The 10 Best Earplugs for Musicians (2022)

As a Musician, your hearing is your most important asset. Earplugs for musicians are essential to safely reduce the volume of your environment while keeping the sound clear. 

The human ears are not designed to withstand the levels of noise that we throw at them every day. The two most common problems people that are around a lot of the loud environments (not just musicians) have are hearing loss and tinnitus (chronic ringing in your ears), which are a lot more common than you might assume.

My top recommended earplug for musicians is the Alpine MusicSafe Pro, as it is the best blend of comfort, performance, and price with its innovative material and design.

My top pick among budget earplugs is the Etymotic Research ER20XS, as it shines with its highly affordable price and simplistic design to get the job done.

The Best Earplugs for Musicians (2022) – At a Glance

And now onto the full list:

1. Alpine MusicSafe Pro

Top Pick
Comfortable earplugs that take the shape of  ears and filter damaging sounds.
View Price at Amazon

Alpine MusicSafe Pro are one of the best earplugs to protect your ears from damaging sounds. It is made of a type of thermoplastic that takes the shape of your earlobe for more comfort and stability.

Pros

  • Comfortable, takes the shape of your ear
  • Hypoallergenic, great material
  • Comes with a carry box and a cleaning spray
  • 3 filters included 16, 19, and 22 dB

Cons

  • It has a single earbud shape which might not suit everyone (i.e. those with bigger or smaller ears, or those that find it difficult to get a good seal with earplugs)

The filters are responsible for filtering damaging sounds, and allowing the rest to pass. In the box, three different filters are included for 16, 19, and 22 dB, so you can adjust the level of sound blocking you want.

My only concern with these earplugs is that although the material is great and the size is universal-fit as it takes the shape of the earlobe, it may not be as comfortable for everyone with particularly small or big ears after extended periods of use.

Material TypeAlpineThermoShape (Thermoplastic)
Noise Reduction16, 19 or 22 dB
ReusableYes, 100X
Replaceable Earbud TipsYes
SizesUniversal

Overall, I think Alpine MusicSafe Pro is the best hearing protection in its price range with its high comfort and performance.

2. Etymotic Research ER20XS

Budget Pick
A popular and highly affordable pair of earplugs.
View Price at Amazon

Etymotic is the first company that produced earplugs for musicians back in 1990. Since then, they have been one of the most reliable brands on the earplugs-for-musicians market. The Etymotic Research ER20XS model is one of their latest designs with a highly affordable price and great high fidelity, evenly sound reducing performance.

Pros

  • Highly affordable
  • High-fidelity ear plugs, even sound-reducing
  • Discreet design
  • Comes with a neck cord and a carrying case

Cons

  • Not the most comfortable earplugs for long periods of use
  • Single filter type

Designed for musicians, ER20XS reduces sounds evenly by 20 decibels. It has a stem-less soft silicon design, making them more discreet when used.

It comes in three sizes, standard, large and universal. You also receive a small accessory package, including a neck cord and a carrying case. But, they are not the most comfortable earplugs on the market; especially after extended use, they may cause agitation and irritation in the ear.

Material TypeSoft Silicon
Noise Reduction20 dB
ReusableYes
Replaceable Earbud TipsYes
SizesUniversal, Large, Standard

If you are looking for an affordable solution for protecting your ears on stage or in concerts, Etymotic Research ER20XS is the ideal choice. As they are highly affordable, you can not go wrong with them.

3. Minuendo Lossless Earplugs

Pro Pick
High fidelity premium-quality earplugs for professional use.
View Price at Amazon

Minuendo Lossless Earplugs is a premium solution for professionals who want to protect their ears the best way possible. It features a great technology that allows for on-ear volume attenuation adjustment between 7 dB to 25 dB while maintaining the quality of the sound you hear.

Pros

  • Adjustable sound reduction levels
  • Comes with 11 different earbud tips
  • Flat and natural attenuation
  • Lasts for years

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Lightweight material for the price

The earplugs come with 11 different earbud tips for your liking and comfort. So, everyone can find a comfortable fitting without a hassle. A case is also included in the package to keep your earplug set safe. 

The earplugs are high fidelity which means the sound reduction is flat and natural. It is a great product for musicians and serious music fans who want to enjoy concerts without damaging their ears.

Material TypeFoam, Silicone, and Flange
Noise Reduction7 dB to 25 dB adjustable
ReusableYes
Replaceable Earbud TipsYes
SizesUniversal

Minuendo Lossless Earplugs are some of the highest-end hearing protection on the market. They are premium quality, designed for professional use, and are durable enough to last for many years. If you are serious about your hearing and have the budget for it, these may be the ideal choice for you.

