Hearing Damage and Tinnitus

I’ve published this Concert and Festival Ear Plugs review to raise awareness of an ever increasing problem that is caused by live music and that can be prevented.

A a few years ago I started to notice a humming noise in my ears, and my hearing also wasn’t as good as it used to be. Knowing that I attended lots of concerts and festivals and would have ‘ringing’ in my ears the next day, it became clear that I had developed Tinnitus.

Tinnitus is where exposure to loud noises over a period of time causes damage to the delicate ear structures causing hearing loss and a constant noise in your ears.

Tinnitus can be prevented if you protect your ears from loud noise with ear plugs. It doesn’t mean you have to block out sound and ruin the live concert experience as some ear plugs can just filter the high pitch sounds that cause the damage.

Graph showing hearing loss risk limits
This chart shows that rock concert decibel levels mean you are at risk of hearing loss

Purchasing Ear Plugs

After reviewing different ear plugs, I purchased a pair of ER-20 ear plugs which filter the high decibels and so still allow you to hear the music loudly but at a safe level.

I now wear my ear plugs at all concerts and festivals. I can tell how well they work as if I remove them while a bands are playing I notice how loud and distorted the unfiltered sound is. Without the ear plugs I would normally just get used to that sound during the evening but it would be damaging my ears.

I thoroughly recommend you invest in some noise cancelling ear plugs for concerts and festivals to avoid developing tinnitus. Even if your hearing is fine now, it will gradually deteriorate and there is no cure.

ER-20 Noise Cancelling Ear Plugs Review

ER-20 Ear Plugs slot into the ear and once in place, you just forget they are there. By filtering the high decibels they make listening to loud music much more enjoyable and it’s noticeable how much clearer the vocals and individual instruments are and everything is far more audible.

Many of the ER-20 Ear Plugs cost around £15-£20 which is insignificant compared to avoiding hearing loss. Some have optional cord attachments to avoid losing them (i’ve never had any fall out) and most come in a small case or pouch.

If you are a musician you can and should use these type of ear plugs when practising and rehearsing to protect your hearing. They can basically be used at anytime you will be subject to loud noise.

ER-20 Noise cancelling ear plugs. Ideal for concerts and festivals
ER-20 High Fidelity Noise Filtering Earplugs for Concerts and Festivals

Other Types of Noise Cancelling Ear Plugs

You can also use sponge ear plugs like the ones below, however the distinction here is that rather than filtering the high decibels, they simply block the sound from entering the ear so you will not get the quality of sound provided by ER-20’s.

Sponge noise cancelling ear plugs
Sponge Ear Plugs. They will protect your hearing but they block noise rather than filter it

You can get some very cheap disposable sponge ear plugs that they also tend to give away for free at festivals. These are better than nothing but are really designed to help you sleep in a noise environment …..so ideal when camping at a festival 🙂

Cheap noise cancelling ear plugs
Cheap ear plugs. Not really designed for filtering very loud noise. Ideal to help you sleep at festivals

You can also get custom ear plugs that can be moulded to the shape of the inner ear. Some of these (the more expensive ones) are avaiable as high fidelity ear plugs and filter noise while others act similar to sponge ear plugs and block sound.

Custom noise cancelling ear plugs

Custom Ear Plugs that you can mould to the shape of your ear. They come as noise reducing or as noise filtering which allow for better sound quality

Tip! Regularly wash your ear plugs to keep them clean and hygenic.

Noise Cancelling Ear Plugs are on my What to Bring to a Festival Checklist where you can see what else you should bring to a festival.

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