Earplugs for every occasion, at any time.
This year has brought many exciting events to our lives - from festivals to football matches - we have been constantly surrounded by noise exposure. Going to events can be a great experience, especially when shared with a community of people with similar interests. Let’s prepare for Bonfire Night on the 5th November by taking proactive measures to protect our hearing.
Noise exposure can come from various sources, such as traffic, headphone use, crowded places, and fireworks, so it is important to understand how damaging it can be. It is estimated that 50% of people aged 12-35 listen to unsafe levels of noise through their personal devices, putting themselves at avoidable risk of hearing loss.
“In my late 30s I started to notice that I could not hear what people were saying in busy bars and cafes, many of my friends had similar experiences and I discovered most people I knew were noticing their hearing decline and not doing anything about it.” - Andy Shanks, co-founder, eargym
The good news is that there’s lots we can do to protect our hearing and prevent avoidable hearing loss.
How loud is too loud?
Decibels (dB) measure how loud a sound is. We can use this to work out how long we can safely listen for. Any noise measured 85 dB and above can be harmful, especially if you’re exposed to it for a prolonged period of time. With every 3dB increase, the intensity (essentially the volume) of a sound doubles and so we need to cut our exposure time in half. With events like Bonfire Night approaching, it is important to understand the harmful effects that noise exposure can have on our long-term hearing health.
With noises at 100 dB, being safe to listen to only for 15 minutes a day, other activities could cause serious damage.
How loud is too loud? Know your noise exposure levels:
Conversation - 60dB - extended period of time
Heavy traffic - 85dB - 8 hours
Outdoor concert - >100dB - 15 minutes
We’ve put together our top ear protection recommendations to ensure we can protect our hearing.
Looking for a quick solution - we’ve got you covered
Ear plugs can be used in lots of different noise situations from concerts, to sport events, to DJing, and even to the London underground. They are designed to reduce the volume and impact of sound while maintaining the quality and clarity of what you are listening to.
Overall opinion: A cheap and easy option for protecting your ears during live events or loud environments.
We enjoyed: The noise level reduction of 18 dB, the Experience filter still allows the surrounding sounds to remain clear while decreasing sound level. The additional circle shaped loop facilitates application while also remaining fashionable.
We would prefer: an adjustable feature for when you need to engage in conversation at a concert or football game it will not require you to actually remove the earplugs. This can become quite annoying if it requires constant fiddling with.
2. Minuendo - adjustable hearing protection
Price: £128 on Gear4Music
Overall opinion: Great adjustable earplugs for music and event lovers.
We enjoyed: The variable passive HiFi filter makes it a one of a kind in the industry. The adjustable filter allows the range of protection to go from 7dB to 25dB. The adjustability of it all allows you to maintain a conversation without the need to remove the device from your ears and change the protection depending on where you are.
We would prefer: Luxury comes at a cost, and although they are truly worth it, they retail at about £128 on Gear4Music.
“I’m really impressed with these earplugs, the variable sound reduction works well and I can see many situations where that would be useful. Sound quality seems good and there’s great attention to detail from a product design point of view. The case for protection, the straps so you don’t lose them, the magnetic tips to keep them together and the range of tips for different ears and comfort levels show they have really worked hard to create a useful product.” - Andy Shanks, co-founder, eargym
3. Alternative options
Other recommendations from our team include Hi Fidelity and Flare Audio Calmer earplugs. The Hi Fidelity earplugs come in a tin which attach to keys so you will always have them with you, they work well, and are around £15 on Amazon. The Flare Audio Calmer, also around £20, and comes with a tin too. These are not quite gig plugs (specific for live events), but will probably help you feel calmer when wearing them.
There’s also a range of companies offering custom moulded ear protection for a really good fit, essential if you work or regularly find yourself exposed. ACS are a popular choice with musicians offering a range of custom fits as well as a lower budget universal fit, swim, and shooting plugs.
If you’re looking for more ways to protect your hearing, read our easy read articles on our website.
Enjoy Bonfire Night and stay safe.