Loud music is brilliant. It makes us lose our inhibitions, befriend new people in seconds flat and dance like crazy folk.
Sadly, it also makes us to lose our hearing. Prolonged contact with festival-level music will at best mean a couple of days' annoying ringing, and at worst lifelong tinnitus or deafness.
So should we all just give up live music? Get the organisers to turn it down? No, the best thing to do – especially if you insist going down the front – is to block out some of the sound yourself with Mack’s Hi-Fidelity Hear Plugs.
Same sound, just quieter
Unfortunately most earplugs ruin music. They allow only the bass to pass into your head, so your favourite band will sound like one big, long bum-note.
That's why the Hear Plugs were created. They're designed specifically to allow you to hear the music in all of its full-range glory, leaving its character largely unchanged while protecting you from dangerous noise levels.
They're designed a little like sound-isolating headphones, using soft flanges to block out sound but incorporating a plastic tube (featuring a tuned resonator and acoustic resistor, apparently) that channels the good stuff in and cuts the bad stuff out. They're rated to dim sound by 12dB – that means they'll make it sound less than half as loud as it actually is.
And they really work. The earplugs are one size fits all (a 21dB kids' version is also available) and once you've plunged them in – disturbingly deep, mind – you should find them reasonably comfortable.
The music sounds almost exactly the same as it did before you put them in your ears – albeit a whole lot quieter.
Better still, they allow you to talk with your newfound friends as they're designed to simply reduce volume across the board. You'll still need to bellow to hear one another, but at least you'll be able to.
The clear plastic tubes stick a few millimetres out of your ears, so you look like you have installed the longest grommets ever conceived. The included neck strap is hardly high fashion, either.
Nevertheless, Mack High-Fidelity Hear Plugs keep your hearing intact and the fun very much alive. You can't ask for more than that.