Question for people who wear earplugs to gigs

Can something be too loud/dangerously loud even if you’re plugged up? I imagine it’s probably not a 100% protective thing.

In my experience, it depends what quality of earplugs you use.
If you play a lot of music or go to a lot of gigs, you pretty much need good protection or you’ll eventually suffer from hearing damage.
I actually do have permament hearing damage, but I think that comes from gigs where I haven’t worn any earplugs, usually because of forgetfulness.
I do think those little foam things (you know the ones, orange or colourful cylindrical things you can buy for about a quid from most music shops) don’t fit the ear enough to really be reliable, and therefore aren’t adequate.
The best thing to do is to get more expensive ones which keep the volume down, stay in your ears and maintain the high frequency. These also need to fit fully into your ear to have the desired effect. I have worn one such pair for a long time and while it is annoying when you lose them (because you have to pay around £20 again) your hearing is worth it. I haven’t had any worsening of my hearing and I can hear everything.
TL,DR: Yes, if you buy cheap ones or don’t use the expensive ones correctly.


Yeah as Murder says, you need ‘expensive’ filtered ones. £20 isn’t too much for those Elacin ones though. And they also give you a much better sound at the gig.


I have piercings inside my ears which make the solid earplugs not really feasible for me, so I use the foam ones. They make a huge difference in terms of the damage I notice after the gig - no ringing ears, temporary hearing problems etc. One friends band in particular I have to bail on if I realise I don’t have my earplugs, but with them i’m golden.

I guess there must be something which can still cause damage, ear plugs or not, but they’re my lifesaver generally.

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Do you mean it’s difficult to be 100% protected…or are you not 100% sure if people are wearing them for protection?

No i mean -

I have a pair of 20/25 euro ones atm

a) they definitely take the edge off but because they’re not custom-moulded i can’t be completely sure that the seal is 100%

b) i’ve gone to gigs/clubs wearing them where things still felt uncomfortably loud at times, you know the type of thing where the PA is so loud that you can feel the sound waves hitting your skull/chest as much as your ears. I was wondering if in those situations you’re still taking a risk even with protection.

Custom earplugs are on my list but i guess the question still applies even then

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Re:the seal, i don’t get that stuffy feeling you usually get with earplugs so that further makes me think the seal isn’t perfect. But i paid 20 quid for them so shrug

Ah ok, sorry for misreading

Those off the shelf ones filter out specific frequencies which is why you still feel the loudness.

I’ve had moulded ones, about 15 years back and they cost me 150 quid. With those it’s a dead block of sound, literally you turn everything down 15 db (or more depending on the value of them). The resistance results were [EDIT damn phone] interesting:

Vocals become much higher on the mix you hear somehow and you are fairly isolated. I mean your ears are protected but the sensation takes a few gigs to get used to and you’ll basically not hear much from people around you (good if they’re strangers but bad if they’re your friends).

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Very sound and reassuring advice from ‘Murder’

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Mine aren’t moulded but I’ve had no problems so far. Was thinking about getting them for years then I had a pretty painful experience with a pal’s noise band.

I’m pretty sure my ears are mostly in pain due to one gig where I didn’t have any and couldn’t avoid watching the noise band in question (partly because they were fucking AMAZING). :frowning:

You can get earplugs for gigs!!? Only joking I’m just a twat whose going to be deaf by 50. Tbh only go to a couple of LOUD gigs a year so have nowt really worthwhile to contribute

I have experienced issues after wearing earplugs, but much less frequently.

Been wearing them for over 10 years, and I’ve seen well over 500 concerts.

I guess I see it even when in the rare case when I do experience ringing after a show, I suspect the ringing would be worse had I not worn earplugs.

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Worth saying that it’s not continual gigs that really does it, just those occasional fucked up ones that do it so ear plugs really are for the best. :cry:

Something I should really look into

I think I’ve been in the stupid camp of ‘what’s a gig without a bit of ringing in the ears???!!’

and as i get older the recovery is longer

do you find you wear them at outdoor gigs as well as indoor?

can someone suggest a pair for me to buy, please. thanks.

I was recommended these by somebody on here. Had them for years.

Always take them to gigs, usually make a call when I’m there if I wear them or not. Bought them after seeing Lightning Bolt at The Luminaire and my ears rang for 3-4 days afterwards. Tried to warn a mate when we went to MBV at Roundhouse but he didn’t listen…


(••) / ( ••)>⌐■-■ / (⌐■_■)

And now he can’t listen