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Anyone know about earplugs?





Afaceinthematrix
I was looking at these:
http://www.earplugstore.com/custom-musicians-earplugs.html

I use normal cheap earplugs right now and my problem is that they don't work, are uncomfortable, and fall out the second that I start headbanging (or even turn my head quickly to look at something). I've always had trouble with earplugs staying my ears when I do other things (sleep in a noisy place, go shooting, etc.) and so I tend to wear the big earmuffs. However, those are great for shooting or working but are uncomfortable for sleeping and just won't happen at concerts or loud clubs. Therefore, I want something that really reduces noise, will actually stay in my ears, and won't be uncomfortable. I'm thinking about joining a band and then it will be absolutely necessary.

Does anyone have experience with earplugs or have suggestions? I'm pretty set on custom molded ear plugs unless someone else has serious experience and can talk me into something better. I'm just not sure if anyone knows of a better brand or a better place to buy them. Should I consult a doctor that specializes in hearing or does it not matter? This website says that they send you a mold so that you can do it yourself and then you mail them the mold back and they make you your earplugs...

The only issue with these are that they are expensive so it might be a while before I can get them (but that's okay, I can start researching now!).
Ankhanu
I wear Hearos high fidelity earplugs, and they work pretty well. They stay in pretty well, fitting snuggly into the ear canal, they last a long time (just gotta clean them), and mostly don't seem to really attenuate any important frequencies beyond the general overall decibel drop.

Last loud punk/metal show I was at, they stayed in the whole night, headbanging and all.

Now, I HAVE had some experiences in which I couldn't hear unusual sound groups while wearing them and playing music... for example, I couldn't hear my bass, or perhaps the drums, so couldn't follow them, while hearing the other aspects of the music... but that could have been due to relative volume levels on stage/in practice. With this in mind, however, I've never had that issue as a general listener/audience member.

I have been considering spending the money on custom earplugs, and do think they'd be worth the investment. I haven't gone in to a doctor yet to inquire, though.
Afaceinthematrix
Thanks for the suggestion. I like the price of those. I just hope that they stay in my ears because I have never used a pair of earplugs that fit into my ears properly. I know that my mother has always had the same problem.

The lack of hearing your bass could have been on your side and not because of the earplugs. Do you remember if you were in a hurry setting up that day and didn't properly sound check? Or did someone else set up for you?

I've often had that problems with bands in the past that aren't big enough to hire a good sound technician or that were running late and in a huge hurry to set up. The problem is that often times it isn't mixed properly and so if you're standing up in the front near a speaker, you'll only hear the instruments coming out of that speaker. If you're able to watch Youtube videos right now, consider this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUvHSvmcBP8

This is very disappointing because of the awful sound quality of the video but also because of the fact that you can only really hear Kim's guitar. You can faintly hear Paul's screams in the background. You can sort of hear Justine's drums. However, if you told me that Jonathan was back there on the keyboards or that Etienne was on the bass or that Terry was on the other guitar then I wouldn't believe you unless I saw it. This wasn't mixed properly and so you really get most of the sound of Kim's guitar (which is probably because the recorder is standing next to the speaker that has Kim's guitar hooked into) and faint noises of everything else (which is disappointing because this is one of my favorite BG songs; when I first purchased the album I listened to this song at least ten times in a row because of all of the subtle keyboards sounds and orchestrations from the keyboards... It took me a long time to really catch everything in this song)... This sounds awful. However, I'm guessing that if the person recording it stepped back ten feet then he would have gotten more of the whole sound because he wouldn't have had Kim's guitar overpowering everything else. It probably would have sounded better from the back and that may have been what happened to your bass...
microkosm
I've been using ear plugs for sleeping for about 5 years now. Can't really attest to use for concerts and such. This old but reliable article (Slate) might provide you with a wider array of choices in your hunt for the ideal earplugs.

Personally, I've always found plugs to work better in reducing the intensity of lower pitch (bass) sounds. Higher pitch sounds are more easily audible. Hearos brand is universally well regarded and has the best in-ear fit out of disposable ear plugs.
deanhills
I've been using the custom molded ones for years, however they're not all created the same.

I think Sony has ear plugs where sound gets neutralized. Not sure whether those would help. I got some special ones with my Walkman and they happen to come in three sizes for different size ears. They were great for traveling on the plane, as they did block out what was going on around me. They beat ear phones as well for fantastic sound.

Just checked up and the model number is MDR-EX35LP
http://shopping.yahoo.com/867203914-sony-mdr-ex58vblk-in-ear-ex-earbud-with-volume-control-black/;_ylt=AkAxTnYbaq01Ye.B1iCUHBAbFt0A

Nice part was that they fit into the cabin power plug point, so I didn't need to use those plastic ear phones that are provided by the airlines.
Ankhanu
Dean, we're talking hearing protection, not in-ear sound delivery units. Matrix is after good earplugs that will stay fitted when the head is violently jostled, will offer good protection, while maintaining sound quality when worn.

That said, I have rather similar Sony earbuds to those and they're also very good in terms of comfort and sound quality.

Matrix - yeah, it was a couple years ago, but I was generally standing within 6-10' of my amp and the drums (further to the guitar, which I could hear fine), without additional room amplification; small venues and practice spaces. It could have been the general mix, but, taking the plugs out, I could hear everything just fine. In either case, it was usually discovered after a set had started, so fiddling with levels was kinda out.
deanhills
Ankhanu wrote:
Dean, we're talking hearing protection, not in-ear sound delivery units. Matrix is after good earplugs that will stay fitted when the head is violently jostled, will offer good protection, while maintaining sound quality when worn.
Think I got it Ankhanu. Matrix explained it pretty well. Wink
Ankhanu
deanhills wrote:
Ankhanu wrote:
Dean, we're talking hearing protection, not in-ear sound delivery units. Matrix is after good earplugs that will stay fitted when the head is violently jostled, will offer good protection, while maintaining sound quality when worn.
Think I got it Ankhanu. Matrix explained it pretty well. Wink

Sorry, it seemed like you were talking about something else, is all. Ear buds and noise cancelling headphones didn't seem applicable.
spinout
hm, I suppose the grey brown is the most invisible... invisibility has a cost---- Visible ear vax!!!! yuck!!!!
taytay
never thought about fancy ear plugs...
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