Musicians rock. They bring so much pleasure to our lives with their songs. The drawback is that music is almost always loud, in fact, many people like it better that way. Since musicians subject themselves to loud music on a daily basis, their hearing is at an increased risk of being damaged.
Whether your livelihood depends on music or not, you’ll still want to be able to hear your favorite songs when you’re pushing 60, 70, or 80. The key to having a long successful career, for musicians, is protecting their ears. Ear protection is also key to a lifetime of musical fulfillment for everyone.
Oftentimes it can be surprising how loud music can get
If you ask the majority of individuals if a jet engine is loud, they’ll likely say yes.
Is music really that loud? If you ask somebody whether an acoustic guitar or a lone violin is loud, they may not answer right away. Imagine their surprise when they discover the reality: That can also be very loud music! Your ears can even be damaged by classical music which can get to relatively high volumes.
Sounds higher than 90 dB can be created by a violin, for example. That’s about as noisy as a leaf blower. In Europe, for example, they have laws that require ear protection for anybody who works in a setting where there is noise louder than 85 dB.
And if you’re working with music day in and day out, consistent exposure to that kind of volume, particularly without ear protection, can seriously damage your hearing over time.
How can you safeguard your hearing?
Okay, musicians who want to preserve their hearing for years to come need to safeguard their hearing. So what can musicians do to safeguard their hearing and still enjoy the music they enjoy so much?
Here are a couple of tips:
- Take breaks: Your ears are the same as any other part of your body: they can become exhausted and will frequently benefit from a break. So take regular breaks from the noise. This will help stop your ears from getting overpowered with noise (and damage). Regarding hearing, how long you’re exposed is nearly as important as how loud it is. Taking breaks can be the difference between just the right amount of stimulation and too much!
- Track your volume: Everybody remembers the old saying “knowledge is power”. So it follows that you should always know what volume of sound you’re subjecting your ears to. Usually, this is as simple as tracking your volume settings on amps and receivers. But you can also buy a decibel meter app for your smartphone to make it convenient to monitor the real-world volume levels your ears are encountering from day-to-day. If the meter detects volumes above 85dB regularly, you’ll need to do something about this.
hearing protection is important
Using ear protection is the number one most effective way to protect your hearing. A lot of musicians are concerned that hearing protection will mute the sound and impact its overall sound quality. But depending on what type of hearing protection you use, that may not always be accurate.
- Ear plugs made specifically for musicians: Most people are most likely acquainted with disposable ear plugs. They don’t always fit comfortably, but they do reliably block a lot of sound. They aren’t difficult to get, don’t cost much, and can be thrown away easily. And they aren’t best suited for musicians. But earplugs made just for musicians are also available for a little more money. A special material and state-of-the-art engineering are used to help these earplugs fit comfortably in the ear and minimize external noise by around 20% while preserving the audio fidelity. For musicians who need a moderate amount 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. Most of the sound will be blocked by the earplug itself. What you hear will instead be piped in by the earplug itself. This solution is perfect for people who work in particularly noisy settings, and who want more options when it comes to volume control.
- In-ear monitors: Most music is electronic these days, or at least amplified by electronics. A device, known as an in-ear-monitor, is put inside of your ear and sends signals in electronically. The majority of monitors are small speakers that fit tightly and block out most sound while playing sounds you want to hear at less harmful volumes. So you control the volume level and can hear sound accurately and clearly. In-ear monitors are useful for individuals who work primarily with electronically amplified instruments.
Safeguard your hearing, and protect your career
It’s best to begin safeguarding your hearing early, before any substantial harm occurs. Everyone can safeguard their hearing and future with hearing protection options at all price points. Remember, ear protection for a musician is an investment in your career. By doing so, you will be able to enjoy creating music for as long as you want to.
Don’t really know where to start? Give us a call today, we can help!