Ear protection - recommendations?

Anyone have any recommendation on ear protection?

I have a pair of Etymtic ER•20 and I’ve struggled to fit them in my ear such that I can achieve a solid dB reduction while still hearing myself play. It could well be they just aren’t a good fit for my ears…

What have you tried which worked well?

My primary use case is playing djembe (with a fairly distinct tone) among a dozen or so other djembe players… along with some doundoun.

Visit an audiologist and get fitted for musicians earplugs. They do a custom mould and then you can get different filters - I think 15 or 20db is standard(?)


I think probably going to an audiologist and getting fitted for a pair is your best bet.

(edit: ha @okyeron just beat me to it :yum:)


Yep, a trip to the audiologist for a fitting. You can also getting a hear test at the same time :slightly_smiling_face:. 15dB filters are designed for musicians who want to hear themselves. I got them for DJing and when at concerts and clubs, depending on how loud you play you might need 20’s. Years ago I started off with 15’s, after that I always use 20’s, I could even go higher. At a loud concert or club I can still hear the music well, but my ears often still ring afterwards. Prolonged exposure at anything above 85 dBSPL can potentially cause damage, which is a lot of situations, not just music related events. When in cities I sometimes wear them in the street.

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I’m using 15db which suits me fine, both when DJing and when out at concerts and nights. For those in the UK, do check out the Musicians Hearing Health Scheme - it may apply to you if you have music-based business. I couldn’t be more pleased with their service.

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