As anyone who likes rock shows will tell you, concerts are too loud. You’ll seriously hurt your hearing if you go to very many of them (especially if they’re long, causing prolonged stress on the ears). So, the rock fans all wear earplugs at shows. Until recently, I was using the standard foam earplugs. While these keep enough sound out, they don’t do it uniformly. I had often noticed how the music and speaking is quite muffled by the foam plugs. They tend to dampen the higher frequencies more than the lower ones, so the vocals and guitars get dominated by the bass.
A few weeks ago I ordered a pair of fancy-schmancy earplugs from a company down near Chicago. Unfortunately, they came one day late for me to use them at the Bloc Party show, so the Jucifer and Dysrhythmia show on Thursday night was the first time I could really test them out. The difference between the foam earplugs and these earplugs was like night and day. The music sounded completely clear across its entire range. Whether it was the high pitched guitar solos of Dysrhythmia’s math-prog-metal, or the falsetto singing of Jucifer’s drummer, the music sounded balanced and distinct. All this for $18, including shipping and handling. At ten bucks a show, it’s a small investment to be able to really hear the music I’m paying to hear.