Musicians are awesome! Their songs bring us so much happiness. The drawback is that music is pretty much always loud, in fact, many people prefer it that way. The musicians themselves are at an increased risk of hearing damage since they are exposed to loud music just about every day.
As you grow older, you’ll still want to be capable of enjoying your favorite music whether you’re a musician or not. For musicians, protecting their hearing is the key to an extended and successful career. For the rest of us, ear protection is the secret to a lifetime of musical fulfillment and enrichment.
Oftentimes 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? If you ask someone whether an acoustic guitar or a lone violin is loud, they might not reply so quickly. Usually, when they hear the answer, they’re pretty surprised: that music is indeed loud! Your ears can even be damaged by classical music which can reach fairly high volumes.
Sounds higher than 90 dB can be produced by a violin, for example. A leaf blower is around this noisy. To put that into context, the European Union laws stipulate that any work environment louder than 85 dB will require the use of ear protection.
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.
How can you protect your hearing?
Okay, musicians who want to keep their hearing for years to come need to protect their hearing. So how can musicians continue to enjoy their music while also protecting their hearing?
Well, here are a couple of simple things musicians can do:
- Take breaks: Like any part of your body, your ears can become fatigued and may need a little break. So give yourself “hearing breaks” frequently. This will help stop your ears from getting overwhelmed with noise (and damage). Duration is nearly as important as volume when it comes to hearing health. The difference between the ideal amount of stimulation and too much can depend upon taking regular breaks.
- Track your volume: Everybody remembers the old saying “knowledge is power”. So it makes sense that you should always be aware of what volume of sound you’re exposing 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 from day-to-day. You will need to make a few changes if the meter consistently detects volumes louder than 85 dB.
Ear protection is important
Using ear 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 effects its overall sound quality. But depending on what type of hearing protection you use, that might not always be accurate.
- Ear plugs made specifically for musicians: Disposable earplugs are something that’s probably very familiar to most people. They don’t always fit well, but they do reliably stop a lot of sound. They’re cheap, easy to come by, and easy to dispose of. And they aren’t ideal for musicians. However, by paying a little more, you can purchase high-quality earplugs designed specifically for musicians. A special material and state-of-the-art engineering are used to help these earplugs fit snuggly in the ear and minimize external noise by around 20% while preserving the audio fidelity. For musicians who need 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. 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 very noisy environments and need better control of the volume, these earplugs are perfect.
- In-ear monitors: Electronics are a significant part of modern music. An in-ear monitor takes those electronic signals and sends them directly to a device placed in 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 environment (thanks to a fairly tight fit and specialized design). This means you can hear exactly how you sound, at a volume you control. For musicians who electronically amplify their instruments these in-ear-monitors are the ideal answer.
Safeguard your career by protecting your ears
It’s better to start safeguarding your hearing early, before any significant harm occurs. Everybody can safeguard their hearing and future with ear protection solutions for every budget. Remember, ear protection for a musician is an investment in your career. It’s one way to make sure you’ll be making amazing music for many years (maybe even decades) to come!
Contact us so we can help you get started.