Custom earplugs are made to your precise ear shape by professionals, with the level of NRR that you need for your lifestyle. They reduce the volume far more evenly across all frequency ranges and, at $200 to $300, cost less than a single music-festival ticket. Plus, they can last many years, as long as you keep them clean, don’t lose them, and don’t gain or drop a significant amount of weight.
If you enjoy frequent concerts or if you perform and rehearse in loud settings, you really should invest in custom earplugs. (I’m looking at you, woodwind and string players who sit directly in front of the brass section in a full orchestra.) Although we understand the appeal of inexpensive universal earplugs, their uneven attenuation and lower NRR are not ideal for serious performers or for music lovers who go to concerts all the time.
The first step in getting Musician earplugsis to find an audiologist, ideally one who specializes in working with musicians. Look for one who is listed by custom-earplug manufacturers (such as Sensaphonics or Microsonic) as being certified. Ask ahead of time if their price includes impressions, earplugs and filters, and fitting and alterations. On rare occasions, mistakes in the impression or manufacturing process may mean you’ll need to have the shape of the earplug tweaked a bit, and you’ll need to know how much time you have to come back to fix issues.