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Interviews, Music

Review: Etymotic ER-20 XS high-fidelity earplugs

By: Curtis Sindrey –

Etymotic ER20 XS Earplugs

Unless you’re a casual music fan who goes to one concert a year, earplugs are essential to the live music experience.

Gone are the days of cheap foam earplugs, and in its place are affordable high-fidelity earplugs. With the new ER20•XS earplugs by Etymotic Research, music fans can experience a concert with remarkably clear sound while protecting their hearing.

After having attended everything from a weekend-long music festival, a heavy metal mosh pit, and a hip-hop concert since receiving the ER20s, they provided me with a flawless experience with a consistent 20-dB sound reduction.

Design-wise, the ER20s’ have a low-profile-ish, stem-less design that sits snugly in the ear. However, unlike similar models from companies like Vibes, the ER20s feature a small flexible pull-tab that tends to take away from the desired low profile, discreet look.

Overall, with an affordable price (starts at $19.95 from Etymotic Research’s website), effective protection for every kind of concert, and a snug, reliable fit, the ER20s are a great option if you want to finally graduate from cheap foam earplugs, but refuse to spend thousands of dollars on custom earplugs.


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