Musicians are cool! They bring so much happiness to our lives with their songs. But music is a lot more powerful when it’s loud, and that can be a hearing risk. Since musicians expose themselves to loud music on a daily basis, their hearing is at an increased risk of being damaged.
As you get older, you’ll still want to be capable of enjoying your favorite music whether you’re a musician or not. The key to having an extended successful career, for musicians, is protecting their ears. For the rest of us, ear protection is the key to a lifetime of musical enjoyment and enrichment.
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 might not answer so quickly. Imagine their surprise when they discover the reality: That can also be very loud music! Even classical music can get to fairly loud volumes that can easily harm your hearing.
Sounds higher than 90 dB can be produced by a violin, for instance. A leaf blower is around this noisy. In Europe, for instance, they have laws that require hearing protection for anyone who works in a setting where there is noise above 85 dB.
And if you’re working with music on a daily basis, continuous exposure to that sort of volume, especially without ear protection, can seriously harm your hearing over time.
How can you safeguard your hearing?
Okay, now you’re aware 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 protecting their hearing?
Here are a couple of strategies:
- Track your volume: Knowledge is power, right? So being aware of volume levels of sounds around you will help you protect your hearing. Monitoring the volume on amps and PA systems is part of it. But you can also track day-to-day volume levels of external noises using a volume meter app that you can download on your cellphone. If the meter detects volumes above 85dB regularly, you’ll need to address this.
- Take breaks: Much like any part of your body, your ears can become exhausted and might need a little break. So take regular breaks from the noise. This will help prevent your ears from becoming overpowered with sound (and damage). Duration is almost as relevant as volume with regard to hearing health. The difference between the ideal amount of stimulation and too much can depend upon taking regular breaks.
Wear hearing protection
Using hearing protection is the number one most effective way to safeguard your hearing. Lots of musicians are worried that ear protection will mute the sound and impact its overall sound quality. That’s not always true, depending on which kind of hearing protection you use.
- Ear plugs made specifically for musicians: Disposable earplugs are something that’s likely very well known to most individuals. They’re pretty good at stopping a lot of sound though they sometimes don’t fit very well. They’re cheap, easy to get, and easy to throw away. And they aren’t best suited for musicians. But earplugs just for musicians are also available at a slightly higher cost. A special 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 fidelity. For musicians who need a moderate level of protection on a budget, this option is perfect.
- Electronic earplugs: The same general functionality found in non-electronic earplugs can be found in electronic earplugs. The earplug itself will block most of the sound. But the earplug itself will pipe in the sound you hear. This option is perfect for those who work in particularly noisy environments, and who want more options in terms of controlling volume.
- In-ear monitors: Electronics are a major part of modern music. A device, known as an in-ear-monitor, is placed in your ear and passes signals in electronically. It’s like a specialized little speaker for your ear, and the majority of monitors can block out sound from the outside environment (thanks to a fairly 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 individuals who work chiefly with electronically amplified instruments.
Safeguard your ears, and protect your career
It’s never too late to take steps to safeguard your hearing, but it’s definitely a good idea to begin sooner rather than later. Everyone 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!
Contact us so we can help you get started.