If you're a die-hard concert attendee — the kind of guy or gal who likes to stand right up next to the speakers and groove your little heart out from support band to encore — you should probably invest in a good pair of earplugs. My suggestion? EarPeace's nifty reusable pair.
Confession time: I have always been extremely reluctant to wear earplugs. My oh-so-scientific reasoning? They're dorky. Well, after one week of rocking EarPeace's set of plugs during New York's CMJ music festival, I changed my tune. Why? Well, because of two factors: enhanced sound quality and decreased hearing damage.
To best test this pair of plugs, I hit up one of my favorite bands, French Horn Rebellion, who was playing at a small venue last week. I've seen the band before — sans earplugs — so it was pretty easy to compare and contrast experiences. During FHR shows, I'm likely to stand right up against the speakers.
With the plugs in, the sound was much more focused, less encumbered by reverb. The show was particularly bass-heavy this time around, but instead of feeling the bassline humming in my head, degrading the jams, I now merely felt it in my chest and toes.
Added bonus: You know that old trick? The one where, when in a loud environment, you half-plug your lobes in order to hear your friends as they shout a question into your ear? Well, EarPeace functions in pretty much the same way. It was much easier to hear my friends talking to me while in the venue, which makes for a lot less shouting.
As for aesthetics: EarPeace come in a variety of fleshtones, so it was not apparent that I was wearing them. Translation: If I looked dorky at all that night, I have myself to blame for wearing jorts. However, EarPeace comes with a little carrying case that you can attach to your keys, which — while handy — is not the coolest addition to the chain. It's kind of like rocking a cellphone holster: functional, yet not wholly attractive.
When I say I like to stand close to the band, I mean close to the band. I'm including the above photo to demonstrate just how near I was to Rob Perlick-Molinari, one half of FHR, during the show. (For inquiring minds, the photo was taken with FxCamera for Android in Polaroid mode.) Needless to say, after seeing these guys play, my ears are usually ringing.
This time around, though, my ears were completely tinnitus-free after the show — thanks to the earplugs, which were pretty comfortable, as well. They're fashioned from hypo-allergenic silicone and fit snugly in the canal. So while it may not be the coolest look ever to sport, I'm pretty sure my EarPeaces are going to be the newest addition to my concert attire.
EarPeaces are functional, comfortable and really enhance your concert-going experience. If you go to as many shows a week as I do — and want to be able to hear the sweet, sweet voices of your grandkids in years to come — I recommend picking up a pair. You can order them through the company's website for $14.95 in a variety of skin-toned colors.
Ready to test out some earplugs yourself? We have four sets of EarPeace plugs and two pairs of tickets for French Horn Rebellion's next concert on November 6 at Glasslands Gallery in Brooklyn, New York. If you're not familiar with the band, check out the video above to hear one of their best jams.
We'll choose two winners. Each will receive one pair of tickets and two sets of earplugs. Please use your real identity in the comments and on Facebook so that we may contact you to let you know that you've won. The contest ends October 27, 12 p.m. ET.
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