4. Eargasm High-Fidelity

Great For Musicians
Comfortable and discreet earplugs with high fidelity sound attenuation for musicians.
View Price at Amazon

Eargasm High Fidelity Earplugs are one of the most popular earplugs among musicians due to their 21 decibels of high fidelity sound reduction, discreet look, and fair price. The earplugs ensure high-quality sound reaches your ears, as they greatly filter the sound rather than blocking it.

Pros

  • High fidelity, balanced sound reduction
  • Discreet look
  • Easily cleanable for reuse
  • Comes with a nice waterproof case

Cons

  • Only suitable for normal to large ear sizes
  • No replaceable tips

There are two earplugs shells in the package with different sizes for average to large ears. There are no earbud tips like other models, as these are one-piece earplug shells. 

The shells are made of soft silicone, which is hypoallergenic, sweatproof, flexible, and non-toxic. However, the sizes may not suit everyone, as there are different models for people with smaller ears.

Another significant aspect of Eargasm High Fidelity is the discreet look. The earplugs are mainly transparent, which is excellent if you do not want the earplugs to be seen by the audience. They are also easy to clean for reuse and come with a great aluminum water-proof carry box.

Material TypeSoft Silicone
Noise Reduction21 dB
ReusableYes
Replaceable Earbud TipsNo
SizesMedium, Large

Eargasm High Fidelity is an ideal choice for musicians as it filters the sound great and is very hard to notice due to its transparent design.

5. Vibes High-Fidelity

High Comfort
Highly comfortable and almost invisible earplugs for loud environments.
View Price at Amazon

Vibes High-Fidelity Earplugs is one of the most comfortable earplugs with a near-invisible design. It reduces the sound up to 22 dB, making them perfect for environments with a loud sound as well as for concert-goers and performers.

Pros

  • Almost invisible, discreet design
  • Comfortable over extended use
  • Durable construction

Cons

  • High-end frequencies get rolled off a bit
  • Easy to lose

The earbuds come with three different earbud tips for small, medium, and large ears. The silicone earbuds are very durable, reusable, and hypoallergenic, as well as sweatproof.

Even over extended periods of use, they do not disturb the ears, fitting perfectly without irritation. I can say this is one of the most comfortable pairs of earplugs in the price range.

Material TypeSilicone
Noise Reduction22 dB
ReusableYes
Replaceable Earbud TipsYes
SizesSmall, Medium, Large

Although the high frequencies get rolled off a bit, and mid frequencies get boosted, the sound quality is decent and is close to neutral. Also, the discreet, transparent design makes them easy-to-lose, so you have to be aware of where you put the earplugs.

6. Hearprotek High-Fidelity

Budget-Friendly, Great Sound
Good pair of earplugs with a clear and high-quality sound and a nice pack of accessories.
View Price at Amazon

Hearprotek High-Fidelity earplugs are a cost-effective product mainly preferred by musicians due to their good sound reduction. It filters up to 20 decibels without blocking it or sacrificing sound clarity or quality.

Pros

  • Good volume reduction without sacrificing sound clarity and quality
  • Discreet design
  • Comes with a nice pack of accessories

Cons

  • Not very comfortable over extended use

The package consists of a standard and a small-size silicone earplug, an aluminum case, a carabiner, and a neck cord, which is a great pack for the price. The earplugs are transparent, which makes them almost invisible.

The drawback is that these are not the most comfortable earplugs and may disturb you after using them for a while, also, the material is not the best.

Material TypeSilicone
Noise Reduction20 dB
ReusableYes
Replaceable Earbud TipsNo
SizesStandard, Small

I recommend Hearprotek High Fidelity to any musician for short occasions, such as waiting for other bands before going on stage or short yet loud concerts or music festivals.

7. Reverbs High-Fidelity

Versatile
A great set of earplugs that can protect your ears on different occasions.
View Price at Amazon

Reverbs High Fidelity is an affordable set of earplugs with a comfortable design and a nice accessory pack. The set includes two pairs of earplugs with different filters, providing different levels of dB reduction. The green filter reduces the sound to 20 dB while the white filter is up to 28 dB.

Pros

  • Two sets of earplugs with different dB reduction
  • Good accessory pack
  • Comfortable
  • Easy to clean and reuse

Cons

  • May not fit all ears

With different filters, Reverbs earplugs are pretty versatile and reduce sound without sacrificing sound quality or clarity. The accessory pack is decent, with an aluminum case and a cord that can fit your pocket. But, the case is too small, making it hard to put in or out the earplugs.

