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 hazard. The musicians themselves are at an increased danger of hearing damage since they are exposed to loud music nearly every day.
Whether your living 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. 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 fulfillment and enrichment.
Sometimes it can be surprising how loud music can be
If you ask most individuals whether a jet engine is loud, they’ll likely say yes.
Is music really that loud? People might not be so fast 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 music is certainly loud! Even classical music can get to fairly high volumes that can easily harm your hearing.
Sounds louder than 90 dB can be produced by a violin, for instance. That’s about as loud as a leaf blower. In Europe, for instance, they have regulations that require hearing protection for anyone who works in a work environment where there is noise above 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 hearing protection.
Can you safeguard your ears from noise damage?
Okay, musicians who want to preserve their hearing for years to come need to safeguard their ears. So what can musicians do to protect their hearing and still enjoy the music they love so much?
Well, here are a couple of simple things musicians can do:
- Track your volume: Knowledge is power, right? So being aware of volume levels of sounds around you will help you protect your hearing. Keeping track of the volume on amps and PA systems is one factor. But you can also monitor day-to-day volume levels of external noises using a decibel meter app that you can download on your cellphone. You will want to make some changes if the meter consistently reads above 85 dB.
- Take breaks: Your ears are the same as any other part of your body: they can be overworked and will frequently benefit from a break. So give yourself “hearing breaks” frequently. This will help stop your ears from getting overwhelmed with sound (and damage). Regarding hearing, how long you’re exposed is nearly as important as how high the volume is. Taking breaks can be the difference between just enough stimulation and too much!
Wear ear protection
Of course, the single most beneficial thing you can do to protect your hearing is easy: wearing hearing protection of some kind. Lots of musicians are worried that hearing protection will mute the sound and effects its overall sound quality. That’s not always the case, depending on which kind of ear protection you use.
- Ear plugs made primarily for musicians: Most people are most likely acquainted with disposable ear plugs. They’re pretty good at blocking a lot of sound although they sometimes don’t fit comfortably. They’re cheap, easy to find, and easy to throw away. For musicians, they aren’t an ideal solution. But earplugs made just for musicians are also available at a slightly higher cost. A specialized material and state-of-the-art engineering are used to help these earplugs fit snuggly in the ear and reduce external noise by around 20% while maintaining the audio clarity. This option is perfect for musicians who need a light to moderate level of protection (and who don’t have a lot of money to invest in earplugs, or are likely to misplace them).
- Electronic earplugs: Electronic earplugs work 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 send in the sound you hear. For people who work in really noisy settings and need better control of the volume, these earplugs are perfect.
- In-ear monitors: The majority of music is electronic now, or at least amplified by electronics. A device, called an in-ear-monitor, is put inside of your ear and passes signals in electronically. Most monitors are small speakers that fit snugly and block out most sound while playing sounds you want to hear at safe volumes. So you regulate the volume level and can hear sound accurately and clearly. In-ear monitors are beneficial for those who work mainly with electronically amplified instruments.
Safeguard your career by protecting your ears
It’s never too late to take steps to protect your hearing, but it’s definitely a good plan to begin sooner rather than later. Everyone can safeguard their hearing and future with ear protection solutions at all price points. Keep in mind, 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.
Give us a call so we can help you get started.