This Saved My Hearing: Earplugs and a Passive Limiter for Drummers, Musicians and Singers with Tinnitus

About 15 years ago, I made a drawing on a napkin in a bar. The drawing had a mixer, a pair of In-Ear headphones, and a small cylinder – and the words compressor next to it. The ringing in my ears was so loud that I could barely think. A loud acoustic shock had molested my eardrums and brought my tinnitus to an unbearable level. I another instance, I remember having the TV turned up so loud that I worries the neighbors in the hotel would start knocking on my wall – tinnitus is serious. Any musician, drummer, singer, guitarist or bassist whom have ever dealt with this, know that it is scary as hell.

Since my tinnitus popped into my ear almost 20 years ago, I’ve been trying really hard to protect myself from having the tinnitus become worse. It’s difficult, since I work with music in some way or another almost every day. That being said – looking back at the last 20 years, I’ve managed to not only protect my overall hearing, but also lower my ringing to a level that I barely notice on a day to day basis.

Use Musicians Earplugs (hearing protection)

I never go into a club, venue or loud bar without wearing my musician earplugs. I hope that I am preaching to the choir here, but if you are new to the whole tinnitus thing and you are a musician planning a long music career (I don’t know if that exists anymore, but let’s that’s for another article) – buy a pair musician earplugs today. I wear them in the subway (yes, NYC subway trains are crazy loud), I wear them in clubs (using 25db filters) and even walking the streets, where more often than not, they save me from hearing damage. And last, whenever I take out my IEMs, the musician plugs takes their place.

Get an inline limiter for you In-Ear Monitors (IEM)

This is a simple way of adding additional protection for your beloved hair cells in your ear. I use my unit when I plug my IEM’s into a DJ mixer (DJ mixers have powerful outputs). I use it when monitoring a mix in my studio (my old RME800 Fireface has a tendency to blast out white noise now and then). I use it when I plug in my IEMs in my macbook (it enables me to listen to music without having the the volume at either setting 1 or 2 out of 10). The attenuator in the PreservEar unit brings the general volume down, which enables better control over volume.

In all honesty, these two points above saved my hearing and enabled me to control my tinnitus. It’s really not rocket science – protect, protect, protect. Whether you are a drummer playing with click in your IEM’s (connected to a high powered mixer, with an aux feed from a drunk sound engineer, yikes) or a singer tired of feedback blasts killing your ears – you must act before you end up with your tinnitus spinning out of control. If you are on a budget, get the musician earplugs first! Come back for the PreservEar later.

Thanks for reading this far.


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About Us PreservEars goal is to help DJs and musicians protect their most valuable asset. Their Hearing.