Best Earplugs for Drummers – Down with Deafness
In today’s reviews, Eargasm High Fidelity is the best option. Thanks to its soft silicone body and innovative architecture, Eargasm High Fidelity allows you to rehearse and perform in a very loud venue without injuring your ears physically.
It stifles the volume overkill without erasing the colors of the acoustic palette. Plus, it’s pretty affordable. So, no matter if you’re a well-seasoned drummer or you’re just making your first steps in the rhythmic artistry, Eargasm High Fidelity will cover your back (and ears).
The remaining 6 picks are pretty dope too. They do a good job of protecting the most sensitive part of your hearing system. They are made of hypoallergenic stuff and more or less allow you to perceive the sound richness. However, their price tags are sometimes as handsome as their characteristics.
Top 7 Best Earplugs for Drummers
My reviews include only specialized earplugs. That means they were designed particularly for stage performers. Going to a Panthera concert, rolling with a biker club, or enjoying the softened murmur of a Boeing 787’s 140-decibel turbines are just nice side effects.
Now, let’s see how exactly you can benefit from a pair of good earplugs. All of my picks are made from hypoallergenic materials. So, don’t worry about sudden asthma attacks or crazy itchiness inside the auricles.
1. Eargasm High Fidelity Earplugs for Concerts: The Best Earplugs for Musicians
Do drummers wear drum ear plugs? Sadly, a lot of them don’t. But if they changed their minds, Eargasm High Fidelity would be the first set I’d recommend.
The brand behind these plugs was launched, as they say, with a vision of modernized ear protection. As the company’s motto goes, they want to save your hearing by filtering, rather than blocking out.
First things first, Eargasm plugs are made from non-toxic silicone. So, if some materials tend to trigger an allergic reaction in your body, with these babies, you may be calm. No unpleasant consequences whatsoever.
The gizmo consists of two elements: plugs + the bluish filters. There’s no classic thick foam that you might be used to from the previous earplug experience. And it’s intriguing know-how actually!
The trick is, these plugs don’t filter out 55% of decibels that normal ones do. No, instead, they attenuate only about 25-30% of all volume. As a result, you still can perfectly hear music, road noises, or your vis-à-vis talking to you. But the aggressive sound frequencies are still smoothed out.
I think Eargasm is a perfect companion for a live gig, rehearsal, or concert. If you suffer from sound hypersensitivity, these can also aid you in the airport, on a highway during a bike trip, or in the bedroom with your spouse unabashedly snoring.
I also like that Eargasm plugs come in a nifty aluminum case. It can be attached to your keychain, so trying to remember where you put them after the last 4-hour practice session isn’t an issue. I guess it’s one of the best hearing protection for drummers.
- FIRST CLASS HEARING PROTECTION - Our High Fidelity Earplugs protect your ears from harmful noise levels while still allowing you to clearly hear your surroundings. Get up to 21 dB of noise reduction (NRR 16 dB) so that you can do more of what you love while minimizing the risk of noise induced hearing loss, tinnitus, and anxiety.
- PRISTINE SOUND QUALITY - Our innovative attenuation filters allow you to hear the world around you, just at a lower volume. Reduces noise evenly to maintain the full spectrum of sound while protecting hearing. Great for toning down noise levels in loud environments to reduce anxiety and for safely listening to live music with clarity.
- Innovative construction;
- Non-toxic silicone;
- Two pairs in a package;
- Attachable case;
- Allows hearing and enjoying music.
- Ears need a break after about 6 hours of wearing.
2. EarPeace HD Concert Drummers Ear Plugs – Musical Ear Protection
Another favorite brand of mine, EarPeace seems to make their plugs with love. At least that’s the impression you get after putting them inside the ear canals — so soft and unobtrusive! Besides, their resume includes such big-time venues as Lollapalooza.
These drum & percussion earplugs do a mighty job at reducing noise. Made from silicone, they rock a dual flange design.
That means they sit firmly inside the cavity without diminishing comfort. Or tending to slip out. If you’re an energetic drummer, who turns a lot like an electric corkscrew while playing, don’t worry about them accidentally evacuating from the ears.
EarPeace plugs come in a nice, pocket-size metal case. In the package, you have three earplugs (one is spare). Plus, there’s a little carabiner so you can attach it to your keychain, belt loop, drum stick case, and so forth.
