The Best Earplugs for Drummers – Essential Hearing Protection

drummer wearing earplugs

As we’ve covered before here on Subreel, there are so many benefits to protecting your hearing. It isn’t something to mess around with and the risks to our health, if we don’t use earplugs or noise-canceling headphones, are huge. As a drummer, you are exposed to huge amounts of loud noise. Getting the best earplugs or hearing protectors can not only prevent your risk of tinnitus and other health issues but can even enhance your performance.

Some drummers opt for ear protectors or noise isolating headphones. This is another great option, but they are very visible and may not be as comfortable as an earplug which can slip right into your ear.

What Do Drummers Need from Earplugs?

Thankfully, as we’ve grown to have more of an understanding of human hearing, we know what is required from the best earplugs for drummers and other musicians. The criteria are relatively simple.

  • Firstly, as drummers are exposed to a lot of loud volume sounds, the earplugs need to drastically reduce the volume (dB) of audio entering your ears.
  • In spite of the reduction, losing quality and clarity is not an option. Earplugs that keep a good frequency response and don’t mean you can’t hear what is going on are not an option. This is why it is worth investing a little money and ensuring that you aren’t just using cotton wool in there!
  • Cost. We’re always on the lookout for value. Drumming is expensive enough as it is and the equipment is not cheap. Adding to this expense is not ideal, but there are some good quality earplugs which are good value for money.
  • Ease of use. We want something we can easily slip in and out for gigs and practices and not have to add time to the process of getting ready.

Recommended Earplugs for Drumming

Alpine Musicsafe Pro Hearing Protection for Musicians Review

Alpine isn’t a brand name you will have heard in a lot of drum magazines, but they are very good when it comes to protecting hearing. They won awards for their hearing protection for musicians.

I love this model for drummers as it has changeable filter sets so you can choose between high, medium and low levels of audio reduction and protection for your own hearing and ensure you can still hear the rest of your band or orchestra at a good enough level.

They’ve clearly been built for musicians. Some earplugs are made for building sites and doing work around loud machinery, that isn’t the case here, and Alpine have made sure they keep the clarity.

For the utmost in audio clarity and comfort, the technology driving these earplugs means that they mold in your ears. This, of course, keeps them comfy but also ensures they’re doing their job effectively with no gaps.

Vic Firth VICEARPLUGR High-Fidelity Regular Earplugs Review

It is no surprise that there is an offering from Vic Firth on our list of top earplugs. In terms of drumming products, Vic Firth usually has something on the market. This offering is very well thought out.

They describe them as the world’s ‘highest-fidelity non-custom earplugs’. The quality they retain is exceptional, all whilst reducing the volume by 20 dB across all frequencies. They have been scientifically designed to replicate the shape and acoustics of the ear canal but at a lower volume which will avoid damage to your hearing.

As well as this, the earplugs come in a carrier and even have a durable and hard-wearing neck cord which means you can take them off and put them on again with ease.

With very positive reviews on Amazon and elsewhere, this is definitely worthy of recommendation. Vic Firth’s website also has a brilliant guide on protecting your hearing as a drummer.

LiveMus!c HearSafe Ear Plugs Review

These are possibly the best-selling earplugs on the market, with thousands of LiveMusic HearSafe ear plugs reviews online, the vast majority of which are positive. These also come with a neck cord for easy carrying, as well as coming with two sets of earplugs and two sets of filters for different levels of noise reduction. The aluminum carry case that these come encased in can even clip onto your keyrings or in your drum stick bag. These aren’t just for drummers and are suitable for other musicians or even just going to nightclubs or anywhere else where you’re exposed to loud sounds. The discreet look also makes them hard to notice.

Custom Molded Earplugs

Another option for drummers is to approach a company who make custom molded in-ear earplugs. These are popular due to the fact that the comfort and effectiveness is as good as it can possibly be due to being perfectly snug in your own ears. Our ears come in many different shapes and sizes, so I understand why some drummers opt for this, but the cost is very high.

Conclusion

If you need further convincing, this hard-hitting video is testiment to why we should use hearing protection as musicians.

For a relatively small investment, drummers and other musicians can do a huge amount for their hearing. This is not something you can really treat after you’ve developed issues, so you need to take preventative measures.

Fortunately, technology has come a long way and the earplugs available to us either custom-molded or store-bought earplugs.

1 Comment

  1. The importance of protecting your hearing can’t be stressed enough. I spent twenty-five years playing drums for rock bands across the Midwest and I can’t imagine how much of my hearing would have been lost if I hadn’t worn earplugs. You’re right that losing quality and clarity is not an option. It’s extremely important to be aware of everything going on during a set. It’s necessary to communicate with the other musicians before and even during a song, so you have to be able to hear them. A good set of earplugs will cut out the extreme volume and the damaging levels but still allow you to hear.
    Thanks for the great list of ear protection in this article!

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