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Music sounds better when it’s turned up, but there’s a difference between being immersed in a song and completely blasting your ears. Whether you need something to help you focus on the music or want to prevent hearing loss, it helps to pick up a pair of earplugs before heading to your next concert or festival.
More and more people are using earplugs these days, and not for the reasons you think. Whereas traditional earplugs are meant to muffle, the best music earplugs won’t completely block out noise, but rather spread the noise out more evenly, to maintain a full spectrum of sound — at way more manageable levels.
What to Look For in The Best Earplugs?
The best earplugs are designed to let music and voices through, while filtering out background noise. That way, you still hear the singer or track, without say, being distracted by conversation around you.
Musicians also like earplugs to help protect their ears while playing; they’re especially popular with drummers and other percussionists, who don’t want their hearing to be compromised over time.
It’s not just for music though. The best new earplugs also work well for air travel (helping with altitude discomfort), riding your motorcycle and other everyday activities where you want a little noise reduction without completely sealing off the environment around you.
And while those generic foam earplugs will do the job if you want to doze off, they’re often made from a cheap material that’s less durable and prone to falling out of your ears. Foam earplugs are also stuffier and less comfortable to wear for long periods of time. And that neon orange or yellow color? Not exactly subtle.
We’ve rounded up some well-made earplugs constructed from a super soft and durable silicone material. They’re more flexible and form to your ears, creating a tighter seal. They’re less conspicuous too, with a translucent or frosted finish, to make them more discreet. Many of our picks are also washable and reusable, and come with a carrying case for easy storage.
To protect your hearing loss without missing the music, here are the best earplugs to pick up.
1. Vibes High-Fidelity Earplugs
These reusable earplugs are buIlt to reduce harmful decibel levels (by up to 22 decibels) without hurting sound quality. They won’t muffle sound, meaning you can have a conversation with these earplugs, and you’ll be able to listen to every lyric of your favorite The Weeknd song at his upcoming concert.
You’ll get multiple ear tip sizes included as well, allowing you to customize your fit. And, the minimalistic clear design is barely visible, not compromising your festival fit. You’ll even get a portable case, allowing you to carry these earplugs with you while you travel, to your next concert, or when you’re riding your motorbike down the road.
2. Loop Experience Noise Reduction Ear Plugs
Available in four colors and designed to reduce noise by up to 18 decibels, the Loop Experience Ear Plugs are a great fit for concert-goers and festival lovers alike.
You’ve got four ear tip sizes, including XS for individuals with smaller ears. Each earplug has a round shape, that the brand says should fit comfortably in your ear. You’ll be able to use them at a concert or any live event, without compromising sound quality. You can even use them if you suffer from noise sensitivity or are a new parent looking for some reprieve.
Customers say they’re comfortable for long term wear and the brand claims they’re both durable and long-lasting. You’ll get a carry case too, allowing you to take your new earplugs on the go.
3. Eargasm High Fidelity Earplugs
With two different sized earplug “shells” included with each set, you’ll be able to find a pair of plugs that fits your ears more effortlessly and comfortably.
These earplugs are made from a soft and flexible silicone, that’s comfortable for prolonged wear (say, at a music festival, or to sleep). The material is also hypoallergenic and won’t cause itching. A waterproof rubber seal keeps out moisture, dust and debris.
This set includes an aluminum case with a keyring for easy attaching to your keychain or bag.