Furthermore, there is only one size of earplugs, and it is relatively small. If you have big ears, you may have issues with this set. Also, the transparent design is great as it is discreet when in use, but it makes it easy to lose if not taken care of.

Material TypeSilicone
Noise Reduction20 dB and 28 dB
ReusableYes
Replaceable Earbud TipsNo
SizesStandard

Overall, if you are after a flexible earplug set to use on different occasions, Reverbs High Fidelity would be a great choice.

8. Loop Experience Pro

Best Fit, Versatile
Great set of earplugs for every size ears and a muter for extra reduction.
View Price at Amazon

Loop Experience Pro is a set of earplugs with foam and silicone ear tips offering up to 18 dB of sound reduction and the Loop Mute for an extra 5 dB of attenuation. 

Pros

  • Many different sizes
  • Silicone and foam choices with extra muter for more noise reduction
  • Comfortable
  • Design
  • Good sound quality

Cons

  • The design isn’t for everyone!

The earplugs are quite versatile, with many different ear tips to use on different occasions. They are also quite comfortable, but some users reported the small-sized ear tips to get irritating after extended periods of use.

Nevertheless, they do come in many different sizes to fit every ear which is still an overall win in this situation. They are also frequently used earplugs by a quality brand to consider.

Material TypeFoam and Silicone
Noise Reduction18 dB + 5 dB
ReusableYes
Replaceable Earbud TipsYes
SizesXS, S, M, L

In short, Loop Experience Pro is a great set of earplugs offering up to 23 dB of flat sound reduction to use in concerts, during meditation or studying, motorcycling or sports events, or anywhere.

9. LiveMus!c HearSafe

Great Sound, High Protection
A great set of earplugs with high protection and clear sound.
View Price at Amazon

LiveMus!c HearSafe comes as a set of 2 different earplugs, one for 23 dB the other with 29 dB of sound reduction. Designed especially for musicians, these earplugs’ sound quality and clarity are great.

Pros

  • Very high sound reduction up to 29 dB
  • Clear and natural sound
  • Discreet design

Cons

  • Can be a bit uncomfortable for long periods

The discreet design, comfort, and durable construction are the pros of earplugs. Plus, it comes with a small case to carry them and a cord to tie them, so they do not fall.

The only problem with these earplugs is that they are hard to put on and off. Also, some users reported that after hours of use, they sometimes make the ears itch, especially with sweat.

Material TypeSilicone
Noise Reduction23 dB – 29 dB
ReusableYes
Replaceable Earbud TipsYes
SizesLarge, Standard

Overall, LiveMus!c HearSafe is an excellent choice for musicians, especially drummers, as these earplugs offer heavy-duty ear protection of up to 29 decibels.

10. Mumba Reusable High Fidelity

Great Value For The Price
An affordable set of earplugs with high comfort and great overall noise attenuation.
View Price at Amazon

Mumba Reusable High Fidelity is an affordable set of earplugs that offers up to 24 decibels of noise reduction. They feature soft silicone tips, which are hypoallergenic and quite durable. Plus, the earplugs are pretty comfortable.

Pros

  • Great value for the price
  • Comfortable
  • Good level of noise reduction with a flat sound
  • Colorless design

Cons

  • Two sizes, may not fit everyone

The colorless design makes the earplugs almost non-visible but also makes them easy to lose. There are two sizes in the package with large and small earplugs which fit most people. Designed for musicians, sound reduction and clarity are great for the price offered, and the earplugs do not muffle the sound at all.

However, it may not fit you, and you might feel uncomfortable if you have too large or small ears. Also, it is reported that they are a bit hard to put on and off, but users get used to it after a while.

Material TypeSoft Silicone
Noise Reduction24 dB
ReusableYes
Replaceable Earbud TipsNo
SizesSmall, Large

If you are after a good set of earplugs for concerts and playing music without breaking the bank, Mumba Reusable High Fidelity is highly recommended.

Universal or Custom Earplugs?

If you have the budget, then definitely go for custom-fitted earplugs. They generally have better protection and are custom molded to your ears. You often need to get an impression done of your ears before getting these (this can be either a 3D scan of your ears or more traditionally through a silicone impression of your ears).

If you can’t afford custom earplugs, then universal fitting earplugs are the next best thing, which is what we are mostly talking about in this article (apart from the Westone ES49s which are custom-fitted).

Why do Musicians wear Earplugs?

Earplugs prevent high volumes from damaging your ears by filtering the dangerous frequencies while allowing the necessary ones for you to listen to music or hear a conversation. To have healthy ears and hearing capabilities, most musicians use earplugs to reduce the sound they are exposed to.

