Best Earplugs for Musicians to Buy in 2020
Constant exposure to loud music is one of the most dangerous aspects of being a musician. Being in a loud environment (80dB+) for hours on end can cause serious problems: from temporary discomfort to tinnitus and even permanent hearing loss. That’s why every musician needs to have a pair of good quality earplugs in their kit – to protect their hearing, which is the most important ‘tool’ for a musician
You might be wondering if earplugs don’t limit your ability to hear the music in the venue, or the person next to you. The general answer is no, they don’t, as most club earplugs are designed to only filter out the dangerous frequencies, while still letting you hear the music. What’s more, some ‘smart’ earplugs are able to emphasize very soft sounds, like someone asking you a question in the club, letting you hear them better and facilitating the conversation. With this out of the way, let’s take a look at our top recommendations in terms of club earplugs:
Table of Contents
- 1. EarSymphony Noise Cancelling Earplugs
- 2. Soft Silicone ‘3 Layered’ Earplugs
- 3. EarDial Ear Plugs
- 4. LiveMus!c HearSafe Ear Plugs
- 5. EarPeace HD Concert Ear Plugs
- 6. Eargasm High Fidelity Earplugs
- 7. Toennesen Foam Earplugs
- 8. Decibullz – Custom Molded Percussive Filters
- Are you supposed to wear them when mixing, or just when on the other side of the DJ table?
- Foam vs Silicone
- Standard vs Custom
- Design Concerns
- Are electronic earplugs worth the money?
1. EarSymphony Noise Cancelling Earplugs
- 20dB noise reduction
- Made for comfort and long wear times
- Perfect for DJs
- Designed to feel comfortable but not fall out unless pulled
- Fits all ear shapes
Reducing the dB rating of your surroundings by 20dB, these are hands down our top pick for all DJs and concert-goers alike.
These EarSymphony noise cancelling earplugs are highly rated and come in 6 different colors.
They fit really well into our ears when we tested them, they didn’t fall out once.
These earplugs are also completely waterproof so you don’t need to worry about sweat or drenching them in a pool.
When we tested this pair, it was the best performer when it came to hearing audio with the least distortion, giving great protection without compromising sound quality.
2. Soft Silicone ‘3 Layered’ Earplugs
- Made for comfort and long wear times
- Perfect for DJs
- Designed to feel comfortable but not fall out unless pulled
- Fits all ear shapes
Silicone earplugs are generally considered to be more comfortable than foam ones when it comes to frequency filtering. There are many people who prefer silicone earplugs to foam as they are far more comfortable, especially over longer periods of time. This pair is fit for construction work, motorcycling, and other loud activities/environments.
If you have very sensitive ears, you should probably stick with silicone earplugs.
3. EarDial Ear Plugs
- HIGH FIDELITY, PRECISE NOISE FILTRATION. Hear the music and chat with your friends while protecting yourself from harmful sound decibels.
- LOW-PROFILE DESIGN, HIGH TRANSPARENCY. Almost invisible when you put them in your ears, no matter your skin color.
- SOFT, HYPOALLERGENIC SILICONE. Wear them comfortably for long hours, even for the most sensitive, with exclusive earwax protection.
The EarDials are one of the most popular club-grade earplugs available on the market right now. They have a number of advantages compared to most alternatives. For one, they are incredibly small, which makes them virtually invisible in the wearer’s ear. They are made from soft silicone, which is hypoallergenic and resistant to earwax, keeping your plugs clean and functional for a long time. Grace to the small size and soft material, they’re also very comfortable to wear, even for several hours.
What’s more, this model has a complementary mobile app you can use to detect the sound volume in the venue and find out how long you can stay safe in that environment while wearing your EarDials.
The EarDial Ear Plugs come with a small aluminum case that can be attached to your wallet, keys, or even clothes so that you can always have the earplugs with you.
4. LiveMus!c HearSafe Ear Plugs
- 𝐀𝐌𝐀𝐙𝐈𝐍𝐆 𝐇𝐄𝐀𝐑𝐈𝐍𝐆 𝐏𝐑𝐎𝐓𝐄𝐂𝐓𝐈𝐎𝐍, Safeguard your ear against loud sounds...
