Vibes High-Fidelity Earplugs Review
In Short: Specifically designed for music, Vibes High-Fidelity Earplugs give you more clarity, while protecting your ears. Vibes keeps the sound lively, and they keep your hearing intact.
Vibes Earplugs: Why Vibes?
Vibes High-Fidelity Earplugs are designed to give you a better sound than regular foam earplugs, so you can keep focused on how things actually sound while you’re playing. The end result is less volume, but without a huge loss of clarity. Vibes keep the sound clear and lively, while making sure your ears stay protected.
For this Vibes Earplugs review, I wore them while drumming solo and while playing with a full band. I also wore them to a couple of concerts, because my ears usually ring when I leave a venue (which is actually a sign of hearing damage!).
Overall I spent about 15 hours wearing them before sitting down to write this review, and I feel like I’ve got a good grasp on how they compare to my usual hearing protecting. Normally I’ll be wearing my Audio Technica IM-01 in-ear monitors, or some Vic Firth over-ear ear muffs (these ones). Or sometimes both of those things, if I need really good sounds isolation when recording. In the past I’ve tried just about everything: from those cheap foam earplugs to much more expensive hearing protection and IEMs.
So let’s get into the review, to see how Vibes earplugs hold up against the competition.
Vibes Earplugs Review: *Really* important stuff for all musicians…
Fist up, some important stuff before kicking into the actual review. Yes, this is a drumming website, but the stuff below applies to all musicians…
As a drummer, hearing protection is extremely important. Drums are loud, and hearing loss is almost guaranteed if you’re playing long-term with unprotected ears… Hearing damage occurs within 15 minutes at 100dB, and a drum kit at moderate volume can easily get above 110dB. Add loud guitar amps and a PA system, and… well, you get the picture!
Regardless of your instrument, a lot of music is performed and rehearsed at high volume levels, which will take its toll on your ears. The moral of the story here is get yourself some earplugs, and you’ll thank yourself later.
Vibes Earplugs Review: Designed for musicians and music lovers
Vibes High-Fidelity Earplugs are hearing protection earplugs specifically designed for music – both for performers and concert-goers.
Unlike regular foam earplugs (which really muffle the sound), Vibes keeps a much truer sound profile by using specially-designed acoustic filters, to give you greater sound clarity.
What does this actually mean?
This means you’ll be able to hear everything much more realistically, just with less volume. Vibes’ acoustic filters have been designed to let a wider range of sounds pass through compared to cheaper options out there.
Vibes are designed to be worn discreetly in your ears – they’re mainly made of clear plastic so they don’t stand out. They’re reusable, washable, and come in a small pocket-sized hard case for storage. The case is handy for carrying Vibes anywhere, it’s about half the size of a cigarette lighter so it fits in just about any pocket easily. These earplugs are also adjustable for different ears – you’ll get three different sized earpieces in the box (small, medium, and large) to ensure a snug fit.
Vibes Earplugs Review: The all-important sound test
For the price range, Vibes are excellent. These earplugs give an average of a 22 decibel reduction… This is enough to save your ears, without killing the vibe.
Put in real-world terms:
You can still have a conversation with these earplugs in your ears, and the sound remains lively when playing (or listening to) music. The reduction in volume is a great balance between providing good hearing protection, without taking the life out of what you’re hearing.
What about wearing them as a musician?
Behind the drum kit, Vibes’ sound profile remains quite true. From the low-end, through the midrange, and into the high-end, the sound is quite accurate. High and very high frequencies are cut slightly more than the others (and this something common across just about all earplugs), so you won’t have that really bright edge to things like cymbals.
Overall, the sound is great (and a world away from cheap foam earplugs).
As a musician, it’s super important to have an accurate idea of both your own general volume, and how your overall sound fits with the rest of the band. Vibes do this very well, and they save your ears at the same time.
Vibes Earplugs Review: Not just for musicians…
As well as protecting your hearing behind the drum kit, Vibes are great for concerts and other loud environments. If you’ve ever had ringing in your ears after a seeing show (or after working in a noisy venue), you’ll know it’s not fun.
I tested these earplugs out at a few concerts and was pretty happy with the result. Vibes let in a lively amount of bass, and very nice midrange (especially guitars). Very high frequency sounds (like cymbals) had the edge taken off them, although this was less noticeable after wearing these earplugs for a while… When you stick anything in your ears, it takes a little time for your brain to adjust.
Overall I was very happy with the result, and I was even happier that my ears weren’t ringing after the shows.
Vibes Earplugs Review: Should I buy these?
Vibes are a great for both musicians and music-lovers, and they give a very good sound for the price. They’re recommended if you want to save your ears without breaking the bank.
If you’ve been using foam earplugs or really cheap hearing protection, Vibes are a big step up. They’re also great if you work in noisy environments but still need to interact with others: They’ll save your ears without cutting you off from the world around you.
Vibes earplugs are also the go-to choice of npr.org editor Josh Rogosin when he attends concerts (read his hearing protection article here!)
One other little bonus if you choose Vibes: they donate part of the sale to the Hear The World Foundation, which gives hearing loss support around the world to disadvantaged children and adults.
Vibes High-Fidelity Earplugs are featured in our article covering the best gifts for drummers. Check out the other products we’ve included in our huge list of the best drum gifts and accessories out there. Vibes also get a mention in our guide covering the best music gifts for musicians.