Should Musicians Use Ear Protection?

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 shows bring us so much enjoyment. But music is so much more powerful when it’s loud, and that can be a hearing hazard. The musicians themselves are at an increased risk of hearing damage since they are exposed to loud music just about 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 pushing 60, 70, or 80. The key to having an extended successful career, for musicians, is protecting their ears. Hearing protection is also key to a lifetime of musical enjoyment for everyone.

Oftentimes it can be surprising how loud music can be

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

Is music really that loud? People might not be so quick to answer that question if you ask them if a violin or acoustic guitar is loud. Imagine their surprise when they discover the reality: That can also be loud music! Even classical music can get to relatively loud volumes that can easily harm your hearing.

Sounds louder than 90 dB can be created by a violin, for example. A leaf blower is around this loud. In Europe, for instance, they have regulations 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 significantly damaged over time if you’re working with music every day, especially if you don’t use ear protection.

Can you safeguard your ears from noise damage?

Okay, now you recognize that musicians need to safeguard their hearing (especially if they want to keep on rocking out for many years). So how can musicians continue to enjoy their music while also protecting their hearing?

Here are a couple of tips:

  • Track your volume: Everyone knows the old saying “knowledge is power”. So it follows that you should always be aware of what volume of sound you’re subjecting your ears to. Sometimes, this is as simple as tracking your volume settings on amps and receivers. But you can also buy a volume meter app for your smartphone to make it convenient to monitor the real-world volume levels your ears are experiencing day in and day out. If the meter detects volumes above 85dB regularly, you’ll have to address this.
  • Take breaks: Your ears are like any other part of your body: they can be overworked and will often benefit from a break. So give yourself “hearing breaks” regularly. This will help stop your ears from becoming overpowered with sound (and damage). With regard to hearing, how long you’re exposed is almost as important as how loud it is. Taking breaks can be the difference between just the right amount of stimulation and too much!

Use ear protection

Of course, the single most effective thing you can do to safeguard your ears is easy: using ear protection of some kind. A lot of musicians are worried that ear protection will mute the sound and effects its overall sound quality. 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 likely familiar with disposable ear plugs. They’re pretty good at stopping a lot of sound although they sometimes don’t fit very well. They’re cheap, easy to come by, and easy to dispose of. 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 modern engineering are utilized to help these earplugs fit snuggly in the ear and reduce external noise by about 20% while preserving the audio clarity. For musicians who need a moderate amount of protection on a budget, this solution is perfect.
  • Electronic earplugs: Electronic earplugs function in pretty much the same way as high-quality, non-electronic earplugs. The earplug itself will block the majority of the sound. But the earplug itself will pipe in the sound you hear. For individuals who work in really noisy settings and need better control of the volume, these earplugs are perfect.
  • In-ear monitors: Electronics are a major part of modern music. A device, known as an in-ear-monitor, is put inside of your ear and transmits signals in electronically. Most monitors are small speakers that fit tightly and block out most sound while playing sounds you want to hear at safe volumes. This means you can hear exactly how you sound, at a volume you control. In-ear monitors are practical for those who work chiefly with electronically amplified instruments.

Safeguard your ears, and protect your career

It’s never too late to take measures to protect your hearing, but it’s definitely a good plan to begin sooner rather than later. Everybody can protect their hearing and future with ear protection options for every budget. Remember that you’re investing in your career by utilizing hearing protection for musicians. By doing so, you will be able to enjoy creating music for as long as you want to.

Contact us so we can help you get started.

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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