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If you’ve ever attended a concert or danced the night away in a club, you’ll already know the result is usually an unpleasant ringing sensation in your ears (and often a pretty hefty hangover). While the occasional exposure to loud noise may not be too much of an inconvenience, regular exposure can eventually contribute to hearing damage and, eventually, hearing loss.
But, hearing loss isn’t the only concern. Tinnitus is an unpleasant condition in which the sufferer experiences a regular ringing in the ears, even in a quiet room. Tinnitus is often caused by continual exposure to loud noises. For this reason, it’s best to wear earplugs to concerts, motor races and other events where you may encounter damaging noise.
When it comes to choosing earplugs, many people think it’s a case of all or nothing. You either hear the music, or you block it all out. However, the reality is that there are earplugs made especially for noisy events. These are called ‘high-fidelity’ ear plugs, and they prevent your exposure to loud and damaging noise without causing any sound distortion. These are the best earplugs for concerts, clubs and pretty much any time you want to hear what’s going on without damaging your hearing in the process.
Keep reading to find our picks for the best earplugs, earmuffs and portable hearing protection for staying safe during concerts, in night clubs and other loud spaces.
1. Loop Experience Noise Reduction Ear Plugs
If you’re in a rush and want to skip straight to our top pick, this is it. These reusable hi-fidelity earplugs give you top-notch hearing protection by reducing the decibel level of the sound without hindering its quality. You can still communicate and hear clearly while wearing them, and they feature a unique sound filter that reduces input by 18 decibels. They come with four extra silicone tips in varying sizes so you can find what fits, and their discrete metallic design will look sleek in your ears.
What Are Earplugs Designed for Concerts?
Many of us are familiar with regular earplugs. They’re typically made of foam or other flexible material, and are designed to block out all sound around you while you’re sleeping, mowing the lawn or working. However, earplugs for concerts are designed to be used by musicians, and protect your ears from hearing loss without affecting sound quality. They simply lower the dial on the surrounding noise, so you can still hear it, without blocking it out entirely.
How do concert earplugs lower sound without partially blocking it out? They use a special filter called an attenuation filter, that allows only some of the sound to pass through what’s called a resonance channel. It simulates the job of a non-obstructed ear canal but dials the sound back a few notches, so you can still enjoy without causing damage.
Why Is It Important to Wear Earplugs to Concerts?
Your ear uses a few key components to process sound and hear: the outer ear, middle ear and inner ear. The inner ear contains a snail-shaped, fluid-filled part called the cochlea, which creates waves in its fluids that cause tiny hairs on the cochlea to bend. These bends transfer the vibrations into electrical signals, which are sent to the auditory nerve to be processed by the brain.
Loud noises, whether sudden or repetitive over time, can damage the cochlea, and specifically the hairs on it that are vital to the processing of sound. The hair cells are resilient and can repair after sporadic exposure to loud noises. But if too many noises happen in too short a period of time, the cells can die off permanently and ultimately lead to hearing loss.
If you’re a professional musician or a frequent concert-goer, specially-made earplugs are going to be necessary to avoid long-term hearing loss due to repetitive exposure. One concert every once in a while shouldn’t damage your hearing too intensely, but constant loud noises can lead to hearing loss, tinnitus or other complications.
2. Vibes High-Fidelity Earplugs
The next time you’re heading out to a concert, going out for a motorcycle ride or even participating in a loud group fitness class, throw a pair of Vibes High-Fidelity Earplugs in your pocket. These silicone earplugs include a patent-pending mechanism that filters out specific frequencies, allowing you to hear the same music 22 decibels quieter. Furthermore, these earplugs come with three different tip sizes to ensure they can fit in any ear, and they also include a carrying case so you don’t have to worry about misplacing them.
3. Decibullz Professional High Fidelity Earplugs
These concert earplugs from Decibullz are designed to have a custom, universal fit that’ll protect even the oddest of ear shapes. They come ready to shape, with a little warm water they become soft and will mold to your ears directly. They’re also re-moldable, so you can reheat and reshape them whenever you’d like. They’re designed to have full sound clarity and are suitable for music up to 102 decibels.
