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Old 03-29-05, 09:26 AM   #1
timmhaan
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Anyone sleep with earplugs or headphones? Recommendations?

Well, i just moved to a brand new apartment. Everything about it is perfect. Except for one thing: the footsteps from the upstairs neighbors can be heard throughout the night. The wood creaks in several spots and keeps me up all night. I know they aren't stomping around, it's just the building isn't solid enough.

Anyone have this problem? Can you comfortably sleep with earplugs? I was thinking of getting a set of shooting range headphones, but they're kinda expensive for me now. Plus I couldn't sleep on my side then. Any recommendations?
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Old 03-29-05, 09:31 AM   #2
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I would recommend the cheap foam type, you can get them at many places. Go to a local shooting range, they should be a neon colored foam pellet. They conform to the insides of your ear and block out all noises. I would have the problem of sleeping past my alarm if I were to do that.

P.S: I used to be into skeet shooting (well, I went 4-5 times, so maybe not into it) and these were great at blocking out the sound of a 12 guage.

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Old 03-29-05, 09:45 AM   #3
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The class of headphones you're looking for are called canal phones. Each one usually comes with 3 sizes of ear plugs.

Try to get a pair of Koss-Plug's for about $15. They resemble foam ear plugs, you squeeze the foam to compress it, jam it in your ear and wait for it to expand. It seals reasonably well but sounds horrible. Felt weird. I hated it.

Or you can get a pair of sony EX-70/71's for about $30-40. They have a silicone piece instead of foam and you just stick it in your ear. They sound decent for the price. Too much bass. Was ok to sleep with on my side.

Then there are shure E2's for about $80-90. They come with both the silicone and foam ear pieces and sound like a 6 on a 1-10 scale. Should satisfy most people. Lots of bass. I had a pair of these and gave em to my girlfriend when I upgraded to the E3's. They felt best in my ear. Sleeps well on the side.

The Etymotic ER6's are about $100-120 and are slightly more detailed and open than the E2. I've never tried these.

The shure E3's are about $150 and combine detail and bass. They come with a hard silicone, soft silicone, and foam ear pieces. I have a pair of these and they're great, don't regret buying them at all, very comfortable, they kind of stick into your ear canal and the rest fits right into your ear lobe. Sleeps well on the side.

For about $200-240, you can pick up a pair of Etymotic ER-4p's. Most people agree they're probably the most detailed phones you can buy at this price. Near 30db of attenuation, I've personally never used these but they stick in a lot farther in the ear canal than the shure's. Probably not too comfortable if you sleep on your side, the earplugs resemble the long flanged rubber ones. I think you can also adapt a custom ear mold to these. Never tried these either.

For about $1100 you can get a pair of Ultimate Ears UE-10 Pro's (I think that's the name). It's around $8-900 for the earphones plus another $200 or so to get a doctor to custom mold an earpiece to fit your ear. The sound resembles the cost. I've never tried these either.

For more information, check out www.head-fi.org

Last edited by slvoid; 03-29-05 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 03-29-05, 09:49 AM   #4
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I sleep with earplugs in sometimes when the dorm is too loud. I got a pack of the neon-colored foam ones at Lowes for like $2.50
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Old 03-29-05, 09:57 AM   #5
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The foam ones suck arse. You have to squeeze them and then try and get them to fit in.

Comfortable? yeah they're pretty comfortable. But considering that if you DON'T wear them it'll be annoying as heck. It depends on how much noise you can tolerate. I can't have any noise at all. Low frequency sound like bass and stuff that vibrates the floor doesn't get stopped by earplugs as well.

How about noise cancelling headphones?
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Old 03-29-05, 10:13 AM   #6
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I dont see how headphones would stay on your head while you sleep, unless you never roll over or anything like that. Drinking Nyquil might be the best option if you dont like the little foamies.
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Old 03-29-05, 10:18 AM   #7
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I have some etymotic Isolator ER-6i that are great, they were like 150$ which isn't bad for that kind of quality.


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Old 03-29-05, 10:31 AM   #8
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how the hell would you hear your alarm
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Old 03-29-05, 10:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by operator
The foam ones suck arse. You have to squeeze them and then try and get them to fit in.

Comfortable? yeah they're pretty comfortable. But considering that if you DON'T wear them it'll be annoying as heck. It depends on how much noise you can tolerate. I can't have any noise at all. Low frequency sound like bass and stuff that vibrates the floor doesn't get stopped by earplugs as well.

