• Etymotic ER-20 – Cheap Musician’s Ear Plugs – $12 a pair, good tech, recommended.

    by  • April 12, 2007 • Cool Tools • 0 Comments

    ER•20 High Fidelity Earplugs


    So, what we have here is ear plugs that have three soft rubber flanges and an engineered plastic stick. Somehow what this produces is a funny thing – ear plugs you can’t hear. Things are quieter, but sound just the same otherwise. Soon, you forget that they’re there.

    Apart from the plastic stick coming out of your ear, that is.

    I’m finding them a little uncomfortable but I have weird ears.


    That additional flattening of the response curve really makes a big difference. So much of the experience of regular ear plugs is muffling, the sense of insulated, muffled private space. These don’t produce it. It’s just quieter. Very interesting from a psycho-accoustic point of view too.

    Iceland may not be the ideal place to test these. Concert venues are loud to the point where a 29db foam plug is barely enough, so I’m expecting to take these as well as the others simply to handle places where 20db is insufficient.

    For twelve bucks a pair, I think these are pretty much an essential buy.

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    Vinay Gupta is a consultant on disaster relief and risk management.


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