Review – dBud earplugs for concert photographers


Review – dBud earplugs for concert photographers

I am not going to talk about the problems that being exposed to high levels of sound can cause to our ears, I believe that if you are reading this article it is because you are already aware of the risks and are looking for a solution to protect your ears.

When I started photographing concerts, I used  foam earplugs that can be bought in any store, but they  spoil the sound and do not protect much.
Then I found better earplugs, that allowed me to change the filters to select the level of protection, but even with these I never felt completely satisfied, because the filters were difficult to change, it was not possible to change between concerts during at a festival, they had no way of transporting them that gave me security that I wouldn’t lose them, and over time they ended up being deformed and the filters would become quite loose.

So I thought it was  time to try to switch to some earplugs that I had already seen online and that seemed perfect to me, the dBud earplugs.
I contacted dBud and they sent me a pair of earplugs to test.

What do I look for in earplugs

The most important thing for me, on earplugs is the ability to reduce the volume while maintaining the best possible sound quality.
The possibility of being able to choose the level of protection, in a quick and practical way.
Possibility of being able to hang them around my neck, when I’m not wearing them, without fear of losing them.
Comfort when I am using them, I want them to have a size adjusted to my ear canal and to be comfortable even when I have to use them for a long time.

Noise reduction

There is a large offer of earplugs on the market, from the cheapest to the most expensive, from the simplest to the most complex, some offer more reduction, others less, in the case of dBuds we have a reduction of -11db or -24db which is more than most of what we find on the market, even comparing with some more expensive ones.
The human ear must not be subject to more than 80db of noise. A concert can easily reach more than 100db or more.


Possibility to change the Protection level

When I shoot at music festivals it is normal to have two, three or four bands to photograph, on the same day and often I only have a few minutes to go from one stage to another, and most of the times the stages have different volumes, because the first bands are on smaller stages with a smaller sound systems or because the musical style itself has less volume.
In these situations, even with earplugs that offer the possibility to change the protection level, I was never able to use this option because I needed to stop to change the internal filters of the earplugs, which are generally small, and easy to lose, and also difficult to remove, in the case of the earplugs that I used, even though I had never changed them, the filters were already getting quite loose.
For these reasons the use of the various levels of protection ends up not being used, which always forced me to always have the filters with the highest db reduction to be more protected, but when there were stages with less volume the reduction was too much.
With  dBud everything changes, because I can choose a protection of -11db or -24db just by changing the volume slider with my finger, which allows me to change the level of protection while i´m going from one stage to the other, or even during the concert.
And everything without batteries or electronics, it looks like magic but it is not, this is possible thanks to the technology inside the protectors, which includes several layers of acoustic materials that were designed to reduce the noise level in a controlled manner and without degrading the sound quality. .


Transport before and during concerts

When I carry the earplugs in my backpack, I want that, in addition to having them protected so that they don’t get damaged, I also want to keep the protectors clean, after all they will be inside my ears, and I don’t want them dirty.
The dBud earplugs come with a small carrying case that protects the earplugs and its small enough to  carry them in the pocket.
Another way to be able to carry them is hanging them from the neck because the dBud cord is resistant and the earplugs are magnetic which helps to keep the cord around the neck without the risk of losing them.

dbud The size compared to an SD card

Size and comfort

The dBud´s are small, they fit perfectly in the ear, even with the protection level selector that has a size that simplifies its handling, they are perfectly hidden inside the ear and are so comfortable that we don’t even remember that we are using them.
They come with two types of eartips, memory foam or silicone, with three sizes each, Large, Medium and Small, so that we can choose the right size for our ear canal and the material that is most comfortable for us.



The dBud`s  have fantastic sound quality and an ability to reduce noise levels above average, and still allow the choice in the volume reduction level, between -11db or – 24db, they are comfortable and easy to transport, whether in the  carrying case or on the neck, using the thread they bring, they are adaptable with the three size of the ear tips that come in two types of material, silicone or memory foam.
From now on, I will only use dBud  and I advise everyone to use these earplugs, I don’t know any earplugs that can beat this ones, much less at the same price level.

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