Tried the Etymotic Research ER20-SMC ER20 ETY-Plugs at a Boston Concert

We went to see Boston (the group) on Friday night and as usual I wore my HA’s for the concert. Boston was REALLY loud! Probably louder than Deep Purple when we saw them a few months ago. Anyway, I thought it might be a good idea to swap my HA’s for the ER-20’s (that are supposed to allow all the sound in but filter out the “bad” frequencies. Not a good idea… Maybe it’s just my hearing issues but when I put the Ety’s in I felt like I was way underwater. Everything was muffled. I doubt that was the result they are supposed to give. My wife has a pair as well and she said they worked fine for her.
At that point I didn’t want to put my HA’s back in so I kept them out for the rest of the show. My HA’s really make a difference even with LOUD music! I was actually surprised about this. I figured volume would make up for the missing sounds. I guess I need HA’s even at loud rock concerts. Who knew?

The Ety-plugs would have sounded OK with normal hearing, but you have a severe hf loss. With them in the hf would have to be over 100dB for you to hear it. The lower frequency sounds would be masking everything out well before that.

Hence the muffling effect.

Thanks Um Bongo. That’s pretty much what I figured. I guess the best alternative is to wear my HA’s even at a loud concert and let them do their natural filtering?

Only problem is that they might not afford you much actual protection if they are open at all. Closed fit would be fine though as the output limiting compression would put a lid on the loudest stuff.

Would you suggest I get some closed fit domes only for concerts? I do not plan on NOT going to concerts as it is what my wife and I enjoy. If so, what would you recommend?

Since wearing hearing aids, I don´t like my earplugs anymore. I feel sooo deaf wearing them, because it´s the cumulative difference of not wearing the aid plus plugging in the plugs.

I have power-domes for my hearing aid which I can exchange for the open domes for concerts. I have a program especially for that, because the acoustic properties of the closed power domes are different from the open ones.

The drawback is that I do get a little distortion in my hearing aids when there is lot´s of bass.

As power domes cost nearly nothing, you might want to try (the sound, if you have no extra program is not extremely bad, just a little bassy and boomy) and see if it helps you.

I may try that. What other program do you have set up for the power domes? I only have the automatic settings on my HA’s but can get my Audi to put another program on them.


I´ve changed the acoustic settings of the hearing aid to closed power dome, but left the settings of the programs unchanged. Then I added another music-program. This was then calculated for the closed dome.

I´m afraid that this is not possible with the phonak-software, at least, I was told so. So your audi would have to manually adjust the program to meet the needs of the closed dome. For instance, more amplification at 3 kHz, less amplification in the bass.

But would I be able to change to those settings only when I need them? As much as I would like to, I don’t go to concerts every day…

Just ask for a manual music prog with the gain lowered with power domes. Get them to play some music and crank it up a bit. If you want more bass or treble ask the question.

I will talk to my Audi about this. As long as I can change the program without using my phone I should be good with this. I was really not happy with the ComPilot II or ComPilot II wireless when I tried them. Technically they seem years behind the HA’s themselves.

It’s what happens when you bolt a Bluetooth system on the side of a hearing system. If I was designing a hearing system these days I’d be coming at it from the view of ‘integrated communication system’ rather than hearing aid + accessories.

I’m still surprised that nobody has been able to create a plastic/foil accumulator from the case to eliminate the battery with a 24/48hr life and inductive charging.

I’d be happy if there was just a way to use the bluetooth without any accessories. The Android non-standard excuse is getting old. Android has matured and is far more standardized than it used to be.

I am seeing my Audi Friday afternoon and will discuss the power domes. Thanks all for the tweaking suggestions. I’ve got my fingers crossed.

Quick update: I got the power domes from my Audi and she set up the music program for me. Next “loud” concert is in a few weeks I think. Will know more at that time.


what did your audi say about that idea? Just curious …

She definitely thought it “couldn’t hurt to try”… She also warned me that sound would be different just from wearing the Power Domes since I’d be hearing everything through the hearing aids themselves rather than through my current open domes. When she was setting them up, though, the power domes sounded fine to me. There was no way to simulate going to a concert obviously so I’ll find out in a few weeks how they work.