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 enjoyment. The downside is that music is almost always loud, in fact, many individuals like it better that way. The musicians themselves are at an increased risk of hearing damage since they are exposed to loud music nearly every day.

Whether your income depends 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. For musicians, protecting their hearing is the key to an extended and successful career. Hearing protection is also key to a lifetime of musical fulfillment 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 noisy, they might not answer right away. Usually, when they hear the answer, they’re pretty surprised: That can also be loud music! Even classical music can get to relatively loud volumes that can easily harm your hearing.

A violin, for example, can create sounds well over 90 dB. That’s around as noisy as a leaf blower. To put that into context, the European Union laws stipulate that any workplace louder than 85 dB calls for the use of ear protection.

And your hearing can be significantly compromised 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 protect their hearing (particularly if they want to go on rocking out for many years). So how can musicians keep enjoying their music while also preserving their hearing?

Here are a couple of strategies:

  • Take breaks: Much like any part of your body, your ears can become tired and may need a little break. So take frequent breaks from the noise. This will help prevent your ears from becoming overwhelmed with sound (and damage). With regard to hearing, how long you’re exposed is almost as significant as how loud it is. The difference between the ideal amount of stimulation and too much can come down to taking frequent breaks.
  • Track your volume: Knowledge is power, right? So it makes sense that you should always be aware of what volume of sound you’re subjecting your ears to. Usually, this is as easy as tracking your volume settings on amps and receivers. But you can also buy a decibel meter app for your cellphone to make it convenient to track the real-world volume levels your ears are experiencing day in and day out. You will want to make some changes if the meter consistently reads above 85 dB.

hearing protection is important

Using hearing protection is the number one most effective way to protect your hearing. Many musicians are reluctant to use hearing protection because they’re concerned it will effect the quality of sound they hear, as well as dampening the volume. But depending on what type of hearing protection you use, that might not always be accurate.

  • Ear plugs made primarily for musicians: Disposable earplugs are something that’s most likely very well known to most people. They’re fairly good at stopping a lot of sound although they sometimes don’t fit comfortably. They’re not difficult to find, aren’t expensive, and can be disposed of easily. For musicians, they aren’t the best 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 reduce external noise by around 20% while preserving the audio clarity. For musicians who need a moderate level of protection on a budget, this option is perfect.
  • Electronic earplugs: Electronic earplugs work in pretty much the same way as high-quality, non-electronic earplugs. Most of the sound will be blocked by the earplug itself. What you hear will instead be routed in by the earplug itself. This option is perfect for individuals who work in particularly noisy environments, and who are looking for more options when it comes to volume control.
  • In-ear monitors: The majority of music is electronic nowadays, or at least amplified by electronics. 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 specialized 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 special 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.

Safeguard your career by protecting your ears

It’s never too late to take measures to safeguard your ears, but it’s definitely a good idea to start sooner rather than later. Everybody can protect their hearing and future with hearing protection solutions for every budget. 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.

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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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