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Old 18th March 2009, 01:39 AM   #1
photon is offline photon  United Kingdom
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Default Earplugs

I attend lots of events where the emphasis is on very large soundsystems, turned up far too loud, in a room that is usually far too small.

At one such venue the soundsytem is provided by Iration Steppas, a Leeds (UK) dub-reggae soundsystem whose bass bins literally cause your whole body to vibrate should you stand within a metre of them.

They provide earplugs on the door, which I always use, but they are the mouldable, disposable sort that I assume are provided to construction workers: this sort of thing.

A few of my musician freinds have expensive, moulded (to the exact shape of your ear and ear canal) plugs that have switchable attentuators depending on the situation.

I was wondering whether I should invest in a pair, I mean, these chunks of plastic foam certainly reduce the volume and prevent my ears from ringing the following day but I suspect that I'm missing out on the music. The only reason I got to these events is because that's where I can hear the music I love.

Anybody got any thoughts on this? Anybody actually used them?
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Old 18th March 2009, 04:32 AM   #2
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Good earplugs make a huge difference, the biggest being that they attenuate evenly across the whole frequency range meaning that live music sounds good. The moldable types sound terrible in comparison. In the U.S., Etymotic Research is a good source. Not sure what there is in Europe, though after attending a tinnitus conference in Sweden last summer (my wife was presenting at the conference, I was just enjoying Sweden), it appears that there are plenty of manufacturers.
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Old 18th March 2009, 01:55 PM   #3
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A quick Google search gave these results
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Old 18th March 2009, 06:12 PM   #4
photon is offline photon  United Kingdom
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dsavitsk -- thanks for the response

westers151 - I am aware of google: it's quite a popular site. I have already done my research. I asked my question in a forum of audio enthusiasts because I wanted anecdotal evidence of thier efficacy, usefulness, cost/benefit worth, foibles or peculiarities etc. Perhaps I should have made my original post more detailed...
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Old 18th March 2009, 06:23 PM   #5
jitter is offline jitter  Netherlands
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Default Re: Earplugs

Quote:
Originally posted by photon
I attend lots of events where the emphasis is on very large soundsystems, turned up far too loud, in a room that is usually far too small.
It's quite incomprehensible to me that people would even want to go there. But then most people only start to value what they have (or better: had) once they've lost it...

Quote:
A few of my musician freinds have expensive, moulded (to the exact shape of your ear and ear canal) plugs that have switchable attentuators depending on the situation.

I was wondering whether I should invest in a pair, I mean, these chunks of plastic foam certainly reduce the volume and prevent my ears from ringing the following day but I suspect that I'm missing out on the music. The only reason I got to these events is because that's where I can hear the music I love.

Anybody got any thoughts on this? Anybody actually used them?
Most earplugs do not supress sounds equally on all frequencies. Those used by construction workers (the ones you mention), usually have less suppression on vocal frequencies to acommodate conversation without taking out the earplugs.

As I live in a noisy building (not that the building itself is noisy, but noise made by people carries far in this old building) I use earplugs specially designed for sleeping. These suppress most sounds quite well but high pitched sounds like alarm clocks or smoke alerts will still be heard. The manufacturer of these also produces plugs for music events or music professionals. These are not specially molded, so will probably be a lot cheaper. They seem to be switchable between three attennuation levels. Take a look here .
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Old 18th March 2009, 07:02 PM   #6
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In the UK these are pretty good.

http://www.allearplugs.com/AEP37/Hig...-(x1-pair).htm

I use ED-20 or Hearos when playing live music. Have used Macks too. Most of the 'hi-fi' plugs are around -20db and retain a decent amount of bandwidth. Not meant to be headphone quality, but most are very usable.
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Old 18th March 2009, 07:48 PM   #7
Magura is offline Magura  Denmark
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The moulded earplugs are a great investment. I have had mine for a few years by now, and tend to bring them with me, just about anywhere loud.

You can have a filter fitted to your taste, as they are no more linear than your ears. It takes a while to get used to them, and a few attempts to get the filter right.

Magura
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Old 18th March 2009, 08:57 PM   #8
photon is offline photon  United Kingdom
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Jitter: I know what you mean about not wanting to go to such places but when you want to hear music you love, much of which hasn't yet been released (and sometimes wont be for months) there isn't much choice : (

Thanks for the link though - very useful.

scott - I had some of those but they didn't quite do the trick when they turn the subs up...still had a bee in my ear the day after!

Magura, I see it as an investment too - your ears don't recover if you damage them. Think i'll bite the bullet and shell out for some of the mouldeds.

Cheers for the replies guys.
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