Ear Protection
Nov 28, 2008 at 6:23 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 13

Ruel

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I wasn't sure if this would fit better in Sound Sciene or not, made a random-ish choice.

I am an actor/singer going into University, singing mostly classical and musical pieces. (Choral, Lieder, Arias, Operatic, Sondheim, etc.) I am currently part of a show choir which often works with the school band and orchestra; the band is my real concern.

We often sing in close proximity to the band and drum line, and stay there after our performance. The volume produced by those guys often causes me headaches and general discomfort, so I worry about my hearing. More over, working with the drum line has me frightened, the snare drums really feel uncomfortable to me. Knowing that several of my friends in band have had their hearing damaged is more concerning.

So I am looking for the best means to protect my ears. Ideally I would like something discrete and durable. I don't want to be oblivious to what's going on around me I am just looking for some serious volume reduction.

They would also be used in a stadium environment and construction environment as I am frequently building sets for theatre.

I know Ultimate Ears makes custom ear plugs. But don't really know my other options. I would like something which is reusable and easy to clean (no serious wax problem, just a clean freak).

In fact this, from the UE site sums up what I am looking for nicely
[size=x-small]Custom Earplugs with acoustically tuned filters were developed so that you can be in loud environments yet still listen at a safer, more comfortable level. The changeable filters lower the sound levels equally across all frequencies — a sonic equivalent of turning down the total volume level. And since Custom Earplugs reduce all of the frequencies evenly, they avoid the skewed, muffled sound effects common to over the counter earplugs.[/size]
Whatever I get needs to be durable as well, ideally pocket-able.

Thanks,
Ruel
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Nov 28, 2008 at 7:19 AM Post #5 of 13

Ruel

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Thanks so much for the quick and helpful responses.

Goodness, those Etymotics look like exactly what I need, ten times cheaper too, and no need to visit an audiologist.

Not to dimish the previous recommendations, but just to cover my bases: anything else out there?
 
Nov 28, 2008 at 8:44 AM Post #6 of 13

nickdawg

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Other than a customs, the Etys are the best bet for your situation. The Etys will not muffle sounds like foams, plus they'll be more comfortable over long time. Also, the silicon flanged ear plugs are washable(unlike foams).
 
Nov 28, 2008 at 9:19 AM Post #7 of 13

Motty

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Nov 28, 2008 at 11:26 AM Post #8 of 13

Ruel

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Thank you all for your input and recommendations. I have decided to go with the Etymotics as I won't have to keep track of filters and they are from a company whose products I have used and enjoyed before. Also the low price means I won't feel burned if they don't work exactly as I hoped.
 
Nov 29, 2008 at 5:36 AM Post #9 of 13

IZCool

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If you're singing, you might find that you will experience the 'occlusion effect' with the ER-20 earplugs. It makes your voice sound louder in your ears because they are partially blocked.

If it bothers you, see an audiologist and get some Etymotic ER-15 (blocks 15dB) or ER-9 (blocks 9dB) and ask for the earplug to seal in the second bend of your ear canal. This will stop your voice being louder. Of course, the customs are more expensive, but a lot cheaper than hearing aids!

The earplugs that Ultimate Ears make use the same filters and construction as the Etymotic ER-9 and ER-15. There are companies all over the world that do the same thing - they buy the filters from Etymotic and make the earmould to the same specifications. Just have a look at Etymotic Research, Inc. - High-fidelity Earphones and Hearing Instrumentation

PS: I have the ER-15s made by a company in Australia, and I take them every time I go to see live music / play with a loud band / go out to a club - they're great!
 
Nov 29, 2008 at 7:57 AM Post #10 of 13

nickdawg

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I didn't even think of that. If you're gonna be singing, it would be a good idea to ditch the earplugs. The occlusion effect is killer with earplugs. I find it weird just to talk, couldn't imagine singing.
 
Dec 7, 2008 at 7:33 AM Post #13 of 13

IZCool

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Quote:

Originally Posted by nickdawg /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I didn't even think of that. If you're gonna be singing, it would be a good idea to ditch the earplugs. The occlusion effect is killer with earplugs. I find it weird just to talk, couldn't imagine singing.


If you have earplugs that seal in the second bend they won't cause this effect as badly. Also choosing filters with the lowest possible attenuation (so it's still safe) reduces the effect. If you're singing with a band, better to get earplugs and learn to sing with them than to go deaf anyway!
 

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