Close up of drummer's hands playing a drum kit. Drums are very loud, the player should be wearing hearing protection.

Musicians are cool! Their songs bring us so much happiness. The drawback is that music is pretty much always loud, in fact, many individuals prefer it that way. The musicians themselves are at an even greater risk of hearing damage since they are subjected to loud music nearly every day.

Whether your livelihood depends on music or not, you’ll still want to be able to hear your favorite songs when you’re pushing 60, 70, or 80. For musicians, safeguarding their hearing is the key to an extended and successful career. For the rest of us, ear protection is the secret to a lifetime of musical enjoyment and enrichment.

Sometimes it can be surprising how loud music can get

Most people would say that a jet engine is really loud.

But what about music? If you ask someone whether an acoustic guitar or a lone violin is noisy, they might not answer so quickly. Imagine their surprise when they discover the reality: that music is indeed loud! Even classical music can get to relatively high volumes that can easily harm your hearing.

Sounds louder than 90 dB can be created by a violin, for instance. A leaf blower is around this loud. To put that into context, the European Union regulations dictate that any work environment louder than 85 dB requires the use of ear protection.

And your hearing can be significantly compromised over time if you’re working with music every day, particularly if you don’t wear ear protection.

How can you protect your hearing?

Okay, musicians who want to keep their hearing for years to come need to protect their hearing. So how can musicians continue to enjoy their music while also protecting their hearing?

Well, here are a couple of simple things musicians can do:

  • Take breaks: Much like any part of your body, your ears can become fatigued and may need a little break. So take regular breaks from the noise. By doing this, noises won’t overpower and harm your ears. Duration is almost as important as volume when it comes to hearing health. The difference between the perfect amount of stimulation and too much can come down to taking frequent breaks.
  • Track your volume: Everyone knows the old saying “knowledge is power”. So being aware of volume levels of noises around you will help you safeguard your hearing. Monitoring the volume on amps and PA systems is one factor. But you can also monitor day-to-day volume levels of environmental noises using a volume meter app that you can download on your cellphone. You will want to make some changes if the meter regularly reads louder than 85 dB.

Ear protection is important

Using hearing protection is the single most effective way to safeguard your hearing. A lot of musicians are concerned that hearing protection will mute the sound and impact its overall sound quality. That isn’t always true, depending on which type of ear protection you choose.

  • Ear plugs made specifically for musicians: Disposable earplugs are something that’s most likely very familiar to most individuals. They’re pretty good at blocking a lot of sound although they sometimes don’t fit comfortably. They’re inexpensive, easy to find, and easy to throw away. For musicians, they aren’t the best solution. But earplugs made just for musicians are also available for a little more money. A specialized material and state-of-the-art engineering are utilized to help these earplugs fit snuggly in the ear and minimize external noise by around 20% while maintaining the audio clarity. This option is perfect for musicians who need a light to moderate amount of protection (and who don’t have a ton of money to invest in earplugs, or are likely to misplace them).
  • Electronic earplugs: The same general functionality found in non-electronic earplugs can also be found in electronic earplugs. Most of the sound will be blocked by the earplug itself. But the earplug itself will pipe in the sound you hear. This option is perfect for individuals who work in particularly loud settings, and who are looking for more options in terms of controlling volume.
  • In-ear monitors: Electronics are a significant part of modern music. An in-ear monitor takes those electronic signals and transmits them directly to a device placed in your ear (called an in-ear monitor). It’s like a special little speaker for your ear, and the majority of monitors can block out sound from the outside world (thanks to a rather tight fit and specialized design). This means you can hear exactly how you sound, at a volume you control. For musicians who electronically amplify their instruments these in-ear-monitors are the perfect answer.

Protect your career by protecting your hearing

It’s better to start safeguarding your hearing early, before any substantial harm occurs. Everybody can protect their hearing and future with hearing protection options for every budget. Don’t forget that you’re investing in your career by using hearing protection for musicians. It’s one way to be certain you’ll be making amazing music for years (maybe even decades) to come!

Don’t quite know where to start? Contact us today, we can help!

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