Festivalgoers: Why 60% Don’t Wear Earplugs, but Should

The Risk of Ringing Ears

Going to music festivals and concerts is a thrilling experience for many people. The energy of the crowd, the flashy lights, and the powerful sounds of live music create an unforgettable atmosphere. However, this exhilarating environment also comes with a major health risk – noise-induced hearing loss.

Recent studies have found that an alarming 60% of music festival attendees do not wear earplugs, despite the known dangers of exposing their ears to extremely loud music for prolonged periods. This highlights a concerning gap between awareness and action when it comes to hearing protection.

The Permanent Threat of Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

When you attend a concert or festival without earplugs, the sounds you experience can often reach dangerous levels of 110-120 decibels. To put this into perspective, normal conversation is about 60 decibels, while a noisy lawnmower reaches 90 decibels. Sounds above 85 decibels can cause gradual (but permanent) hearing damage over time.

The most common symptom of overexposure is ringing in the ears (tinnitus). However, the implications are much more serious. Noise-induced hearing loss is painless but irreversible, and it worsens over time with each new exposure. Even short-term damage to the delicate hair cells in the inner ear can accumulate and lead to premature hearing impairment or deafness.

Why the Reluctance to Wear Earplugs?

Research shows that most festivalgoers are aware of these risks. In one survey, a full 92% agreed that earplugs are the best protection. Yet, the majority still choose not to wear them.

This alarming gap seems to come down to some key misconceptions festivalgoers have about modern earplugs:

  1. Discomfort – Many assume earplugs will be unpleasant to wear for many hours, citing concerns about pain, itchiness, pressure, etc.
  2. Inability to Socialise – Some think earplugs will make conversations difficult or impossible during the event.
  3. Muffled Sound Quality – Others believe the music will sound distorted or muted if they wear protection.

Overcoming Outdated Stigmas

Thankfully, these concerns are outdated myths stemming from early forms of hearing protection. Modern earplugs designed specifically for music festivals and concerts overcome all of these issues:

  1. Comfort – Silicone and foam earplugs are soft, flexible, and customisable. Some models contour gently to the shape of the ear canal without applying pressure.
  2. Socialising – Advanced noise filters lower volume while preserving sound quality and speech intelligibility. Conversations remain clear and natural.
  3. Audio Quality – Rather than muffling, the filters allow you to hear all the tones and details at safe levels. The music remains crisp, just quieter.

With major improvements in comfort, communication, and sound quality, there are no more good excuses to forego earplugs. Protecting your hearing does not have to diminish your festival experience.

Take Control of Your Hearing Health

Noise-induced hearing loss is prevalent but entirely preventable. As festivals and concerts restart after the pandemic, be proactive about safe listening habits before it’s too late. Do not underestimate the dangers of excessive noise. Hearing damage is cumulative over your lifetime.

Go online to research the highest-rated earplugs designed specifically for live music. Look for trusted brands that offer a secure fit, crisp audio filters, and extended comfort. With the right earplugs, you can fully immerse yourself in the music you love while also protecting your ears for the future.

PartyPlugs Transparent Earplugs

We recommend: Alpine PartyPlug Earplugs

As someone who frequently attends loud concerts and events, I am always on the lookout for earplugs that can protect my hearing without muffling the sound quality too much. I recently tried out the Alpine PartyPlug earplugs and have been impressed with their performance.

Fit and Comfort

The Alpine PartyPlugs have a low-profile design that fits comfortably in my ears. The smooth tapered shape allows them to slide in easily without irritation. They come with three different sized sets of silicone earplug sleeves so you can find the perfect secure fit for your ear canal size. Once in place, I hardly notice them at all. The low profile makes them easy to wear with over-ear headphones too.

Noise Reduction

These earplugs have a NRR (noise reduction rating) of 22 decibels. For loud environments like concerts, this level of sound reduction is just right in my opinion. It takes the edge off the extreme volumes, yet still allows music and voices to be heard clearly. The earplugs lower overall sound levels without muffling. I don’t feel isolated or like I’m missing parts of songs when wearing these. Everything still sounds crisp and clear, just at safer audio levels.

Reusable Design

The Alpine PartyPlug earplugs have a durable silicone construction so they can be reused again and again. The smooth surfaces and tapered shape make them easy to insert and remove without compromising the fit. I’ve worn them to numerous concerts now and the earplugs haven’t shown any signs of wear and tear. Being reusable makes them a cost-effective option.


For hearing protection that doesn’t sacrifice sound fidelity, I highly recommend the Alpine PartyPlug earplugs. Their comfortable and discreet fit along with moderate noise reduction make them ideal for concertgoers and anyone frequently around loud sounds. They provide just the right amount of protection without muffling the audio experience.

Photo by Anthony Cunningham for Zoom Health

Zoom Health is a leading UK supplier of Home Health Tests and Earplugs

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