While listening to music is a big part of most people’s lives at some point–usually up through the mid-20s–there are some for whom the crackle of vinyl or the accessibility of mp3 files is just that much more alluring. The ease with which it is now possible to lug around thousands and thousands of songs on a single device is making mobile music listeners out of even lukewarm music fans, while those diehards are practically jumping with joy at being able to digitize entire collections of obscure 78s for sharing with friends.While in the past listening parties were a more popular form of getting together and enjoying music with friends, the approach to hearing new sounds now is more oriented on the dance floor or in one’s headphones. And unfortunately, hearing loss is becoming more and more of an issue for younger generations, especially amongst those who are listening to music for hours on end, particularly on headphones.
Sometimes, parents get a lot of criticism for telling their children that music sounds louder today than when they were growing up. The fact is, a lot of the times mom and dad are right. Producers mix records louder than in the past, labels are known for turning to the “full volume on the chorus” trick for making lackluster songs sound a lot cooler, and studio tricks for fuller bass and crunchier guitars also add decibels. Add to that the fact that a lot of music lovers are listening to songs through earbud headphones, which put the sound directly into the ear canal with much less of a buffer zone, and it’s a disaster waiting to happen for long-term aural plus prezzo. The first step towards stopping any trouble is to simply turn down all devices.
Turn down the music when you’re driving. Turn down the home stereo when you’re at your house or apartment. And definitely turn down your mp3 player when you’re listening with headphones. An even better option is to go ahead and invest in a pair of noise-canceling headphones, which help to block out external racket, making sure that you aren’t trying to drown it out by pumping up the volume, instead.A lot of times, music fans who go to concerts do bring earplugs, but they are the store-bought kind, which provide a little bit of protection but not the optimal amount. For anyone who is heading out to see live music on a regular basis, it is crucial to make the investment to at least order earplugs from some sort of musicians’ website, where the decibel cancellation level is a little bit higher.
And for those fans of acoustic music who think that hanging out next to the speakers at bluegrass or folk festivals can’t cause hearing problems, one talk with veterans of the scene will have you thinking otherwise.Just as important as protecting your hearing while at a live performance is protecting your hearing at a club. Those ravers and dance music fans who are on their feet until the early morning all over the country might not realize it, but dancing with your head right in the speaker, especially to thumping electro music, is also very bad for your ears. Headphones might not look chic in the club, but neither will you if you keep having to crane to hear what people are saying before you’re even 40.