If you attend concerts regularly, then you know that live music can get loud. While seeing bands and solo musicians is exciting, experiencing hearing loss due to the high volume of this type of event is not. For your hearing protection, wearing earplugs are a good idea. The next question is, which ones should you use?

Earplug types

There are many types of earplugs. They can be ones you buy off the store shelf or be custom-made by an audiologist.

If you are a regular concert-goer or a musician yourself, earplugs provide a way to protect the ears from hearing damage that can occur in less time than a song, let alone an entire event, depending on the decibel level. Below are the main types of earplugs available, as well as reasons why we recommend custom earplugs.

Foam earplugs

The foam type is readily available in stores and ones you see frequently. However, they are not the best choice if you need to continually put them in and take them out as fitting them to your ear well takes technique.

Putting in foam earplugs for hearing protection requires condensing and inserting them into the ear canal. Whether they work well or not depends on the fit, as well as the comfort level. Given that they are a universal fit, rather than custom, they do not shape optimally to every ear.

Universal-fit high-fidelity earplugs

Another option is high-fidelity earplugs. They reduce the noise level at a concert, whether you are in the audience or on the stage, while maintaining a clear sound.

They differ from traditional earplugs that muffle the noise as they keep the clarity so that you can still hear your favorite bands perform live. Only now the volume is lower for your hearing protection.

High-fidelity earplugs come in different types, including reusable. The universal-fit models are easy to get, but a downside is that they are not comfortable to wear for long periods.

Custom earplugs

Finally, there are custom-made earplugs made by an audiologist. They are formed out of silicone to contour to the inside of your ears for an optimal fit.

There are also custom high-fidelity earplugs, which are comfortable to wear for an extended time. The reason is that there is no pressure on the sides of your ear canal, which is why universal-fit high-fidelity and foam earplugs are a source of discomfort.

The custom-made high-fidelity earplugs come in different levels of attenuation, meaning that you can choose the degree of sound protection that you want. Having this control over your environment can be empowering.

Flanged earplugs

With several rims in a cone shape, flanged earplugs are another option. They have a universal fit, sitting against the ear canal to provide hearing protection. A benefit that the flanged type has over the foam ones is that they are simple to use. You must make sure though that they are inserted to the proper depth of the ear.

In terms of comfort, some people find that they are not comfortable to wear. Thus, they might not be the right choice for you during a concert. Also, they come in different levels of quality, so be certain what you are getting beforehand.

For kids: Over-ear protection

Kids often like the fun designs and soft padding of over-ear muted earmuffs. They are comfortable for most children to wear, thanks to an adjustable headband.

Plus, the designs usually are playful without being babyish. There are different pattern choices, depending on what your child prefers. This option provides kids a way to see their favorite bands perform live without parents being concerned that this experience will damage their hearing.

Which are the best custom earplugs?

In our opinion, custom earplugs come out on top for adults who attend or perform at concerts, when comparing the different types. They provide a perfect fit every time you wear them because an audiologist has made them based on your ear’s shape and size.

Furthermore, they are more comfortable to wear than foam, universal-fit high-fidelity and flanged earplugs. Finally, a custom set provides reliable hearing protection, including a high quality of sound attenuation.

They can also last for years when well-maintained. For fit and performance, we think that custom-made earplugs are a good choice to consider for concerts.

Final words on hearing protection

Continue to enjoy concerts without worrying about damaging your ears by investing in a pair of custom earplugs. An audiologist can show you the options and what is best for you at concerts and any other loud environments you are in regularly.

Contact the Hearing & Balance Centers of West Tennessee to learn about your hearing protection options. For Jackson, call at (731) 256-5973, and if you live in Memphis, then you can reach us at (901) 201-6761.