Without a doubt, enjoying your favorite band live is an electrifying experience. The music vibrates throughout your body, and the air fills with the crowd’s excitement! Thrilling experience, right? 

You get immersed in the concert without considering one of the most crucial aspects – prolonged exposure to loud noise that can cause damage to your hearing. Protecting your hearing is vital because, once it is gone, there is little to no possibility of restoring it. I have come across many music enthusiasts who suffer different degrees of hearing loss due to years of exposure to live concerts. 

ear plugs for concerts

Fortunately, earplugs help protect your hearing from loud music. They work as a savior at concerts and any other place exposed to loud noise. However, it is important to use music-focused ear plugs for concerts, as they are specially formulated to reduce sound levels while maintaining music quality and clarity. 

The primary focus of this article is to enlighten you on the importance of wearing ear plugs at concerts and provide some of the best recommendations for ear plugs for concerts. 

The Risks of Unprotected Hearing

Hearing Loss: It is a health condition or medical issue that decreases an individual’s ability to listen to or understand surrounding speech or conversations. 

Exposure to loud noise or music can damage the inner ear (cochlea). Whether it is a one-time exposure to extremely loud noise or listening to loud music for a long time, it can cause a certain degree of hearing loss. 

When your ears are exposed to loud noise (anything above 85 decibels (dB)) for a long time, hair cells in your ears can die due to overwork. The degree of hearing loss progresses as the exposure to loud noise increases. When your inner ear or auditory neural system is damaged, it is generally considered permanent hearing loss. 

study demonstrated that Disk Jockeys (DJs) are at a higher risk of developing noise-induced hearing loss. This is because the average sound level during the performance reaches above 96 decibels (dB).

Another study conducted in 2016 indicated that concertgoers who did not wear earplugs at a music festival experienced a higher rate of temporary hearing loss and tinnitus. 

Why Are Ear Plugs Essential? 

ear plugs for concerts

As the amplified music at concerts can damage your hearing ability, wearing earplugs is considered an effective solution to prevent temporary hearing loss. 

Any noise above 85 decibels (dB) can result in temporary hearing loss, and at concerts, the sound levels exceed 120 dB, which is obviously above the safe threshold. So, wearing ear plugs provides protection to your inner ears, as they attenuate sound frequency. 

Let me now walk you through some potential benefits of ear plugs for concerts.

Hearing Protection 

Many hearing healthcare professionals suggest that concerts are safe only for 5 to 7 minutes without hearing protection. 

ear plugs for concerts

Further, they suggest that investing in earplugs is a wise choice to avoid any kind of damage to hearing ability at concerts or live performances. Ear plugs significantly reduce the intensity of sound entering the ears, protecting cells and members from getting damaged and maintaining hearing health. 

Besides hearing protection, professionals suggest maintaining a distance from the stage, and speakers can protect your inner ears from getting damaged. 

The closer to the stage or speakers, the louder the noise and the greater the risk of damage. 

Reduced Sound Distortion 

Sound distortion is any unwanted modifications or degradation of sound quality. Ear plugs have the potential to reduce sound distortion and transmit sound with original quality and clarity. They reduce the sound levels uniformly across all the ranges of audible frequencies. 

In a nutshell, ear plugs reduce high sound levels and maintain clarity and quality while taking care of hearing health. 

Prevent Tinnitus

Tinnitus is often referred to as ringing in the ears. It is a condition of hearing sound that no one else hears. People with tinnitus feel the sensation of hearing ringing, clicking, buzzing, roaring, hissing, chirping, whistling, and other sounds. 

One of the most common causes of tinnitus is prolonged exposure to loud noise. Hence, if you attend concerts or any live performances without hearing protection, you are more likely to develop tinnitus. 

So, wearing earplugs at concerts and any other place with loud noise and backgrounds can help you prevent tinnitus. 

Common Misconceptions About Ear Plugs 

Many people have a few misconceptions about wearing ear plugs for concerts, such as they degrade sound quality, block sound, and many others. Let us burst those misconceptions here. 

Ear Plugs Degrade Concert Experience  

Fact: High-quality ear plugs reduce sound distortion and lower sound levels evenly across the range of audible frequencies. They help you enjoy the original quality and clarity of sound and provide a rich experience of a live concert while preserving hearing. 

Ear Plugs Block Sound 

Fact: Ear plugs do not block sound; instead, they lower the intensity of sound while maintaining its quality and allowing you to clearly understand conversations and music. They ensure a safe hearing threshold.  

Ear Plugs are Uncomfortable 

Fact: Ear plugs are available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. You can choose one that provides the utmost comfort and high-quality sound. The best option to choose is custom-molded ear plugs, as they are specially crafted to fit your ears and provide maximum comfort. 

Types of Ear Plugs for Concerts 

Let us now shed light on some of the most common types of earplugs.

1. Foam Earplugs 

Widely popular as the most effective noise-reduction earplugs, foam earplugs are designed in a cylindrical shape. They are tightly compressed and inserted into the ear canal and expand to fit the shape of the ear canal. They have a noise reduction rating (NRR) between 28 to 33.  

However, if you insert these earplugs so deeply inside the ear canal, they can even block sound.

2. Silicone (Pre-Molded or Reusable) Earplugs 

Silicone or pre-molded earplugs are reusable and typically come with a stem with three to four flanges attached to it. The stem makes it easy to insert earplugs into the ear canal. 

However, they do not fit the shape of the ear canal, as they are pre-molded. So, if you have a different shape of ear canal, you may find it challenging to fit silicone earplugs into your ears. They have a noise reduction rating (NRR) of 20 to 28. 

3. Custom-Molded Earplugs 

These earplugs are designed to fit into a specific individual’s ear canal. To manufacture these models, the impression of each ear canal is used so that earplugs can fit perfectly. They offer a high level of comfort and noise reduction. 

Regarding noise reduction, the effectiveness depends on the type and purpose. It is better to consult a hearing healthcare professional before opting for custom-molded earplugs. 

4. High-Fidelity Earplugs 

These are the popular and most preferred choices among concertgoers and musicians. They offer a high degree of noise reduction rating while maintaining the quality of music. 

5. Wax or Cotton Earplugs

Wax earplugs are moldable earplugs and take the shape conforming to your ear canal. They seal the ear canal entrance. They typically use paraffin wax recipes. However, these earplugs are less effective in attenuating sound levels, as they have a lower noise reduction rating (NRR). 

How to Choose the Right Ear Plugs for Concerts?

Besides protecting your ears from loud music, there are many other factors to consider while choosing the right ear plugs for concerts. Some of these factors are: 

  1. NRR (Noise Reduction Rating): It is a measure of the effectiveness of a hearing protection device to reduce noise levels. It typically reduces volume by 13 to 20 dB. However, concertgoers must opt for earplugs with an NRR of 20 and above.  
  2. Max attenuation: Attenuation refers to the reduction of the intensity or strength of sound. Look for earplugs that offer the maximum attenuation. 
  3. Fit and comfort: Comfort takes the first place when it comes to earplugs. If wearing them causes pain, you are more unlikely to use them later. Hence, choose ones that fit well and provide more comfort. 
  4. Lifespan: If you choose disposable earplugs, they are ideal for only one-time use. Foam earplugs are the best option. On the other hand, reusable earplugs last for a long time. The best example of reusable earplugs is custom-molded. 
  5. Ease of insertion and removal: Another factor that matters a lot is the ease of insertion and removal of earplugs. If you find them difficult to wear and remove, you will avoid using them. 
  6. Portability: Earplugs must be easy to carry anywhere. Also, always use a case to protect them from loss and damage. 
  7. Budget: Your budget plays the most vital role in buying earplugs. Choose affordable options that offer more features. 

5 Best Ear Plugs for Concerts (Live Music)

Loop Experience 

Loop Experience are silicone earplugs that have a classy and stylish look. Unlike most earplugs, these earplugs combine a patented acoustic channel and mesh to filter sound waves rather than blocking them completely. They maintain sound quality clear at a reduced volume. 

These earplugs are designed to reduce triggering noises and provide a calm experience. They help you remove any distractions and enable you to focus on your work, boosting your productivity. 

No matter how much you dance and make active moves, Loop Experience earplugs stay fit in the ear.

Features: 

  • Offers NNR of 7 dB and SNR of 18 dB
  • 2-year warranty
  • 100-day hassle-free returns
  • Free shipping worldwide 
  • Comes with four sets of silicone ear tips (different sizes) and a black keychain carry case
  • Available in different colors 

Price: $34.95

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/18/2024 07:24 am GMT

Eargasm High-Fidelity Ear Plugs for Concerts

These high-fidelity earplugs from Eargasm are a go-to option for concertgoers. They help you protect your ears from loud noise while offering a rich, high-quality listening experience. They are made up of foam and aluminum. 

The attenuation filters help you listen to conversations or music even at a lower volume. They tone down noise levels in loud environments, allowing you to listen to music with clarity and reducing anxiety.  

Eargasm High-Fidelity Earplugs come with shells made up of hypoallergenic silicone. They are ideal for normal to large ears. For people with small ears, Eargasm offers Smaller Ears Earplug models. A sturdy metal case sealed with waterproof rubber protects your earplugs from external factors. 

You can use these ear plugs for concerts, tinnitus relief, noise sensitivity, noise reduction, noise canceling, and many others. 

