As I've started to go to more shows recently, I have noticed people wearing earplugs or cotton while at shows. I thought it was silly at first because you are there to HEAR the music. But then when my ears started ringing after CMW and NXNE, I thought "hey maybe those people are really freaking smart." @danlewtobe mentioned that wearing the earplugs actually enhances the show experience because you can really distinguish between chords, instruments, etc.

What are your thoughts on earplugs at shows? I am definitely going to start wearing them to prevent hearing loss before I'm 30. Ultimately, the volume of the music is going to penetrate anything a person can stuff in their ears, unless they have earplugs made out of adamantium.


    Aha! THAT'S how these responses work. Okay. Update: I've seen and definitely felt the discomfort problem, and although they look incredibly stupid sometimes, I've noticed that wearing the massive over-ear drummer mufflers really help a lot for long periods without the same kind of inner-ear discomfort. I've apparently got a lot of drum equipment for a supposed guitarist/vocalist.

    They're not entirely as effective, and I sure as hell wouldn't wear them on stage, but if I'm at a day-long festival [sidebar: never again] or something similar, I'll grab 'em for sure.

    I've used industrial grade over-ear noise protection too, attached to a hardhat. Wouldn't do it again, those smother high frequencies. And I looked like an industrial grade idiot.

    yeah always. there are a pair of like $20 ones i got, they cut out extreme high and low ends the frequencies most likely to damage your ears. i still notice a minor lack of hearing post show but soon the following day it's like i was never on stage, everything sounds as crisp and clear as ever. i'll try to track down a link to the ones i have to share them here

    Always. I like playing ,music, and hope to do so long into the future. My wife got me some custom fit plugs with my initials. Not the most comfortable at first, but now I barely notice them.

    I wear them to every show, practice, and often at the movie theater too. They turn it up so loud I need them.

    I should wear earplugs, but I almost never do! I hate the way they feel in my ears, not to mention the way they dull the sound. For the record, I also hate wearing gloves. My hands become almost non-functional as soon as I put them on. So, maybe the earplug thing is just me. :P

    Yeahhh I need to get into this habit, my ears are already pretty lousy. I know @mirnar was going to test some fancy concert earplugs at some point... did that ever happen?

    Okay so I bought $20 plugs, first live show experience summarized:

    • listening to the music: very interesting!

    • talking to people: weird

    • taking them out at any point: ow

    As an update on this, I wore some earplugs for a couple sets a Hillside and they definitely made a difference in how my ears felt after the set. There were some frequency ranges that got completely killed and muffled, but over all it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I adjusted them a bit in my ears and managed to get a decent balance of sound quality and sound pressure, and I just took them out a few times to try to pick up on nuances in the sound if I wanted to focus on them (the drummer for Royal Canoe had a second cymbal with a cloth between the two on one stand for a song so I was zoned in on that for a bit lol).

    These were just cheap foam plugs so I'm thinking I may try my hand at some better quality ones and see if they help lessen the impact on sound quality.

    This is actually the best idea ever. My ears always hurt after a show or concert.

    I went through a very long phase during my second year of being in king tut where I became incredibly worried about my ears... I had gone to a Dillinger Escape Plan show one night and upon returning to my completely quiet rez room where a bunch of my friends were chillin, I had to ask them to repeat themselves (I reiterate, in a COMPLETELY. Silent. Room.) several times because of the suuuuper loud ringing in my ears from the ridiculously excessive sound system at the Kool Haus being cranked to 15. I couldn't hear well for 2 weeks.

    Then I started noticing that I was not as good at hearing people in loud atmospheres as my friends were. If it was a girl who was trying to talk to me at a bar, the chances of me hearing her were like 20%. I think the more high pitched, softer frequency of a girl's voice has been lost for me. I've killed those frequencies.

    I started getting a few hearing tests done and professionally made ear plugs for band practice and all of the tests I got done said that I had perfectly good hearing.... But I believe the tests are flawed. Asking someone if they can hear a tone, and taking a "I think so" for an answer doesn't really churn out an accurate report of how bad your hearing is...

    ANYWAYS, aside from all of this, I still love my music loud and the louder it is, the more and harder I want to rock out. I've stopped worrying about my hearing because I think it's inevitable that our generation loses theirs. Even when you listen to headphones at a "decent" volume (or wear earplugs to a show), we are really still not supposed to have little speakers pumping sound directly into our ears... I think no matter how much effort we put into avoiding or slowing the process of hearing loss, it's still going to happen. In conclusion, I think it's best to just live hard and be old when it's time to be old.

    NOW GO AND TURN UP THE BASS 8) 8) 8) Unless you're not a fiend for volume like I am, in which case, I digress lol... The earplugs are probs a good idea.

    @danlewtobe made a pretty good case for them last night for sure. I've always been in the same boat, assuming it would muffle the sound and ruin the experience of being at a show, but I've got the hearing of an old man now so I should probably at least try them.

    Re: the "too damn loud!" train of thought, I wonder where the balance between loud and listenable is for live shows. They tend to fall more to the loud side, and it makes for a fun experience, but I would like to find a venue who's soundstage is a little better tuned and listen to the difference it makes.

    I know a lot of people who wear them at clubs for Dj performances - and in fact just this past Saturday night at Ryze for 2 legends of the progressive electronic scene - Nick Warren & Hernan Cattaneo, several people had them in but mind you that place for the first 2 hours sounded hollow & quite terrible. The majority of time it's not so much that the music is too loud but that the sound system is improperly tuned - usually extreme bass and/or poorly adjusted mids & highs which thus result in painful inner ear disruptions / ear drum rumbling/pain - quite like what you'd feel when you forget to equalize during a deep sea dive! Believe me, I've been there and it hurts like hell! But, I have not ever really worn ear plugs at many events I've been to over the last 10+ years (club/festival oriented). It's definitely wise if you plan to be at an event that lasts many hours or days with poor quality sound.

    As someone whos been to only one show, and it being a rap show, I have never heard of this lol.