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This article was originally published in issue #61
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Vibes High-Fidelity Earplugs offer all the benefits of filter-filter-based designs, but their round rubberised tips are significantly more comfortable than typical universal fit designs.
Great sound quality
The case can be a little fiddly
Product Dimensions: 2.2 x 1.2 x 1.2 cm
With custom earplugs potentially in the region of hundreds of pounds, the price of ear protection for gigging musicians can be a little too steep for many. However, with a growing rate of hearing issues occurring in young musicians and live music fans alike, Vibes High-Fidelity Earplugs may very well be the affordable answer that so many have been hoping for. Nick Jennison tells us more.
Let's get one thing straight right away. If you’re a musician and you don’t protect your ears, what on earth are you thinking? Our ears are our single most valuable asset, and we only get one set. Once they’re damaged there’s nothing that can be done to repair them. Seriously: wear protection.
The most common excuse I come across for not wearing ear protection is that “it just doesn’t sound the same”. If you’ve ever used a pair of your typical yellow foam earplugs, you’ll know exactly what I mean. All the top end detail vanishes, and it sounds like being underwater.
Custom moulded earplugs with specialist filters are a lot better, but they’re expensive to buy and require you to have moulds taken of your ears. Alternatively, there are a number of significantly cheaper “off the shelf” designs that make use of the kind of filters found in custom mould designs, and while the sound quality these plugs offer can be very good indeed. The trade-off is comfort, as the majority of these universal fit earplugs use a “Christmas tree” design that can be irritating and uncomfortable during extended use.
Vibes High-Fidelity Earplugs offer all the benefits of filter-filter-based designs, but their round rubberised tips are significantly more comfortable than typical universal fit designs. I was perfectly happy wearing them to sleep during long drives on a recent run with the band (don’t worry, I wasn’t driving), and the variety of sizes meant I could find the perfect fit right out of the box, despite having two different sized ear canals - one large and one medium did the trick.
In terms of sound, Vibes ear protection are as good as anything I’ve tried, including some custom designs. Vocals remain clear and intelligible, while it’s easy to hear the detail on cymbals, snares and guitars alike.
I’m very impressed with Vibes High-Fidelity Earplugs. If you’re not currently using quality ear-plugs, or you’re dissatisfied with the fit or sound quality of your current pair, they could be exactly what you’re looking for.