Is Ear Protection Recommended for Musicians?

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 risk. The musicians themselves are at an increased danger of hearing damage since they are subjected 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 in your later years of life. For musicians, preserving their hearing is the key to a long and successful career. Ear protection is also key to a lifetime of musical fulfillment for everyone.

Sometimes it can be surprising how loud music can get

If you ask the majority of people whether a jet engine is loud, they’ll likely say yes.

But what about music? If you ask somebody whether an acoustic guitar or a lone violin is loud, they might not reply so quickly. Imagine their surprise when they discover the reality: That can also be very loud music! Your ears can even be harmed by classical music which can get to fairly loud volumes.

Sounds louder than 90 dB can be produced by a violin, for instance. That’s around as loud as a leaf blower. In Europe, for example, 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 compromised over time if you’re working with music every day, especially if you don’t use ear protection.

Can you protect your ears from noise damage?

Okay, musicians who want to keep their hearing for years to come need to protect their ears. So what can musicians do to protect their hearing and still take pleasure in the music they enjoy so much?

Well, here are a couple of easy things musicians can do:

  • Track your volume: Everybody remembers the old saying “knowledge is power”. So being aware of volume levels of sounds around you will help you protect your hearing. Usually, this is as easy as monitoring your volume settings on amps and receivers. But you can also purchase a volume meter app for your cellphone to make it convenient to monitor the real-world volume levels your ears are encountering from day-to-day. If the meter reads above 85dB consistently, you’ll want to address this.
  • Take breaks: Like any part of your body, your ears can become fatigued and might need a little break. So take frequent breaks from the noise. This will help stop your ears from becoming overpowered with sound (and damage). Duration is almost as important as volume with regard to hearing health. The difference between the ideal amount of stimulation and too much can depend upon taking frequent breaks.

hearing protection is important

Needless to say, the single most beneficial thing you can do to safeguard your ears is simple: using hearing protection of some kind. A lot of musicians are worried that hearing protection will muffle the sound and impact its overall sound quality. But depending on what type of hearing protection you use, that may not always be true.

  • Ear plugs made mainly for musicians: Most people are probably familiar with disposable ear plugs. They’re fairly good at blocking a lot of sound although they sometimes don’t fit comfortably. They’re not hard to find, don’t cost much, and can be disposed of easily. For musicians, they aren’t a great solution. However, by paying a little more, you can purchase high-quality earplugs designed specifically for musicians. A special material and modern engineering are utilized to help these earplugs fit comfortably in the ear and decrease external noise by about 20% while preserving the audio fidelity. For musicians who need a moderate level of protection on a budget, this option is perfect.
  • Electronic earplugs: Electronic earplugs work in basically the same way as high-quality, non-electronic earplugs. Most of the sound will be blocked by the earplug itself. But the earplug itself will pipe in the sound you hear. This option is perfect for those who work in particularly loud settings, and who are looking for more options when it comes to controlling volume.
  • In-ear monitors: Electronics are a significant part of modern music. A device, called an in-ear-monitor, is placed in your ear and sends signals in electronically. It’s like a specialized little speaker for your ear, and most monitors can block out sound from the outside world (thanks to a rather tight fit and specialized design). So you regulate the volume level and are able to hear sound accurately and clearly. In-ear monitors are practical for those who work chiefly with electronically amplified instruments.

Protect your hearing, and protect your career

It’s better to start protecting your hearing early, before any substantial harm occurs. Everyone can protect their hearing and future with ear protection solutions at all price points. Remember 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.

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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