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Hearing Protection Advice for Musicians

Orange color ear plugs on white background

The role of a musician is to have a finely tuned sense of hearing so they can understand the nuances in music, and one of the biggest issues many musicians have in a live setting is not protecting their hearing properly. Many famed musicians have spoken about their hearing loss, such as Pete Townshend from The Who or Chris Martin from Coldplay and have campaigned for more protection and awareness. While many musicians use custom-fit earplugs, so they do not cause any damage to their inner ears, are these earplugs worth the cost? 

The Demands of Live Music

Sound is measured in decibels. Normal conversation measures around 60 decibels (dB), and a lawnmower is approximately 90dB. A loud concert can be around 120dB, double the volume of a normal conversation. Therefore, it is incredibly important for musicians to use custom earplugs designed by a hearing instrument specialist that can make a massive difference to a musician’s hearing. Custom earplugs are molded to a person’s ear so it fits the shape of the ear and will increase the effectiveness of the earplugs acting as a seal blocking the musician’s ears from being damaged by an external sound. 

What Are the Dangers of Not Wearing Earplugs? 

As earplugs provide a shield for the inner ear canal and the eardrum, the importance of protecting hearing is crucial, especially with prolonged exposure to music exceeding 100dB. Any sound that you are exposed to that is beyond 85dB can do irreversible damage. Musicians who are exposed to excessive noise in these environments need to prevent damage from happening sooner rather than later. 

Are Disposable Earplugs Better Than Custom Earplugs? 

Disposable earplugs are crafted to only fit one size. Normal earplugs are not particularly comfortable and can end up blocking a lot of the sound, which is not helpful for the musician to understand the nuances in the music. While disposable earplugs are cheaper, the fact is that custom-fit earplugs allow the musician to adapt to the environment. 

Custom-fit earplugs are better than disposable because it doesn’t feel like there is anything in the ear. This is crucial to musicians who cannot afford to be distracted, especially when in the middle of a performance.

Are Custom-Fit Earplugs Worth the Cost? 

The cost is a very important component for many people. Musicians are people that will need to protect their hearing every single day, and this is why it’s important to get into the mindset of preventing hearing loss, rather than medicating it later on. 

If you are someone that works in a musical environment, where your ears are subject to a lot of noise, they will be worth the cost. Disposable earplugs are going to limit the sound so you cannot hear much, but custom-fit earplugs will help you to manage different frequencies and sounds and depending on the type of music you play and the locations, this makes a significant difference. 

Other Benefits of Custom-Fit Earplugs

Custom-fit earplugs will have a lot more comfort due to the fact that they are custom-made for you and no one else. Custom-fit earplugs have special filters, and when we compare this to a disposable earplug, this means you can hear the quality of sound without losing the volume completely. Disposable earplugs act as a barrier, where they block all the volume and frequencies. So, if you are someone that works in an environment where you experience a lot of noise, you need to invest in custom-fit earplugs. 

Custom-fit earplugs are not the same as traditional disposable earplugs. And this is a common misconception. Many people look at investing in a huge amount of disposable earplugs, but if you are working in an environment where you are exposed to loud noise constantly, having one set of custom-fit earplugs protects your hearing but it’s also going to allow you to hear what you needto hear. With many musicians experiencing hearing loss and tinnitus, and bitterly regretting not looking after their hearing sooner, this is a very important lesson any musician can have. And it all begins with custom-fit earplugs. 

If you’re looking at purchasing custom-fit earplugs, you can learn more by getting in contact with Better Hearing of Madison County at (315) 693-3637, we are ready to provide you with all the information you need.