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We spend a lot of time telling you how to spot quality headphones, Bluetooth speakers, and the like, but your most valuable music tool will always be your ears. If you're a music lover who blares their music or attends concerts with some regularity, you're exposing yourself to intense decibel levels that are chipping away, however gradually, at your hearing.
While the former is an easy fix — just take it easy on the volume rocker, friend — the latter can be tricky. The long-held solution is to use earplugs, but lots of those fit poorly, look weird, or muffle too much sound to make their protective qualities worth it. There's no point in going to a concert if you can't enjoy the music.
Doppler Labs' Dubs Acoustic Filters, however, find a happy medium between letting you enjoy those shows while still giving your ears a breather. They're a higher-tech form of earplugs, designed to sift through loud noises and lower the pressure of certain damaging frequencies without totally destroying the fidelity of whatever's happening around you.
Specifically, Doppler Labs says the Dubs provide 12 decibels of noise reduction. That's not a ton for a pair of earplugs, but it's sufficient enough to lessen the beating your ears may be taking. They'll make anyone on stage sound a little less alive, naturally, but they do indeed keep things clear. Everything's still there; it's just presented at a safer volume.
The Dubs aren't the only high-tech earplugs out there, but they have two other benefits that make them worth recommending. One is their style: Earplugs look goofy as a rule, but these are small enough to barely be visible from the front. If you can see them, they simply look like a nice pair of wireless earbuds.
The second is their price. At $25, the Dubs aren't a risk. They aren't as cheap as something like Etymotic Research's ER20-ETY Plugs, but they sound nicer, and they're generally more durable. This is a niche market either way, but if you'd like to enjoy your next concert — or ball game, or extended flight, or jam session — without worrying about worrying about the future of your ears, they're a worthwhile investment.
DUBS Acoustic Filters Advanced Tech Earplug (White), $24.99, available at Amazon.
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