Musicians' earplugs

Tony Woolf Tony at
Fri Oct 11 07:42:24 EST 1996

In article <53ke3a$8lh at>
           kimberski at "Kimberski" writes:

> I am interested in finding some good musicians' earplugs.  I recently
> began working as a dispensing audiologist, so I have a lot to discover. 
> Thanks!

What makes a good musicians' earplug? It's usually thought to be an
attenuation that is not too high, and fairly constant with frequency.

Etymotic Research make the ER-15 and the ER-25 which are designed as
musicians' earplugs.  These are attenuators that are built in to
earmoulds.  They are intended to have an approximately flat insertion
loss of 15dB and 25dB respectively.  Etymotic Research are in Elk
Grove Village Illinois USA, (708) 228 0006.
EAR, the large earplug manufacturer, make the ER20 which is a universal
fit earplug.  It has a nominal insertion loss of 20dB.  This has
less high frequency loss than many earplugs but still not a very flat
frequency response.  The attenuator part of this is also designed by
Etymotic Research.  They designate it the "Hi-fi" earplug but I would
say this is optimistic.

Other manufacturers make various attenuators to fit earmoulds that are
supposedly suitable for musicians.  However I have not seen ones with
lab tests of performance to national standards.  If there are any
manufacturers out there who have done these tests, I'd be interested
to know about them.

However not all musicians can get on with plugs of any sort.  Brass
and wind players have the most problems.

This is a subject close to my heart; if you want to discuss it in more
detail, please email me.

Tony Woolf

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