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Hearing Protection at Rock Shows

In 1981 I was working for the Ministry of Labour and had access to noise measuring equipment. At a Kinks concert at Maple Leaf Gardens I measured noise levels of over 115 db. Occupational health and safety standards recommend only 15 minutes exposure per day at this level before risk of damage starts occuring.

Musicians all use them.

Look closely at any show or concert DVD and you will notice most rock musicians wearing hearing protection. Like Trent Reznor below.

Concert Hearing Protection.

For many years now I have used a pair of custom made musicians ear plugs when attending rock concerts. Well worth the investment. The ear plugs are really filters that reduce the sound by about 15 to 20 db evenly across the frequency range. This is unlike regular foam ear plugs, that just block everything and the sound heard is very muffled. The advantage of using the musicians earplugs is:
1. no ringing in the ears after concerts.
2. Less risk of hearing damage.
3. the quality of the sound is still very good.
4. they are very inconspicuous.

Here are two types I have.

Left: My custom musicians ear plugs. Right: Over the counter concert ear plugs.
The custom plugs are from Custom Earmold Labs in Hamilton. They make a mold of your inner ear and custom fit the plugs with filters. Around $200. Speak with my friend Jack at the lab. More about the technology here. The concert plugs are from The Earplug Store . Purchased on line. About $30. They work well too. My kids use them.

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