Materials here are hypoallergenic, solid, and drummer-friendly. I can’t really say that they muffle music or something. No, the volume is still at a decent level, so you know when it’s time to make the drums go boom, hit the Tambo, or tickle the wind chimes.
All in all, I strongly recommend EarPeace. They will protect your hearing on stage or in an orchestra pit, as well as reduce unpleasant volume excess if you’re in the audience. Also, it is an excellent set for metalheads.
- Amazing ergonomics;
- Cool aluminum case;
- Three plugs in one package;
- Maximum volume filters aren’t included.
3. High Fidelity Concert Drumming Ear Plugs – Some Drum Ear Protection
Up next, we have a budget model from High Fidelity. And even though it’s relatively cheaper, the plugs do a solid job at ear protection. Hearprotek exclusively makes only health care products, including such wonder gadgets as a UV phone sanitizer.
Despite the humble price tag, you get two pairs of plugs. One is normal, and another is petite if you happen to have smaller ear canals. (The size also suits a teenager).
These are non-foam-type earplugs. So, don’t worry about the music getting too muted. No, the plugs filter out about 20 decibels, which is a ‘comfort region.’ In other words, hurtful volume levels are kept outside your ears. But the music is still hearable, so to say.
Moreover, it is enjoyable too. That is, if you’re in the audience, I think its volume-filtering is enough to aid even the concert-goers with tinnitus. Only some instruments may appear to sound distorted, especially if the distortion effect is already applied to them.
As for drummers, it’s a great and affordable way to keep your ears out of trouble. There’s no disturbing ringing in your ears after a particularly loud bit. And I recon High Fidelity does a magnificent job as the downbeats earplugs.
All in all, High Fidelity deserves a solid B. They are affordable. You get a spare pair. They don’t really disturb your ears. And 20 decibels filtering is enough to block the acoustic damage. (Especially if you’re on stage).
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- Low price;
- Two pairs in the package;
- Non-toxic silicone;
- 20 decibels reduction;
- Stylish black case.
- May distort the sound of some instruments.
4. Earasers Musicians Plugs: Professional Musician Ear Plugs
Our next item is the Erasers. And by far, these are the most scientifically designed plugs I’ve ever seen. It’s a child project of Persona Medical — a company that’s been working with hearing problems for almost 50 years. And some of their fans include Carl Verheyen from Supertramp and LA’s accomplished drummer John Ferraro.
Okay, Earasers are pretty good at blocking piercingly loud sounds. Their initial filtering capacity is only 5 decibels. But don’t be misguided by this label!
When things get serious, and you’ll be drowning in a shrieking guitar solo or deafened with a blazing horn section, the plugs will activate their acoustic shields. They can filter out up to 19 decibels when the volume hits its acme.
I think it’s a pretty cool feature. Such adaptability allows you to both enjoy quiet music or normal conversation and keep your eardrums safe from a dramatically loud music culmination. Or from the roaring jet engines. Or from your St Bernard Patrick snoring.
As for their design, it’s a peculiar beast. It has two protruding filters that look like alien antennas. And plugs themselves are color-differentiated. Red means right, and Blue means left. To know which plug goes where provides better ergonomics. 2-3 hours of nonstop wearing isn’t problematic at all.
- Premium Hearing Protection - EARasers High Fidelity Earplugs reduce damaging decibel levels to protect your ears in noisy areas without hurting sound quality. These are designed to block harmful noise while retaining sound quality; whether playing the guitar, drums or visiting a music festival musicians have to be able to focus on the different layers of instrumentation. Kill the noise hear the voice.
- 21 dB Peak Musicians Comfort Filter - The world's first flat frequency response best earplug that reduces up to 13 dB average -19 dB Peak filtering of dangerous sound. EARasers do an adequate job of bringing down the overall volume, blocking background noises, snoring at a comfortable level while preserving sound clarity and sharpness. Hearing protection that delivers the full spectrum of sound!
- Smart design;
- Color differentiation;
- Adaptable filtering;
- Nice ergonomics;
- White matte case.
- Pricier than other models;
- No spare plugs.
