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By jeremyjenks
I'm sorry if this has been covered before, but it seems that this has not a been topic as of yet- I'm tired of wearing the standard off the rack ear plugs that muffle the sound to the point that its not enjoyable. I have even tried the "earasers" plugs that they sell in the music shops and have found they are not that much better then the foam plugs. I made an appointment this Wednesday get an ear impression for musician earplugs. I have 2 questions for those of you who have tried the custom earplugs. 1- Have you found that you are able to enjoy the sounds of the djembe and dunun more with the custom plugs vs the standard? 2- Do you recommend a certain level of noise reduction rating (like 15 decibel or whatever) for playing indoors? Thank you so much for any insight!!
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By michi
There is a long thread about this: Hearing damage.

I recommend 20-25 dB for the musician's earplugs. 15 dB is not enough, in my experience.

The musician's earplugs are much better than the Etymotics. More comfortable, and more natural sound.


By Liam Petersen
1) I have used both custom and off-the-shelf plugs, and the biggest benefit with customs, to me is comfort. I can wear the custom plugs for a much longer time.

At the bottom of the pile are earplugs that sound terrible, are uncomfortable, but do reduce loudness.

Then there are a couple of good off-the-shelf musician earplugs that still sound pretty good while reducing loudness, but they are not as comfortable as the molded plugs.

Be aware that like any skill, there is a learning curve to playing while wearing hearing protection.

2) I have three sets of filters, -9dB, -15dB, and -25dB. The -9dB filters are not that helpful, while the -15dB do tend to help when playing djembe alone at home. Otherwise, I'd agree with Michi that you do need to increase attenuation to something greater than 15dB, especially while indoors with a lot of drummers.

Good luck with the customs.

What color do you think you'll choose? (I have a pair of the clear/transparent ones)
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By admin
I agree, nothing will beat molded plugs, but they are really expensive, and I've already lost 2 pairs, so I'm not going to be buying any more soon :)
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By Marc_M
I used to lose a lot of gear. Now I am really disciplined - I have a pocket on my djembe bag where I immediately store my audio recorder and ear plugs. Plugs go immediately into their protective case and then into the bag pocket - any where else and they'll get lost - same with my recorder. I use the earplugs whenever I play indoors - otherwise RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNGGG.