The best earplugs for concerts in 2024

Protect your hearing now, so you can keep enjoying music forever.

Best Overall

Eargasm High Fidelity Earplugs are the best overall earplugs for concerts.

Eargasm High Fidelity Earplugs

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Best Aesthetics

Loop Experience Pro are the best aesthetic earplugs for concerts.

Loop Experience Pro

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Best for Musicians

Minuendo are the best earplugs for concerts for musicians.


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Earplugs for concerts are the MVPs of personal accessories. They’re easy to use, comfortable, and, most importantly, protect your hearing while letting you enjoy shows in full, heart-pounding fidelity. If you spend time at concerts, work or play in noisy settings, or just want to block out the outside world and get a little peace and quiet, hearing protection is essential. When it comes to enjoying music at full volume, we’re biased by what audiologists call the “annoyance factor.” Your favorite song, cranked up in your earbuds, never really feels overly loud, but the pounding jackhammer across the street is unbearably noisy—when often, they’re equally dangerous. People adapt psychologically to loud sounds they like—like music—and assume that if sound doesn’t hurt, it’s not hurting them. But, as anyone who’s woken up after a show with ringing ears knows, nothing could be farther from the truth. Fortunately, there’s a simple, affordable solution with the best earplugs for concerts.

Why you should already be wearing earplugs

Real talk: Noise-induced hearing loss is permanent. It sneaks up on you in a slow, painless progression; by the time you recognize that there’s a problem, it’s usually too late to do anything about it. Making bad decisions now can come back to haunt you decades down the line: Just ask Dave Grohl, Jucifer (the underground duo whose battle with hearing loss inspired the film The Sound of Metal), or the countless artists who have gone public about their severe hearing damage caused by spending their whole careers turning things to 11.

Noise-induced hearing damage manifests in all sorts of insidious ways, from muffled highs and frequency dropouts to tinnitus, a continual ringing or buzzing in the ears. But the great news is this kind of hearing loss is almost always preventable. All you need is basic ear protection.

How we chose the best earplugs for concerts

PopSci’s resident audiophiles and musicians are lifelong fans of hearing protection; we compared our own experiences using earplugs over the years, including many of the products here. It’s difficult to measure the actual attenuation level offered by earplugs without specialized equipment, so, for that, we relied on provided specs. But we were able to evaluate fit and comfort across a broad range of ears and in a range of scenarios, and we put features like apps through the paces wherever possible. Because hearing loss is a medical condition, we consulted audiologists who are also musicians to get their advice on navigating the unique hazards of the concert environment.

The best earplugs for concerts: Reviews & Recommendations

At the risk of sounding like your meddling aunt, nobody can protect your hearing but you. However, you can start your journey to safer, more enjoyable live performance experiences now with our guide to the best concert earplugs.

Best overall: Eargasm High Fidelity Earplugs

Best overall

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Why it made the cut: These affordable silicone earplugs feel great in your ears and offer balanced attenuation, for a more natural sound profile usually only available in expensive models.


  • Attenuation: 21 dB
  • Material: Silicone
  • Customizable fit: Yes
  • Storage case: Waterproof aluminum


  • Balanced sonic attenuation
  • Durable build quality
  • Two shell options for fine-tuning fit


  • Blue shell visibly protrudes from ear canal

Many earplugs, including standard-issue disposable foam models, do an excellent job attenuating noise but end up blocking a lot more highs than lows, leading to that dull, muffled sound that makes you want to yank them out of your ears. Perennial crowd favorite Eargasm High Fidelity Earplugs incorporate filters that even out attenuation—it’s like turning down the overall volume knob, not just the treble. Eargasm’s three-tiered, flanged, conical design makes it easy to ensure a seal in your ear canal, which is critical for effective protection. And, the package includes two shells, letting you fine-tune the perfect fit. The included waterproof aluminum case attaches to a keyring for portability. Also available in a Smaller Ears model.

For a lower-priced option, consider Mack’s Hear Plugs flanged silicone earplugs, which preserve clear, natural sound across the frequency spectrum, using an open-air membrane filter system.