What are Custom Earplugs?

Custom earplugs are specially designed earplugs, usually made from soft silicone, that take the shape of your ear canal for more comfort and better noise reduction. They are more durable, comfortable, and better at noise reduction than other earplugs.

Although they are more expensive than other products, as they are more durable, comfortable, and perform better, the cost-per-use for custom earplugs is much lower than others.

What is the difference between Earplugs and In-Ear Monitors (IEM)?

Earplugs reduce the sound around you, while In-Ear Monitors act as earphones providing you the sound you want to hear. For example, in-ear monitors are used by musicians to hear other band members in a concert, while earplugs are used to protect your ear from extreme noise.

How often should you wear Earplugs?

You should wear earplugs whenever you are in a place where the noise gets beyond 85 dB. It can be a concert, a nightclub, a sports event, a construction site, or riding a motorcycle. To protect your ears from permanent hearing damage, earplugs are always a necessity.

What to look for when buying Earplugs?

The most important aspects to look for in earplugs are comfort, noise reduction ability, material, and price. You should go for a pair of comfortable earplugs and filter the noise well before anything.

The most critical aspects are comfort and noise reduction performance. As you will be using the earplugs for extended periods, they should not irritate you at any point. You should look for a good fit for your ears and purchase a comfortable one to avoid issues.

Depending on the area of use, the noise reduction ability of the earplug should be around 20 dB to keep you well-protected. If you are in an extremely noisy environment, you should look for more noise reduction. For concerts and musicians, 20 dB is the minimum I recommend.

Earplugs are mainly made from silicone or foam. Silicone ones are of better quality, durable, and perform better when filtering the noise. Foam earplugs block the sound, while silicone earplugs filter it to optimum levels.

Finally, the price is another factor. Spending lots of bucks for an earplug does not make sense, as you do not know how you will feel after extended periods of use or the noise reduction performance. I recommend you to go with ones that offer good value for the price instead of purchasing a high-end pair of earplugs.

Are all Earplugs washable and reusable?

Most earplugs made of silicone are reusable and easily washable with alcohol. You can find the necessary information on the website or user manual of your earplug on which products to use for washing them.

What are the high-risk dB levels that cause hearing damage?

Noises above 80 dB damage ears cells and hearing when exposed for prolonged periods. To avoid permanent or temporary hearing loss or tinnitus, when you experience the constant ringing or other noises in your ears, you should avoid loud environments or use earplugs.

Noise above 80 dB is dangerous when exposed to hours; however, noises above 140 dB can instantly damage your hearing. 80 dB is equivalent to a motorcycle or subway passing near, while 140 dB is equivalent to gunshots or fireworks at 3 feet.

Difference Between Musicians Earplugs and Foam Earplugs

Foam earplugs block out and dull the noise around you. Earplugs for musicians contain filters that can help retain the clarity of the sound while bringing the overall volume to safe levels.

Earplugs and Hearing Protection

In general, if you’re exposed to loud noises over a long period of time, your hearing will get damaged over time. However, if you are exposed to extremely loud noise, the long-term damage can be almost instant.

Tinnitus might sound trivial at first, but if you think about it in the long run, it can have a very impact on your life.

Tinnitus is basically ringing in your ears – the whining, high-pitch noise everybody heard at some point. Now imagine that going on in your ears for the rest of your life. There is no cure for most forms of noise-induced tinnitus. If you’re not careful, you might have to live with this noise in your ears for the rest of your life.

As you can see, the protection of your hearing is vital to keep your life quality at high levels. Whether you’re a musician or work in a loud environment (such as a construction site or factory, etc.) you should be aware that your hearing has a level beyond which you can’t really go.

Science has developed different ways of blocking sounds such as noise-isolating headphones and earplugs (blocking outside noises through noise isolation is a LOT more important than noise-canceling headphones for hearing protection. Noise-canceling headphones cancel out relatively low-level noise, which is not useful for musicians that are in very loud environments).

Today there are several different types of earplugs such as foam, silicone, wax, or custom molded.

Verdict

Earplugs are extremely important for hearing and ear protection, especially for musicians and music lovers, as they are constantly exposed to dangerous levels of noise.

To avoid any hearing problem, I suggest you check my top recommended product, the Alpine MusicSafe Pro, which offers highly comfortable and affordable earplugs with great noise attenuation and sound quality.

You can also take a look at my budget pick, the Etymotic Research ER20XS, the cost-effective earplugs with good noise reduction and decent comfort.

Brian Clark is a multi-instrumentalist and music producer. He is passionate about practically all areas of music and he particularly enjoys writing about the music industry.

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