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Blog overview

5 ways to protect your hearing – for musicians

Apple, in Community news
Apr 14, 2022 | 2 min read

Hear a ringing in your ear? That’s a sign of tinnitus. At first, it will only last for a short while, so you can easily ignore it. Over time, it can develop into something much more severe and permanent. Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is caused by exposure to loud sounds over time, and musicians are highly susceptible to it. The good news is there are ways to prevent that from happening! Here are 5 tips for musicians to protect your hearing, so you can enjoy music all the time.

1. Wear high-fidelity earplugs

When should you wear earplugs? Whenever you start to think “Is this too loud?” is good rule of thumb. To be more specific, anything louder than 85dB can cause hearing damage with prolonged exposure. Earplugs are one of the most direct ways to protect your ears. The problem is that most earplugs make it hard to enjoy the music, because they distort the sounds you hear.

High-fidelity earplugs are different because they contain special filters that evenly reduce the sound levels of your surroundings. This way you can still enjoy the music, just at a lower volume.

Minuendo Lossless Earplugs are passive hi-fidelity earplugs which truly prioritize your hearing experience. Offering the ability to adjust the attenuation level by adjusting the levers, you can easily find your sweet spot between -7dB to -25dB. Whether you’re playing in a small gig or at a metal concert, these earplugs will provide the comfort of hearing protection without compromising on sound quality. Here’s a tip: keep your earplugs on your keychain carrying case so you have them with you at all times.

Decibel Level reference

2. Limit exposure

The second tip is simply adjusting some of your behaviour to minimize exposure to loud sounds. If you use headphones a lot, listen at no more than 60% volume. At a concert, move away from the loudest sound source – the speakers, and choose a spot with reasonable sound volumes. A rock music concert at its peak can produce sounds at an astonishing 150dB! When performing, avoid having your amp point directly at you, instead, position yourself behind the source of the sound.

Core with teal strap adjusting amp settings

3. Take breaks

Instead of listening to music for 2 hours in a go, take a break every 30 minutes. If you’re at a loud gig, step outside every so often to let your ears get some rest. This little action can make a huge difference.

4. Manage your stress to protect your hearing

Most are aware that stress and anxiety puts your entire well-being at risk. But did you know that high levels of stress can also trigger hearing loss? Stress puts your body into fight or flight mode, which puts pressure on your nerves and blood flow. The tiny sensory hairs of the inner ear depend on healthy blood flow to translate noise into electrical impulses for our brains. Ultimately, stress affecting your circulation can even contribute to tinnitus symptoms.

There are many ways to cope with stress, exercising, getting social support and meditation are very effective methods. Make sure to take time between practice and performances to get enough rest too.

5. Monitor your exposure to noise

Soundbrenner Core‘s dB meter feature

How loud is too loud? Continuous exposure to noise levels of 85dB, equivalent to playing a violin or a busy street, is already considered unsafe. Loud sounds that cause pain to the ear are usually between 115 and 140 dB, which is equivalent to the peak of a rock concert or an ambulance siren. You can download a dB meter app to help you, or use the built-in dB meter on the Soundbrenner Core. This feature checks your surrounding db levels 24/7 to ensure you are not exposing yourself to harmful sounds. The Core will send you an alert when you’re at risk of hearing damage.

Soundbrenner is a company dedicated to helping musicians stay focused on what truly matters: their music. By creating innovative devices, such as Soundbrenner Pulse and Core, our goal is to deliver the best possible practice experience for musicians. Click here to find out more.

Got a question about Soundbrenner wearables? Reach out to us at [email protected], we’re happy to help!

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