Top 8 Best Earplugs For Musicians 2020 (With Buying Guide)

Can you imagine what is the most important human sense for musicians? Well, it is essential to be able to see and touch your instrument, but nothing is more important than hearing! Despite the fact that many musicians acknowledge how significant their ears are to them, few of them actually do something to protect them.

Getting a set of earplugs is something every musician should do so that he can protect his ears from long-term damage that might happen in live shows. However, earplugs for musicians have some different specifications compared to the typical foam ones, as the foam ones degrade the sound quality, something completely unbearable for musicians. Many brands have manufactured different models of earplugs for musicians. This wide product variety can confuse you if you are looking to buy a set of earplugs.

best earplug for musicians

In order to assist you with your search, I have gathered for you the 8 best earplugs for musicians currently on the market. Every model comes with its advantages and flaws listed, so that you know what to expect from it. Read carefully and pick the one that fits your needs and ears!

8 Best Earplugs For Musicians Reviewed

1. Etymotic Research XS ER20XS

Etymotic Research XS ER20XS

The first choice of this best earplugs for musicians list comes from Etymotic, a well-known brand that makes high-quality earplugs. The Etymotic Research XS ER20XS are a top-notch pair of earplugs that is able to reduce decibel levels by up to 20 decibels, which is adequate for concerts or band rehearsals. They have a flat frequency response, which means that they don’t alter the frequencies of the music you listen to. They come in three different sizes in order to fit any use. The Etymotic ER20XS incorporate ergonomic design with a triple silicone tip that ensures a snug fit into your ears: however, that it might be too tight for some. They come with lots of extras such as a carrying case, a neck cord, and interchangeable eartips and foam tips. The low price tag ensures that those earplugs are available for musicians of all budgets. All in all, the Etymotic Research XS ER20XS are perfect for musicians that need a pair of earplugs with great sound quality that doesn’t break the bank.

Pros
  • Value for money
  • Different styles of tip
  • Good seal
  • Neck cord and carrying case
Cons
  • The design might not be comfortable for everyone

2. Earasers Musicians Ear Plugs

Earasers Musicians Ear Plugs

And now for something completely different: the Earasers Musicians Ear Plugs have a particular design that makes them almost invisible when you wear them. In addition to that, they fit in the ear with a different design compared to other earplugs, which makes them ideal for musicians who feel uncomfortable with the common triple flange eartip design. They are sold in three different sizes (small, medium and large) in order to fit your ears snugly and comfortably. The Earasers Musicians Ear Plugs also come in three different noise reduction ratings (19 dB, 26 dB, and 31 dB) to purchase, letting you choose according to your needs. Their sound quality is decent, letting you trust your ears in the mix. The package includes a carrying case for better storage that saves you from losing them, which is not very hard to happen as they are quite transparent. Their main disadvantage is that they are on the pricey side. The Earasers Musicians Ear Plugs are highly recommended to musicians looking for natural sounding and comfortable earplugs.

Pros
  • Transparent and discreet design
  • Comfortable fit
  • Three different sizes to choose from
  • Three different NRR versions
Cons
  • Expensive

3. Alpine MusicSafe Pro

Alpine MusicSafe Pro

The Alpine MusicSafe Pro are professional earplugs that deliver high-level sound protection. They have three different levels of protection via three exchangeable acoustic filters that you can use for different occasions: low protection (white)  is for acoustic occasions, while medium (silver) and high (gold) are better for concerts and bigger sound volumes. The Alpine MusicSafe Pro manage to attenuate the sound while also keeping the sound quality and they can reduce up to 27 decibels of volume. The package includes three earplugs: a pair that you can use and an additional in case you lose one. Unfortunately, they only come in one size, but their fit is quite snug and comfortable. To help you to insert the earplug correctly into the ear canal, they come with a special insertion device that makes them easy to use. The package includes a plastic carrying case as well as a cord to connect the earplugs together. The Alpine MusicSafe Pro are highly recommended to those who seek control over the sound attenuation, that can be achieved through the three sets of filters.

Pros
  • Three different protection levels
  • Insertion device
  • Carrying case and neck cord
  • Snug and comfortable fit
Cons
  • They only come in one size

4. Eargasm High Fidelity Earplugs

Eargasm High Fidelity Earplugs

The Eargasm High Fidelity Earplugs is a set of premium-quality earplugs that attenuate sound without losing sound fidelity. They can attenuate up to 21 dB of sound volume which is enough for a live show, while keeping a flat frequency response that doesn’t alter the music. The Eargasm High Fidelity Earplugs are made from soft clear silicone which is non-toxic, sweat-proof and hypoallergenic, and they feature a three-membrane construction that fits softly and easily into your ear.  Their sturdy build quality adds to durability, that makes them a good investment. They are easy to use and to wear for prolonged periods of time. The pack includes two pairs in two different sizes in order for the earplugs to fit your ear snugly and comfortably. They come with a sleek aluminum carrying case that is also waterproof. The only downside of these earplugs is that they are quite expensive, compared to other models on this list. On the whole, the Eargasm High Fidelity Earplugs are suitable for musicians that want sound reduction on stage but without losing any sound quality.

