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

Musicians rock. Their songs bring us so much happiness. But music is so much more powerful when it’s loud, and that can be a hearing hazard. Since musicians subject themselves to loud music frequently, their hearing is at an increased risk of being harmed.

As you grow older, you’ll still want to be capable of enjoying your favorite songs whether you’re a musician or not. The key to having a long successful career, for musicians, is protecting their ears. Hearing protection is also key to a lifetime of musical enjoyment for everybody.

Music is surprisingly loud

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

Is music really that loud? If you ask somebody whether an acoustic guitar or a lone violin is loud, they may not answer so quickly. Usually, when they hear the answer, they’re pretty surprised: That can also be very loud music! Even classical music can get to fairly loud volumes that can easily damage your hearing.

A violin, for instance, can create sounds well over 90 dB. That’s about as noisy as a leaf blower. In Europe, for example, they have laws that require hearing protection for anyone who works in a setting where there is noise louder than 85 dB.

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

Can you protect your ears from noise damage?

Okay, musicians who want to keep their hearing for years to come need to safeguard their ears. So how can musicians keep enjoying their music while also safeguarding their hearing?

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

  • Take breaks: Like any part of your body, your ears can become exhausted and might need a little break. So give yourself “hearing breaks” frequently. In this way, noises won’t overpower and harm your ears. Regarding hearing, how long you’re exposed is almost as significant as how loud it is. Taking breaks can be the difference between just enough stimulation and too much!
  • Track your volume: Everyone remembers the old saying “knowledge is power”. So knowing volume levels of noises around you will help you safeguard your hearing. Tracking the volume on amps and PA systems is one factor. But you can also track 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 consistently reads above 85 dB.

Ear protection is important

Using hearing protection is the number one most effective way to protect your hearing. Many musicians are hesitant to use ear protection because they’re worried it will effect the clarity of sound they hear, as well as dampening the volume. But depending on what kind of hearing protection you use, that might not always be true.

  • Ear plugs made specifically for musicians: Most individuals are probably acquainted with disposable ear plugs. They don’t always fit perfectly, but they do reliably block a lot of sound. They’re cheap, easy to find, and easy to dispose of. For musicians, they aren’t a great solution. But earplugs 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 comfortably in the ear and minimize external noise by around 20% while preserving the audio fidelity. For musicians who require a moderate level of protection on a budget, this option is perfect.
  • Electronic earplugs: The same basic 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. For people who work in really loud settings and need better control of the volume, these earplugs are ideal.
  • In-ear monitors: Electronics are a major part of modern music. An in-ear monitor takes those electronic signals and transmits them directly to a device placed inside of your ear (called an in-ear monitor). It’s like a special little speaker for your ear, and most monitors can block out sound from the outside environment (thanks to a rather tight fit and specialized design). So you regulate the volume level and are able to hear sound accurately and clearly. For musicians who electronically amplify their instruments these in-ear-monitors are the ideal answer.

Protect your career by protecting your ears

It’s best to begin safeguarding your hearing early, before any significant damage occurs. With options available at just about every price point, there are easy ways for everyone to protect their hearing and their future. Don’t forget that you’re investing in your career by using hearing protection for musicians. By doing so, you will be able to enjoy making music for as long as you want to.

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

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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