Ear Protection

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by Milo H, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. Milo H

    Milo H Member

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    Well, for the past 5 years of my guitar playing (namely by myself) I've played without earplugs, but now that I'm playing with bands nearly every time I play, I need to wear ear protection. The more confident I feel in my playing, I crank it. And I've been doing that a lot lately.

    Can I just buy some of those swimming earplugs that mold to your ear and look like wax, or do I really need some of those gun shooting earplugs?

    I gotta buy some for my band buddies too, cause they don't ever use them - and that might be a problem.
     
  2. Crowbar

    Crowbar Member

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    Cheap foam earplugs are for machine operating, good at blocking sound but not so good for music, blocks too much, but real cheap, see if they work for ya.

    In the 10-15 dollar range is where most folks go. "Hearos" get good reveiws, available at most local stores. Also some called "Aviator" plugs, they block the noise of an aircraft engine but you can still hear the radio.

    For about 100 dollars you can get the doctor to make custom plugs just for you. I hear there great, they let all tones through, its just like listening to a sterio with the volume lowered.

    Earplugs prevent tinitis.
     
  3. Mudder

    Mudder Member

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    "Those gun shooting earplugs" are pretty awesome. Sound is sound whether it's from your amp or a rifle, so in the $15 range check out the Surefire EP4. You can have a conversation with the guy next to you without shouting then start rocking (or shooting) and they knock down the high pressure.

    Awesome product.
     
  4. MrDoty

    MrDoty Supporting Member

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    get the hearos "rock and roll series" best i have used
     
  5. dank

    dank Consummate Beatles Fan Supporting Member

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    Do it right the first time and don't cut corners: make an appointment to see an audiologist. I did and was fitted for Etymotic's musicians ear plugs. The plugs are custom made for your ears. They are made in three different sound reduction levels. You will want the 15 db. Anything off the shelf will not fit precisely and will lose the fidelity of the music.

    In fact, my Otolaryngologist is a drummer and uses these ear plugs, as well. It really is a no brainer.

    http://www.etymotic.com/hp/erme.html
     
  6. mjm59

    mjm59 Member

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    You definitely want to check out musician's plugs and stay away from industrial application plugs. The difference is that musician's plugs attenuate all frequencies equally (or very nearly), whereas industrial plugs tend to take of more of the high and low frequencies leaving you with "moosh" in the middle and no clarity, making it impossible to accurately hear what you sound like. Also, depending upon how loudly you play, you don't need 25-30db of sound reduction or you'll keep turning up louder to get reconnected to your amp.

    I've never tried Hearos, but I understand they're good; also try looking for the ER-20 from Etymotic Research http://www.etymotic.com/hp/er20.html
    I have the custom fitted plugs using the ER filters, but the generic fit plugs work extremely well, too.
     
  7. Eskimo_Joe

    Eskimo_Joe Rocker, roller, way out of controller Supporting Member

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    For goodness sakes, we spend thousands on gear, but don't want to invest any money in protecting our hearing, the very thing that allows us to enjoy music in the first place.
     
  8. guitarmook

    guitarmook Member

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    I also recommend custom-fit earplugs. I have Westones that I've used for years.

    Less than the cost of a boutique pickup change, sound great, and protect my (very important) hearing.
     
  9. gillman royce

    gillman royce Member

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    :agree
     
  10. veus55

    veus55 Silver Supporting Member

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    :agree

    I have been playing for 32 years. This was the best investment I have ever made
     
  11. Milo H

    Milo H Member

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    Well for now I'll use the industrial earplugs until I can scrounge around $150 or so. I'll leave the band to buy their own custom fit ones. Also, you guys may have a big income, I don't, so I haven't spent thousands on gear. Thanks for the help!
     
  12. kram21

    kram21 Member

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    i like the foam plugs;plus leave them in your pants pocket when they are in the washing machine;and then placed them in the dryer
     
  13. musicofanatic5

    musicofanatic5 Supporting Member

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    Ear protection is a great idea, but do it without drawing attention to it. I think audience member can get a weird vibe from the awareness of performers employing protection: "What, he wants us to listen to this but he won't??!". Be discrete about installing your ear plugs if you do so when you are already onstage. Foam plugs: they sell flesh colored ones so do not get the dayglow ones! And if you are sure that you require shooting range ear muffs, stay the f*ck home! I saw a video of Paul Gilbert (a fantastic player) and I thought at first he was wearing audio cans, which I thought was bad enough, but thought, "It's better than wearing ear muff protection". Nope, he was wearing ear protection! Have a little self-respect and some for your audience with your onstage appearance!
     
  14. ski_fast

    ski_fast Silver Supporting Member

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    I bought a custom pair of Westones for $150. I have the 25db cut. Everybody says get the 15.... well that may be true if you are the main singer. I like my 25db cut. Drums hurt my ears.

    The full block that comes with them also works well at very loud shows.

    The cheap foam plugs cut all the highs and seem to let the bass notes through. Not very musical. The Westone plugs are great. Highly recommended.

    Funny you mentioned the dayglow earplugs. I watched about ten minutes of the live Iron Maiden and he was wearing the huge pink ones sticking out his ears. Rock!
     

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