How do I choose the right earplugs for festivals, concerts and going out? Alpine
InBackground

You’re looking for filter earplugs for use during festivals, concerts and going out. Which offer you good hearing protection but still allow you to enjoy the music. In terms of universal hearing protection, Alpine offers you the PartyPlug and the PartyPlug Pro Natural. What is the difference and which one is the best choice for you? The filters are the biggest difference. The PartyPlug Pro Natural has linear attenuation (dampening) filters and the PartyPlug has non-linear attenuation filters. We’ll explain exactly what this means.

What is linear/flat attenuation?

Linear or flat attenuation. You might have seen these terms used in relation to earplugs. But what do they actually mean? The meaning of both terms is the same. It is a property of filter earplugs which are perfect for listening to music. Thanks to linear attenuation filters, you hear the music as it was meant to be heard. They just reduce the volume to a safe level. Ideal for musicians and festival- and concertgoers. The Alpine PartyPlug Pro Natural earplugs have this type of filter.

Linear attenuation versus non-linear attenuation

The ear and one’s perception of sound are very complex. Very simply put, we have the volume of sound, which is usually measured in decibels. And the frequency of sound, or the pitch. The high frequencies are more damaging to one’s hearing than the low ones. Therefore, most hearing protectors attenuate higher frequencies more than low ones.

More attenuation in the higher frequencies also has a disadvantage. The music doesn’t sound exactly the same as when you’re not using earplugs. Still, the difference is mainly audible to people who really listen to the music carefully. You hear the low tones a bit louder relative to the high ones. That’s why the Alpine PartyPlug Pro Natural earplugs have linear attenuation filters. They attenuate roughly the same amount of decibels over all frequencies. This causes a minimal distortion of the music. In other words: you hear the music in exactly the same way, but at a lower volume.

This graph displays the difference in attenuation well.

Do filter earplugs with non-linear attenuation perform less well?

Alpine PartyPlug earplugs attenuate the higher tones a bit more. These earplugs offer good protection, don’t make you feel isolated and allow you to hear conversations well. They are comfortable for hours and the music also remains properly audible. If you for instance use the earplugs for going out or an occasional festival, the PartyPlug is a good choice for you. But if you go to festivals or concerts to really enjoy the music, the PartyPlug Pro Natural makes the difference between good and outstanding musical sound quality.

Do earplugs with linear attenuation really protect your hearing well?

Alpine PartyPlug Pro Natural earplugs have linear filters, with an average attenuation of 21 decibels. The sound level of a concert or festival is usually between 90 and 103 decibels. As such, the Alpine PartyPlug Pro Natural earplugs reduce the sound to below 80-82 decibels. You can safely spend the entire day (8 hours) at this level.

What are the other differences between the two products?

In addition to the difference in filters, you get a number of extra accessories with the Alpine PartyPlug Pro Natural. Each package contains a transparent elastic lanyard, to prevent loss. Additionally, you get a small Alpine Clean cleaning spray and a handy pouch with a hook for your trousers or key chain. The PartyPlug always comes with the Miniboxx to attach to your keys.

Product comparison PartyPlug and PartyPlug Pro Natural

Alpine PartyPlugAlpine PartyPlug Pro™ Natural
Most suitable forFestivals, concerts and going outFestivals, concerts and going out
AttenuationAttenuates higher, dangerous frequenciesAttenuates all frequencies at roughly the same level
Sound qualityGoodOutstanding
Attenuation Rating (SNR)19 dB21 dB
Speech intelligibility
Soft, anti-allergic material
In various coloursOnly transparent
With Alpine MiniboxxNo
With luxury Alpine pouchNo
With Alpine Clean spray (5 ml)No
With lanyardNo
Price€12,95€29,95

 

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