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Old 05-14-2017, 08:20 AM   #21
Michael Flemming
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Chicago
Posts: 203
Default Re: Hearing protection

I use Etymotics outdoors and these foam plugs indoors:


As long as the tuning is close I find I can hear well enough with the foams to do the fine tuning.
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Old 05-14-2017, 11:56 AM   #22
Chris C.
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Seattle, Washington
Posts: 315
Default Re: Hearing protection

I use the generic foam earplugs now, but for years I used wads of cotton after I ran them under a hot faucet. It worked. And it's cheap. Better than nothing. And reasonably comfortable, actually.

The foam plugs are plentiful, you don't need to rip them into the right size, run them under hot water... So I use them now. Sometimes they're a bit of a bear to get to stay in my ears until they settle. But it beats losing your hearing.
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Old 05-15-2017, 10:33 AM   #23
Dan Bell
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Columbia, MD
Posts: 680
Default Re: Hearing protection

I used to use the Etymotics plugs, but I found that while they're fine for just playing, I have trouble hearing the band well enough to set up chanters while I'm wearing them. They cut out too much of the harmonics that I need to hear. For the last year or so, I've used Earasers, which, in my subjective experience, let me hear better when tuning a band.

Your mileage will vary (this experience is highly individual), but I do strongly recommend that you use SOME kind of hearing protection unless you really enjoy tinnitus.
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Old 05-17-2017, 06:21 PM   #24
Neal Hinerman
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Venice, CA
Posts: 52
Default Re: Hearing protection

For indoors use I wear 2 Hearos Foam earplugs. They have a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 33 decibels. There is no higher NRR rating of any ear plug on the market. I pull out the right one a bit when tuning, but push it back in when playing.

For outdoor use I have foam in the left ear, and an Etymotic High Fidelity Earplug, the ER20XS in the right. I may sacrifice a little bit in ability to tune, but my hearing is far more important. I wear my Etymotics anytime I am in a crowded area, like a bar or movie theatre.
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Old 05-19-2017, 09:35 AM   #25
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 248
Default Re: Hearing protection

Though they are pricey, custom-made earplugs made by an audiologist work well for me. They are called "musician's earplugs" and one can choose how many decibels are filtered out: 10, 15 or 25. I have 25s and love them!! They are comfortable since they fit my ears perfectly and they come with plugs I can insert in place of the filters for when I mow the lawn or am around non-musical noise. I have not found foam plugs that are comfortable or that filter out sounds evenly across the musical range. Mine are brown; a bright color would be easier to find if they fall to the floor.
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Old 05-20-2017, 08:03 AM   #26
Mac an t-Sealgair
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Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Eilean Siar
Posts: 142
Default Re: Hearing protection

Originally Posted by johnsog View Post
I have not found foam plugs that are comfortable or that filter out sounds evenly across the musical range. Mine are brown; a bright color would be easier to find if they fall to the floor.
To me, that is the downside to cheap foam plugs.

For the last 27 years I haven't used plugs but this year, especially for indoor I took the plunge.

I tried musicians plugs aplenty and didn't like them. Then one-day I couldn't find them so horsed in my shooting plugs. What a revelation. I can hear everything, no loss of top mid or bottom. I can tune my pipe nae bother with them in. And when I'm not playing I can talk to everyone and hear everything around me.

I'm a slightly deaf convert. Buts it's never too late
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Old 05-22-2017, 09:23 PM   #27
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Czech republic
Posts: 65
Default Re: Hearing protection

Well it is obviously a good idea to wear earplugs - after just a few sessions with my pipes I figured out myself :-) But what I wear is rather unique IMO: There is an old czechoslovak RPG and part of the "set" is also strange "hearing protection". It looks like two huge ear wax cones, wrapped in plastic. It is probably really some kkind of wax, because you can roll (it melts a little bit) it and push into the ears, where it shapes as needed. It is more comfortable then the foam ones, hidden (it is brown/gray) and even more efficient then my peltors and I started to wear it even during my shooting sessions...
Whatever I ask on this forum, the answer should be: "Practice more", for thats what I need ;-)
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