- 𝐂𝐎𝐌𝐅𝐎𝐑𝐓𝐀𝐁𝐋𝐄 & 𝐒𝐀𝐅𝐄, These noise cancelling ear plugs are made with finest quality soft...
- 𝐏𝐑𝐎𝐅𝐄𝐒𝐒𝐈𝐎𝐍𝐀𝐋𝐋𝐘 𝐑𝐄𝐓𝐀𝐈𝐍 𝐌𝐔𝐒𝐈𝐂, 𝐕𝐎𝐈𝐂𝐄 &...
The LiveMus!c HearSafe Ear Plugs are probably your best bet when it comes to musician earplugs in the mid-priced range. Why? Simply because they offer the best sound isolation on the market! LifeMus!c’s earplug kit includes two pairs of plugs, each with a different filter – one with 23dB NRR (noise reduction ratio), and one with 29dB NRR. 29dB is the highest NRR you can find in club-grade earplugs, and it is the best for protecting your ears against blaring monitors. The 23dB plugs are more suitable for quieter environments, like outdoor music festivals, where you’re not necessarily within 10 feet from the speakers. Despite the high NRR, LiveMus!c earplugs don’t muffle the sound like foam plugs do, grace to the special silicone filter.
The LiveMus!c HearSafe Ear Plugs claim to last up to 12 months with minimum maintenance, and come with a cord as well as a case for easier wear and carrying around.
5. EarPeace HD Concert Ear Plugs
- PROFESSIONAL GRADE HIGH FIDELITY EAR PLUGS: Hearing protection ear plugs that deliver crisp, clear sound at a safe volume. Medium, High and...
- REUSABLE, HYPOALLERGENIC, ALL NIGHT COMFORT: Our premium silicone ear plugs have a dual flange design that gently seals the ear with no hard...
- INVISIBLE EAR PLUGS: These musician ear plugs provide in ear hearing protection that seems to disappear in your ear, just like custom molded...
EarPeace is one of the most reputable brands when it comes to musician earplugs. Their kit includes three pairs of plugs with different filters for various situations. Labeled Medium, High, and Max, EarPeace plugs offer protection up to 20dB. Granted, they are not as effective as the 29dB ones, but they’re still good enough for regular club or festival use. The filters undergo a 4-step manufacturing process, making sure the frequencies are evenly attenuated for a realistic sound experience. Another advantage of this model is its design – the earplugs are made of flesh-colored silicone (4 shades available), so that they are almost unnoticeable when worn. The plugs also come with an aluminium case you can attach to your keychain to make sure you don’t lose them or forget them at home.
6. Eargasm High Fidelity Earplugs
- PROTECT YOUR HEARING from harmful noise levels at loud events. Cut out excess sound from everyday life and your favorite activities.
- PRESERVES SOUND QUALITY with our patent pending innovative attenuation filters. Reduces noise evenly to maintain the full spectrum of sound...
- GET THE PERFECT FIT with two pairs of different sized earplug shells included with every order. Fits most normal to large ear sizes. Insert...
The name of this one says it all – these earplugs provide high fidelity sound quality without damaging your hearing. With an NRR of 16 dB, the earplugs can actually reduce noise up to 21dB, should the music at the venue be that loud. They are completely transparent and have a small, elongated edge for easy removal. Naturally, they’re also made of hypoallergenic silicone, so that you can wear them for hours on end regardless of how sensitive your skin is. The Eargasms also come with a compact aluminum case for storage.
7. Toennesen Foam Earplugs
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Foam earplugs are generally considered to be more effective than silicone ones when it comes to frequency filtering. However, it does come with quite a few disadvantages – including muffed sound and a rather uncomfortable wearing. However, there are people who prefer foam earplugs – mainly for their high NRR. These Toennesen ones have an NRR of 32dB. Not only is this enough for live venues – they’re fit for construction work, motorcycling, and other loud activities/environments. They’re cheap, and they come in a pack of 10 – what else could you wish for? If you have very sensitive ears, you should probably stick with foam earplugs.
8. Decibullz – Custom Molded Percussive Filters
- IMPULSE PROTECTION: Decibullz top rated DIY Thermo-ﬁt Molded Earpieces combined with percussive ﬁlter technology. The NEW Decibullz...
- SOUND WHEN YOU WANT IT, PROTECTION WHEN YOU NEED IT: Developed for shooting and military use, the Decibullz Percussive Filters feature...
