Listening to music, or anything else for that matter, at a high volume can cause serious problems with your ears. Being part of a musical ensemble in close range to other loud, musical instruments as well as your own is a risk to your hearing and can cause serious and irreversible conditions.

Often, musicians will develop audio-related issues such as tinnitus and hearing loss which makes the use of musicians’ earplugs essential if exposure to loud sounds is to be continued or prolonged. In addition to standard musicians’ earplugs, electronic in-ear monitors are available that provide the same level of protection with extra features specific to music production or performance.

Not quite the same as standard earplugs, musicians’ earplugs can help with:

  • Hearing protection
  • Noise reduction
  • Performance enhancement

The primary purpose of a musicians’ earplugs is to protect against issues arising from exposure to loud sounds while they also reduce noise and volume, but retain clarity. Electronic, in-ear monitors can be custom-fit to your ear and can be electronically connected to exterior sources for performance enhancement.

Hearing protection

Prolonged exposure to loud sounds, such as that from musical instruments can irreparably damage your ears and cause long-term issues such as tinnitus and hearing loss. Musicians’ hearing plugs protect your ears from the barrage of soundwaves that will constantly bombard your cochlea as you play in a band, orchestra or some other type of music production.

At around 85 decibels (dB), sounds become harmful to the ear and most live music is played between 110dB to 140dB. This is obviously way too loud for your ears. Earplugs work by dampening and evenly distributing sound waves across all frequencies which prevents your cochlea from becoming flattened or over-stimulated.

Noise reduction

Being part of any part of music production means that you will be constantly bombarded with loud and potentially damaging sounds. Musicians’ earplugs reduce noise and volume to a reasonable level while retaining the sound of your instruments that allows you to hear all the instruments of the ensemble and speak at a normal sound level.

Using analog filters, musicians’ earplugs can reduce sounds too far fewer decibel levels of below whisper to speaking volume, with hardly any audio occlusion. This means that while noise and volume are reduced, you are still able to hear every nuance of your own instrument and that of your bandmates with a seamless blending of sounds.   

Performance enhancement

As well as the obvious advantages when it comes to comfort and clarity when playing in a band, orchestra or other musical ensembles, musicians’ earplugs come with more features than standard or industrial earplugs. Electronic, in-ear monitors are a special type of musicians’ earplugs that can be used for production-specific scenarios.

As well as providing the protection of musicians’ earplugs, in-ear monitors can be used to connect to external audio sources such as metronomes, backing tracks and individual performer mixes. These are usually custom fit for each performer by an audiologist so as to be as comfortable as possible while retaining sturdiness and effectiveness.