Pros
  • High-quality attenuated sound
  • They come in two different sizes
  • Waterproof carrying case
  • Comfortable fit thanks to the soft materials
Cons
  • Pricey

5. Vibes Acoustic Filter Ear Plugs

Vibes Acoustic Filter Ear Plugs

The Vibes Acoustic Filter Ear Plugs is another high fidelity solution for protecting your ears. They maintain tonal balance while attenuating up to 22 decibels of volume, allowing you to trust your ears in the mix. They are quite comfortable to wear for long periods and they are made from hypoallergenic materials. Their build quality is sturdy and allows them to last for a long time. The package includes three different sizes of tips (small, medium, and large) to ensure that the earplugs will fit your ear tightly and comfortably. The Vibes Acoustic Filter Ear Plugs have low profile design and the transparent outer handles make them very discreet and almost invisible. The included carrying case makes transportation easy, without the fear of losing them. It is true that the sonic quality doesn’t beat other earplugs at the same price point, but the Vibes Acoustic Filter Ear Plugs strong points are comfort and low profile design. That’s why they are recommended to musicians that want discreet and easy-to-wear sound attenuation.

Pros
  • They come in three different sizes
  • Included carrying case
  • Low profile design
  • Comfortable to wear
Cons
  • The sonic quality could be better

6. DeciBullz Custom Molded Earplugs

DeciBullz Custom Molded Earplugs

The DeciBullz Custom Molded Earplugs are a pair of earplugs that is quite distinct from the others on the list. First of all, these earplugs 31 decibels of volume reduction, an impressive amount that is more than enough for any occasion, thanks to the triple flange design of the silicon tips. Secondly, they are completely moldable to your ear: you place them in boiling water, let them cool off and then you put them into your ear canal. That allows them to take the shape of your canal, and you can mold them as many times as you like. Finally, the DeciBuilz Custom Molded Earplugs have sleek design, and they are available in five different colours to choose from. However, that means that they are quite visible, which makes them unsuitable for those looking for something more discreet. These earplugs can also be used for swimming, and they have not originally been designed with music in mind, which might make you dissatisfied of their sonic quality. On the whole, the DeciBullz Custom Molded Earplugs are recommended to musicians who need really powerful noise reduction.

Pros
  • Moldable earplugs
  • 31 dB of sound attenuation
  • Sleek design and five different colours to choose from
  • Can be used for other activities.
Cons
  • Not the most transparent earplugs
  • Not the best sonic quality

7. LiveMus!c HearSafe Ear Plugs

LiveMus!c HearSafe Ear Plugs

The LiveMus!c HearSafe Ear Plugs is a set of earplugs that has been made with musicians in mind. They come with two different attenuation filters for medium and high protection, a feature that makes them versatile for every occasion. The green filter blocks up to 23 dB of noise, while the white filter allows for 29 dB of sound reduction. However, if you are demanding about noise blocking capabilities, you might find the noise attenuation inadequate. Their triple flange ergonomic design and cone shape allow for a tight and comfortable fit. They are made from high-quality, hypoallergenic silicone which is suitable for everyone. You can order one of the two sizes provided in order for the earplugs to fit better to your ear canal. In terms of sound performance, the LiveMus!c HearSafe Ear Plugs have an almost flat response which makes them ideal for band rehearsals and concerts. The package includes a sleek silver carrying case that makes them easy to carry and hard to misplace. Overall, the LiveMus!c HearSafe Ear Plugs are a high-quality set of earplugs that reduce the volume of the surrounding sound without losing sonic quality.

Pros
  • High-quality noise reduction
  • Ergonomic design
  • Two different attenuation filters
  • You can order two different sizes
Cons
  • Noise blocking is not great

8. Surefire EP4 Sonic Defenders

surefire ep4 sonic defenders

The Surefire EP4 Sonic Defenders are earplugs that have been designed for a secure fit. They come with patented EarLock design technology that locks them to your ears, while they can also be used with earbuds, as the attenuation filters can be removed. They claim 24 decibels of noise reduction and manage to retain the sound quality, while attenuating the volume. They feature triple flange design that ensures a snug fit, but it might be a nuisance to some users. Overall, the Surefire EP4 Sonic Defenders are highly recommended to musicians with lots of physical activity while playing, as these earplugs won’t fall off from their ears. They are also suitable for those who want to use the EarLock system with earphones or other communication systems.

