Some musicians love to play loud music, especially rock. Their ears do not like it, though. There’s nothing like hearing yourself big and loud during a live concert or rehearsal, but loud music can damage your hearing. Loud volumes can affect your hearing in a matter of minutes, making ear protection a necessity for musicians.
Custom Molded Earplugs
Buying molded earplugs is a great idea, if you want a custom-shaped earplug for your ear canal that provides high-fidelity sound reduction. These are among the costliest among earplugs, but they are also the best. It includes filters that reduce noise to acceptable levels, but maintain the required frequencies for guitar players.
Moldable Ear Plugs
Reduce the intensity of noises by using moldable earplugs. These are plugs made of foam, wax, or silicone. For foam earplugs, just squeeze the individual plug to compress it. Then, gently insert it into your ear canal. The foam will expand and fill the ear canal. This hearing protection will reduce loud noises and reduce risk of hearing loss.
In-ear monitors are special earplugs designed for live performance. In-ear systems do not just filter out harmful noise, but they are wired into the sound mix and allow you to hear isolated mixes of whichever instruments or vocals you choose. If you like to buy in-ear monitors, you need to be careful. Just like regular headphones, turning them up too loud can damage your hearing.
Some mass-produced ear protection provides adequate noise cancellation. Manufacturers indicate noise ratings on the package. Noise cancellation of about 20DB is sufficient for most guitarists. Choose an earplug that allows guitar-specific frequencies to pass into the ear at safe levels.
Foam earplugs are less costly, but it may hinder your ability to hear your own tone and your band mates. Industrial earplugs are ideal for shop technicians, air-traffic controllers, and other workers whose jobs require strong noise reduction regardless of frequencies. This type of earplug is also a good choice for cash-strapped guitarists.
The need for a musician to hear clearly while performing live is important. The right earplugs, worn correctly and designed specifically for musicians, are the best way to both preserve the musician’s hearing and deliver a quality show to the audience.