Recently we hear about a lot of misunderstandings about musicians earplugs.
In this FAQ we want to answer some questions that often arise.
Musician earplugs are earplugs that give a flat attenuation over the whole frequency range (an even reduction of sound level over all frequencies.) This way sounds will not be affected and stay the same as without the musicias earplugs. All other products will give an excessive reduction in the higher frequencies, causing dull and muffled sounds.
What it comes down to is that only Etymotic Research makes patented filters for musician earplugs.
Yes, Musicians Earplugs™ is a trade mark protected name, but there are companies that sell low quality hearing protectors under the name musician earplugs.
These products range from standard reusable earplugs to custom moulded earplugs, with or without filters, resulting in attenuation characteristics more or less equal to industrial earmuffs.
There are a couple of methods to recognize and compare earplugs.
The easiest and best way is to compare the attenuation characteristics. These are given for the frequencies 125, 250, 500, 1000, 2000, 4000 and 8000 Hz.
The sound reduction in the lower frequencies (under 1000Hz) should be (nearly) the same as in the higher frequencies. If these figures are not or cannot be given on paper, ask yourself why (see graph at the bottom of this page).
They are 10mm. in diameter and have a membrane and an internal resonator.
Yes Etymotic Research has a list of approved ear mould manufacturers to make musician earplugs. They all make different products within the acoustical requirements of Etymotic. The products itself can vary a lot in comfort, ease of use and quality.
Specific things to look for are:
ELACIN has optimized the ER FlexComfort musician earplugs to the highest level, is worldwide the biggest brand and the product of choice for the professionals in the music industry and beyond.
Obviously you get the best value for money if you choose a quality product that performs up to the expectations and will last a long time.
So it pays to look around for a good product and not only the lowest price as there are huge differences in the products.
Some things you might want to know about ELACIN regarding musician earplugs:
We do not compare all products in this graph as we do not want to name other products and often it is not even possible as there are no figures available.
We have filled in some of them, including products that we use for industrial applications. We have given an example of an average solid custom moulded plug and an example of an average custom moulded plug with a filter that is based on a little hole.
As you can see even our industrial products can easily outperform some other products that are sold under the name “musician earplugs”. If you want to compare products, just print out this graph and fill in the attenuation characteristics of the products that you want to compare.