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Music sounds better when it’s turned up, but there’s a difference between being immersed in a song and completely blasting your ears. Whether you need something to help you focus on the music or want to prevent hearing loss, it helps to pick up a pair of earplugs before heading to your next concert or festival.

More and more people are using earplugs these days, and not for the reasons you think. Whereas traditional earplugs are meant to muffle, the best music earplugs won’t completely block out noise, but rather spread the noise out more evenly, to maintain a full spectrum of sound — at way more manageable levels. The best earplugs are designed to let music and voices through, while filtering out background noise. That way, you still hear the singer or track, without say, being distracted by conversation around you.

Musicians also like earplugs to help protect their ears while playing; they’re especially popular with drummers and other percussionists, who don’t want their hearing to be compromised over time. With two different sized earplug “shells” included with each set, you’ll be able to find a pair of plugs that fits your ears more effortlessly and comfortably.

These earplugs are made from a soft and flexible silicone, that’s comfortable for prolonged wear (say, at a music festival, or to sleep). The material is also hypoallergenic and won’t cause itching. A waterproof rubber seal keeps out moisture, dust and debris.

Earplugs build up a lot of gunk over time, which is why we like these washable plugs from Hearprotek Music. They’re great for helping to turn down the volume and for blocking out excess noise, while the silicone material is durable and comfortable. An ergonomic shape mirrors the shape of your ear canals, for a more natural fit.

What we like: these are washable with a little soap and warm water. Pat dry and they’re ready to use again — minus the dirt and grime. This set includes two sizes of 20db ear plugs, an aluminum case, a carabiner and a user manual.

These earplugs are slightly smaller than other models on our list, making them great for those with smaller ears or more sensitive earlobes. Savears says the flexible material forms and molds to the shape of your ears, for a more secure fit. The tight seal blocks out water, dust and dirt too.

These earplugs are made from a non-toxic and hypoallergenic silicone that won’t itch or irritate. What we like: their transparent color means they’re more discreet and less conspicuous.
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