Hearing loss is a common problem in modern times. With health trends at the forefront, and due to the mass amount of information available online, hearing loss has become a major concern for many people.
With so much noise pollution all around us, especially in large cities, and even more so if you are a musician, protecting your hearing from permanent damage over the years has become more important than ever.
But, as with all things health-related, it can be difficult to find the right product in an already saturated market. With that in mind, we have decided to review the Best Earplugs for Musicians currently available.
So, let’s go through them and find the perfect ones for you…
Top 5 Best Earplugs for Musicians On The Market In 2021 Reviews
1 Decibullz – Custom Molded Earplugs – Most Versatile Earplugs for Musicians
Sick and tired of awful fitting and sounding headphones? Kyle Kirkpatrick got the help of audio engineers and material specialists to help him make earplugs that perfectly seal your ears.
What makes the Decibullz so special is the fact that they can be remolded over and over again to fit and seal your ears comfortably. This is achieved by heating the earplugs and pressing them into your ear. The earplugs will cool down and set in the shape of your ears, forming a comfortable and well-sealed plug.
Easy to get the right fit…
There are also three different flanges included, so finding the perfect fit is easy, no matter what shape or size your ears are.
These earplugs are not only well suited for musicians but can be used for long motorcycle trips, construction, shooting ranges, and even to block out snoring from your partner. The earplugs can block out up to 31dB of noise, enough for even the loudest snoring or protecting your ears during a live performance.
They seal well, but they don’t do well in water. This is due to the material used. The re-moldability is great, but the thermoplastic works because of its reaction with water. That means that they won’t seal well when submerged in water.
Strong and rough…
The earplugs are super durable. The thermoplastic does not crack or warp over time, making them much more durable than not only foam plugs but also the silicon earplugs on the market.
The only downfall of the Decibullz earplugs is their price. They are priced higher than most silicon earplugs, but considering the reusability, amazing comfort, and ease-of-use, we think that the price is justified.
- Re-moldable design for the perfect, comfortable fit.
- Three different flange tips are included.
- Easy to use.
- Not fully waterproof.
2 Etymotic Research ER20XS High-Fidelity Earplugs – Best Budget Earplugs for Musicians
The Etymotic ER20XS was specifically made to protect musicians from excess noise during concerts or rehearsals. Musicians are subjected to a slew of loud sounds and noises every day, whether it be a marching band, live performances, or having too much fun practicing at home.
A musician’s ears are vital to their art, and protecting them is important, and Etymotic knows that.
The earphones are rated for protection up to 12dB, but with the interchangeable foam and flanged tips and some advanced technological magic, Etymotic has succeeded in reducing noise up to 20dB.
The triple-flanged earplugs will take some time getting used too, but they offer a seal like no other foam tip earplugs on the market do. The large form factor might have you worried about their ability to fit comfortably for long periods of time, like a concert, but rest assured, these are as comfy as earplugs get.
Upon closer inspection, you will notice all the little chambers for air to move through before it finally reaches your ear canals. This is how the sound is reduced. The sound has to move through all these chambers, each time losing more energy as it passes through, resulting in up to 20dB of reduction.
The earplugs ditch the typical neon colors that you usually find on earplugs for a more subdued clear, or grey color. They fit reasonably comfortably, but these earplugs are not moldable. So playing around with the different sized ear tips is crucial to finding the correct fit.
The earplugs work well blocking out office noise like rumbling air conditioners, vacuum cleaners, and such, but won’t block out office chit chat, if that’s what you’re trying to achieve.
- Comfortable fit.
- Seals well.
- Different sizes are included to find the right fit.
- Foam isn’t as durable as the competitors.
- Finding a decent seal can be difficult.
3 Rave High-Fidelity Ear Plugs – Best Value for Your Money Earplugs for Musicians
Rave’s High-Fidelity earplugs are a pair of earplugs to “rave” about! Packed in an easy-to-use bag that can be attached to your keys, wallet, or pocket, keeping a pair of these with you at all times is easy.
Considering the times we live in and all the noise pollution around us, especially those living and working in large cities, protecting your hearing is as important as ever. Years ago, sleek, modern, and virtually hidden earplugs were not of importance.
Earplugs were only seen in neon colors in construction sites, but these days people are more aware of their health and ear care than ever.
What Rave has achieved is creating a piece of equipment as important as the steel straw. Something that takes some getting used too, but will soon become the norm. They’re comfy, and frankly, they look great as well.
Included in the package are two different filters – clear and white. The clear filter can reduce noise up to 19dB, and the white reduces noise up to 25dB.
