Ear protection- what do you use?

Malc

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As I close in on my 50th year I've become more aware of how damaged my hearing is and am noticing my tinnitus more now.
My issues stem from a combination of drumming,motorbikes and generally enjoying the louder things in life, and albeit a bit late I've decided to try and slow the damage down by investing in these audio shields. Not used them in anger yet, but having worn them around the house this morning they appear to cut a decent amount of noise whilst still being able to hear things like conversation.
Does any one have any longer term experience of using these or recommend an alternative?
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ToBBa

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I use those custom moulded plugs with interchangeable ER filter.
Best investment i ever made.
They are super comfortable, also in daily use.
I used them for 9 hours straight on a trans-Atlantic flight once, worked very well.
 

Whitten

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yep, custom moulded. You can't put a price on your hearing, or avoiding tinnitus.
The off the shelf ear plugs don't guarantee a perfect fit.
I have -25db filters in mine. It cuts down on the gig thrills, but I also play loud. I NEVER have ringing after a show, which I used to have every time.
 

Malc

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yep, custom moulded. You can't put a price on your hearing, or avoiding tinnitus.
The off the shelf ear plugs don't guarantee a perfect fit.
I have -25db filters in mine. It cuts down on the gig thrills, but I also play loud. I NEVER have ringing after a show, which I used to have every time.
My ones are quoted as -21db filters, and as soon as the lockdown is eased and we're allowed back to the rehearsal space, I'll give them a proper road test.
 

Malc

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But they aren't guaranteed a perfect fit.
Very true, but with limited funds and limited opportunities in London to actually get some fitted for me during lockdown, these will have to do for now. Something has got to be better than nothing?
 

vintagedrummersweden

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Molded with different inserts: 7 db and 25 db (took the wrong one to an Iron Maiden concert once, big mistake...)
 

blueshadow

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On a budget I have found Vibes to fit good and be comfortable. I normally only wear one in which ever ear is on the loudest side of the stage and keep the second one to be able to put in when we are playing louder songs. Some songs I can't hear well enough if I have both plugs in. They are rated a 22db I wish I could find some as comfortable that were about half that. I found some at CVS for less that $10 that are pretty comfortable as well that are rated like 12db I think but they don't filter as well as the vibes and still sound muffled.

 

Whitten

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It's easy to get fitted in London, but you are right, not during lockdown.
Again though, ear protection should not be 'on a budget'.
 

phdamage

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i used just plain old cheap foam guys forever - i just figured i would lose anything fancier. i still do sometimes - i buy them 100 pairs at a time!

though in recent years, i've been using some of the many pairs of my vic firth SIH1 headphones that broke - i just snip off the cable. gives you a lot more low end
 

edhr

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Etymotic makes a bunch of plugs that I've found helpful. I also have the custom fit plugs, but sometimes the convenience of a few cheap pairs in your pocket is better than worrying about losing expensive custom plugs. It's more about what you will end up using regularly. I also like the Vic Firth headphone thing for home practicing. Not perfect sound from the little speakers, but again the convenience means I will use it more often rather than damage my ears even more.
 

Luddite

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It might sound like overkill, but I use 3M Peltor Optime 105 muffs and 3M 31 DB foam expandable plugs. I have tinnitus and hypercusis, so the more the merrier. The 105’s attenuate more evenly than other muffs that I have tried. I’m even able to play acoustic drums and cymbals with other musicians now without it destroying what little hearing that I have left.
 

MusicianMagic

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I have two different plugs.
The Etymotic (left in pic) Research ER20 I carry in my pocket every day. I don't like certain types of sounds or in some situations. Don't wear them that often but need sometimes.
These reduce the sound well but do change or color the sound.

The Westone Tru WM25 (right in pic) are what I wear at concerts or where sound quality matters. They reduce the volume 25db but do not color the sound at all. You can change the filters to lower db filters.
For me custom molds even with my IEM's do not work well. And yes I've have molds taken multiple times even once at NAMM.

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Squirrel Man

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Plain old gun range headphones, I don't like stuff in my ears.

And yes, early 50's and tinnitus in my right ear.

I can hear it hissing now...
 

TonyVazquez

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55yo, tinnitus in my right ear; and currently in a struggle to clear wax buildup
out of my left ear. The Struggle Is Real, yo. And downright aggravating.
I have some hearing loss from years of loud music, headphones, and concerts.

Sometimes when I rehearse with my band I just ball up some tissue paper
and stuff them in my ears.

I can deal with my tinnitus any time. But the wax clog has Gotta GO.
Peroxide on Q-tips doesn't help much. I want the wax gone! :sad:
 

TheBeachBoy

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I use the three prong "Christmas tree" style tips on my Shure IEM's. I actually cut the last prong off so it fits in my ear better. When we're playing a gig with backline and a wedge I use these: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07K2T3XRX/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I've used a bunch of different ones and found most of them behave about the same. I used the Etymotics for a while before these current ones and there was another brand after that, which I can't remember the name. I keep the Etymotics in my drum room and the Mudeela in my gear bag.
 


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