Protecting your hearing is an important element of any music event, whether it’s Groove Cruise, a traditional festival, or a club event.
We all want an incredible festival experience, but without protecting our hearing, our partying days will be limited.
Recently, I’ve discovered DownBeats, a solution designed to protect your ears while preserving the music event experience.
“Hearing Hangover”, “Sonic Hangover” – you may have heard it called by different names, but all of these terms are used to describe the ringing sensation you experience in your ears after prolonged exposure to overly loud music. While this experience is temporary, if this is repeated regularly, long-term, permanent damage to your hearing can occur.
I’m no expert, but you can read all about the science behind this issue here.
Simply put, DownBeats presents a convenient solution to this problem, and while I could try and explain why, this page presents the answer in a much better manner.
I’ll stick with sharing my experiences with the ear plugs.
I’ve seen people at festivals and clubs with ear plugs. I always thought they may be extra sensitive to sounds or have other special circumstances that would warrant them wearing ear plugs.
My prior experience with ear plugs have been with the squishy foam type that literally plug your ears and block out a significant amount of sound making it impossible to even have a conversation.
With that being said, I felt that wearing ear plugs would detract from the experience.
It wasn’t until I saw some artists performing their set and I noticed they were wearing ear plugs (the high-fidelity type like DownBeats) that I started seriously considering getting my own to protect my hearing at events and festivals.
Briefly, DownBeats have changed my perspective on ear plugs at festivals.
DownBeats come in a very small and obtrusive aluminum case. You can tell a lot of thought has gone into the design of this case. Made out of aluminum, it’s light and rigid. It’s doesn’t weigh you down, and you don’t have to worry about it crushing in your pocket or bag.
The inside of the case is lined with rubber, so you don’t hear any rattling from the ear plugs while they’re stored. There is also a rubber gasket around the top so that nothing can get inside the case.
Finally, this small, well thought out case comes with a key ring so you can easily clip them to your keys, bag, etc. There’s no reason why you can’t have these on you in some manner.
After opening the case and seeing these earplugs for myself, I realized they are not like your traditional foam ear plugs. They are made of a rubber material and have a custom form factor that is designed to reduce the noise, but allow for sound to get through.
It’s this custom design that allows DownBeats to reduce noise up to 18 decibels but still allow you to hear the music and even have a conversation.
Inserting them into your ears is easy and you can feel when they’ve created a nice seal. Removal is just as easy as there is a little “stem” you can pinch to pull them out. If you think you may have difficulty doing this, they do offer a long-stem version.
In the ear, the ear plugs are surprisingly unobtrusive. Honestly, I thought they would look funny, but once they were in the ear, they were hardly noticeable thanks to their low key color and small size. That’s a big plus in my book.
So, do they work?
The answer is a resounding yes, and they work much better than expected.
I was in a position where the music playing was literally hurting my ears, then I put in my DownBeats. Instantly, the pain was relieved. It was a bit unbelievable given how well I could still hear the music.
I could still feel the bass (obviously) and hear the melodies and lyrics, but I was no longer experiencing the pain coming from being so close to loud speakers.
On top of that, I could still have a conversation with the DownBeats in my ears. The combination of hearing protection with the ability to still hear the music and have a conversation make DownBeats a perfect solution – and you don’t have to remove them for the entirety of an event.
DownBeats are easy to carry, unobtrusive in the ears, and most importantly, effective at their task.
You can’t put a price on your hearing, but you won’t have to because DownBeats are incredibly affordable.
They come in a few different colors and either the original or long-stem (for easier insertion/removal) versions.
If you enjoy the music scene in any capacity, do your ears a favor and purchase some high-fidelity ear plugs.
How can I get my own pair of DownBeats high-fidelity ear plugs?
Visit the DownBeats store.
Full Disclosure: DownBeats sent me a couple pairs of their high-fidelity ear plugs because I (somehow) missed them while I was aboard Groove Cruise Miami 2015; however, these opinions are my own.