Torn between two ear-plugs brands, I'm losing hearing

Discussion in 'General Music Discussion' started by chopeth, Dec 6, 2019.

  1. chopeth

    chopeth SS.org Regular

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    Hi!

    My drummer is a beast and my rehearsal room is not big or acoustically treated enough and everytime I come back from practicing I hear a low hum until the next day. One of my ears is especially sensitive and I always orient it away from the drums, although if I have to go near it and the drummer plays, I even feel weird dizzy, like my brains are bouncing around my skull. I have some problem in my hearing but the doctors never found anything at sight examination, probably something related with equilibrium or a neurogical issue, dunno.

    I have tried a lot of earplugs, with little success, I am using a couple of Alpine Musicsafe, they prevent my head from aching but I don't enjoy playing with the band anymore, I lose every small nuances and I end up taking them off after a while. I think buying something more expensive could make my experience more pleasant, so after a lot of reading, I'm indecisive between:

    https://www.thomann.de/es/in_ear_elacin_9_laermschutzfilter.htm

    or

    https://www.amazon.es/Protección-Auditiva-Earasers-Fidelidad-Músicos/dp/B00E2D9HAA

    Anyone tried these? They are around 50-60 bucks which is as much as I can afford, I have read good reviews on both, do they really protect you while not messing up with some frequencies?
    Thanks a lot in advance!
     
  2. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Forget about those first ones, you need at least 18 to 25 dB of noise reduction if you want to protect what's left of your hearing.

    The second ones would be the bare minimum.
     
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  3. chopeth

    chopeth SS.org Regular

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  4. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Honestly, you've probably lost the ability to hear many of the high frequencies that ear plugs tend to lock out.

    Band practice and performance is likely clocking in somewhere between 120 and 140 dB. Permanent damage to your hearing begins over 75dB. You need to make up that difference the best you can.

    By the way, I have 20 years experience in manufacturing and much of it has been around loud machinery and processes, so I'm fairly well acquainted to the mechanics of hearing protection.
     
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  5. chopeth

    chopeth SS.org Regular

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    I have a very good hearing, believe me or not, it's something more related with tolerance to certain frequencies, I have very rare problems with decodification, I can't understand people talking to me in discos or any place with loud music. It makes me sad and angry seeing how everybody can talk in loud contexts. I don't understand precisely why this happens, and there are weird things like feeling real disgust and cringe in the rehearsals while my partners might acknowledge they feel some hearing damage synpthoms after long sessions, but not to the level I experience. Dunno if I explain myself right. It didn't happen to me when I was 20 but when I went 30 and above I had several medical problems I overcame alive by pure chance and probably may have something indirect to do.

    Anyway, don't keep much hope but still interested in experiences with these specific products.
     
  6. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

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    Not being able to pick out voices in a noisy environment is one of the first signs of hearing loss, as it's because you've already lost some of those high freqiencies that help with that.
     
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  7. Alex79

    Alex79 SS.org Regular

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    The condition is likely unrelated.
    There is a medical term for problems listening to conversations with background noise, but I couldn't find it in my quick google search. It might be something that can actually be trained, as it might be more how your brain processes information rather than the actual hearing.

    Nonetheless, you MUST protect your hearing. Some loss of highs is inevitable with age, but band rehearsals are typically much too loud for your ears to tolerate. For most of the time when I played in bands I actually used ear plugs for industrial applications (25db plus); don't go with the stuff you get in the pharmacy against snoring partners etc. Yes, the sound goes to shit, but you will save your hearing. Eperimenting with different brands might help. In the end though, the highs cause the most damage (and need to be blocked!) and the bass transfers through your skull anyway, so you'll always loose some of the sound.

    Other than that you need to get molded ones from the place where they also produce hearing aids. That will cost more than €100 probably. They are reportedly better in preserving the sound.
     
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  8. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Hearing loss is not something you can, or should, self diagnose.

