It seems to be incredibly difficult to find out all the different attenuation levels that different ear plugs provide. By scouring Amazon Q&A, product pages and images I have managed to start building a list.
There are two ways that manufacturers rate their plugs, either by individual frequencies, or by a more general H/M/L rating, which also normally includes an SNR number (Single Number Rating) and NRR (Noise Reduction Rating).
There also seem to be US and EU standards, and three different levels for each frequency – I have just listed the mean attenuation here to try and keep things simple and allow a like for like comparison.
If you are looking for the “strongest” plugs that will give you the most protection, then it’s looking like the LiveMus!c HearSafe plugs with the white filter might be the one for you. I am currently using Alpine MusicSafe but might give the HearSafe plugs a go as my tinnitus is getting to the level now that I am continually conscious of the noise. I go to a lot of raves and want to keep going as long as I can without damaging my hearing any further.
Custom fit earplugs are a different matter altogether and outside the price range of the plugs listed below, I am aiming at the sub-£30 market here. Custom plugs will offer much better protection but obviously require a custom fitting and have a price to match. Some might say they are worth the price if you value your hearing and that’s certainly an option I might take in the future. But for now I just want to try out something a bit “stronger” than my Alpines. I am going to Trance Sanctuary on 9th March so maybe I’ll get a chance to try them there!
|Alpine MusicSafe Classic (gold filter)||–||18.8||15.6||16.0||18.5||27.7||23.9||22.0|
|LiveMus!c HearSafe (white filter)||–||25.8||26.2||26.9||28.8||34.0||35.3||39.0|
|EarPeace HD (red filter)||–||18.6||19||20.8||20.2||26||22.2||29.6|
|EarPeace HD (black filter)||–||20.1||23.3||25.6||28.7||31.1||28.5||34.1|
|Alpine MusicSafe Classic (gold filter)||18||16||20||15||13|
|LiveMus!c HearSafe (white filter)||–||29||–||–||–|
|EarPeace HD (red filter)||20||14||21||18||16|
|EarPeace HD (black filter)||26||19||27||24||19|