Alpine Hearing Protection recently studied the way people perceive ear plugs in relation to live music, and the results of the study were surprising. While an overwhelming 92% of music festival attendees agreed that ear plugs are the best way to prevent hearing damage, 60% of them admitted they don't wear ear plugs themselves.
With ringing ears being such a common, obvious affliction the night after concerts, it seems surprising that more people do not take action to protect their ears. After all, noise-induced hearing loss is cumulative, and permanent. But what's clear is that people at music festivals know their hearing is at risk, and they know how to protect themselves, and they're still not wearing ear plugs.
So, why not?
The study identified three major pain points people have with ear plugs:
- Ear plugs aren't comfortable enough. With 35% of those surveyed indicating that comfort was their primary concern, Alpine was able to identify this as the most common misconception people have about ear plugs.
- Not being able to converse while wearing ear plugs. 20% of respondents expressed the concern that they wouldn't be able to talk and listen without having to take the ear plugs out. Since concerts and festivals are social events, this makes perfect sense!
- Not being able to enjoy the music. 19% were worried that wearing ear plugs would make it harder or impossible to enjoy the live music. After all, the music is the whole point.
But these are old-fashioned concerns, only relevant to a bygone era.
The times have changed, and for the better. Modern ear plugs designed for music and concerts now use a variety of different noise filters to effectively lower the volume, without muffling or distorting the sound quality. These filters allow the user to hear clearly and enjoy the music without risking hearing damage. Speech remains equally clear, and holding conversations while wearing the ear plugs feels natural.
The level of comfort available from a quality concert ear plug has also shot way up over the past 20 years. Now ear plugs designed especially for music can come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, most made of foam or silicone (though there are a smattering of others exist; one company is becoming known for using solid metal). A pre-molded silicone body with a noise filter in the center is the most popular design for a good music ear plug, covering the majority of the models currently on the market. And these silicone models feature multiple silicone flanges that help the ear plug gently flex to fill the shape of the ear. The low-pressure fit conforms to the natural curves of the ear canal.
Don't stay sucked into those old misconceptions. Shake off that outdated perception of what ear plugs can do, and stop subjecting yourself to ringing ears the day after the show.
Check out our broad selection of musician's ear plugs, which range from highly affordable to professional quality. Taking a nice scroll through Alpine's products will also give you a good look at these types of plugs, too.
Ear plugs designed for music eliminate all the most common problems that prevent people from wearing ear plugs at festivals. Don't let old-fashioned misconceptions stop you from saving your ears. Not sure where to start? Alpine PartyPlug is a really nice middle-of-the-road musician's ear plug that wears comfortably, allows you to hold conversations, and doesn't muffle or distort the sound quality so you can hear music clearly. If concerts are a huge part of your life, you might even want to consider the pricier Alpine PartyPlug Pro.
Until next time, be safe and do the right thing.
Tom Bergman, Vice President
Ear Plug Superstore