I was recently jazzed to try out the EarPeace HD high fidelity hearing protection ear plugs.
From Beethoven to Pete Townsend, the dreaded enemy of any of any musician is hearing loss. And while we typically think of huge Marshall electric guitar amps as the cause of musician’s hearing loss, the reality is that our ears are constantly under assault. I mean, just try having a conversation while they blend that smoothie at the juice bar. Right?
We should be using ear protection as much as possible in order to preserve our hearing. At sporting events, car shows, even concerts. We don’t want to lose our most valuable tools as musicians (our sensitive ears!).
And with high quality ear plugs these days, you can actually retain the fidelity of the sound source while lowering the overall decibel level. A “win-win” for enjoying loud concerts without paying a long-term price.
So how does the EarPeace HD solve this problem for us?
About EarPeace HD
EarPeace aims to provide high quality ear protection by way of 3 styles of optimized ear plugs: EarPeace HD for musicians, EarPeace M for motorsports, and EarPeace S for loud work environments.
For our purposes on The Guitar Journal, we tested out these EarPeace HD. The HD ear plugs are presented with a number of benefits:
- High fidelity sound (at a lower decibel) is the primary marketing point here.
- Comfort – which they enhance with a nice “tab” feature for easy placement and removal.
- Low profile design, and high quality materials.
- A high-profile clientele of musicians like Metallica and brands like Red Bull using EarPeace. (Not really a benefit, but makes you feel like you’re in good company… Maybe.)
High Fidelity Sound?
Let’s break down the “High Fidelity Sound” claim for a second. This is the most important claim for us as musicians, and the most questionable at face value. After all, how do you let me hear good sound by blocking the sound?
This claim is based on the use of an attenuation filter. To quote EarPeace:
“The attenuation filters allow a precise amount of unobstructed sound to enter the ear in a specific way. You get great sound at a lower volume and the background noise is filtered out.”
The attenuation filter is a plastic piece fitted in the middle of the ear plug. The EarPeace HD comes with three sets that can be changed out:
- Medium Protection (CLEAR) = SNR 17 / NRR 11. These filters are suitable for most loud events. Rehearsals, dance events, movies are all examples.
- High Protection (RED) = SNR 20 / NRR 14. These filters are perfect for your live concerts and festivals. When you are close to the stacks you need extra protection.
- Max Protection (BLACK) = SNR 26 / NRR 19. These filters are total block for when you need real quiet. Perfect for working the stage or sleeping after the show.
Typical foam ear plugs just block all sound, creating a muted effect. But the EarPeace HDs are designed to plug block sounds around most of the plug, while letting a quieter, but still clear, sound through the filter in the middle.
If you really want to geek out, EarPeace does some elaborate testing with the results here:
Cost & Where to Buy
You can buy EarPeace HD at Amazon for $21.95.
You can also buy them directly from the EarPeace website for $20.
PROs & CONs
- The high fidelity thing actually works. Instead of feeling isolated from the music, you can hear pretty clearly.
- The tab is a deceptively simple little nub that really helps in placing and removing the ear plugs.
- They look cool – the ones I tried were a see-through-ish silicone.
- The traveling case is nice. Especially since I have a tendency to leave things like these in my shirt pocket and put them through the wash. The case is heavy enough that I’d notice throwing it in the washing machine.
- The attenuation filters take a bit of fiddling to change out. I don’t see myself remembering to bring all the filters and change them from show to show. I’d likely leave in the mid-level filter most of the time unless I was going be at something very, very loud.
The EarPeace HD ear plugs are high-quality, effective ear protection suited to musicians or music lovers. They’ve got a good product for a reasonable price. What’s not to love?