Best Earplugs And Protection For Musicians Tuesday May 3 2022, 3:45 PM
Yona Marie
Singer, Songwriter, Producer.
Best Earplugs And Protection For Musicians

Ear Protection For Musicians

Hearing damage is a real problem that most people tend to overlook.

According to the World Health Organization, the growing rates of hearing loss across the globe need to be fixed with safer listening strategies for the reduction of exposure to loud sounds in recreational settings.

How can we enjoy listening to loud music but keep our ears healthy at the same time? The dilemma is true for music consumers and music creators alike. 

Turning down the volume on your headphones or using really great earplugs could work easily for an audience member or even a musician.

Still, musicians need to plan a bit harder when it comes to how they should protect their ears in loud environments like festivals, studios, and clubs.

When you're on stage singing, you need to be able to still hear the music and hear yourself well when you dampen the sound hitting your eardrums.

It's a bit of a challenge, but I want to share some tips on how I make it work when I sing and need protection. 

Related Post: 5 Ways To Avoid Listener's Fatigue

Foam Earplugs For Musicians

Flents Foam Ear Plugs, 50 Pair for Sleeping, Snoring, Loud Noise, Traveling, Concerts, Construction, & Studying, NRR 33, Purple, Made in the USA

  • HEARING PROTECTION: for Sleeping, Loud Noise, Concerts, Construction, Heavy Machinery, Music, and other loud environments. Also great for creating silence
  • CONVENIENT: Jar holds 50 Pairs, Easy to Take Anywhere
  • COMFORTABLE FIT: Smooth, Comfortable, Extra soft and extra light foam that tapers to your ear canal for a custom fit
  • 33 DECIBEL NRR (Noise Reduction Rate)
  • Made without Natural Latex

The most simple yet least effective way to go about it is to use basic foam earplugs to dampen the sound.

Foam earplugs will likely make your voice really loud and clear to yourself, so it will be tricky to hear other instruments depending on how loud everyone is around you.

If the music is extremely and dangerously loud, you may be able to hear it well enough over the sound of your own voice to stay in tune. 

The trick for foam earplugs for singing is finding some with an NRR (noise reduction rating) of less than 30 decibels.

Anything over 30 dB may reduce the sound of the music around you too much and cause you to sing out of key with the instrumentation. You can also try using these but not sticking them as far into your ear as you would typically do. 

Foam earplugs are the best option for when you're doing multiple rehearsals and don't need to look your best.

Clunky foam hanging out of your ear while on stage for the actual show may not be a good look, but it's a good way to protect your ears while practicing.

So much time goes into practicing as a musician, but so much risk is present if you constantly rehearse in a noisy environment.

Noise-Cancelling Earplugs For Musicians 

High Fidelity Concert Earplugs, Reusable Musicians Ear Plugs, 24dB Advanced Filter Technology Ear Protection

  • ADVANCED FILTER TECHNOLOGY reduces noise (up to 24dB,NRR)evenly to maintain the full spectrum of sound while protecting hearing. Mumba concert earplugs deliver crisp, clear sound at a safe volume. Won’t muffle music or voices as foam plugs do. Suitable for Concerts, Musicians, Drummer, Percussion, DJs
  • DESIGNED FOR COMFORT: The soft, reusable earplugs for concerts keep you comfortable whether you’re making music or dancing to it. These are absolutely safe for your ears and health. Hearing protection ear plugs are incredibly lightweight, soft and comfortable to wear.
  • INVISIBLE: Mumba high fidelity ear plugs seems to disappear in your ear when using, just like custom molded ear plugs. The professional ear plugs are small and low profile, making them discreet noise reducers.
  • GET THE PERFECT FIT with a pair of standard-sized earplugs(with filters inside) and a pair of small-sized shells. Fits most normal to large ear sizes. Easy removal with a tug on the elongated pull tab.
  • ALWAYS HAVE THE EARPLUGS WITH YOU: The musicians ear plugs come with an aluminum container and a carabiner that you can hang it on your keychain and carry it around with you wherever you go. You never know when a pair of protective ear plugs may come in handy!

Noise-canceling earplugs are a go-to for musicians and festival audience members who often surround themselves with loud music.

These earplugs usually have an NRR rating closer to 25, making it easier to enjoy the noise, and they give your ears some protection at the same time. This is a great product for rehearsals and performances if you're a singer. 

Noise-canceling headphones like these also have a much better look and feel to them.

They are often hard to see unless you are really close to someone wearing them, and they offer different sizes that can mold to your ear for maximum comfort.

They will obviously cost a bit more than foam earplugs, but they are reusable and very much worth it!

