These Fender plugs have the ‘Musician’ moniker because they’re primarily aimed at people who spend a lot of time in rehearsal rooms with cranked amps and clamorous cymbals and who want to prolong their hearing health by plugging their ears. But the same applies outside the rehearsal room, as these affordable plugs are also ideal earplugs for concerts, whether you’re performing yourself, or attending a big rock show.
For the purposes of this Fender Musicians Ear Plugs review, we purchased a pair from Thomann (opens in new tab) and headed along to Architects’ gig at Cardiff Arena (UK) on Thursday May 5 to do some testing.
In this review we’ll explore the main features of these plugs, talk about comfort and performance based on our personal experience and suggest alternative options if you have something different in mind.
Fender Musician Ear Plugs review: Features
The Fender Musician Ear Plugs are made from black rubber and come connected by a thin plastic cord, which is permanently attached. While the cord won’t stand up to much tension, it certainly serves its purpose of stopping a loose plug falling to the floor if one pops out of your ear. We’re big fans of the cord here at Louder, especially considering higher end plugs like the Flare Audio Isolate Pro cost up to three times as much and don’t come with one.
The plugs themselves feature a four-step flanged design, so they should fit most sizes of ear canal – you basically push them in as far as you need to find the right fit and get a good seal.
The earplugs are washable with warm soapy water so you can clear the inevitable ear grime on regular occasions and continue to re-use them for as long as they’re hygienic. There’s also a small plastic carry case included in the price. The case features a short keychain so you'll always have your plugs to hand – whether you’re at a gig, operating machinery or simply want to drown out the din at home. The case is a great way to keep them clean and dust-free, too.
Prices vary but on average you should be able to pick up a pair of Fender Musician Ear Plugs for around $10/£5.
Fender Musician Ear Plugs review: Comfort & performance
These plugs promise up to 27dB of sound reduction. According to non-profit organisation H.E.A.R (Hearing Education and Awareness for Rockers), the volume of most concerts is between 110 and 120 decibels (dB), with the standard talking volume sitting anywhere between 40 and 60 dB. With this 27dB reduction, the Fender Musician’s Ear Plugs do a decent job of keeping your ears safe from the most harmful volumes.
In the proving ground of an arena gig, these plugs do the trick. Inserting them takes some practice to ensure you get them seated right and get a proper seal between your ear canal and the outside world. In our experience, the best approach is to pull up and back on your ear to open up the canal, enabling you to insert the plugs easily and comfortably. Once seated properly we experienced a decent and almost immediate reduction in overall volume.
Often at this cheaper end of the spectrum, budget plugs reduce the volume but also muffle the clarity of the audio – often diminishing your experience and ability to feel the event – but we didn’t experience much of that here. Reducing volume will always take something away from the overall impact of a live event, but we believe that protecting your ears will ensure you can go damage-free for longer and attend more gigs anyway.
While these earplugs are a pretty basic affair, the Fender stamp of approval instils a certain level of confidence in you – after all, they do make guitars for the exact same instrument-playing and gig-going audience as these plugs are aimed at.
They’re not the most attractive product you’ll ever buy, but they’re built for a very important purpose and they nail the brief. If you need further proof, the average score on Amazon is 4.2 out of 5, based on 350 reviews. That’s a lot of happy rockers.
Fender Musician Ear Plugs review: The alternatives
You can’t go far wrong with a pair of functional plugs like the Fender Musician Ear Plugs that cost less than $10/£10. That said, you don’t have to push your budget much further to get yourself a pair that delivers even better noise protection, clarity and comfort. We highly rate the Vibes High Fidelity plugs for that. They come with a case, too.
Push your budget a little more and you’ll be able to pick up a pair of the Flare Audio Isolate Pros. They’re some of the most discrete earplugs we’ve tested, they look super stylish and they reduce volume substantially, without impacting the quality of the music too much. Our only reservation is that they don’t come with a connecting cord, so losing one or both is a very real scenario.
- Best earplugs for concerts: Get your ears gig-ready
- "No live event is more important than your hearing."
- Living with tinnitus: "We all love music – why would we want to lose that?"
- Help Musicians offer support to artists over "rising issue" of hearing loss
- Best concert ticket sites: Don’t miss your favourite artists