- NO BATTERIES: Decibullz Percussive Filters use a physical percussive/ impulse ﬁlter providing superior hearing protection with no need for...
The Decibullz are custom molded earplugs – meaning they come with a foam muff that adjusts to the shape of your ear canal, ensuring a perfect fit. However, as opposed to regular foam plugs, these ones do have a frequency filter built into them, so that the sound quality is not compromised. One thing the Decibullz have in common with foam plugs is the NRR – which goes up to 31dB. Grace to the foam muff, the sound insulation is higher than that of silicone plugs, allowing for not only live venue use, but also for work, swimming, and even shooting. The Decibullz are available in several colors (the design is pretty noticeable when worn).
These would be our top recommendations when it comes to musician earplugs. All of these have been designed specifically for club or festival use, which means they will still let you hear that sick beat while protecting your eardrums from permanent damage. However, there are a couple dilemmas going on in the musician community when it comes to earplugs…
Are you supposed to wear them when mixing, or just when on the other side of the DJ table?
There is no right answer to this question, and it’s up to you to decide whether to wear your earplugs when mixing or not. If you invested in a decent pair of DJ headphones that completely isolate the outside noise, you shouldn’t need earplugs. However, you should be wary of the volume and frequencies you hear inside your headphones as well, especially if your set lasts for a long time. You can, of course, wear earplugs and DJ headphones together, but you will need louder headphones, and perhaps even have to play with the EQ a bit to make sure you’re hearing every single frequency for the mix.
In the end, there really is no right answer to this question. However, if you intend to stay in the DJ scene for as long as you can, protecting your hearing is your top priority, so go ahead and wear those earplugs with your headphones.
Foam vs Silicone
Lately we’ve witnessed a boom of silicone earplugs on the market. And it’s probably because they are discreet, comfortable, and very efficient in isolating dangerous frequencies without compromising sound quality. However, silicone plugs can only go up to a 24dB NRR, due to the nature of the material. If your ears are extremely sensitive, foam would probably be a better choice, as it has a much higher NRR, usually up to 32dB. On the other hand, foam is less comfortable, and usually noticeable – so it’s up to you to decide what is more important for you.
Standard vs Custom
Standard vs custom made earplugs is another debated topic. Sure, custom-made ones will feel more comfortable in your ear (as they are literally modeled after your ear canal), but they are much more expensive than standard models, and they don’t make that much of a difference in terms of sound isolation. What’s more, custom-made earplugs are usually pretty visible in your ear, which is not always a look we DJs are going for. On the other hand, regular earplugs are made to fit most ears, which means some might not be the most comfortable thing to wear for hours on end, but they are much cheaper and widely available. They also do their job of keeping dangerous frequencies away just as well as custom earplugs.
Earplugs are very simple devices, and they’re usually designed to be as subtle as possible. However, the subtler (aka smaller) the earplugs, the easier it is to lose it in a dark venue, especially after a couple of drinks. And while that’s hardly a problem with one-use foam plugs, losing some $200 custom-made ones can be quite annoying. If there’s one advice you should take from this article, it’s this one – look for earplugs with some kind of wire or string connecting them. Besides being much harder to lose, connected earplugs can also be worn around your neck if you decide to take them off when mixing, and put back in when you’re done. It’s also great if your plugs come with a convenient case – this way you won’t have to worry about losing them at home or on the road either.
Are electronic earplugs worth the money?
This depends on a couple of aspects. For one, it’s how much time you spend in clubs – if it’s a couple hours per night, two days a week, we’d say no. However, if you’re serious about pursuing a pro DJ career and you intend to play at the venue more than 4 days a week, you should probably splurge. As we said at the top of this article, hearing is the most important tool for a DJ. No mixer, controller, or software can save your career if your hearing isn’t what it used to be due to constant exposure to loud music over the years. Think of it as a once-in-a-lifetime investment, and remember that your health is always the top priority.
There goes everything we could think of regarding DJ earplugs – from the most common types, to the advantages and disadvantages of each of them. Make sure you always have a pair of earplugs with you when going to work, or just casually hitting the club on a Saturday night. Remember – hearing damage is permanent and you don’t want to risk your potential pro DJ career!
Last update on 2020-09-19 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API