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

Musicians rock. Their performances bring us so much enjoyment. But music is so much more powerful when it’s loud, and that can be a hearing risk. The musicians themselves are at an even greater risk of hearing damage since they are exposed to loud music nearly every day.

Whether your income relies on music or not, you’ll still want to be able to hear your favorite songs when you’re in your later years of life. The key to having an extended successful career, for musicians, is protecting their hearing. For the rest of us, hearing protection is the key to a lifetime of musical fulfillment and enrichment.

Sometimes it can be surprising how loud music can get

If you ask the majority of people if a jet engine is loud, they’ll likely say yes.

Is music really that loud? If you ask somebody whether an acoustic guitar or a lone violin is loud, they may not reply right away. Usually, when they hear the answer, they’re pretty surprised: that music is indeed loud! Your ears can even be harmed by classical music which can reach fairly loud volumes.

A violin, for example, can create sounds in excess of 90 dB. A leaf blower is about this noisy. In Europe, for instance, they have laws that require ear protection for anybody who works in a work environment where there is noise louder than 85 dB.

And your hearing can be seriously damaged over time if you’re working with music every day, particularly if you don’t use hearing protection.

How can you protect your hearing?

Okay, musicians who want to maintain 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?

Here are a couple of strategies:

  • Take breaks: Your ears are the same as any other part of your body: they can become exhausted and will often benefit from rest. So take frequent breaks from the noise. This will help stop your ears from becoming overpowered with sound (and damage). Duration is almost as important as volume when it comes to hearing health. Taking breaks can be the difference between just enough stimulation and too much!
  • Track your volume: Everybody knows the old saying “knowledge is power”. So knowing volume levels of sounds around you will help you protect your hearing. Usually, this is as simple as monitoring your volume settings on amps and receivers. But you can also track day-to-day volume levels of external noises using a decibel meter app that you can download on your cellphone. You will need to make a few changes if the meter regularly detects volumes louder than 85 dB.

Use ear protection

Using hearing protection is the number one most effective way to protect your hearing. Lots of musicians are worried that hearing protection will muffle the sound and impact its overall sound quality. That isn’t always the case, depending on which type of hearing protection you choose.

  • Ear plugs made specifically for musicians: Most individuals are most likely familiar with disposable ear plugs. They’re fairly good at stopping a lot of sound though they sometimes don’t fit very well. They’re cheap, easy to come by, and easy to throw away. For musicians, they aren’t an ideal solution. However, by spending just a little more money, you can buy high-quality earplugs designed specifically for musicians. A specialized material and state-of-the-art engineering are utilized to help these earplugs fit comfortably in the ear and minimize external noise by about 20% while preserving the audio fidelity. For musicians who require a moderate level of protection on a budget, this solution is perfect.
  • Electronic earplugs: The same basic functionality found in non-electronic earplugs can be found in electronic earplugs. The earplug itself will block out the majority of the sound. But the earplug itself will send in the sound you hear. This option is perfect for individuals who work in particularly loud environments, and who are looking for more options when it comes to controlling volume.
  • In-ear monitors: Electronics are a significant part of modern music. A device, known as an in-ear-monitor, is put inside of your ear and sends signals in electronically. It’s like a specialized little speaker for your ear, and most monitors can block out sound from the outside environment (thanks to a rather tight fit and special design). This means you can hear exactly how you sound, at a volume you control. In-ear monitors are useful for those who work chiefly with electronically amplified instruments.

Protect your career by protecting your hearing

It’s best to start safeguarding your hearing early, before any substantial harm occurs. Everyone can protect their hearing and future with hearing protection options for every budget. Remember, hearing protection for a musician is an investment in your career. By doing so, you will be able to enjoy making music for as long as you want to.

Contact us so we can help you get started.

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