Features: 

  • Offers NRR of up to 16 dB
  • Discreet design 
  • Earplug shells are made of hypoallergenic silicone
  • Provides multiple shell sizes to fit perfectly 
  • Easy to wear and remove 

Price: $39.88/earplug

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02/19/2024 07:05 pm GMT

Etymotic High-Fidelity Earplugs ER20XS

Do you always go to events where you are exposed to loud noise, be it a concert, airshow, athletic event, or motorsport? You must use Etymotic High-Fidelity Earplugs ER20XS that reduce loud noise to safe levels and protect your ears from getting damaged. 

These earplugs reduce sound evenly, allowing you to experience clear and sound music and understand conversations in noisy environments. They come in two sizes – large and standard – and are the most cost-effective, highest-fidelity earplugs. 

Features: 

  • Lowers sound levels evenly by 20 dB
  • Retains music quality and clarity 
  • Come with 2 carrying cases to protect from loss or damage
  • Other elements in the box include a liberty cleaning cloth and two black neck cords

Price: Standard fit: $49.90 and Large fit: $39.91

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02/18/2024 01:19 am GMT

Decibullz – Custom Molded Professional Filters

These custom-modeled filters from Decibullz are ideal for musicians, concertgoers, and recording professionals. They are a perfect blend of top-notch DIY Thermo-fit Molded Earpieces from Decibullz and professional acoustic filter technology. This combination offers state-of-the-art hearing protection while maintaining sound quality. 

A physical passive membrane is made of breathable material, resulting in the linear attenuation of the filter. It also maintains the natural clarity and high level of accuracy of sound while reducing distortion. 

More interestingly, these filters are custom molded and designed to fit unique ears. They are easily removable and reusable. 

Features: 

  • Reshape molds as many times as you want
  • Simply placing the molds in boiling water can quickly mold them to fit your ears
  • Offers three sets of S, M, L sized triple flange tips
  • A premium carrying case offers protection for filters

Price: $99.99 

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/19/2024 08:33 pm GMT

Minuendo High-Fidelity Acoustic Earplugs

Minuendo’s earplugs are well-known for a combination of high-fidelity sound and hearing protection. These High-Fidelity Acoustic Earplugs let you have complete control over the sound environment. You can add sound levels between -7dB to -25 dB. So, whether you sleep, travel, or visit any noisy spot, you can control sound levels hassle-free. 

You get 11 different sets of ear tips made of foam and silicone to fit your ears perfectly. These tips are sound-blocking and do not fall or hurt. 

Features: 

  • Ideal for both kids and adults
  • Comes with a portable carrying case
  • No electronics or battery needed
  • Provides 11 different ear tips 
  • Natural flat frequency response 

Price: $169.00

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02/18/2024 02:14 am GMT

Using Earplugs at Concerts

Inserting earplugs properly into the ear canal is essential to take advantage of its ability to protect your hearing and block unwanted noise. Here are some tips to insert earplugs properly into the ear canal: 

  1. Clean your hands properly to avoid any kind of dust and bacteria on earplugs. 
  2. If you are using foam earplugs, roll them into a cylinder shape and insert them into the ears. If using wax earplugs, compress them into a small shape and then insert them into the ears. 
  3. Pull your ear’s upper part upward and backward to straighten the ear canal with one hand. 
  4. With the other hand, carefully insert an earplug into the ear canal either by rolling or compressing it. 
  5. After inserting, hold it for a few seconds and allow it to expand and conform to the shape of the ear canal. 
  6. Ensure you feel comfortable and do a quick sound check to verify whether earplugs can reduce or block noise around you.  
  7. While removing earplugs, be very careful, as hastiness can damage your ears. Pull your outer ear upward and outward with one hand, and with the other hand, pull out the earplug gently.  

Conclusion 

Prolonged exposure to loud noise (anything above 85 dB) can result in a certain degree of hearing loss. The sound levels at concerts typically exceed 120 dB, which is very harmful and can lead to tinnitus. Hence, wearing earplugs at concerts protects your ears from the damage of loud noise or music while providing quality and clarity of sound. 

When it comes to earplugs, investing in the right one is a wise choice. Explore some of the hand-picked options mentioned in this article and make an informed decision on earplugs that meet your hearing needs and provide comfort. 

Hence, earplugs are a big savior for your hearing while allowing you to enjoy concerts with the same experience. 

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In addition to being the Founder and Editor-in Chief at HearingPeople.com, Luis Zuluaga is the founder and CEO of Florida Hearing Institute, an innovative hearing health enterprise in South Florida, focused on bringing high-tech hearing devices at affordable prices to people with hearing loss. Before his latest hearing healthcare endeavors, Luis served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Zounds Hearing Inc., a US-based hearing aid manufacturer that introduced many technical innovations to the hearing aid market.

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