When I got my first drum set, my mother bought me those massive shooting-range-style earmuffs to protect my ears from the insane bashing I would do. “Wear your earmuffs!” she would say. “You don’t want to lose your hearing by the time you’re 40.” Though I didn’t want to listen to my mother, she had a point.
Downbeats Earplugs are some of the better earplugs I’ve tried, and as a musician, I’ve tried them all. I’ve tried Hearos, the standard foam earplugs, and even rolled up toilet paper when things got desperate. Downbeats have the same cone style plug as Hearos, but only have two cones, allowing a bit more clarity than their counterpart. That being said, Downbeats has the same issue with cutting out certain lower and higher frequencies as many similar products. I could hear this while in band practice, playing shows, and attending shows as well.
A nice benefit of Downbeats is their usability. They come in a small keychain canister that is available in different colors. I keep them on my keys so I have them whenever I need them. One complaint I had about Hearos is that the ends of their earplugs stick out of your ears, so it looks like you are a robot. Downbeats fit right in your ear comfortably and don’t stick out, so you can watch a show without looking like a jackass. The only downfall of their smaller size is that I found myself having to really reach into my ear to get them out.
With all this in mind, I would recommend these over Hearos. They have a cooler and more subtle style, they sound better, and they are only $10, which is about $5 cheaper than Hearos.
It’s really important to take care of your hearing. It’s kind of an important element of how we communicate and allows us to do awesome things like listen to music. Even if you’re not a musician, when you are at a show, wearing earplugs is beneficial. You know that awful ringing sound you hear after seeing your favorite band live? That’s the sound of you losing your hearing one show at a time. Take care of your ears so you can still snob out on indie bands when you are 60.
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Disclosure: Gerry was given a pair of Downbeats Earplugs to review.