Live music is amazing, but we’ve all experienced the discomfort and subsequent ear ringing afterwards—it’s no fun. As a photographer, I also find myself often facing the loudest noises at shows, being up front, near the PA. My solution has been to just use those cheap foam earplugs at my local pharmacy. And while those may work, I often miss out on hearing the actual music that I’m witnessing. The dynamics are lost as the music becomes muddied and inaudible. Alternatively, you can go to an audiologist and get impressions of your ear canal made, and have custom earplugs made that will not impede your enjoyment of live music, however those generally cost upwards of $100. Thankfully there are other, more cost-effective options that don’t leave you missing out on the benefits that you’d get from expensive custom earplugs.
DUBS Acoustic Filters are one of these more cost-effective options, available for ~$25 online from various retailers. I had the chance to try out a pair of DUBS in a concert setting this past Friday, as I was photographing Devin Townsend with Animals As Leaders and Monuments. I popped my blue Dubs in and instantly noticed a reduction in the sound of the crowd around me. As the first band went on, I immediately noticed how much more I could hear with these in contrast to using a standard foam earplug. The clarity of sound was amazing. Furthermore, the volume of the music was cut to tolerable levels that didn’t cause me ear-ringing the next day. Unlike other options in this price-range that are more elongated, these feature a rounded tip that goes about as deep into your ear as an earbud. I’d expected this shape might cause the plugs to irritate my ears after a few hours of use, but I was able to wear these without issue for all four hours of the show.
To further test these earplugs, I wore them while practicing on my drums at home. I’ve never heard my drums and cymbals sound this good with hearing protection on, once again I was floored with how these performed.
And not only do they do a good job of protecting your ears, they look pretty darn cool too and come in white, pink, blue, and teal varieties.
For the price, DUBS are an exciting new way to enjoy concerts while still protecting your hearing.