The Best Earplugs for Concerts

The Best Earplugs for Concerts

Our pick

Loop Earplugs

Loop Earplugs

Good fit and comfort

Although no universal earplug will reduce different sounds as evenly as a custom design, the Loop pair offers solid noise protection and is the most enjoyable to wear.

Buying Options

$30 from Amazon
$30 from Loop

Compared with cheap foam earplugs, which are designed to block all sounds, a good pair of universal-fit (aka musician-style) earplugs like the Loop Earplugs will provide a light-years-better listening experience, allowing you to hear music and voices at a safer level. We tested nine pairs of universal-fit earplugs (and considered 23 more), and the Loop set was the only pair that every one of our testers said they would be happy to use regularly. These earplugs are comfortable to wear for an extended time and come with enough tips (six pairs) to fit nearly every ear shape. Although some other competitors offered higher levels of noise protection, they either fit uncomfortably or sounded too muffled—so no one on our panel wanted to wear them. The Loop earplugs provide solid protection, will stay in place through dance moves and workouts, and have a discreet design that doesn’t protrude from your ear. The zippered carrying pouch is tiny enough to fit in the smallest jeans pocket, but we wish it included a keychain attachment so it would be harder to lose.

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Upgrade pick

Decibullz Professional High Fidelity Earplugs

Decibullz Professional High Fidelity Earplugs

Good for hard-to-fit ears

This pair conforms to fit the toughest ear shapes, and it offers more noise protection with a slightly clearer sound than many of the universal earplugs we tested.

Buying Options

$100 from Decibullz

If most universal earplugs don’t fit you correctly but you don’t want to spend several hundred dollars on custom earplugs, the Decibullz Professional High Fidelity Earplugs find a good middle ground in fit, performance, and price. The Decibullz earplugs combine a moldable outer portion with universal inner tips in an array of sizes. They take more work to set up (you have to boil them and mold them to your ears, just as you would mold a mouthguard to your teeth), but they offer more noise protection and a slightly clearer sound than other universal-fit options do, so this was one of the only pairs that we found to be passable for musicians to wear while performing. Although these are not as good as custom-made earplugs, they cost $100 to $200 less and don’t require an appointment with an audiologist.

Also great

Muted Earmuffs

Muted Earmuffs

Over-ear protection for kids

Kids will love these earmuffs’ soft padding and fun designs, while adults will love the safer listening levels and lifetime build warranty.

Buying Options

$25 from Amazon

The over-ear Muted Earmuffs are a great choice for children ages 18 months to roughly 12 years (depending on their head size). These were the most comfortable of all the kids earmuffs we tested, with the softest memory foam and solid (but not pinching) clamping force. The headband offers a good amount of adjustment, so these earmuffs should fit a wide variety of ages. The kids in our test found the designs to be cute and fun yet not too babyish. All of the earmuffs we tested met safety standards, so you could choose any of the competitors listed below based on your budget and your kid’s taste, but we found the Muted Earmuffs to be the most pleasant all around. Plus, they have a 30-day no-questions-asked return policy, as well as a lifetime build warranty.

Also great

Ems for Kids Baby Earmuffs

Ems for Kids Baby Earmuffs

Best earmuffs for infants

The soft, elastic headband and smaller earcups are gentle on tiny noggins and unobtrusive enough to allow babies to fall asleep while wearing them.

Buying Options

$33* from Ems for Kids
$30 from Amazon

*At the time of publishing, the price was $30.

What sets the Ems for Kids Baby Earmuffs apart is this pair’s smaller earcups and its soft, stretchy Velcro strap in place of a headband. Although these earmuffs won’t grow with a child past 18 months or so, they’re ideal for newborns who have softer skulls and for babies who are less tolerant of hard-headband designs. The straps are hand washable and replaceable, and the entire earmuff set is covered by a one-year warranty. These earmuffs are comfy enough that little ones can sleep in them, which is perfect for families who want to stay up for fireworks, festivals, or the big game.

Everything we recommend

Our pick

Loop Earplugs

Loop Earplugs

Good fit and comfort

Although no universal earplug will reduce different sounds as evenly as a custom design, the Loop pair offers solid noise protection and is the most enjoyable to wear.

Buying Options

$30 from Amazon
$30 from Loop

Upgrade pick

Decibullz Professional High Fidelity Earplugs

Decibullz Professional High Fidelity Earplugs

Good for hard-to-fit ears

This pair conforms to fit the toughest ear shapes, and it offers more noise protection with a slightly clearer sound than many of the universal earplugs we tested.

Buying Options

$100 from Decibullz

Also great

Muted Earmuffs

Muted Earmuffs

Over-ear protection for kids

Kids will love these earmuffs’ soft padding and fun designs, while adults will love the safer listening levels and lifetime build warranty.

Buying Options

$25 from Amazon

Also great

Ems for Kids Baby Earmuffs

Ems for Kids Baby Earmuffs

Best earmuffs for infants

The soft, elastic headband and smaller earcups are gentle on tiny noggins and unobtrusive enough to allow babies to fall asleep while wearing them.

Buying Options

$33* from Ems for Kids
$30 from Amazon

*At the time of publishing, the price was $30.

Source: NY Times – Wirecutter

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