How to avoid hearing damage?

There are different ways to protect yourself from hearing damage. You can turn down the volume, keep your distance from the source of the sound, give your ears time to recover. The most simple and best solution? Wear hearing protection.

Hearing protection comes in different shapes and sizes. The most common ones are earmuffs and earplugs.

Prevent hearing damage with earmuffs

Earmuffs are extremely suitable for everyone who works in construction, landscaping or works with loud machinery. They are easy to fit but offer less protection than earplugs. That’s because they sit over the ear, rather than in the ear canal. Smaller versions are also really suitable for babies and young children because they’re easier to insert than earplugs.

Prevent hearing damage with earplugs

The most important advantage of earplugs is the protection they provide, they’re also lighter and easier to carry than earmuffs.  Earplugs come in different shapes and sizes. When choosing earplugs you should evaluate on sound experience, looks, comfort, and price. A good earplug lets sound in but keeps damaging noise out. Sits comfortably in your ear and looks good.

These are the most common earplugs:

  1. Foam earplugs are cheap and often handed out for free. They usually come in flashy colors and can only be used once. They block your ear from all external sound, which protects your hearing but also ruins all sound experience.

For example 3M foam earplugs, Cheap earplugs in flashy orange or yellow.

  1. Generic earplugs are designed for different usages so you can use them for both sleeping, going out and traveling. The disadvantage of this universal usage is that the sound quality is not optimized for a specific situation. Particularly when used for concerts, festivals or clubs these are less recommended.

For example, Proguard Noizezz are generic earplugs suitable for both music, traveling and sleeping. These earplugs offer a reduction of 15 decibels. Each set comes with silicon ear tips for easy fitting.

  1. Earplugs with a music filter are designed to enhance your music experience. Look for an earplug with a flat attenuation curve for the best music experience. They often have a very reasonable price, are reusable and look nicer than other earplugs.

For example Loop earplugs, designed for nightlife, concerts, and festivals. Loop’s combination of a unique hollow acoustic channel and advanced music filter enhance your music experience instead of ruining it. The earplugs have a flat attenuation curve and provide an equal 15 decibels sound reduction across all frequencies. Both music and speech remain clear but at a lower volume. With each pair, you get both foam and silicone ear tips for a perfect fit. Bonus: they actually look good! (Available in different colors)

  1. Custom earplugs are tailored to fit your ear. The sound quality is often as good as the music-filtered earplugs. They fit nicely since they’re shaped for your ear. Their disadvantages: looks and price.

Good custom earplugs are available at a lot of hearing centers and take around 2 to 3 weeks. Prices may vary between 100 and 300 euros.

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