5. Alpine Hearing Protection MusicSafe Classic Earplugs: No Ear Damage
Our next set of plugs comes from overseas — Netherlands. It’s crafted by Alpine Hearing Protection, and this brand once won the Red Dot Award — a special prize for the best product design.
Alpine Hearing belongs to the affordable price segment. Charging roughly 20 bucks, they deliver good hearing protection — about 18 decibels. They stifle excessive volume nicely; meanwhile, the musical flesh remains as enjoyable and savory as ever.
Although, you need to keep in mind the acoustic nuances of the auditorium. Depending on the shape of the stage, studio, positioning of the speakers, etc., sound waves will travel differently. Therefore, in different conditions, you may get more muffleness/transparency than usual.
The plugs go nicely inside the ear canals and stay there for good. I didn’t feel any discomfort while wearing them. But again, you can’t keep earplugs inside for 24 hours — it’s as harmful as overly raucous drum rhythms.
These plugs are made from thermoplastic. It’s a bit different from classic silicone. But they trigger no allergies as far as I know. Plus, their flexibility allows them to comply with the shape of your ear canal. Therefore, they are ergonomic.
- Europe’s #1 Hearing Protection for Musicians
- Special music filters offering outstanding sound quality
- Stylish & hygienic travel box;
- Barely visible while inside;
- Nice ergonomics;
- Good at filtering noise.
- May stifle music transparency a tad.
6. Zildjian HD Ear Plugs: Exclusively for Drummers
The next pair of earplugs comes from a brand with a very long history. The first Zildjian workshop was established in 1618 before Mozart was even born. And since then, they specialized in making cymbals and drum paraphernalia. (Particularly used by Ringo).
These earplugs were made specifically for drummers. Thanks to the multiple filters, you can hear what you’re doing at the moment and monitor every grace note and whatnot. At the same time, hurtful noise is nicely suppressed with their 20-decibel filter.
The package includes three earplugs. They are made of hypoallergenic silicone. And their smart construction does a nice trick: you get only volume reduction. Meanwhile, all high and middle frequencies stay intact. (It’s crucial to keep track of those when playing live).
As a standard nicety, you also get a miniature case. It’s forged from a sturdy aluminum alloy and can be attached to anything: from a guitar case to a leather belt.
All in all, I’m quite pleased with Zildjian. The plugs do a wonderful job of reducing volume. You can clearly hear all frequencies and easily parlay while wearing them. And the 400 years of history make you feel a part of something grandiose.
- Made from soft, strong, hypoallergenic silicone
- Hear all the high notes and your friend speaking to you while the music roars
- Excellent quality;
- Mid and high frequencies aren’t cut off;
- One spare plug;
- Attachable case.
- Weigh about 1,3 ounce.
7. Vibes High Fidelity Earplugs: Reducing Drumming Noise in Ear
Our final competitor is a brainchild of Vibes. It’s a well-known brand that makes ear protection, and they once were even mentioned by Rolling Stone magazine.
So, let’s see what we have here. The plugs are made of silicone/plastic combination and feel pretty comfy when inserted. I really love their aesthetic and visual design. First, they are stylish and petite. And if you’re a perfectionist, having such laconic and elegant plugs is a must.
Second, they are barely visible. A lot of earplugs seem to protrude in a rude way. But not Vibes — due to compactness and miniature size, no one can really tell if your ears are sealed.
As for the volume reduction, they have a whole chart for it. Even the dangerous volume level of 103 decibels — which is known for causing NIHL — won’t hurt while Vibes are around.
They reduce about 22 decibels. So, you can rave to the remaining 81 decibels for 8 consecutive hours without worrying about damaging the ears.
With all that, Vibes provides amazing acoustic transparency without messing with frequencies. And every touring drummer knows how vital it is to know if your hi-hat and cymbals are saturated with bold highs and if your snare drums are punchy with their mids.
- Protect Your Ears: Vibes Reusable High Fidelity Earplugs reduce damaging decibel levels to protect your ears in noisy areas without hurting sound quality. We’ve fitted noise-canceling earplugs with the best attenuating filters that lower volumes via filter specific frequencies vs outright noise cancellation. Thus our filtered sound reduction earbuds ensure a clear sound experience
- Virtually Invisible and Reusable: With clear outer shells and form-fitting low profile silicone earbuds each noise isolating earplug is nearly undetectable. Compared to bulky noticeable plugs Vibes are discrete
- Amazing design;
- Virtually invisible when worn;
- Make the loud sound softer;
- Don’t ruin the frequency spectrum;
- Allow hearing speech clearly.
