Do Musician’s Earplugs Work for Loud Metal Band Concerts?

If there was a time for social earplugs, it was now. The bass beat rippled from the soles of my feet to the top of my head. Pounding in my chest like an extra heartbeat. My first metal concert. I was using my pre-molded musician’s earplugs (ER 20s; $20), but it was too loud. After the opening act, Crown The Empire, I switched to my inexpensive trusty foam earplugs for Asking Alexandria.

I talked my 19 year old into wearing her ER 20s in the break between the bands. She goes to lots of metal concerts, but hasn’t worn hearing protection before despite all my lectures and complaints. Thinking she won’t be able to hear anything, no matter how much I argue the music will sound better.

“What did you think of the musician’s earplugs?” I asked after the concert. “How did the music sound?”

“It wasn’t distorted,” she reluctantly confessed.


“My hearing isn’t muffled now that the concert’s over.”

“That means no hidden permanent hearing damage.”

Eye roll.

“Will you please wear musician’s earplugs from now on for concerts?” I begged.


Victory! Why pay all that money for tickets when without hearing protection, the music is distorted from the high volume? Why not use musician’s earplugs that protect hearing but keep the music sounding good? Why not spend $20—or less or more depending on the ear plugs—to prevent music trauma and stop early old-age type hearing loss? To me, it’s a no brainer.

I chose to go to this concert knowing it could easily make my tinnitus worse, at least temporarily. I was surprised it didn’t, unlike some other rock or pop concerts I’ve been to. My T is the same old, same old. Either way, I won’t let my T stop me from going to concerts using proper hearing protection for me. I’m in charge. Not my T. I just wish more people used hearing protection for concerts. To hear clear undistorted music, and hopefully prevent T and hearing loss from happening at all. fidelity hearing protection for music/

Photo Credit Frankie Cordoba at Unsplash

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Jan L. Mayes MSc writes horror fiction and non-fiction, and is an international Eric Hoffer Award winning author, blogger and audiologist specializing in ghosts, noise, tinnitus-hyperacusis, hearing health education and plotting murders. Her writing has been featured at Tinnitus Today, Communique, and The Horror News Daily.


2 thoughts on “Do Musician’s Earplugs Work for Loud Metal Band Concerts?”

  1. Very cool idea. I know one trap I fall into is putting my headphones in and cranking the volume when I’m vacuuming (then I also get yelled at since I then sing very loud and very off key!)

    1. As long as you stay below 50% volume listening with headphones, the volume should be safe. If it’s over 50%, you can do permanent hearing damage. I sing loud and off key too, although in public I usually lip synch. 🙂

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