Recommended Earplugs for Concerts


As a concert photographer, I am often close to the speakers, and over the years, I have noticed that it has impacted my hearing. Over the past years, I’ve started using earplugs, and I’d recommend them to anyone attending or shooting a concert.

Why wearing Earplugs is important

Prolonged exposure to loud music can cause significant damage to your hearing over time. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, sounds at or above 85 decibels can cause hearing loss. Concerts often reach noise levels of over 100 decibels. That’s why it’s crucial to protect your ears.

Earplugs can significantly reduce noise levels, protecting your ears from potential damage. They can also improve the sound quality at concerts by reducing the level of background noise.

Types of Earplugs

There are various types of earplugs you might consider using. I’d like to recommend the following:

Foam Earplugs

A foam earplug would be the easiest, and cheapest and can be found almost everywhere, from supermarkets, online or even at the venues. Although they might not be perfect, they’re a step above not wearing any protection.


  • Widely available and inexpensive.
  • Easy to use, simply requiring you to roll them between your fingers, insert them into your ear canal, and wait for them to expand to fit.


  • May not fit everyone equally well,
  • Can be less durable than other types.
  • They also tend to muffle sound rather than reduce volume evenly across frequencies.

Loop Earplugs


  • Designed to reduce volume evenly across frequencies
  • Reusable and easy to clean.


  • More expensive
  • Not always a good fit for every type of ear canal

Custom-Made Earplugs

I am currently using custom-made earplugs by the UK company Ultimate Ear. They ask you first to take an ear impression, which will create a mold of your ear canal so that they can build a customized earplug that will fit perfectly your ear. Many custom-made earplugs offer different levels of attenuation, so you can choose the one that suits best your needs. I’m currently using the 15db one.


  • Designed to fit your ears perfectly
  • Very comfortable
  • Excellent sound quality


  • Cost: mine were about £100 plus the ear impression cost.

In conclusion, protecting your ears is crucial when you’re frequently exposed to loud music, whether you’re a concert-goer or a concert photographer. The right earplugs can help you do that while also enhancing your concert experience.