From concert halls and nightclubs to recording studios, audio engineers and musicians are pumping up the volume more than ever before.
And as hearing loss begins to take its toll, they’re also facing the music.
According to the House Ear Institute (HEI), “Advances in the electronics industry have made possible clean sound production at higher sound pressure levels.
“This has resulted in an average sound increase of 10-15dB in the work environments of musicians, audio engineers, record and movie/television producers, post-production mixers, dancers and other entertainment professionals.”
Although perceived loudness is subjective, many audiologists estimate that each increase of 10 dB doubles the volume of a sound.
That means that modern audio professionals’ working environments are up to 3 times noisier than those of their predecessors!
In my previous post on 10 steps to combating hearing loss, I discussed how you can protect your hearing in everyday environments.
What additional steps can audio engineers and musicians take to safeguard against hearing loss?
5 Ear-Saving Tips for Musicians and Audio Professionals
1. Wear hearing protection.
Forget about tissue or cotton – these homemade devices only reduce noise by about 7 dB. Foam earplugs are better, but the best are custom-fitted earplugs designed to cut decibels without muffling high frequencies.
2. Be alert to noise levels in your environment.
Buy a sound pressure level meter and measure SPL against the OSHA requirements.
3. Turn down your monitors.
Prolonged exposure to sounds in excess of 85 dBs is risky behavior — particularly if you’re using headphones.
4. Increase distance between you and the sound source.
This means standing at an angle from the source, not in front of it.
5. Take breaks during long sessions.
Give your ears a rest. Take a walk someplace quiet, if possible.
Although these tips seem like common sense, what’s even more common is musicians and engineers routinely ignoring them.
Earplugs and other hearing protection devices may not be ‘cool’ — but neither is hearing loss!
Assistive Listening Devices Enhance Life If You Experience Hearing Loss
If you’ve already experienced hearing damage, a wide range of products exist to enhance your life, even if you don’t have (or need) a hearing aid.
Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) include everything from loud alarm clocks to portable personal amplifiers that boost the sound of everyday conversations.
Call AudioLink at 1-800-263-0112 or email us for a free consultation on assistive listening devices that can enhance your life in the face of mild hearing loss.
What additional steps can audio professionals take to protect their hearing?