Musicians rock. Their shows bring us so much happiness. The drawback is that music is pretty much always loud, in fact, many individuals like it better that way. Since musicians subject themselves to loud music frequently, their hearing is at an increased risk of being damaged.
As you grow older, you’ll still want to be able to enjoy your favorite songs whether you’re a musician or not. For musicians, safeguarding their hearing is the key to a long and successful career. Ear protection is also key to a lifetime of musical fulfillment for everyone.
Music is surprisingly loud
If you ask the majority of people if 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 may not answer right away. Imagine their surprise when they discover the reality: That can also be loud music! Your ears can even be damaged by classical music which can reach relatively high volumes.
Sounds louder than 90 dB can be created by a violin, for example. That’s around as noisy as a leaf blower. To put that into context, the European Union laws stipulate that any work environment louder than 85 dB requires the use of ear protection.
And your hearing can be significantly damaged over time if you’re working with music every day, particularly if you don’t use ear protection.
Can you safeguard your ears from noise damage?
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:
- Track your volume: Knowledge is power, right? So it makes sense that you should always be aware of what levels of sound you’re exposing your ears to. Keeping track of the volume on amps and PA systems is part of it. But you can also purchase a decibel meter app for your cellphone to make it easy to track the real-world volume levels your ears are experiencing from day-to-day. If the meter reads above 85dB regularly, you’ll need to do something about this.
- Take breaks: Like any part of your body, your ears can become exhausted and might need a little break. So take regular breaks from the noise. By doing this, noises won’t overwhelm and harm your ears. Duration is nearly as relevant as volume with regard to hearing health. Taking breaks can be the difference between just the right amount of stimulation and too much!
Ear protection is important
Needless to say, the single most effective thing you can do to protect your hearing is easy: wearing hearing protection of some kind. A lot of musicians are concerned that hearing protection will muffle the sound and effects its overall sound quality. But depending on what type of hearing protection you use, that may not always be accurate.
- Ear plugs made mainly for musicians: Most people are likely acquainted with disposable ear plugs. They don’t always fit comfortably, but they do reliably block a lot of sound. They aren’t hard to find, don’t cost much, and can be thrown away easily. And they aren’t ideal for musicians. However, by spending just a little more money, you can purchase high-quality earplugs designed chiefly for musicians. A specialized material and state-of-the-art engineering are utilized to help these earplugs fit comfortably in the ear and decrease external noise by around 20% while preserving the audio fidelity. For musicians who require a moderate level of protection on a budget, this option is perfect.
- Electronic earplugs: Electronic earplugs function in essentially the same way as high-quality, non-electronic earplugs. The earplug itself will block out 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 ideal.
- In-ear monitors: Electronics are a significant part of modern music. An in-ear monitor takes those electronic signals and transmits them directly to a device placed in your ear (called an in-ear monitor). Most monitors are little speakers that fit snugly and block out the majority of sound while playing sounds you want to hear at safe volumes. 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 perfect answer.
Protect your hearing, and protect your career
It’s never too late to take measures to protect your ears, but it’s definitely a good idea to start sooner rather than later. With solutions available at nearly every price point, there are easy ways for everybody to safeguard their hearing and their future. Remember that you’re investing in your career by using hearing protection for musicians. It’s one way to make sure you’ll be making amazing music for years (maybe even decades) to come!
Don’t really know where to start? Contact us today, we can help!