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Why Earplugs Are the Best Hearing Protection for Concerts

Did you know that wearing earplugs can help you protect your hearing at a concert?

Two questions that might arise in such situations is how loud of a sound will damage hearing and at what noise level should you wear hearing protection?

If you don’t like having to turn down the volume because of the noise level, then you should consider wearing hearing protection during concerts and other loud environments.

Keep reading to learn more about the best ways to protect your ears.

How to Protect Your Hearing at a Concert

If you have ever felt like you can’t hear anything after attending a concert or that you don’t hear someone talking to you from another room after sitting in a noisy environment for a while, you most likely experienced noise-induced hearing loss.

Two questions that might arise in such situations is how loud of a sound will damage hearing and at what noise level should you wear hearing protection?

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For sources of noise and their impact on your hearing, there are normal sounds, with an average sound level of about 60 dB, such as a conversation, that doesn’t cause hearing loss, while noise with an average sound level of over 70 dB, such as washing machines, dishwashers or city traffic, can damage your hearing after prolonged exposure.

There is also the case of noise levels above 120 dB, that can immediately harm your hearing, causing irreversible damage. This would be the equivalent of a dog barking near your ear.

Can You Go Deaf from Concerts?

First, you need to ask yourself what is the average noise volume at a concert?

The recommended maximum volume level for personal listening devices and loud entertainment venues, such as nightclubs and concerts, is between 105-110 dB, so it is close to a noise level that can cause permanent hearing loss, and people never follow the recommendations, so you are exposing your ears to dangerous levels when frequenting these types of venues.

Should You Wear Ear Protection at a Concert?

In reality, sports crowds and rock concerts can reach a dangerous noise level of 120-129 dB! Therefore it is recommended to wear ear protection at a concert. In day-to-day life, people should try to wear a hearing protector if the sound level goes above 85 dB.

How can You Protect Your Hearing at a Concert?

In order to protect your hearing at a concert, make sure you attend events that take place outdoors rather than indoors and make sure you keep a safe distance from the speakers. Besides taking frequent breaks from the noise during the event, concert ear protection usually includes using headphones, earplugs, or earmuffs.

Alcohol consumption can increase blood flow to your inner ear, thus raising blood pressure and exposing you to potential tinnitus bouts. Limiting alcohol use can protect your hearing during a concert.

Why You Need Earplugs at Concerts

If you end up being closer to the stage at a concert, your ears will be dangerously close to the loudspeakers, and the noise volume can really damage your ears, so earplugs are your best bet in this case. You will probably need some sort of hearing protection for concerts even if you sit towards the back of the venue since live concerts can reach a whooping noise level of 100 dB even if you don’t sit next to the stage.

Learn from musicians for protecting your hearing. Since their career depends on having a healthy hearing, they know a thing or two about ear protection during concerts. Musician’s earplugs are designed in a way that lets them hear all the music, but they lower the overall sound level.

Therefore, instead of disposable foam earplugs that can be found in almost any drugstore or hypermarket, try to buy earplugs that are specifically designed for music. They are on the pricier side, but they come with the benefit of turning down the volume of the environmental noise instead of just blocking out all the loud noise. This way, you can enjoy the music without the risk of developing tinnitus or losing your hearing altogether. 

What Is the Best Ear Protection for Concerts?

Foam earplugs tend to be unreliable and uncomfortable because they are not fitted, so dedicated hearing protectors are the best purchase for those who enjoy live music, but choosing the best one goes way beyond picking an over-ear or an in-ear hearing protection device.

Buying the best hearing protection for concerts starts with evaluating the Noise Reduction Rating (NRR). This can confuse, as wearing a 33 dB-rated ear protection device at a 100 dB concert does not automatically turn down the noise level to 67 dB. There is a formula that shows how much noise protection you get from a certain device. First, you deduct 7 from the NRR rating and then you divide the result by two.

The resulting number is the amount of noise protection that you will get when wearing the product. This means that wearing ear protection with a 33 dB NRR at a concert with a noise level of 100 dB will reduce the noise to a more acceptable level – 87 dB.

Look for more expensive earplugs that offer some kind of filtering if you want to actually enjoy the concert. As opposed to cheaper models, some of these pricier earplugs are equipped with interchangeable filters and quality materials allow some frequencies to pass through, and they allow you to listen to the music without stressing your eardrum.

Aim for a hearing protection device with the highest noise reduction rating available, which is around 33 dB with many earplug models available on the market.

Children’s Hearing Protection for Concerts

If you insist on bringing your kid along at a loud concert, protecting their hearing is the sensible decision. They will thank you later! It is easier to choose a good hearing protection device for concerts for adults, but it's tricky to find the right ear protection for kids.

Babies, toddlers, and small children have different needs for hearing protection at a concert. Mouldable plugs for kids can even be used by adults that have small ear canals and have a hard time finding earplugs that fit. Small children that protest loudly if you try to shove something in their ear might enjoy hearing protection earmuffs with a small lightweight design. 

Concerts and Earplugs

If you've ever been to a concert, then you know how hard it can be to hear what's going on. Sure, the music might be good enough for your ears, but the noise from people talking and screaming around you might make it hard.

