Save your ears! Review of Etymotic ER-15 Musicians earplugs
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Phloodpants

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Hey people!

I just did the deed and got a pair of these...

http://www.etymotic.com/product_list...t_number=ER-15

They are earplugs that are designed to have FLAT FREQUENCY RESPONSE!
See the graph...


You need to go to an audiologist to have custom earmolds made for these. What they do is stick a of foam plug deep inside your ear canal, then they fill your ear with a self hardening silicone goo. Once that hardens, they have an impression of your ear that they can make the silicone plugs with.

Sensaphonics in Chicago is where I went. Highly recommended. This guy is the "audiologist to the stars". He's done the whole Dave Matthews Band, Beastie Boys, etc etc etc etc. There is a sign in his office listing hundreds of famous people he's had the pleasure of filling their ears with goo!

http://www.sensaphonics.com/er91525.html

This place is really good. If you take the hearing test, they do something few other audiologists will. He tests your hearing all the way up to 18KHz! He will show you your results under a clear transparency of people in your age group.

Anyways, I am LOVING THEM!!
They really do what they say they do. They are very comfortable and inconspicuous. Once you've had them in for a few minutes, you adjust to them and everything sounds pretty much normal. They do NOT sound like you are wearing earplugs. Everything is just quieter. In fact, in a noisy club, you can understand conversation BETTER because your ears are not in a state of shock!

For all you guys who do live sound or play in a band, I cannot recommend these enough! They will save your hearing while at the same time allowing you to hear everything as it should be.

It wasn't cheap though. For the hearing test, earmolds, plugs and all three filters (9db, 15db and 25db) it totaled almost $400.

But hey, what's your hearing worth to you?
 
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vYu223

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Really? Nobody has responded to this thread? That is, unless I clicked on the wrong link in Google and was only looking at the single post.

Anywho, I'd first like to apologize for necro-posting.

And to the main point - I'm looking to get a set of Etymotic's ER 15 custom musician's earplugs.

However, I'm stuck. I'm looking for an audiologist in San Jose. I mean, I wish I could go directly to Sensaphonic's office in Chicago, but I live in California. Who should I go to? I want the best job to be done. I don't want to get a bad set of impressions and end up having a pair that doesn't work well and also having to send them back to do it all over again and wait another "3-4 weeks"... I don't really have the time for that, either - I've recently joined a few bands that actually play really loud - dangerously loud. I can't use the ER 20 universal earplugs for these occasions, because I play the sax, and the occlusion effect completely destroys my sound on the sax.

So who should I go to to get them done? I also want to make sure that they'll be able to clean my ears before getting the impressions made...
 
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fraseyboy

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There's always the universal ER20's for people who don't want to spend time/money on ear moulds etc
 
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necropimp

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yes the ER-20s are great... you can get them cheap from amazon too i think i only paid like $7.50ish for mine
 
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hungryduck

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I also got my ety-plugs from sensaphonics.....as a musician, they are a necessity.
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by fraseyboy /img/forum/go_quote.gif
There's always the universal ER20's for people who don't want to spend time/money on ear moulds etc


Quote:

Originally Posted by necropimp /img/forum/go_quote.gif
yes the ER-20s are great... you can get them cheap from amazon too i think i only paid like $7.50ish for mine


Quote:



x3

Highly recommended. Mine work great for when I'm trying to get some work done at the café, but I can still order drinks and talk to people if I need to.
 
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vYu223

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The ER-20's absolutely destroy my sound when I play sax and/or sing. I hate it! The occlusion effect that is the byproduct of non-customs gives me that weird in-my-head reverberation and distorts my perception of sound. Because of this, I automatically try to adjust the sound of my sax, screwing it up. I absolutely have to have customs. I've been using ER-20s for a long time, and I know what I'm talking about...
 
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fraseyboy

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I'm going to a very loud music festival in January and I'm planning to get some ER-20's for the occasion. I hope they don't ruin the music for me...
 
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vYu223

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Quote:

Originally Posted by fraseyboy /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I'm going to a very loud music festival in January and I'm planning to get some ER-20's for the occasion. I hope they don't ruin the music for me...


The occlusion effect is only a problem when the source of the sound is coming from your head or coming from somewhere near your head.

For example, violinists, singers, and wind instrument players all suffer from this effect - badly. Without customs, everything just sounds wrong.

However, I've heard that drummers (since the source of sound is coming from somewhere much farther away from their heads - their hands) aren't affected by the occlusion effect much or even at all.

And therefore, by using this logic, you should be fine at the music festival if you're in the audience, since the source of the sound is coming from somewhere obviously very far away from your head. However, if you're one of the musicians, you're screwed.
 
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I have them. They rule! At first, they sound really wierd, especially for a brass player like myself, but once you get used to them, you can hardly rehearse or even perform without them. Actually, I wonder how it can be that the guys at my local band are unintrested in hearing protection, apart from one of the drummers, a sax player and myself.
These plugs actually emprove sound and pitch recognition. When the volume is too loud, my ears tend to drown in noise and I have a hard time telling the various instruments apart, not to mention the potential damage to my ears. It's also easier, not harder to understand what fellow players are telling me.
I've read that the plugs, apart from the flat attenuation across the spectrum, have the capability of cutting off the peaks at high frequencies, which are the most damaging for the hearing. Well, I've tried for myself: this statement is true. Cymbals and the snare drum don't scare me anymore, even when the drummes are marching just beside me and are playing like there's no tomorrow.
If you are a musician, especially in a band, go for them by all means! Save the money, don't buy those extra cans, but do yourself and your ears a big favour and go for them!
 
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vYu223

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Wait, so you don't suffer from the occlusion effect, and your sound/tone while playing your brass wind instrument is exactly the same, with AND without plugs (custom musicians by ety) in?
 
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