Pros
  • EarLock design that keeps them in place
  • Great noise reduction
  • The system can be used also with earbuds
  • Triple flange design ensuring air seal
Cons
  • The triple flange design might be uncomfortable to some

Earplugs For Musicians – Buying Guide

Musicians care a lot about their sense of hearing that is constantly being threatened by loud practice sessions and live concerts. That is the main reason why more and more musicians are using earplugs and consequently, more and more companies are creating earplugs that are aimed to musicians. As these earplugs are quite different from the common ones, it is important to choose a set that will fit your needs (and your ears). That can be a hard task, as you might not completely understand all the specifications of the different models. In the following paragraphs, I will guide you step-by-step to everything you need to know before purchasing your brand-new earplugs.

Sound attenuation

Sound attenuation is a crucial factor because it is the reason you buy earplugs in the first place. However, not everyone needs the same level of noise reduction: practicing with your band and going to a live concert are different experiences and require different noise handling. Depending on the model, you can have various degrees of sound isolation: some earplugs are good for really loud occasions, while others are ideal for situations that demand flat frequency response. The first ones might be lacking in sonic quality, while the others might prove inadequate in live concerts. Consequently, you should be aware of your needs before you decide on a new set of earplugs.

Comfort

A lot is said about comfort, as each brand of earplugs boasts to have the most comfortable fit. Comfort is a matter of design and taste: the most common design is the triple-flange design that is very comfortable to some but at the same time unbearable to others. The best way to determine whether a design is comfortable to you is to try it on. There are also high-end earplugs that are moldable and provide you with a comfortable fit as they take the shape of your ear canal.

Versatility

If you want to use your earplugs in different occasions, I advise you to get a set that can provide you with different protection levels. This can be achieved through interchangeable sound attenuation filters that cut out various levels of decibels. These filters make them versatile and they are really useful if you want to use them in a quiet place. It is basically like getting two or three sets of different earplugs, so it can also save you some money. The downside is that sometimes these types of earplugs are not ideal for very loud concerts.

Size

It is crucial that you get the right size of earplugs for your ears, as that affects both sound attenuation and comfort. You can find many pairs on the market that come with ear tips and/or foam tips of different sizes. As a rule of thumb, the more extra tips the easier it will be to find the size that will fit perfectly in your ear. There are also earplugs that you can directly order in different sizes. If you are willing to spend some more money, there is also the solution of moldable earplugs that we mentioned earlier.

Budget

Budget is always crucial before every purchase. Fortunately, for those of you who don’t wish to spend a lot on earplugs, there are quite a lot of models that come at a low price. However, you should not let the price fool you, as you might buy something that will be useless to you (you cannot always return them). That can happen if the earplugs are not a good fit for your ear, if you are dissatisfied with their sonic quality or their noise attenuation. That is why you should always be aware of your needs and your budget at the same time.

Design

The design of the earplugs can vary greatly and you can certainly find a model that will satisfy your taste. There is also the case that some people want their earplugs to be almost invisible when inserted into the ear. To satisfy this need, there are several models with low-profile design that can virtually disappear once you wear them. Beware that this is not the case for all the earplugs out there, so if this is important to you, you may need to do some research to find the perfect match.

Portability

You might wonder what portability means, as all earplugs can be easily transported everywhere. However, the hard part is how to carry them without misplacing them, as they are quite tiny to be lost forever. Many models come with a carrying case that is included in the package and/or a neck cord that ties them together while you wear them. In certain models, the carrying case is also waterproof, for maximum protection and durability and you can even find earplugs that come with one extra, in case you misplace an earplug. If you don’t plan to take your earplugs out of the house or the studio, these extra accessories might not be very important to you.

Other features

The great variety of earplugs on the market can also offer you extra features that don’t fall into the previously mentioned categories. For example, there are earplugs that come in different colours, if you find the common earplugs boring. There are others that feature outer handles, ensuring that they won’t fall off your ears easily. Last but not least, there are also earplugs with ear-locking systems that can be also used with headphones or other communication systems.

To sum up, there is a number of features that you need to pay attention to before getting your new set of earplugs. The most important things are a snug but comfortable fit, the right level of sound attenuation as well as versatility, portability and overall design. A useful strategy is to write down what is important for you and then start looking for the right set that meets your needs. I hope that this guide has helped you understand all the specifications of the various earplugs and aided you in choosing the right ones for you!

Final Words:

Now that you have read all about the 8 best earplugs for musicians in 2020, let’s take a look at how you can actually decide which model you should get. There are certain features that require some more attention, depending on the way you plan to use your earplugs.

To begin with, how powerful noise reduction do you need? If you are planning on using them for really noisy occasions, try looking for higher noise reduction ratings. On the other side, if you want versatility, maybe you should get a model with multiple attenuation filters. Another factor for deciding is the snug fit  that they can offer. If you demand the best fit, then get the ones that come in different sizes  to choose from. Last but not least, carrying cases and neck cords are essential in order to transport your earbuds without losing them.

If you want your earplugs to function correctly, it is essential that you read the instruction manual. That will allow them to be securely and tightly placed, and eventually attenuate sound more efficiently. Finally, always remember that the most important thing about earplugs is to actually carry them with you and wear them!

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