When I was subbing with the BSO I noticed many of the players were using these plugs - and they are an absolute necessity. Here's some info on them:
ETY•Plugs™ are the world’s highest fidelity non-custom earplugs. They reduce most noise to safe levels while preserving the clarity of speech and the richness of music. ETY•Plugs are configured to replicate the natural response of the ear canal so that when sound enters the earplug, it is reproduced unchanged, exactly the same as the ear would hear it, only quieter.
- Reduces sound levels evenly so that music and speech are clear and natural, not muffled as with other earplugs
- Reduces risk of hearing damage for many noisy occupations as well as noisy venues, such as airshows, parades, athletic events and motor sports
- Enhances the music experience for audiences while protecting hearing
- Lets musicians hear their own instrument and their blend with others
- Low cost
- Available in 2 sizes (same sound reduction) - standard and large*
- Reduces sound approximately 20 dB at all frequencies
- Regular use of these high-fidelity earplugs while practicing, performing and listening to music will protect hearing from the cumulative effects of overexposure to loud sound throughout life.
- A little time may be required to acclimate to these earplugs. Many musicians report that they hear their own instruments better, as well as the balance with those around them.