If you want to keep your look clean, opting for the short stem plugs will be your choice. If you want the extra reassurance, there are long stem plugs as well.
Easy to keep clean…
The earplugs are made from hypoallergenic silicone, which makes them perfect for even the most sensitive skin. Cleaning is easy, as well. A quick rinse is all that is needed.
If style is what you’re about, but you also want to protect your hearing whilst venturing out to concerts or rehearsing with your band. Then get yourself a pair of Rave’s high-fidelity earplugs. They are one of the Best Earplugs for Musicians for a reason.
- Hypoallergenic silicon.
- Easy to use.
- Looks great with a convenient carrying pouch.
- Finding a good fit takes some patience.
4 Eargasm Activewear Series Earplugs – Most Durable Earplugs for Musicians
Eargasm is well known in the earplug community for its comfort and great sound reduction. Their Activewear series fits well in modern times, with a small, ergonomic design and aluminum carrying case.
The aluminum carrying case doesn’t just keep things clean and bacteria-free, but also has a rubber seal keeping moisture and dirt out whilst not in use.
Noise reduction with clarity…
The Eargasm Activewear earplugs do a great job of reducing noise levels whilst retaining all the characteristics of the sound. That makes them perfect for concert going or musicians who don’t want any loss of clarity but still want hearing protection.
The hypoallergenic soft silicone is non-toxic, perfect for sensitive skin and ears. These earplugs are comfy, but the soft silicone can cause some discomfort due to the extreme pressure the seal creates. This will differ from person to person.
We did not experience any such problems whilst wearing the earplugs for prolonged times, but our ears are well adapted to earbuds and earplugs at this point.
A bit of a drawback…
We did have some difficulty removing the earplugs without the included neckband. The earplugs are very discreet and fit deeply into the ear canal, and the lack of a proper stem can make removing them a daunting task. Therefore, it’s best to keep the included neckband on these at all times for easy removal.
These are a few dollars more than the Rave earplugs, but we didn’t find much difference when it came to noise reduction. We actually prefer getting the less expensive Rave earplugs because they offer two options of noise reduction, a long and short stem option, and different flange tips.
- Aluminum carrying case.
- Hypoallergenic materials.
- Included neckband.
- Can be difficult to remove without the neckband.
- Can put a lot of pressure on some user’s ears.
5 Earasers HiFi Hearing Protection for Musicians – Best Premium Earplugs for Musicians
Don’t be fooled by these funny looking earplugs. They look like little satellites protruding from your eardrums because that is exactly what they are.
These are one of the most expensive earplugs on the list, but also come with some of the more “high-tech” builds we encountered.
Maintain your sound quality…
With the focus squarely on musicians, Earasers have made these earplugs to reduce noise to safer listening levels without sacrificing any of the sound quality. Exactly what musicians need when on stage. Using a special, V-shape filter, these earplugs reduce levels by up to 19dB. This produces a flat frequency response, meaning unaltered sound, but at lower dB levels.
The silicon used on these is the same used for hearing aids and easily conforms to the shape of your ear canals without any special adjustments.
Finding your fit might be tricky…
The biggest issue we had was with the sizing system. They come in three different sizes, but guessing the right size is difficult. There is a 30-day exchange policy, but the hassle of sending them back and waiting for the other pair to come is a bit of a nuisance.
Considering the price range and styling of these, we can’t really recommend them above the Rave’s and Eargasm products, considering they both offer better noise reduction and simply look better.
- Excellent silicon quality.
- Easy to use.
- A good fit once the right size is found.
- Finding the right fit is problematic.
- Don’t look great.
Best Earplugs for Musicians Buying guide
Ear protection is important for all musicians, which is why buying a pair of earplugs are so difficult, but of key importance. There are a bunch of things to look for when buying a pair of earplugs, so here are some tips before you buy a pair of earplugs.
Earplugs have been around since ancient Greece but were patented in the 1860s for military use. Leather flaps were used before earcups were made for use in the aviation industry.
What material are they made of?
Foam earplugs have been around for decades. First patented in the ’70s for use in construction and even aviation, due to the extra comfort provided by these earplugs, they slowly made way over to other professions, specifically musicians and audio engineers.
Foam has comfort as its main benefit. It easily takes the shape of any ear and, for the most part, seals it up well. Foam does have its issues, though. It’s not as durable as plastic or silicon, and even the bests foam earplugs don’t seal as well as standard silicon earplugs.
Most new earplugs, especially in the mid-range, are made of silicon. This material is soft, comfy and does somewhat shape to the ear it’s put into. It’s a bit more expensive than foam but can be molded into shapes that seal the ear canal up very well.
