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Hearing Protection

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by gpepe1, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. gpepe1

    gpepe1 Member

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    Hello,

    I need to find some hearing protection that will prevent me from going deaf (a bad thing for a sound board opp) while not distorting sounds. I assume that the custom ear plugs are the best, but is it worth the +$150? How efficient should they be? What should I look for? ETC. Any advice or recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    Yes, there are some ear plugs made specifically for that type of application and that provide fairly equal attenuation at all frequencies. Here's an example, Etymotic Research, Inc. - Musicians Earplugs (look at the ER15).

    Custom fit plugs are typically well worth the cost, they are more effective and more comfortable due to being custom fit to your ear. Popular providers include Etymotic Research, Sensaphonics and Westone, although you go through a local audiologist for the fitting. There are many other providers as well and most of them use the Etymotic Research ER15 filters.

    This, Etymotic Research, Inc. - ER?20 High Fidelity Earplugs, is a lower cost alternative. Not nearly as nice or as comfortable as custom plugs, but good for those unexpected occasions or as a backup. These are available from many sources. I also use mine for activities such as working with the weed eater or chain saw around the yard, the damage is probably already done but maybe I can keep it from getting worse.
     
  3. Gretsch

    Gretsch Member

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    I have used aforementioned Etymotic Research earplugs and they work well. I like the ER20's for when I am playing drums, and they allow me to still here someone talking to me, and my monitor and I can tune with them in. They aren't nearly what the custom molded ones are but for under 20 bucks a pop you can buy a couple pairs and through one pair in your gig bag and the others in your foh rack or console case.
     
  4. Traitor800

    Traitor800 Active Member

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    Those ER20 earplugs look intresting, Has anyone tried them for working in the scene shop, cause I hate how you can never hear when wearing those foam earplugs.
     
  5. howlingwolf487

    howlingwolf487 Active Member

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    If you are going to be wearing the ear plugs a long time and using them frequently, it is definitely worth the investment - plus, it's your hearing...can't exactly do your job without it, ya know?

    I have a pair of ER-15's and they have been a blessing for a number of reasons. They're fantastic for airplanes (can't stand being in one and not having ear plugs) and normal, everyday tasks that are noisy.

    You don't realize how loud a lawn mower can be until you measure it one day...and it takes HOW LONG to cut the grass? Combine the length of exposure with the level of exposure and you can have a formula for hearing damage.

    I'd say go for it: they'll at least last you a few years if you're still growing a lot.
     
  6. tweetersaway

    tweetersaway Member

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    I've got a pair of the ER20's For the price, they're fantastic. Clarity is very good. Not perfest, but I wouldn't expect anything more for the price. If you can't dish out a bunch of cash right now, get a pair of those. The main objective here is ear protection. Save your ears now and upgrade later when you can afford it.
     
  7. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Bump for updated opinions...

    We recently discovered my wife at 39 years old has significant hearing damage. Not exactly sure how although she had a lot of ear infections as a kid which certainly didn't help. So I'm looking to get her a set of good ear plugs like you noise boys use. Are you guys still fans of ER 20's? Anything else I should look at?
     
  8. bishopthomas

    bishopthomas Well-Known Member

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    That's too bad about your wife. Hearing loss is also genetic. Any family history? My wife's mother, brother, aunt... all have major hearing problems and I'm worried that she might have inherited the trait. No signs yet, though, so fingers crossed... The ER20's seem to still be the industry standard.
     
  9. gpforet

    gpforet Active Member

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    I went to wearing in-ears for this exact purpose. My m-audio IE-30s provide 24db of sound isolation and still provide me with a very accurate way of monitoring. I typically drop a few extra condensors around the venue or even mount a pair at mix position and solo these to my in-ears. The absolute best $250.00 I even invested as a sound engineer. I have recently migrated to location sound for film and I wear these for my boom feed and I hear only what the shotgun is doing.
     
  10. jjkool

    jjkool Member

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    I have a local brand up here in Canada, but can say that my custom plugs @ 20dB were one of the best purchases I made.

    The attenuation cartridge is changeable, so I can put in 30dB, 5dB or 15dB filters if I want to change at any point!
     
  11. 2mojo2

    2mojo2 Active Member

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    I use the earmuff-style protectors for construction work, machinery, vaccuuming the house, etc.
    For sound work and going out to clubs, my wife and I both have the Etmotic ER15s.
    I llike them a lot.
    They are very transparent, thet just cut the volume evenly.
     
  12. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    These two sort of go together as typically the varying levels of overall reduction also relate to varying deviations over frequency. Greater overall attenuation focused on the frequencies to which the ear is most sensitive may make sense for hearing protection but can have some negative implications as far as affecting the perceived frequency response if used for mixing or performance, where a flatter response may be more critical. So what you are doing when you are using the hearing protection devices can be a consideration in the product selection.
     
