real world more musicians wear earplugs on stage than have IEMs

    And whilst not wishing to cast aspersions on the OP there is something fundamentally wrong with the statement that we use cheap earplugs which makes us sound muffled and rubbish to paraphrase his original question. The problem isn’t with the earplugs.

    That statement was an attempt at wit  ;) The sad truth is that you are probably right.

    Anyway, the Er-20's seem pretty well suited to our current needs, and we're happy with them for now.
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  • Eggman said:
    Slightly off topic but it really irks me when trying to mix wedges on stage and musicians wearing earplugs complain they can’t hear their monitors. You then have to run the monitors hotter so they can hear them with all the extra problems that brings. And befor everyone here starts saying IEM in the real world more musicians wear earplugs on stage than have IEMs

    And whilst not wishing to cast aspersions on the OP there is something fundamentally wrong with the statement that we use cheap earplugs which makes us sound muffled and rubbish to paraphrase his original question. The problem isn’t with the earplugs.

    That statement was an attempt at wit  ;) The sad truth is that you are probably right.

    Anyway, the Er-20's seem pretty well suited to our current needs, and we're happy with them for now.
    @Eggman my comment wasn’t an atack or comment about your band and it’s abilities, the problem is that bands think they have to play at such a volume to get “their tone and the excitement” that they need to wear earplugs. What they need to do is rethink their approach. 
    www.maltingsaudio.co.uk
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  • munckeemunckee Frets: 1868
    edited October 15
    Just a 'review' for anyone who hasn't purchased ear plugs before I bought some ACS PAC1 earplugs from Amazon foe £13 and aside from putting them in tabs down first time which meant my wife had to remove them with tweezers, they were all good.

    I went to the Herts jam yesterday in a practice room with drummer and @guitartango s marshall which he could skin a man from 50 paces with if he was so inclined, and I still appear to have most of my hearing, no ringing or 'concert hiss' or anything.
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  • EggmanEggman Frets: 8
    Eggman said:
    Slightly off topic but it really irks me when trying to mix wedges on stage and musicians wearing earplugs complain they can’t hear their monitors. You then have to run the monitors hotter so they can hear them with all the extra problems that brings. And befor everyone here starts saying IEM in the real world more musicians wear earplugs on stage than have IEMs

    And whilst not wishing to cast aspersions on the OP there is something fundamentally wrong with the statement that we use cheap earplugs which makes us sound muffled and rubbish to paraphrase his original question. The problem isn’t with the earplugs.

    That statement was an attempt at wit  ;) The sad truth is that you are probably right.

    Anyway, the Er-20's seem pretty well suited to our current needs, and we're happy with them for now.
    @Eggman my comment wasn’t an atack or comment about your band and it’s abilities, the problem is that bands think they have to play at such a volume to get “their tone and the excitement” that they need to wear earplugs. What they need to do is rethink their approach. 
    Sorry @maltingsaudio, I misunderstood your comment. I agree with what you're saying about volume, but actually our reason for wanting earplugs is because we're worried about the effect that a lot of exposure to noise (of any volume) might have on our hearing over a long period of time.

    munckee said:
    Just a 'review' for anyone who hasn't purchased ear plugs before I bought some ACS PAC1 earplugs from Amazon foe £13 and aside from putting them in tabs down first time which meant my wife had to remove them with tweezers, they were all good.

    I went to the Herts jam yesterday in a practice room with drummer and @guitartango s marshall which he could skin a man from 50 paces with if he was so inclined, and I still appear to have most of my hearing, no ringing or 'concert hiss' or anything.
    I think I'm lucky to play in a band with a quiet drummer!
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  • MtBMtB Frets: 425
    edited October 16
    General comment - not a gripe, I promise: It never ceases to amaze me that musicians baulk at paying a couple of hundred quid for a pair of custom made (moulded) earplugs with interchangeable filters.

    Once your hearing's gone - that's it! There's nothing that's going to bring it back to the quality that mother nature gave you. And in between times you may end up having to suffer tinnitus, which can lead to mental health issues.

    I have 2 family members that have profound hearing loss, one of which is a sibling - who worked part time at a concert hall back in the mid 1970's, when bands could turn up the volume as loud as they liked.

    Both family members now wear hearing aids in both ears. These devices cost over £1000 a pair, and have to be changed every few years. Eventually both will lose all of their hearing - my sibling has been advised to start lip reading lessons sooner rather than later.

    https://www.bootshearingcare.com/hearing-aids/hearing-aid-prices/

    Do yourself a favour and get yourself a decent set of attenuators - for the price of a half decent stompbox!  
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  • MtB said:
    General comment - not a gripe, I promise: It never ceases to amaze me that musicians baulk at paying a couple of hundred quid for a pair of custom made (moulded) earplugs with interchangeable filters.

    Once your hearing's gone - that's it! There's nothing that's going to bring it back to the quality that mother nature gave you. And in between times you may end up having to suffer tinnitus, which can lead to mental health issues.
    Wis'd.

    If you can't afford it, sell a pedal or something - older you will thank you for it.
    “Supposing a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?' 'Supposing it didn't,' said Pooh after careful thought. Piglet was comforted by this.”
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