Best aesthetic: Loop Experience Pro

Best aesthetic

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Why it made the cut: These wildly popular models offer adjustable attenuation—and are so cool looking that you can talk your teenager into wearing them.


  • Attenuation: 18 or 23 dB
  • Material: Silicone and foam
  • Customizable fit: Yes
  • Storage case: Hard hinged plastic


  • Removable filters increase attenuation level
  • Seven tip options for a perfect fit
  • Jewelry-inspired style


  • Case doesn’t include a keychain attachment

Not many earplugs double as fashion accessories. Loop Experience Pro breaks the mold, so to speak, providing robust, high-fidelity hearing protection in sleek, jewelry-inspired enclosures that look way more stylish than sticking orange wads of foam in your ears. Obviously, looks have nothing to do with hearing protection, but we’re fans of anything that ups concert earplugs’ cool factor if it inspires you (or your kids) to wear them.  

Loop Experience Pro earplugs attenuate sound somewhat evenly across the frequency spectrum; two swappable Loop Mute silicon filters let you tailor attenuation (-18 dB or -23 dB) to your surroundings and preferences, and resonant acoustic chambers inside their eponymous “loops” help optimize sound quality.

The Loop Experience Pro package includes four silicone ear tips, three foam ear tips, two sets of Loop Mute filters, and a plastic carry case. Models are available in a variety of colors and metallic finishes (such as silver, shown above) and can be washed with soap and water. A Quiet version, without adjustable filters and set at -27 dB (shown in red above), is just $20. Even more recently, Loop released a multi-mode Switch model, which combines Quiet, Experience, and Engage settings into one $65 set of earplugs. If flash isn’t your thing and you just need to shave off a dozen decibels, check out fully transparent Eardial earplugs, which virtually disappear inside your ears.

Best for musicians: Minuendo

Best for musicians

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Why it made the cut: Dial in the perfect sound attenuation level—and the perfect fit—with these highly customizable passive earplugs.


  • Attenuation: 7–25 dB
  • Material: Silicone
  • Customizable fit: Yes
  • Storage case: Hard plastic


  • Stepless adjustable sound attenuation
  • Flat attenuation for clear, natural sound
  • Eleven tip sets cover just about any ear size


  • Stepless level control is easy to set incorrectly

Designed and manufactured in Norway, Minuendo silicone earplugs are touted as the first passive (non-electronic) earplugs that offer “stepless” sound attenuation. (As someone who can’t live without her active adjustable earplugs, the “battery drain” struggle is real.)

Unlike many earplugs in this class that include switches or removable filters that increase or decrease volume attenuation in specific increments, Minuendo earplugs offer seamless, nuanced adjustment that slides the membrane from “open” (-7 dB) to “closed” ( -25 dB) and anywhere in between. This makes them good in multiple scenarios (the reason why they’re our best overall earplugs for work.)

Minuendo’s low-profile black design features an innovative magnetic locking feature that lets you clasp the earplugs logo-to-logo while leashed around your neck so that you can worry less about losing them. Eleven sets of tips—including foam, silicone, and flange designs—fit just about any ear out there. Wipe clean with water or alcohol.

Like the form factor but don’t need the more conversational or quieted ends of the spectrum? Save $50 and pick up the single setting, 17 dB attenuating Minuendo LIVE with its distinctive copper faceplates. Looking for an even more affordable solution? Check out Earos One High Fidelity Acoustic Filters ($40); developed by audiologists and engineers from MIT’s Acoustics Lab, these flat-response earplugs are modeled after the sound curve of your ear to provide optimal sonic clarity and hearing protection.

Best invisible: Vibes High-Fidelity Earplugs

Best invisible

Vibes High-Fidelity Earplugs

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Why it made the cut: These earplugs are made with a clear tube that makes them nearly invisible, and they filter out up to 22 decibels of sound.


