Best Hearing Protection for Musicians and DJs

How Does Being a Musician Affect Your Ears

However pleasant your music is being a musician you expose yourself to potential loud exposure levels of different instruments, vocal levels and techology. 

Musicians are said to be four times more likely to have a hearing loss than non musicians of the same age group. 

Music Induced Hearing Loss


Constant exposure to the loudness level of music causes damage to the inner ear hair cells especially those responsible for high frequency hearing. Noise induced hearing loss is permanent and measures should be made to reduce the occurance of it. The good news is if prevention methods are put in place this kind of hearing loss is completely preventable. 

Keeping Healthy Hearing and Ears as a Musician and DJ

  • Look at getting specifically designed musician ear plugs which have filters to decrease sound equally across frequency range, compared to your cheap pop in ear plugs which will make the sound appear muffled as it will decrease more so the high frequencies 
  • If you are cello or bass player, this will be worth mentioning to your audiologist when arranging having custom made moulds as they can be vented differently as your instrument produces a low frequency sound 
  • Your position when playing your instrument is a key part to protecting your ears, try to direct the sound away from fellow musicians and if you are using an amplfied speaker to amplify your insturment sound you should be sat parallel to it rather than in front or behind.
  • When practising your instrument look at obtaining a practice mute to decrease the sound exposure 
  • A plexiglass baffle can be attached to the back of a musician's chair to help deflect sound
  • Get your hearing checked regularly to monitor your hearing and check your methods of hearing protection are working


Best Ear Plugs for Musicians and DJs

Alpine MusicSafe Ear Plugs

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The Alpine MusicSafe ear plugs are designed for musicians in mind. They come in an easy to open packet requring no scissors. There are three colour options before you buy - white, silver or black. So inside your pack you will find three plugs and three pairs of attenuators with different strength filters up to 27dB NRR. The extra plug comes in handy if you do loose one becuase they are very small.

In regards putting them in they are fairly straight forward and do come with an applicator to help you do this if needed. The ear plugs themselves are made from silicone and are very comfortable to wear for hours on end, they are a one size fits all and can be squished down to fit even narrow and small ears.

It does come with a hard plastic carry case, however this isn't as small as other ear plugs carry cases available. There is also a neck strap to hang them around your neck when not in use however just be aware this is not the strongest so you are better to place in the carry case to prevent them getting lost or damaged.

Fender Musician Ear Plugs

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The Fender Musician Ear Plugs are a cheap and cheerful set of ear plugs for musicians. They come at a more than reasonable price and include only one pair with one pair of filters. These particular ear plugs have a 27dB NRR. You can buy alternative Fender set that have a 22dB or 12dB NRR.

There is not much to these, personally I don't feel they are the most comfortable or stable in the ear. They are quite long and narrow and although I have small ears they seemed like they were coming out a little after a short period of time.  I can't imagine how these would work for anyone with a standard or larger size ear. They are washable and reusuable which is better than your average disposable foam ear plug and the noise reduction filter does work.

Etymotic ER20XS ear plugs

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Etymotic Research ER20XS ear plugs are a well thought about product and the latest in a range of ear plugs made by Etymotic Research. These ear plugs purposefully reduce sound evenly across all frequencies.

It comes in three different ear tip options to provide the best, comfort and seal for your ear. These are a standard size silicone 3 flange plug, a large size silicone 3 flange plug and a foam plug. The overall design of the ear plugs are shorter for a more snug and discreet fit. These again although there are different choice fittings non of which I have found super soft and comfortable to wear for many hours long. They do what they say on the tin and do reduce the sound to 20dB NRR allowing you to hear music and people chatting but for the price you are nearly worth investing in custom made ear plugs.

They come with a small hard plastic case and a neck chain to keep them safe, which you will need to make sure you have attached properly for it to hang on to it.

Quick Tips

If you are registered deaf or are a hearing aid user you qualify for a disabled persons railcard