That's why hearing protection is necessary in some cases. Many types of earplugs are available today, so which ones should you get? The answer is not that simple because sometimes different types of noise will require different types of protectors. Let's take a look at them...

Noise In Your Ears = Noise In Your Brain

If you're at a concert, you're probably subject to higher decibel levels than what's considered "normal". This can lead to damage to your ears, and potentially damage to your brain too. So that's a big negative. Another negative is the headaches and other physical problems that can accompany noise too loud for your ears.

Your Ears Are Probably Too Sensitive To Noise

So if you're habitually exposed to loud noises without hearing protection, it's possible that you've had some level of hearing loss in the past because of it. This is why it's important to make sure you always have the maximum level of protection possible.

No Ears = No Sound!

So if you want to be able to hear your favorite music for as long as possible, it's important that your hearing is protected at all times. This means earplugs should be frequently used with any kind of music or loud machinery. Even if it seems fine, the damage can be done without you knowing it. So make sure that you protect your ears from loud noises so that you don't suffer from hearing loss later on in life (or sooner).


You Should Use Hearing Protection With Any Kind Of Noise!

If you enjoy music, especially loud pop music, then it's important to remember that your ears are very vulnerable to damage. It's not just concerts that require protection either. The noise levels of an air show or a concert held outside can be as high as those inside venues, and you could still end up with serious hearing problems if you don't protect yourself.

Earplugs And Ear Muffs Are Different

So what do earplugs and earmuffs have in common? Both are used to help block out sound so that you can hear what's going on around the person wearing them. But that's where the similarities end. The main difference between earmuffs and earplugs is that earplugs will usually block out more sound than earmuffs. You can also use them for different kinds of noise, as well as for different types of hearing protection.

Earplugs Are For Example Worn At A Concert...

Chances are, you have already been to a concert or two in the past. If this is the case, then you might have noticed that your ears hurt afterwards. Most people are familiar with the feeling of ringing in their ears because they've been to a concert where the music is too loud. But that's not the only way earplugs can be used. They're often used at night when sleeping because it helps to block out noise that would otherwise disturb you or cause hearing loss, which could happen if you don't protect your ears when sleeping.


You don't need to be a concert-goer to need hearing protection. If you work in an environment with lots of noise, then earplugs could save your ears from potential damage. It's important to take your health seriously and protect yourself when it comes to your ears!

However, there are a number of individuals, especially musicians in rock and roll, who believe that ear plugs are not only unnecessary but that they actually make it harder to hear. There are a number of points made in support of this view including the fact that they can make it impossible to hear other instruments and they tend to reduce the volume slightly making it seem louder when in fact it's not.

A common rebuttal to this is that many musicians who suffer from tinnitus use ear plugs and find them extremely helpful. Most people use large foam plugs because they block out more noise but also have a longer lifespan often up to 6 hours before needing replacement.

Please Note: Just because an ear defender is marked, for example, "Gunshot" - it will still cover other things, like "explosions"

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Last update on 2023-11-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Other Questions

How much does a concert damage your ears?

Getting exposed to any kind of loud noise over 85 dB for a prolonged period can be very damaging for your ears. A concert is typically over 115 dB which is quite dangerous and can cause tinnitus or permanent hearing loss. It also depends on for how long are you exposed to the loud noise.

The longer the period, the more likely you are to suffer from noise-induced hearing loss. Because of this, it is recommended to always use some kind of hearing protection which can significantly reduce the level of noise. One option is to use high-quality earplugs as they reduce the noise level in your surroundings, making it safer for you.

Should you wear earplugs to concerts?

Yes, you should! The noise level in concerts is usually over 115dB and the human ear can tolerate only 70dB so all noises over that level are not good for your ears in fact sound over 85dB can prove very damaging for your hearing especially if you are exposed to them for a long period.

However, using ear protection such as earplugs can save you from potential hearing loss, or tinnitus. Make sure you wear the earplugs properly. The right way is to gently roll the earplugs, pull your ear a little so that your ear canal is open and then insert the earplugs but do not push them too far.

Will my ears recover from a concert?

If you have attended a loud concert with no hearing protection, you may suffer hearing issues such as tinnitus or temporary hearing loss. That is because the sound level at a concert is above the tolerable level for the human ears. Tinnitus cannot be treated immediately however in most cases it goes away on its own after some time.

If hearing loss is temporary, it will also recover in a few days but permanent hearing loss can be caused if you are exposed to sound over 85db for a prolonged period and in that case, it may not be possible to reverse that hearing loss which is why it is important to always wear earplugs when attending a concert.


If you require more information, please check these references

Risks to hearing from a rock concert. , article, "www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov", retrieved on, Fri 30-October-2020

Perceptions About Hearing Protection and Noise-induced Hearing Loss of Attendees of Rock Concerts , article, "link.springer.com", retrieved on, Fri 30-October-2020

Regulations to reduce risk of hearing damage in concert venues , article, "www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov", retrieved on, Fri 30-October-2020


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Nick Le Page

Experience : Hi, I am Nick, and I have suffered with ear problems my whole life, mainly tinnitus. I have tried a lot of products to help protect my ears over this period, and several devices to block out the constant ringing

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