No one wants to be that “Huh? What’s that?” guy, but we’re not helping our ears much these days, what with brain-rocking headphones that just make you turn the dial to 10 and all those blasting (awesome) Black Keys concerts that can’t be missed. Etymotic Music Pro 9-15 ($400) ear plugs can at least make sure your eardrums aren’t being destroyed at work as well as at play.

Perfect for musicians, directors, sound crews and other entertainment industry staff, the intelligent ear plugs automatically allow wearers to hear normally until sound exceeds safe levels. Once the decibels increase, the RO circuitry gradually provides 9- or 15-dB sound reduction

RO circuitry automatically changes output levels as sound input levels change. Hearing is natural, as if nothing is in your ears until sound exceeds safe levels. Once the volume reaches the danger zone, the buds gradually provide 15-dB sound reduction, ensuring you won’t need grandpa’s hearing aids for at least a few more years. As an added boon, they also can be set to enhance your hearing abilities with 6-dB gain, if Metallica’s already given you tinnitus.

Buy Now: $400