Earmuffs For Musicians

ProCase Noise Reduction Safety Ear Muffs, NRR 35dB Noise Cancelling Ear Protection Headphones, Hearing Protection Ear Defenders for Shooting Gun Range Mowing -Black

  • ✅ The ultrathin ear muffs with thickened noise-dampening foam offer a NRR 35dB rating and block out noise by a great amount, ANSI S3.19 (US) certified
  • ✅ Ideal to block out noises caused by shooting, hunting, airport, sports events, studying, woodworking projects and lawn care, extremely suitable for operating heavy machinery or landscaping business
  • ✅ Upgraded metal headband ensures long-term durability; Generous space inside the ear cups ensure breathability and comfortability, provide a tight sound-proof seal to silence your world “In A Snap”
  • ✅ Designed with retractable stainless steel and 360° rotatable ear cups can be adjusted to fit most sizes from kids to adults
  • ✅ Low profile with trustworthy quality makes it lightweight but sturdy to ensure a longer duration; a great gift choice

If you're looking to protect your ears from loud noise and the weather, earmuffs may be the way to go. There are two different types of earmuffs you can go for to help lessen the number of decibels your ears are exposed to.

More modern earmuffs have clear noise reduction technology that is useful for loud environments and has an NRR rating. You can find a few that have a rating close to 25 or less in order to not dampen the sound too much as a singer.

You could also go for more traditional earmuffs, mainly used to protect against the elements. While these don't usually come with an NRR rating or any details on the number of decibels it can reduce for you, the higher-fitting ones often muffle the sound a bit.

This could be a perfect way to get what could be estimated at around a rating of 10 to 15 NRR and provide a thin yet effective layer of protection that allows you to hear well simultaneously. 

In-Ear Monitors For Musicians 

Shure SE215-CL Sound-isolating Earphones - Clear

  • ROAD-TESTED BY PRO MUSICIANS - The SE215 provides detailed sound with enhanced bass for personal listening or professional monitoring.
  • STRIKING FULL-RANGE SOUND from a single, vented balanced armature driver. Hear music the way it was meant to be heard.
  • CUSTOMIZED FIT - Includes three sizes (S, M, L) of the flex and black foam sleeves. Experiment with the size and style that creates the best fit for you.
  • SOUND ISOLATING TECHNOLOGY - Blocks up to 37 dB of noise to eliminate distractions. Enjoy the most immersive listening experience with a design that keeps earphones in and noise out during exercise or travel.
  • SECURE, OVER-THE-EAR DESIGN - Wireform fit ensures earphones stay in place and cables remain out of the way.
  • DURABLE REINFORCED CABLE - Allows for easy replacement or customization. Formable wire ensures secure placement, over-the-ear configuration keeps cables out of the way. MMCX Connector with lock-snap mechanism allows 360-degree rotation for comfortable fit
  • COMPACT CARRYING CASE - Convenient, tangle-free solution to store and travel with your earphones.
  • EASILY CONNECT TO OTHER MMCX CABLE ACCESSORIES - For further customization. Stay connected to any device, no matter where you are.
  • LONG LASTING BUILD QUALITY - Engineered for professional wear and tear to ensure a lifetime of use. See what we’re made of.

When a singer is wearing an in-ear monitor, the earpiece is directly giving them what they prefer to hear in their ear. Most singers prefer to hear themselves, but they may also prefer to hear the piano feed, or the background vocalists feed along with their feed, etc.

It's really up to the singer, but it often beats holding your ear when you can do as you please with a handy monitor doing the work for you.

Many well known-in ear monitor brands also include a layer of noise reduction within the technology of the device.

This form of protection will be able to block 35+ decibels in order to protect your ears while at the same time feeding you the sounds you need to stay in key. While this will likely be your most costly option, it may be the smartest choice!

Related Post: 3 Of The Best In-Ear Monitors For Singers


Tips For Ear Protection

Take regular breaks: Give your ears some time to recover after being exposed to loud music. Take short breaks during rehearsals or performances to give your ears a rest and prevent overexposure to loud sounds.

Use a sound meter app: Consider using a sound meter app on your smartphone to monitor the noise levels around you. This can help you gauge when the sound is too loud and take necessary precautions to protect your ears.

Adjust the volume levels: If you have control over the sound system, make sure to adjust the volume levels appropriately. Aim for a balance where you can hear the music and yourself clearly without it being excessively loud.

Invest in custom-molded earplugs: Custom-molded earplugs are designed specifically for your ears, providing a comfortable fit and better protection. They can be more expensive, but offer superior sound quality and are a worthwhile investment if you perform regularly.

Practice good vocal technique: You can reduce the strain on your voice and minimize the need to sing louder to hear yourself. This can prevent vocal fatigue and the temptation to increase the volume, protecting your vocal health and reducing the risk of hearing damage.

Related Post: Ears Ringing After A Concert? Here's What You Need To Know

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Yona Marie

As a session singer, writer, and producer that has worked with over 300 clients to provide high-quality jingles, singles, and features, Yona spends her time creating and marketing new music and helpful resources for creators. Check out Yona’s latest releases on her Spotify, her Youtube and share if you like it!

If you are in need of singer, songwriter or song producer services, see what Yona Marie can offer you on her services page.

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