4. Alpine MusicSafe Pro Hearing Protection System
BEST FOR MUSICIANS
For those who really want to be in control of the amount of sound getting through to their ears, the award-winning Alpine MusicSafe Pro Hearing Protection System is the answer. These earplugs are made from an Alpine-Thermo-Shape material, which delivers a hard-to-beat, comfortable fit and is also reusable, hypoallergenic and easily cleaned. The kit includes three interchangeable filters to allow different levels of sound to penetrate the plugs. This feature allows you to tailor your listening experience to your ear sensitivity. Furthermore, the kit includes a handy carry case and neck cord to make losing your earplugs more difficult.
5. LiveMus!c HearSafe Earplugs
Whether you’re at a concert, in a club or honing your accuracy at the range, protect your ears with a set of these LiveMus!c HearSafe Earplugs. They are made from a natural, soft silicone material that is lightweight and malleable. This material delivers a secure yet comfortable fit inside your ears. The material is also hypoallergenic and non-toxic, meaning you’re less likely to experience itching or any unwanted allergic reactions. In addition, the set includes a neck cord and carrying case with an attached loop.
6. Alpine PartyPlug Music Ear Plugs
Sporting an effective and award-winning design, these Alpine PartyPlug Music Ear Plugs are a versatile answer to any occasion filled with loud noises. Whether you’re heading to a concert, hitting the party scene or attending your favorite music festival, these earplugs work to filter out sound, allowing you to enjoy the music without the worry of ringing ears the following day. Furthermore, the hypoallergenic, silicone earplugs have been designed to adapt to your ear canal, ensuring comfort throughout use, whether it’s for an hour or the whole day.
7. Audiomate High-Fidelity Earplugs
If you want to wear earplugs but would prefer it didn’t look like you are, consider the Audiomate High-Fidelity Earplugs. Their low profile and transparent design mean it’ll be hard to notice you’ve got anything in your ears. Furthermore, these high-quality earplugs come with a handy carrying case that boasts a waterproof, rigid metal construction along with a metal ring for attaching it to belt loops, backpacks and other everyday items. That way, these earplugs will always be with you when you need them.
8. Mumba High Fidelity Concert Earplugs
Protecting your ears from hearing loss is certainly cool in our book, but if you’re worried about looking dorky wearing earplugs this design from Mumba is for you. They’re made to reduce noise by up to 24 decibels while not muffling voices or sound, and the custom molding and clear design are supposed to disappear into your ear. They’re made of soft, hypoallergenic materials and come in both standard and small-sized shells so you can find what fits.
9. Eargasm Earplugs for Concerts
GREAT SOUND QUALITY
These concert earplugs from Eargasm are designed for great sound quality and up to a 21-decibel noise reduction so you can enjoy live shows without the anxiety of tinnitus or hearing loss. They’re made to be used anywhere loud noises happen — concerts, sporting events and shows — and are built with an earplug shell and attenuation filter for a dependable design. They have an elongated pull tab for easy retrieval, and a ventilated tip prevents sweat build-up over time.
10. BANZ Baby Banz Earmuffs
BEST FOR BABIES
On first viewing, it’s easy to think the best thing about these BANZ Baby Banz Earmuffs is how cute your baby looks in them. However, what makes them worth the 3,000+ five-star reviews is the effective job they do to protect your infant’s ears. These earmuffs are available in over 20 different styles, including plain colors as well as both a baseball and an insect-covered design. The well-reviewed earmuffs are made for newborns through 24 months. Plus, they function at any kind of loud-noise event, whether it’s a concert, fireworks display or car race.
11. Flents Quiet Contour Ear Plugs
BEST FOR GROUPS
If you don’t want to take in any sound at all and just want a handy way to protect your ears from loud sound, the Flents Quiet Contour Ear Plugs will fit the bill. These multi-purpose earplugs can be used for concerts, sleeping, travel, work and more, and they boast a 33-decibel NRR rating. The squishy design makes them easy to fit, comfortable to wear and effective at blocking out sound. In addition, they are made in the USA and are free from latex.