  13. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    After using my wife's ER20's at the U2 concert I finally decided to get myself a set of good Musician's quality earplugs. So, I thought I would post a review. Although the ER20's were very good I decided to go with the Alpine Music Safe Pro's. They come from Europe and are a little harder to get in the U.S. (the dealer in the link is one of the few places you can get them). They Alpines are supposedly the most popular earplug in Europe and I can see why. I chose these over the ER20's for two reasons. 1) They are made from a very soft thermoplastic material which softens and molds to the inside of your ear when they warm up. Consequently they are VERY comfortable. 2) They allow adjustable attenuation by changing a small filter. Here's the chart of the filter attenuation performance.

    ____________________________ Hz 125 250 500 1000 2000 4000 8000
    Gold Filter (High Protection)_____dB 18.8 15.6 16.0 18.5 27.7 23.9 22.0
    Silver Filter (Medium Protection)_dB 14.8 15.0 15.7 18.7 26.6 24.4 18.9
    White Filter (Low Protection)____dB 10.2 11.2 14.3 17.9 24.0 23.4 18.0

    They make three models, depending on what you want in filters:
    -The MusicSafe Party Plug includes only the silver filter for $13.40 This is a great deal for good hearing protection on a budget.
    -The MusicSafe Classic includes the Gold and Silver filters for $20.
    -The MusicSafe Pro includes all three filters. This is the one I purchased for $25.
    (They charged $4 for shipping.)

    Notes:
    -The Classic and Pro models come with a nice carrying case.
    -The Pro model also includes a third plug in case you loose one (but no extra filters).
    -If you buy two there is a substantial price break so consider getting a second set.

    Review:
    I've had them a few days but I'm really happy with them so far. I haven't tested them in concert conditions yet (I have little kids so concerts are not a common thing in my life and the DSP at work doesn't allow anything to get over 90db). However, I do have a 12" sub and plenty of power in my car stereo (it's a swagger wagon) and the performance there was great. They are very comfortable and light weight, I barely notice they are there. I think they are significantly more comfortable than the ER20's. The sound is very good, the sound is still really crisp and clear. My guess is the sound performance is about the same as my wife's ER 20's. I'm especially excited about the white filter that only takes off just a little. When I go to a concert I want it to be loud, just not THAT loud. AT the U2 wearing the ER 20's I found myself playing with them trying to get them to not quite perfectly fit in order to allow just a little more sound in. With these little white filters I should be able to back the volume off a little without sacrificing the total experience... or my hearing.

    Gaff says two thumbs up. :grin:
     
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  14. Pie4Weebl

    Pie4Weebl Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Bumping this thread, I just picked up my pair of these and got to use them on a super loud gig this week:
    ER Series Musician Earplugs – Custom | Sensaphonics

    The audiologist confirmed what my co workers told me, get the ER-15 and it worked perfectly for my needs. I had no idea that I combined the idea that lowering the volume meant muffling the sound, so I was shocked to hear the difference of what "quieter" sounded like with out being muffled any. I had worn them on the train after picking them up to test them and thought I was ripped off and they didn't work because I didn't sound "different". So I was shocked them I put them in during the DJs sound check and the change was impressive.

    Best $200 I've ever spent, its something I think every LD should invest in.

    For those of you in NYC, I went through Dr. Glick and was extremely satisfied with the experience: Musicians Hearing Solutions
     
  15. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    Bumping this thread to read later.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  16. What Rigger?

    What Rigger? I'm so fly....I Neverland.

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    I'm actually going to make the step up to something along this line when I get back to my loud show. Thanks y'all.
     
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  17. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    Good thread. I'll keep this in mind for concerts, but I'm looking for earmuff style protection for the shop.

    Anyone have suggestions for better-than-Home-Depot ear muffs? I don't like to use plugs as they take longer to don/doff.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  18. Nathan Grater

    Nathan Grater Member

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    We have a bunch of the Home Depot 3M professional earmuffs in our shop. For me they are not comfortable for long periods of time. I have heard good things about the 3m Peltor series, but have not been able to try them on in person to know. Those may be worth a shot. Because of this, I have always gone back to my ER20s with the connection string. I have found it takes about the same time to pull those out of my ear as taking off the muffs do and for me they are far more comfortable.
     
  19. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    I still love them man. I've purchased a set for the whole family now. Being an old fart... who has done plenty of damage to my ears already, anything above sustained mid 90's decibels causes me pain and ringing for hours afterwards. With these little guys in I can hear every note clearly. And with the three different levels of attenuation on the Alpines, I can control exactly how much volume I want to remove. Perfect!
     
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  20. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    I can't stand the weight of the big muffs. I'm a firm believer in the ear plugs on a plastic headband for shop work. Simple ones like this. Never take them off, just hang them around your neck. I wear them under my chin instead of over the top so it only takes seconds to go from hanging around the neck to in place. When your working in the shop it's easy to get lazy and not want to walk over and pick up your muffins, but if they are around your neck, there's no excuse for not being safe.

    That's why I also have a set of safety goggles with prescription lenses built in. Cost me around $70. But I just take my glasses off, put them on, and no excuse to not be safe.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2016

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