  • Attenuation: 22 dB
  • Material: Silicone
  • Customizable fit: Yes
  • Storage case: Hard plastic


  • Low profile
  • Come in three sizes
  • Don’t compromise sound quality


  • Some users say they can get stuck in ears
  • Noise reduction may compromise audio quality

If you want to protect your hearing but prefer to keep that fact incognito, Vibes High-Fidelity Earplugs are a good choice. Made of silicone, their clear outer sound tubes are discreet. The eartips come in three sizes—small, medium, and large—so you can get the best fit.  

These high-fidelity earbuds filter out up to 22 decibels of sound, but instead of blocking out noise, Vibes’ earplugs use attenuating filters to lower the volume of the surrounding environment as opposed to noise cancellation, so sound quality is preserved, and you can still hear what’s going on around you. These earplugs also come with a hard plastic travel case for protection and are washable.

Best swappable filters: Sennheiser SoundProtex Plus Earplugs

Best quality

Sennheiser SoundProtex Plus Earplugs

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Why it made the cut: These Sennheiser swappable-filters earplugs use a two-stage system to maintain clarity and fidelity during shows.


  • Attenuation: 10 dB (weak filter), 17 dB (medium), 20 dB (strong)
  • Material: Medical-grade TPE
  • Customizable fit: Yes
  • Storage case: Soft pouch


  • Tab makes them easy to remove
  • Comes with four filters with different strengths
  • Includes three eartip sizes
  • Very comfortable even for long periods


  • Pricey for earplugs
  • Anything over the medium filter makes conversations tricky

Most earplugs give you a single level of protection, which may mean that you leave them behind when going to certain shows or events. The Sennheiser SoundProtex Plus earplugs are unique in their versatility. This set comes with four different filters (three acoustic and one full-block) with different decibel reduction ratings, making them suitable for just about any situation. The two-stage filter design reduces both high and low frequencies but maintains clarity so you can still enjoy the music fully (tested and confirmed in the crowd at an Amon Amarth-Ghost concert, shown above).

The weak filter offers 10 dB of attenuation, perfect for intimate performances or noisy public places. Medium is ideal for festivals or general travel. Finally, the strong filter is made for loud concerts or heavy machinery. Or, if you want total quiet, opt for the full-block filter, which even keeps water out during swims. You’ll also get three eartip adapters to get the most comfortable fit.

The SoundProtex Pro earplugs are high-quality and made of medical-grade TPE, an ideal material for sensitive skin. It also makes them infinitely reusable, as you can simply wash them and toss them in the included pouch to keep them clean. The tab at the end makes it easy to remove them, so you don’t have to worry about the triple-flange design—which, admittedly, can feel somewhat invasive the first time you try it—getting stuck in your ears.

Best electronic: Elgin Rukus Discord

Best electronic

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Why it made the cut: These multitasking wonders let you listen to music, take calls, and command your smart assistant—all while protecting your ears.


  • Attenuation: 25 dB
  • Material: Industrial-grade polymer
  • Customizable fit: Yes
  • Storage case: Yes, plus collar clips


  • Multipurpose active earplugs let you listen to music and make calls
  • Bluetooth 5.3 functionality


  • Not everyone likes a neckband, or a deep-insertion earbud
  • You might be paying for features you don’t need

Elgin Ruckus Discord Bluetooth Earbuds are ideal for anyone looking for sound attenuation in a rigorous environment while also desiring Bluetooth 5.3 functionality. These active earplugs combine Elgin’s rugged design with classic wireless earphone technology for immersive audio with 25 dB reduction in external sound. But that’s just the beginning.

When the music isn’t playing around you, you can pair these earplugs with your phone and listen to your favorite bands privately, just like the best consumer earbuds. A built-in noise-isolating mic lets you make clear, uninterrupted phone calls. Ruckus Discord is compatible with Siri and Google Assistant, allowing you to control playback and volume with your voice. Battery life is impressive, with 14 hours of continuous audio playback on a single charge. Weatherproof enclosures have an IP65 rating, which means they are resistant to sweat, dust, and dirt damage. These earplugs are constructed with industrial-grade, impact-resistant polymer with Kevlar-reinforced cables and come with isolating, medical-grade, triple-flange silicone tips. Once you leave the concert, they’re equally great for a job site, yardwork, or home improvement project. And the neckband form factor means you’re highly unlikely to lose an earplug if/when you need to take one out.

