Listening to: “Away from the world” by the Dave Matthews Band

Read a recent article on consequence of sound about AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson being told to stop touring immediately or risk total hearing loss. That has be hard news to receive as a musician and why it’s so important to protect your ears. With sight for example, it’s now possible to restore a significant portion of lost or damaged eyesight with Lasik eye surgery. Unfortunately, medical options in hearing restoration are in their infancy and are not always a viable option for most people. So the best option remains preventative hearing protection.

I won’t go into detail about the adverse effects of gunshots, concerts, or jet engines on your hearing because we have all heard it before. Instead, I’d like to focus more on the products designed to prevent hearing loss. One of the best products in the hearing loss prevention category to be released in the past few years is Dubs by Doppler labs (www.getdubs.com). They have managed to tap into a market that very desperately needs hearing protection (younger concert goers) and make ear plugs hip enough for use. Musicians are another key market for hearing protection needs, but with the advent of the wireless in ear monitoring option, this need is not as important. However, older musicians tend to find adapting to in ear monitors too difficult and end up using large floor monitors, which are essentially large speakers playing very loudly pointed up at them to help hear themselves and the rest of the band. This was the reasoning behind the Beatles deciding to discontinue playing live.

When it comes to audio editing or monitoring recorded sound I use a pair of custom moulded earphones from Alien Ears (www.alienears.com). I decided to go with custom moulded monitors a few years back when I noticed my own hearing wasn’t as sharp as it used to be. The damage mainly happened due to running live sound for concerts, and over the years it caught up with me. My custom moulded earphones have two major benefits for me: one, they block out almost all external noise, giving me some decent hearing protection, and two, they fit my ears so well I can listen to recordings at a much lower volume and still have excellent clarity and depth of field.

Both of these will end up saving what’s left of my hearing long term and allow me to do what I love for many more years to come. Doing what we love is kinda what matters on this planet, right?

Jared Thompson sounding off.

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