Hypoallergenic silicon is a big selling point for some with sensitive skin and ears.
This material isn’t as widely used but offers a lot of benefits. It’s moldable using boiling water as the heat source. This gives the user a custom fit, making noise reduction great and comfort levels as well.
The biggest problem with the thermoplastic is its inability to stick to the ear canal, making it fit a little looser than silicon or foam earplugs.
What size is right for me?
Buying the correct size earplugs is paramount because it dictates how well the earplugs will seal your ears. Without a proper seal, the noise reduction will sub-standard.
Some manufacturers offer different ear tip or flange sizes, so the user can pick which size fits them the best. This is especially true when it comes to silicon earplugs because they are the least pliable. The larger the number of sizes included, the better the chances are that you will find the optimal seal.
Some manufacturers, like Decibullz, use a thermoplastic that can be molded over and over again using heat. This means the user can shape the earplug to fit their own ear, increasing comfort and noise reduction levels tremendously.
Last but not least, some manufacturers offer different sizes to pick from before purchase. These can be tricky to buy because you won’t be 100% sure of the size you are purchasing. That said, most have exchange policies that allow you to change sizes if it doesn’t fit well.
What will you be using them for?
Musicians will definitely want a good seal, with adequate noise reduction of at least 20dB. They will also need music and voices to sound unaltered or filtered. Manufacturers like Rave and Etymotic have done really well in this department. Noise is reduced well while still keeping the sound fundamentally the same.
The same goes for concert-goers looking for ear protection. You want the concert and live band sounding the same as they normally would, but with added hearing protection.
If you are focused more on just blocking out noise, foam tips are fine, and the filtering of sound won’t make much of a difference for you.
Are Earplugs Necessary for Musicians?
Yes, a musician’s hearing is one of their most important assets. Without it, it would be very difficult to write music, let alone perform it live. Protecting your hearing should be your number one priority as a musician when it comes to live performances.
Short bursts of loud noise rarely cause hearing damage, but the prolonged amounts of loud noise musicians on the road endure can cause permanent hearing loss in the long run. This is why artists spend considerable amounts of money on hearing protection.
A lot of musicians on stage are seen wearing earphones, which act like earplugs. Some are even earplugs with earphone feeds in them. These are not only used to protect a musician’s hearing but act as a monitor sending the sound of the live band back to the musicians to improve performance and allow ease of movement across the stage without having to stand in front of stage monitors.
It can get very loud on stage, with the crowd cheering and the large amplifiers and speakers blasting around a musician; therefore, it is extremely important to have great hearing protection.
Do Rock Musicians Wear Earplugs?
Rock and Roll has a history with hearing loss, with artists like Ozzy Ozbourne, Eric Clapton, and Neil Young talking about permanent hearing loss sustained during decades of touring. The worst example comes from AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson who almost became deaf in 2016.
Performing live for over 40 years, AC/DC is one the loudest, most exciting live shows you will see. After years of massive tour headlines and countless albums, it finally caught up.
Thus, it is of the utmost importance to protect your hearing on stage, before it is too late.
Best Earplugs for Drummers
Drummers are definitely the most susceptible to hearing loss, sitting so close to the drums, which, if they are acoustic drums, don’t have a volume knob. This means that even when practicing alone, it can be quite loud. In fact, the snare drum is the loudest single acoustic instrument there is!
Some of the best earplugs drummers can purchase are Earasers earplugs (the ones we reviewed), Eargasm’s High-Fidelity earplugs (also reviewed), and EarPeace HD Concert earplugs.
Looking for Something Else?
Trying to find earbuds rather than earplugs? Well, we have a wide selection of earbuds currently available.
So take a look at our in-depth reviews of the Most Comfortable Earbuds, the Best Noise Isolating Earbuds, the Best Sound Quality Earbuds, the Best Earbuds Under 100 Dollars, and the Best iPhone Earbuds currently on the market.
Or check out our reviews of the Best Earbuds for Running, the Best Airpods Alternatives, the Best Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, the Best Noise Isolating Earbuds, and the Best Wireless Earbuds For Small Ears you can buy in 2021.
So, what are the Best Earplugs for Musicians?
Our top pick is the…
They are easy to use, don’t break the bank, and are infinitely moldable. Perfect for finding the best fit, sealing your ear canal, but also keeping things comfy. Yes, they don’t work great in water, so swimmers should look elsewhere, but for musicians looking for a superb, versatile set of earplugs, you cannot go wrong.
Until next time, take care of your ears, and may your music always make you merry.