Ear Protection for Concerts

Please say what ear protection you use at concerts and what the strengths and weaknesses of it are.

I don’t. In fact I go up to the bass bins and stick my head in them.

Even My Bloody Valentine and Sunn 0))) didn’t get get me wearing ear plugs…


Pardon what did you say.


I didn’t wear earplugs for Sunn O))) or MBV either!


I still can’t hear you.




Sorry @JimDog

No worries.

All jolly ideas…

After over 40 years of gigs, I have to be careful after suffering at a Propaganda gig, a series of gigs for my & mates 50th birthday celebrations.
I now used a pair of Flare Audio earplugs, reducing SPL levels into the canal and moving the “listening” to the jaw bone.
See Earshade® – Flare Audio Ltd
You still hear the music and feel it on your body, but no post gig ringing, which was starting to last longer than just post gig.
Plus you no longer hear the jibbering and talking around you, taking you into your own world with the performance :smiley:

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I measured a steady 108 dB at the back of a SunnO))) gig in Newcastle recently. I’d guess it would be 120 dB or more at the front. I wear the orange 3M foam earplugs to gigs now. I don’t know if they are the best in terms of hearing the music but as I already have some high frequency hearing loss and tinnitus, I’m not prepared to take the risks with my hearing any more. For very loud live music I find the experience more enjoyable with hearing protection.

I use my AirPods Pro 2. If you put them into transparency mode and wear them sounds levels are reduced but sound quality is excellent. I was at a gig recently and sound levels were 95-99 DB. Put the pros in and sound levels reduced to 84-85 DB and sound quality was excellent. AirPod Pro 1 does not have this functionality.


Bollsen make musicsoundpro - these seem to be a more transparent version of their regular earplugs which are comfortable and unobtrusive.

Thomman sell a wide range of specialist music earplugs. I see that performers are increasingly wearing them.

These with the filters with the highest attenuation; wore them at Wembley weekend before last for about 5 hours straight.

Ifi also make ear plugs that reduce volume evenly across the frequency range.

Nice to ‘hear’ from you, Lontano.

Is 85 still loud enough to give a bit of hearing damage?

May I ask what the concert was?

[By the way, do you know the music of Joachim Kuhn? I discovered him recently and really love his playing - seems to me to take forward the improvisational approach of Paul Bley and Keith Jarrett to new realms…]

I suffered left ear damage at gig by the wonderful Northern Irish band Robocobra Quartet in a tiny room in a pub in Manchester about 2 years ago.

I think the man on the mixing desk didn’t like the music because the band had to keep asking him to turn down their fold back speaker volume levels.

I’m going with Mrs JimDog to see Nils Frahm at the Bridgewater Hall on Wednesday but I hope that won’t reach ear-splitting sound pressure levels.

It took months to recover and I’m pretty sure my hearing will never be quite as good as it was before.

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I use Pluggerz Music Premium earplugs. They provide sufficient attenuation even at high levels and come in plastic packaging that fits in your trouser pocket. I bought them from a specialist hearing aid shop (60 euros). They are sufficient for occasional concert visits. The specialist retailer also offers customised earplugs, which are more expensive (250 euros). They are customised to fit your ear canal and should be neutral. If you go to concerts frequently, it is worth consulting an acoustics specialist.

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Lovely, hopefully the levels in the Bridgewater Hall shouldn’t be too bad. Saying that I saw John Grant in the National Concert Hall, Dublin a few years ago and I need to put the Flare Audio protectors in.

Some smaller venues can get it right - Eleanor McEvoy recently at the Whale Theatre, Greystones was perfect, lovely venue
Samara Joy, at the NCH, earlier in the year was also excellent

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