If you’re looking for rugged earplugs that also raise the level of sounds around you during quieter moments (in noisy work environments, or while hunting, for example), Caldwell E-Max Shadows Pro plugs provide even greater noise suppression while amplifying ambient sounds.

Best budget: Etymotic ER20XS

Best budget

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Why it made the cut: From trusted audiology experts, these simple silicone models offer balanced sound attenuation at an entry-level price.


  • Attenuation: 20 dB
  • Material: Silicone
  • Customizable fit: No
  • Storage case: Plastic


  • Reduce sound evenly across spectrum
  • Backed by decades of audiology research
  • Low-profile, stemless design


  • No extra eartips

With deep roots in acoustic and hearing aid research and more than 100 patents, Etymotic has been innovating earphones and earplugs for 40 years. I haven’t left the house without the company’s pro electronic earplugs in a decade—but if $300 sounds like a crazy amount of money to spend on hearing protection, Etymotic’s $20 ER20XS High-Fidelity Earplugs might be for you.

These flanged silicone earplugs reduce sound evenly across the hearing spectrum, which makes them great for enjoying concerts in balanced, natural sound. The ER20XS’ low-profile, stemless design fits snugly in the outer ear without protruding, for a discreet look and comfort under headgear. These silicone earplugs are reusable but may lose elasticity with repeated use, so Etymotic recommends replacing the eartips every three to six months. Standard and Large package options include a neck cord and carrying case that easily attaches to a keychain; a Universal Fit version ($25) includes extra foam and silicone tips.

Things to consider before buying the best earplugs for concerts

The best earplugs for concerts allow you to comfortably listen to music without compromising your hearing—or your experience. Then, it’s about matching features to your lifestyle.

What will you be using earplugs for?

There’s a difference between blocking sound you don’t want to hear and attenuating sound you do want to hear. If you’re in a factory or at a gun range and want to block out a continuous industrial din or potentially hazardous sudden noises, simple foam earplugs or earmuff protectors offer the most robust protection. For sleeping, it’s all about extended comfort. Simple, soft foam or silicone earplugs are ideal, and purpose-designed sleep models, like Loop Quiet, are so comfy you might even forget you’re wearing them. But if you want to safely enjoy music without feeling like there’s cement in your ears, your best option is to invest in a pair of high-quality, flat-response earplugs, which lower sound evenly across the frequency spectrum for a natural, high-fidelity sonic signature.

Types of earplugs

Earplugs run the gamut from cheap, no-frills off-the-shelf earbuds to balanced-response earplugs to electronic systems with adjustable attenuation to professional custom-fit models, which require a visit to an audiologist. Here, we’re focusing on universal, off-the-shelf models.

Expandable foam earplugs are made of pliant material designed to conform to the shape of the ear canal. They’re inserted by first rolling them into compressed cylinders, then placing in the ear canal, where they expand to form a seal. Foam earplugs are the cheapest option and, because they cannot be washed, are considered disposable.

Pre-molded earplugs, constructed from silicone, rubber, or plastic, retain their size and shape when inserted into the ear canal. Because they don’t expand, they’re available in various sizes and often include a range of custom tips to ensure a perfect fit. Pre-molded earplugs can be cleaned and reused.

Earmuffs completely cover the outer ear and are often available with electronic components that suppress sudden noises or let users communicate. If you hate sticking things inside your ear canal and you don’t mind a somewhat bulky profile, earmuff protection might be for you.

Earplug tech innovations

When it comes to off-the-shelf, universal earplugs, technology advancements lean toward expanded feature sets, including noise cancellation, Bluetooth functionality, and companion apps. Some earplugs, such as Loop Experience Pro, feature acoustic innovations, such as resonant chambers, that promise to improve sound quality. Earmuff manufacturers are developing high-tech materials that reduce weight and bulk yet still effectively block noise. These improvements add up to improved sound and a better experience, which is great incentive to wear your earplugs more. And, aesthetic improvements (see: Loop Experience Pro’s jewelry-inspired look) mean your kids might wear them longer, too.

