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Earplug Comparison: Eargasm High Fidelity vs Loop Experience Plus vs AirPods Pro 2

Being around loud noises for an extended time can case hearing loss.  This is a fact.  Most metal shows, no matter the sub-genre, have always been loud. Heck, I remember a radio station that sold shirts that said, “If it’s too loud, you’re too old!” When I was younger, I rarely ever used earplugs at concerts and half the time I was up front next to the monitors or the speaker rack on the sides of the stage, literally feeling the music, 3-4 times a week. What an uneducated dolt I was, risking my hearing like that.

I didn’t have a way to tell the decibel level at the shows back then, but I assume they are like the shows now, at 105-110 dB or higher.  To test out different earplugs, I made my way to Dante’s on downtown Portland to see a show that included Ovarian, 4 Dead Seasons, These Cursed Hands, Year of the Coyote and Proven. The show’s sound level topped off at 115 dB with an average dB of 106 dB while the bands were playing.  That’s not healthy for your hearing! If fact, recommended exposure time at that level is less than 4 minutes. Luckily for me, I had 3 pairs of ear plugs with me to test the different ear plugs at a place where they are needed.

The Earplugs

The equipment, none of which were provided for review, included:

I can’t do a scientific test to see which is better in a controlled sound room, but I can go off what I feel in the moment. My testing method was as follows: Wear a different product in each ear, rotating and seeing which sounds better. Then wear the pair and see how the sound is, while measuring the levels with my Apple Watch. I stood right in front of the soundboard to get the best mix of the show. I tested the earplugs in the following order:

Left EarRight Ear
Method of testing earplugs
vs ear other
Eargasm High Fidelity Box, keyring holder case and earplugs
Eargasm High Fidelity Box, keyring holder case and earplugs

Eargasm and Loop earplugs were very close in sound, as the base decibel reduction is a difference of -2, AirPods use mics and technology to boost/reduce sounds and I’m sure they were not calibrated on metal music as the music seemed rather flat and uninspired. Plus the AirPods have the rather large downside as if the battery dies, you lost most of the protection the earbuds provide. While switching earplugs mid song, I always got the hear the raw sound for a few seconds.

Still at minimum average of -16 dB reduction, 106 down to 90 is good, but the recommended time is about 2 hours and a show’s usual length is 4-5 hours. The extra boost that the Loop Mute gave the Loop Experience made it so the sound levels would be at an acceptable level, less than 85 dB, for the entire show. But this just lowered the sound to acceptable levels, it doesn’t take HOW it sounds into consideration. How the show sounds with the earplugs in use is important too!

But how does it sound?

For the last two bands Year of the Coyote and Proven, I used the Eargasm for YotC’s set and Loop for the Proven’s set. I ruled out the AirPods as the feeling of the music was kind of lost with the technological filtering of the sound. With the Eargasm earplugs, I was able to get a good seal on my ears easier than with the Loop Experience Plus, thanks to the 3 tiers of cups on the ear plug. I was a little worried the Eargasm would go in my ear too deep, but then I remembered that they were a similar length to those cheap orange expandable foam ones. The sound was muffled, as one would expect with a sound reducer, but I could still make out the individual instruments and hear the growling vocals and the overall sound was good.

Loop Experience Plus box, ear plugs, case and ear tip sizes
Loop Experience Plus box, ear plugs, case and ear tip sizes

During Proven’s first song, I switched to the Loop Experience Plus for a few reasons. Hear a song with both plugs and hear what the unprotected sound was like. Unprotected was harsh and I looked forward to getting the ear plugs in. Hah, I guess I’m old, thanks KNAC (see radio station t-shirt reference from above). The Loop Experience Plus with the Mute’s installed worked really well and I was able to hear the band a little bit better and still experience the sound of the music.  Would I hear the same thing if the venues volume was turned down to an average of 85 dB?  No, I’m sure the sound from the venue would be far superior to what I heard, but a venue will never drop the sound down that low. So the earplugs are the best that I will get.

Eargasm High Fidelity vs. Loop Experience Earplugs

Without the Loop Mute, this would be a much tougher call as -16 dB and -18 dB is not much of a difference. But -16 dB for Eargasm and -23 dB for Loop Experience w/ Mute was the difference between acceptable sound levels for 2 hours vs 8 hours. Which is way more than an average rock show. I actually like the tri-level of the Eargasm over the Loop Experience Plus. The Eargasm feels more secure in ear and the metal case and keyring are more secure on the keychain.  With that said, the Eargasm and Loop earplugs have no chance of falling out when headbanging. And replacing the Loop keychain holder is an easy replacement. You’ll have to go to a third party site to find one.

UPDATE: Eargasm does have an add on that will reduce the dB levels to the ears for another $24.88 which beats out the Loop Experience with Mute, -23 dB vs -27 dB. The High dB Filter add-on for Eargasm is kind of hidden from the product pages and is buried in the High Fidelity Earplug page so it’s easy to miss, as I did.


FeatureLoop Experience PlusEargasm High FidelityAirPods Pro
CasePlastic shell w/plastic keyring loopMetal case and keyringPlastic, Rechargeable
Base dB Reduction
(expected reduction)
-18 dB
(-18 dB)
-16 dB
(-21 dB)
-23 dB(ish)
(I saw -25dB fairly regularly with the noise app)
Add-ons that lower dB?
Yes, -5 dB w/ Mute
Yes, -6 dB w/ High dB Filter
Total dB Reduction-23 dB-22 dB (-27 dB)-23 dB (-25 dB)
Total Cost of Max dB reduction$44.95 (base price)$66.76 (if bought separately)$249.00 (base price)
Easy to CleanYesYesYes
EDC Ready?YesYesYes
Can fall out while headbangingNoNoPossible
Easy to insert in earYesMostlyYes
Sound is still goodMostlyMostlyKinda
Earplug comparison
  • Eargasm High Fidelity Closeup
  • Eargasm High Fidelity Box, keyring holder case and earplugs
  • Loop Experience Plus box, ear plugs, case and ear tip sizes
  • close up of the Loop Experience Plus with the Mute inserted

My Conclusion

For me and my ears, my earplugs of choice is the Loop Experience Plus* with Mutes inserted into the earplugs. The music I was able to hear was at a good quality. Plus the sound levels dropped down from the dangerous levels (106 dB on average) to acceptable (83 dB on average). The Loop Experience Plus was easier to get in and out of my ear and are smaller than the Eargasm ear plugs. The only downside is the case seems like it’s easier to loose with the plastic loop for the keyring.

I usually carry the AirPods Pro 2 with me at all times too, so if I forget the Loop Experience Plus earplugs at home for whatever reason, I do have a good backup to use. Even if the music has to suffer a little. With that said, any ear protection is better than nothing at all and risking hearing damage.

(*) Yes, this is a referral link and in no way influenced my review.

Update #1 7/24/2023

Turns out that Eargasm has a Mute like filter, High dB Filter, that is kind of hidden on the site. The filter will add more dB reduction, to the tune of -6 dB for a total of -22 dB, which is pretty substantial over the -16 advertised. Plus the advertised dB reduction and the expected average dB reduction is different for the Eargasm earplugs, -16 dB advertized vs expected -21 dB The difference is explained here. Basically, they went with a more conservative rating standard, but you can expect better results on average. Now, the overall expected dB reduction of the Eargasm is -27 dB. This new total is now more than the Loop Experience Pro’s -23 dB. I think that extra $25 may be worth it. Expect a Round 2 of the comparison.

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