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I have had a few pairs of Etymotic standard type plugs for several years now. Mainly for concerts and especially if I happen to be shooting a show and I am in the pit. Sometimes you will find yourself directly in front of a speaker. These are the long stem with string and I have found them to be pretty good and effective in cutting out the harsh noise and for around $15 or $20 do an excellent job.

I have looked at some of the Downbeats and they are similar in price but most of them are very short and stubby, no strings. Good reviews from what I have seen.

Definitely a good thing to have in your pocket for concerts today. Sometimes its fine but if its not and you have no plugs on you it can be a long night.
 

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i can't vouch for the etymotic's...i've been using the downbeats...and love them...use them at concerts, practice and gigs...
i like the lil carry case that comes with them too
 

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I picked up a pair of each to give them a try. I had the Etymotic for several years. They do the job well. But they came out with a new model the ER 20 XS with a shorter stem. In terms of sound reduction they both pretty much do the job. The downbeats come with the cylindrical case, no strings. The Etymotics come in the usual plastic carry case but have the string (which I like). Price wise they are essentially the same. $14 or so on Amazon.ca

Fit wise the new etymotics fit real nice compared to the original ER 20 model. Much better IMO. The Downbeats are fine but I prefer the fit with the Etymotics.

So overall I like the Etymotics better only because of the fit and the strings. When I am at a show I often take them out when a band is playing a softer song and then put them back in for the rough stuff, so I like having the string. Sound wise both are good and do the job intended.

Buy_Ear_Plugs___DownBeats.png products_450_er20sx_case_v1.jpg
 
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