Just like cameras, the best earplugs are the ones you actually have on you when you need them. So, no matter which models you prefer, it can’t hurt to pick up a huge vat of inexpensive, disposables such as Mack’s Ultra Soft Foam Earplugs, which are effective and ridiculously cheap at $8.99 for a tub of 50. (Left yours at home? Some cities, such as San Francisco and Minneapolis, require large venues to make free earplugs available to concertgoers.)

Protecting your ears is all about exposure

Sound-induced hearing damage happens as a result of sudden acoustic trauma (like an explosion) or through chronic exposure to high sound levels. The general rule is the louder the sounds and the longer the length of exposure, the greater the risk of hearing loss. For example, eight hours of exposure to sound levels of 85 decibels (equivalent to heavy street noise) is considered safe according to decibel exposure time guidelines, but at 100 dB—the level of a typical rock concert—safe exposure is limited to 15 minutes. (Free sound-metering apps such as Decibel X can measure surrounding noise and help keep your exposure in check.)


Q: Are there any earplugs that block all noise?   

Unfortunately, there aren’t any earplugs that block all noise. Sound waves are vibrations and some vibrations—particularly low-frequency sounds—reach the inner ear through bone conduction. Sounds can travel through skull bones, your mouth, even upward through your body from your hands and feet. Blocking your ears with earplugs will attenuate a large proportion of sound; many foam earplugs block out as much as 33 decibels, which should be enough protection to emerge from even the loudest concert unscathed.

Q: Are silicone earplugs better than foam?

Silicone earplugs are better than foam for some things, but not everything. Foam earplugs are the most popular earplugs: They’re economical and generally offer the most robust sound attenuation, but they need to be inserted correctly, deep within the ear canal. Foam earplugs are also prone to collecting bacteria with re-use and should be considered disposable. Silicone earplugs don’t need to be inserted as far into the ear canal, which makes them easier to wear for some. Because silicone earplugs can be washed, for many, they can be a more economic (and sustainable) choice. And, they’re waterproof, which makes them ideal for swimmers.

Q: How much noise reduction do I need for a concert?  

The amount of noise reduction you need for a concert depends on the loudness of the concert and length of time you will spend there. Every concert is different, but the average sound level at a large rock concert is about 100 decibels; some indoor shows can climb to 120 dB and beyond. Protection comes down to simple math: Sounds above 85 dB can damage your hearing after eight hours, while sounds at 100 dB can cause damage after just 15 minutes. If you’re at an all-day festival, look for earplugs that attenuate sound 20–25 dB. If your exposure is shorter, you can get away with less attenuation. If you love getting down front in the action, go for more attenuation.

Q: How much should I spend on earplugs?  

How much you spend on earplugs depends on how much protection you need, if you want to reuse the earplugs, and if style is important to you. You can easily find disposable foam earplugs for roughly $0.17 a pair, though those won’t offer the same quality as the reusable option listed here. Typically speaking, you’ll likely spend anywhere between $40 and $60 for a pair of high-quality, reusable earplugs for concerts.

Q: How many times can I reuse foam earplugs?  

Foam earplugs are considered disposable and shouldn’t be worn more than a few times. That’s because they collect bacteria, which could cause an ear infection if you continue to use them. Additionally, the foam can wear out, making them less effective at cutting down noise over time.

Final thoughts on the best earplugs for concerts

As musicians and music lovers, we know there’s nothing better than being front and center at your favorite concert, getting lost in the song, feeling every note in your bones. Ultimately, though, loud is loud, and every time you expose your ears to high volume levels, you’re putting your hearing at risk. Luckily, today’s high-fidelity earplugs for concerts let you experience the full spectrum of sound while protecting your hearing: Highs are clear, lows are full, and the overall presentation is rich and detailed, just like without earplugs. All while preserving your precious hearing. Save your ears now; your future self will thank you.

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