Ear Plug/Hearing Protection Poll

When do you wear 'em, if at all?
What do you think about the noisy world we live in?
Is one kind better than others?
NYC residents - do you wear them on the train.

I wear earplugs quite alot. Mowing the lawn, riding the subway in NYC, flying in planes.
I wear an earplug in one ear due to loss of high frquency
hearing loss. Hearing loss is cumulative, so protection at the first sign can help prevent further loss, so I wear one while driving, using lawn equipment, power tools. Unfortunately, I do not while listening to music because of the effect it would have on listening enjoyment, but you have to have some fun! Surgery can help if the hearing loss
is not caused by nerve damage to the auditory nerve, but unfortunately is the most common. Long term exposure to noise above 85db can cause hearing loss, which is equal to
loud conversation. A single gunshot, which produces 140-170db is equal to 40 hours of exposure at 90db levels. So,
be careful! I use earplugs of the foam variety, which reduce
noise to about 30db, and are easy to use and inexpensive.
Yes, I wear them when mowing the lawn, riding the motorcycle, shooting, etc. Also, I don't play my music really loud either. In fact, I even set up my system with a low power configuration to keep me from turning it up to ear damaging levels. It is important to protect your hearing if you want to enjoy audio for the long term.
I wear them in airplanes, around construction and power tools, shooting my handguns (plus Peltor head set ), public places where amplification is too loud or too bright, and movie theatres where sound track is above comfortable level.

I carry disposable earplugs in my camera bag and use them and offer to my wife and son whenever we are in above situations. My wife usually refuses, my son usually accepts.

Son usually takes disposable plugs to school dances and parties where the DJ's get carried away with their crappy sound systems. Of course also at live rock concerts like Blink 182 / Green Day he recently attended.
I also wear plugs as the above posters stated but also wear them while using power tools. Sometimes in my travels I wear them to fall asleep as noise levels can be bothersome.

I use the foam type made by E.A.R. that are uniformly cylindrical. Very comfortable.
Best earplugs I've used are called 'Flents' and are a sort of moldable waxy-cotton plug. 'What do I think of the noisy world we live in?' I'd love to move further out into the country, as far away as possible from neighbors who crank their sterios so loud I can hear it in my house 2 doors down. Or howabout people that have to have their car or pick-up sterio blasting in the driveway while they wash it or clean it or fix it. There really should be a law against people blasting their 'boom-boom' car sterios as they drive up and down the street, rattling the whole house and windows; sometimes these idiots drive up and down my street several times back and forth. Bottom line is people need to keep their noise to themselves, but you just try and tell 'em!
I spend considerable time tuning race motors on the dyno and always wear protection. I'm proud of the fact that I was the first local racer to install a really good exhaust system on my drag car which actually made the car faster.

Compressed air systems are very damaging to hearing. Beware of air powered tools and such.

I listen to music loud so will eventually pay the price for it, maybe.
I use foam earplugs for sound protection and for some peace(on planes, etc.), and I use a different type of ear plug ("Hearos" brand...the ones that look like small, rubber christmas trees) for rock concerts. They don't offer the 30db reduction that the foam plugs offer, but they make the music much more enjoyable than the foam plugs do. The foam plugs cut out most of the high end and the live music ends up sounding pretty dull and uninterseting. The Hearos rubber christmas trees allow most of the important bass, midrange, and mid-treble frequencies to pass (reduced a bit), but cut the shrillest high frequencies the most. The high frequencies are the ones that do the most damage and cause the ringing. I've used them for the past year and they're much much better than foam plugs or crumpled pieces of napkin. They usually cost $10-$15 at guitar stores.
I use them also. I used to play in rock and roll bands in high school and college so I may have a slight hearing deficit already. I recently moved to a new, smaller audio room and used the opportunity to revise my system to achieve good sound at lower levels. I used to use Magnepan Tympani's which need high volume to come alive. Now, in order to stop punishing my ears, I changed to high sensitivity speakers and SET's which sound good at much lower volume.
It is a real relief to know that my favorite listening pastime won't damage my hearing!
I wear ear protection on my drive to/from work. Since I have a convertible the noise level is pretty high on the 45 mile drive into work.

It amazes me how loud people listen to their systems, both at home and in the car. I live in an apartment with the parking lot a good distance away and I can still hear some residents car steroes over my own system (usually because I try to keep it at a reasonable level).
A quicky "cheater" ear plug can be made by snapping off the filter of a cigarette. There were times at concerts when the music was just too damn loud! Most smokers will be happy to part with a couple of butts for a buck, so an emergency supply is usually near at hand. Just be sure to blow off any flakes of tobacco from the broken off filter! Happy Tunes!