Musicians have unique needs when it comes to hearing protection. While need to protect their hearing from loud music, they also need to be able to hear their own music clearly, as well as hear other musicians’ music and voices while they are performing.
Commercial earplugs are great at providing hearing protection, but they block out all noises, indiscriminately. Earplugs make music and voice very muddled and unnatural to listen to. Most musicians do not need maximum hearing protection. What works better for musicians is mid- to low-frequency sound protection. Proper hearing protection can be accomplished with earplugs that are specifically designed for musicians.
Musician’s Ear Plugs
Musician’s earplugs come in custom and non-custom options. Ready-fit musician earplugs can reduce sound levels by approximately 20 dB, which is enough to reduce harmful sounds without distorting speech or music. These types of earplugs are fitted deeply in the ear canal in order to allow the device a tight seal within the bony portion of the ear canal. This deep fit reduces occlusion effect, a hollow or boomy sound in the musician’s own voice that is sometimes experienced with low-quality ear plugs. Deep-fitting earmolds are popular with musicians because of the superior quality of sound they allow while practicing and performing.
Musician’s earplugs are not just for musicians. They are also a popular hearing protection option for:
- Sound crews
- Recording engineers
- Band teachers
- Airline personnel
- Athletic coaches
- Football players
- Medical professionals
- Construction workers
- Industrial workers
- Truck drivers
In-Ear Musician Monitors
For musicians who perform for large audiences, in-ear musician monitors (IEMs) are the current standard in musician technology. They allow the musician to clearly hear the music they are making as the audience would hear it while still protecting the musician’s ears from extremely loud amplification systems and audiences.
IEMs help musicians to protect the quality of their music by hearing it as their audience hears it but allows them to filter out the loud noises that are damaging to the ears, without interfering with what others here. Custom-fit IEMs are made to fit the unique contour of your ears to provide a snug fit that effectively blocks out the noise to provide maximal hearing protection by offering an airtight seal.
Custom Fit Earplugs and Ear Molds
If you use earplugs frequently, such as for your job or as part of your hobbies, or you simply cannot get a comfortable and effective fit with commercial earplugs, custom-fit earplugs are highly recommended for both your comfort and your safety. Not only are ill-fitting earplugs less effective at protecting you from noise-induced hearing loss, but they can cause trauma to your ear tissue. Custom earplugs are perfect for those who wear earplugs for sleep, swimming, shooting, construction or factory workers, or riding motorcycles or other loud vehicles. Custom-fit earplugs offer maximum protection against hearing loss.
Earplugs, earmolds, and in-ear monitors (IEM) can be custom-fit using a mold to perfectly fit your unique ear shape when your audiologist makes an impression of your ear. The ear impression is used to make the earmold or in-ear monitor to get a good custom fit. The quality of the ear impression material and technique directly impacts the sound quality, sound isolation, and comfort that is achieved with the completed earmold.
Earmolds are available in a variety of styles and sizes to get the right hearing protection for you. Earmolds typically fill the majority of the curvature of the ear, laying flush with the external ear. Earmolds are solid and can be soft or spongy, while others are slightly more firm. Earmolds are available in full shell or half shell styles, based on the level of noise you are regularly exposed to.
Custom earplugs are designs for the inner ear canal only and are more form-fitting and comfortable than traditional commercial earplugs.
If you find yourself in high-noise environments often or you find commercial earplugs to be ill-fitting or uncomfortable, contact us to schedule your appointment for earmold fittings and have your custom earplugs, earmolds, or IEM made today. Speak with the audiologists at All About Hearing about custom-fitted musician’s earplugs and IEMs and about your options for high-quality occupational hearing protection.