Best Earplugs for Concerts and Other Music Events

This article shows the best types of earplugs for listening to music and the best brands of each type. The type and brand of earplugs really makes a huge difference.

Most earplugs are not designed for listening to music and severely muffle and distort the sound. Listening to music is still enjoyable for most people, but there are much better options available.

Which earplugs to wear depends on how loud the sound is and on your budget. In the following, sound of medium loudness will be discussed first, followed by loud or very loud music.


Medium Loud Music

For listening or playing music at medium loudness there are relatively cheap and good earplugs available. Reusable earplugs such as the ER20XS cost below 20 USD and provide a very good sound quality while offering protection. The sound quality of the ER20XS is so good, that it appears to be just like a volume know turned down a bit.

The best brands of reusable earplugs are listed below (in that order, the first is the best).

Reusable earplugs:

However, the best type of earplug for music of medium loudness are professional musicians earplugs. They have a better quality than the best reusable earplug mentioned above, but they also cost around 200-300 USD. The best brand is Etymotic Research.

Professional musicians earplugs:

  • Etymotic Research ER15 (extremely good sound quality)


Loud Music

For loud or very loud music the reusable earplugs mentioned above will not provide you with sufficient protection, because they are not strong enough. When wearing them in really loud music, your hearing might still take damage. Unfortunately, there are no reusable earplugs available with stronger sound protection. When deciding between wearing no earplugs or wearing reusable earplugs, wearing reusable earplugs is still the better choice.

Fortunately, the professional musicians earplugs are available with stronger sound protection. Their sound quality is very good.

Professional musicians earplugs:

The ER25 is the stronger version of the ER15 mentioned above. The ER25 also cost around USD 200-300. They should offer enough protection for almost all concerts. Comparing the sound quality of the ER15 with the ER25, the ER 15 is better, but the ER25 offers more protection. And comparing the ER25 with the reusable earplugs mentioned above, then the ER25 wins with better sound quality and more protection. If you often attend concerts, then it might really be worth it.

Since 200-300 USD is expensive, most people will use an alternative: foam earplugs. Almost all foam earplugs provide strong sound protection (much more than any of the reusable earplugs above and most also more than the ER25). But foam earplugs do not have a good sound quality. They muffle the sound. But there are some brands that stand out and have an acceptable sound quality.

Foam earplugs:

Both of these earplugs provide similar good sound quality, while the Bilsom 303 seems to be just a little bit better. Other foam earplugs mostly have much, much worse sound quality. And by the way, foam earplugs are very cheap with costs below USD 1 for a pair.

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