Musician Hearing Protection Options
Hearing protection is extremely important if you want to preserve your hearing healthy. As a hearing instrument specialist, we recommend that most people have some form of hearing protection just in case they need it. However, certain groups are more in need than others – such as musicians.
The very nature of a musician’s lifestyle means that they’ll be surrounded by noises that exceed the safe decibel level. They hear loud sounds every single day, for potentially hours on end. When you don’t have the right hearing protection to combat this, then hearing loss is right around the corner.
So, what types of hearing protection can musicians benefit from the most?
Protect your hearing with earplugs
Here at Integrity Hearing Aid Solutions, our most popular form of hearing protection for musicians is the humble earplug. They can be custom made to fit snugly inside your ear, blocking out a lot of the noise surrounding you. Naturally, as a musician, you’ll be in environments where the noise level far exceeds anything your ears can cope with. If you spend hours each day around this level of loudness, then the nerve endings in your ear will take a beating and start to wear down. Eventually, you’ll suffer from permanent hearing loss.
But, if you wear special musician earplugs/earmolds, then you have an efficient way of protecting your hearing. Most people that come to see us have never met with a hearing instrument specialist before. As such, they assume that all earplugs are the same and that their purpose is to block out as much sound as possible. This isn’t strictly true, as earplugs for musicians are designed around your lifestyle.
What this means is that they will block out certain sound frequencies while allowing you to still hear the notes you’re playing. This reduces the amount of background noise you hear, by quieting it down, while ensuring you’re not entirely deaf. They’re a simple yet effective form or hearing protection, and they also tend to be the most cost-effective option as well.
Get advanced protection with musician monitors
One of the most significant developments in the hearing protection world is something called an IEM. This stands for in-ear monitor, but most people refer to them as musician monitors. This is because they’re widely used by musicians as a form of advanced hearing protection. In essence, they’re more technical versions of earplugs – and they’re similar to regular earbud headphones as well.
How do they work? With IEMs, you have a molded earbud that fits snugly in your ear and provides ample protection from background noises. It can dramatically reduce the sound of a screaming concert or excessively loud set. The difference is that you can hook these devices up to your stage monitor, streaming your music directly into your ears at a more controlled level. This means you can clearly hear all the notes that are being played, without the excessive noise to go along with it.
Musician monitors offer much more clarity when listening to your music, alongside excellent hearing protection. The only reason that they’re not used by everyone is that they’re a bit more expensive than a set of earplugs. So, it depends on how serious you take your music and how often you’ll need to wear hearing protection. For some, earplugs are still the better option.
Hearing aids for musicians
If you suffer from hearing loss, then you may think your days as a musician are numbered. However, there are plenty of hearing aids out there that are perfect for your lifestyle. You can get some that include automatic volume control or digital noise reduction which will automatically lower the volume of loud noises. This is perfect in a concert environment as you can lower the sound of a screaming crowd, so it doesn’t damage your ears even more. To go along with this, these features will amplify quieter noises as well, meaning you have no trouble hearing them.
Also, for musicians, Bluetooth hearing aids are very ideal. They can connect to any other Bluetooth device, meaning you can play music directly through your hearing aids. It’s perfect if you have difficulty hearing yourself play – you can connect to digital instruments or through an amplifier to listen to yourself.
At the end of the day, all musicians need to have some form of hearing protection when they’re in noisy environments. To learn more about the hearing protection options out there, or to book a consultation with a qualified hearing instrument specialist, contact our team today. Give us a call now at (717) 602-3899 for Mechanicsburg or (717) 245-2437 for Carlisle, and we’ll book your appointment right away.