- The case has no carabiner.
Buyer’s Guide on the Best Pair of Earplugs for Drummers
Now, a few tips on how to choose earplugs for practicing and performing. And what to pay attention to before paying for a pair you like.
How to choose the best earplugs?
First, you need to know that regular foam-based plugs won’t do the trick. They filter out too much sound. And in the end, you get to work with the acoustic leftovers, so to speak.
This may lead to an inadequate perception of music and make you lose drive. Or by contrast, you may start banging louder and louder, until the aesthetic presentation of your jam is completely ruined.
So, when picking the plugs, pay attention to:
Silicone is one of the best alternatives. It provides both protection and ample sound transparency. Mids and highs must be audible while you wear plugs. Otherwise, you won’t have a clue on how to articulate your drumming.
An earplug must be super comfy. If it’s not, even a one-hour gig will turn into slow torture with your ear canals begging for relief. A soft, flexible material that adapts to the canal shape is exactly what you need.
Size does matter. You probably don’t want the plugs to stick out of your ears comically.
A good set of plugs must decrease the minimum of 18-19 decibels of loud sound. Anything less than that may be traumatic.
And of course, you should listen to your ears. Although our ear anatomy is universal, our nature-given audio locators work differently. Therefore, every person perceives sound individually. So, there’s a chance that even a pair of the fanciest electronic earplugs may not suit you in the long run.
Now, let’s answer some popular questions regarding drumming, earplugs, hearing protection, and damage prophylactics.
How do I protect my ears when drumming?
Why do drummers wear headphones on stage sometimes? Because excessive volume has always been an issue. So, there are a few simple ways to prevent noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL):
- Position. Make sure your set is placed on the side of the speakers/amplifiers. Don’t let the sound waves directly ‘flow’ to you.
- Rest. Give your ears a 15 minutes break every 45 minutes while practicing. If there’s a number in your gig that doesn’t require drumming — get the best out of it.
- Earplugs. While rehearsing on stage, use a phone’s sound meter to measure the volume. (You can find a free one on Google Play or App Store). Then subtract 19 decibels from it — that’s how much the earplugs can do for you.
Also, if you have to literally yell to be heard by the bandmates who stand about 3 meters away from you during a rehearsal, that means earplugs are an absolute must. Also, drinking plenty of water and taking antioxidants helps as well — this combo ‘repairs’ and maintains your eardrums.
Should drummers wear ear protection?
Well, yes. Unless you plan to cosplay Ludwig van Beethoven and lose at least 60% of your precious hearing. Did you know that Lars Ulrich suffers from tinnitus that he wasn’t born with? Well, he learned his lesson and uses ear protection now. But there’s no ultimate cure for his malady, so far.
What are the best concert earplugs?
My personal top pick is Eargasm High Fidelity. They are nicely balanced. On the one hand, we have a good silicone filter that blocks the avalanche of harmful volume. On the other, it’s easy to hear clearly what and how you’re playing.
Plus, they are pretty ergonomic and don’t irritate your canals. So, you can completely focus on your solo in the Moby Dick cover. I also appreciate Vibes, Zildjian, and Earasers as they are designed more for professionals than regular concert and party-goers.
Is drumming bad for your ears?
Yes. As well as any other loud sound that the ears are exposed to on a regular basis. But that doesn’t mean you should give up on drumming this very second and abandon your dreams.
With all the safety measures properly taken, including usage of earplugs, you can enjoy years of banging drummies and have your ears all healthy and fine. Just never neglect basic ear protection rules and visit an otolaryngologist from time to time. (Twice a year would be perfect).
Let Your Ears Last for Years
That’s all for today, my fellow drummers. I sincerely hope my music earplugs review will help you find the most solid ear protection ever. Because you know: when there’s no hearing, there’s no music. Try at least one pair of earplugs from the list, and nasty tinnitus won’t ruin your career ever.
For how long have you been drumming without any ear protection? What’s your favorite earplugs brand? Do you feel sorry for poor Lars? Let me know in the comments!