How about noise cancelling headphones?
The foamies, quality ones anyway, are good for 4-5 uses at most. They help attenuate a lot of broadband noise, add a little soft music and they'll drown out the noise of a jet (which is what I save my foam inserts for).
Sony has a pair of noise canceling ear buds for about $120. Creaking in wood floors is a lot higher frequency than say, a truck passing by. Ground noise is what active noise canceling takes care of the best. For intermitent sounds, a plug is still the best.
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Old 03-29-05, 10:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamtastic
how the hell would you hear your alarm
The earphones naturally have a cord. All my ear plugs have retaining cords on them too. I rely on the fact that sometime during the night, I will rip em off.
If not, I have a progressive alarm that starts out soft so it doesn't startle me then gets REALLY loud.
100dbA next to your head, even with 30 db of attenuation, is still one helluva loud noise, especially when you're sleeping.

The only problem is I occasionally have a weird dream where I'm flying a plane and incorporate the alarm into one of the master alarms in the plane and sleep through it.
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Old 03-29-05, 10:39 AM   #11
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Sleep with the TV on. Perfect.
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Old 03-29-05, 11:01 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scroz
Sleep with the TV on. Perfect.
i wish i could. there is just something about the creaking floor that cuts through all other noises and prevents me from sleeping. it's weird, i can usually tolerate street noises and footsteps, but can't get used to the creaking floor. like last night, i think the upstairs neighbor went to use the bathroom and the creaking wood ripped me from my sleep like a jolt of electricity.

thanks for all the recommendations. just for clairity though - are you guys running music through the headphones? i'd prefer no music, just sound deadening. I'll probably experiment with having some background noise playing on the CD player in addition to the ear plug\headphone option.
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Old 03-29-05, 11:37 AM   #13
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Oh man, I feel your pain. When I lived in Boston, the people upstairs would let their Bose stereo alarm play for an hour before they even got up, and the light bass would penetrate right down the wall straight to my headboard. That and the creaking floors. God the creaking.....still makes me shudder.

Anyway, I used the soft orange earplugs with some relative success. I worked at a music store which sold them, but I'm sure they can be picked up at most hardware/home improvement stores. They dulled the bass amazingly well, but (like others said) the creaking was only tuned down a little bit.

You have my sympathies.

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Old 03-29-05, 11:40 AM   #14
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Oh hell in that case, just get some flanged ear plugs from the pharmacy. The flanged ones are rated to around 32dba, which is the max the usually have.
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Old 03-29-05, 11:42 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MERTON
you could buy a house ya know. they cost less than apartments usually.
Have you checked the price of real estate in NYC?
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Old 03-29-05, 11:46 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orikal

You have my sympathies.
thanks. the worst thing about it is that the upstairs neighbors are doing nothing wrong. i can't blame them at all, it's just how the building is built. it would almost be easier if they were doing something that i could talk to the landlord about, but alas, they aren't really the problem.
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Old 03-29-05, 11:50 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MERTON
you could buy a house ya know. they cost less than apartments usually.
i'm saving to buy a place sometime. i think in the next 3 years i should be able to seriously start looking. for now though, i just gotta rent.
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Old 03-29-05, 02:33 PM   #18
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Foam earplugs worked for me - took about 5 days of getting used to them. Now, I can fall asleep with them in and for some reason I automatically wake up about 3 hours later and then I just remove them and put them on the nightstand (then of course, my cat steals them and hides them in strange places throughout the house). Haven't had a problem falling back to sleep afterwards.

I actually think that although I can still hear some of the extremely loud noises through them - my body is getting used to the noise and I can tolerate much more now without the plugs.
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Old 03-31-05, 12:51 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spindog
Foam earplugs worked for me - took about 5 days of getting used to them. Now, I can fall asleep with them in and for some reason I automatically wake up about 3 hours later ....
the foam earplugs seem to be working so far. it's a little weird to get used to something stuck in your ear, but i've actually gotten some sleep because of them.

the only problem is once i put them in i lay there trying to figure out how well they are working by actively listening for things. i can't help it. not a good way to get sleep. i hope i can get accustomed to using them soon.
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Old 03-31-05, 08:37 PM   #20
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will you still be able to hear the smoke alarm?

I couldn't live in an apartment because I'd worry about not just one, but 200 irons being left on!
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Old 04-01-05, 09:34 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by 531Aussie

I couldn't live in an apartment because I'd worry about not just one, but 200 irons being left on!
very true - but, i worry most about people and their candles. seems like people burn down buildings a lot when they leave candles burning all night.
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Old 04-01-05, 10:57 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timmhaan
the foam earplugs seem to be working so far. it's a little weird to get used to something stuck in your ear, but i've actually gotten some sleep because of them.

the only problem is once i put them in i lay there trying to figure out how well they are working by actively listening for things. i can't help it. not a good way to get sleep. i hope i can get accustomed to using them soon.
I'd get the canal phones and just set your music volume to the lowest possible right above dead silent. It distracts me enough to let me fall asleep.
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