    Given the time to adapt, our brains are pretty good at hiding a pretty significant amount of hearing loss.

    @spudmunkey is 100% correct.

    Worth the read (sorry if there's a paywall): https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.ws...laces-its-a-real-medical-condition-1474909624

    Given the use, I'd actually recommend a good in-ear monitoring setup, but those aren't going to be as cheap.
     
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  9. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    Molded -25dB plugs. Accept no less.

    My ears still rang with those...
     
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  10. DeathbyDesign

    DeathbyDesign *Palm Muting Intensifies*

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    I have been using foam ear plugs that you can get at walgreens. They have a -30db rating and are beneficial at our practices. I do lose some low end when we play shows but they do what I need them to do and are cheap for 10 pairs. I do want to get a molded pair at some point though.
     
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  11. FILTHnFEAR

    FILTHnFEAR Dread it, run from it....

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    Not to hijack the thread, but what are some of the more superior custom molded earplug brands to look into?

    I've not played in a band scenario that much recently, but probably will be in the very near future. I notice definite issues with my hearing at work or with conversation where a lot of background noise is present.

    I really don't want my hearing to suffer more. So I'm not opposed to spending some coin on plugs that are going to protect my hearing as well as not completely muffle everything to the point of making jam time unenjoyable.
     
  12. SJShinn

    SJShinn SS.org Regular

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  13. Crash Dandicoot

    Crash Dandicoot » Supra-ise!

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    I've been using the "Earasers" OP posted for some time without issue, good for jamming at home or concerts, though admittedly they cut the highs pretty significantly, to the point where I have to tweak my amp settings to offset it. I prefer being able to hear, fortunately.
     
  14. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    There are at-home kits for making molds that you then send off, but the best option is to go to an audiologist.

    Really, the custom molded ones don't really offer significantly better protection or frequency blocking, it's more about comfort.

    Off the shelf disposable plugs from Howard Leight or 3M do just fine as far as protection goes. Over the ear muffs work great too if you don't mind the bulk and look.

    Working in factories, you sort of try everything and eventually land on what works best. I've had a few sets of professionally made molded ones over the years and never stick with them, so they're definitely not the be-all end-all.
     
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  15. mastapimp

    mastapimp SS.org Regular

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    I have the earasers and they are great for smaller medium volume events, but I would not wear them to a band practice or an extremely loud concert. I've religiously worn earplugs since high-school garage band practice and the only times my ears have rang after a show is with the earasers (learned my lesson after seeing Mastodon and Gojira in ATL). Like Max said, get something near 25 dB range of reduction for better protection.
     
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  16. chopeth

    chopeth SS.org Regular

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    So, no compromise between protecting your hearing and enjoying your tone/discerning the nuances of your playing? I must choose, I suppose :(
     
  17. chopeth

    chopeth SS.org Regular

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  18. gnoll

    gnoll SS.org Regular

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    I never understood people who enjoy playing without hearing protection. To me it just hurts my ears, I couldn't enjoy that...

    I use IEMs for band practice with my miced guitar cab and the kick drums in them. I also have over-ear hearing protection that I can put on top of the IEMs. That makes me able to hear things very clearly. And I have my own mixer to adjust eq and volume for my monitor mix. I try to keep the volume as low as possible while still being able to hear things.
     
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  19. chopeth

    chopeth SS.org Regular

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    IEMs are too expensive for the rest of my band, I could afford it, but not most of the others atm
     
  20. c7spheres

    c7spheres GuitArtist

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    Even though it may be uncomfortable at first, maybe try some over the ear isolation headphones. Then you can cut a lot of db and mix back in some mids and highs. The dude from Lincoln Park use to do this from what I remember. This stuff is no joke. I'd seriously consider not jammong at those levels until you figure it out. One wrong spike to the ears and you can permanently lose it. Even those cheap foam plugs will do a good 20-30db reduction. The rating is on the package. You gotta stuff them in there good though.
     

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