Why Wear Earplugs?
Shows and festivals are places of acceptance and little judgment; however, I think I can speak for everyone when I ask that dude over there with the ear plugs in—What’s his deal?
It seems a bit ironic that one would mask the music they paid to see being performed by putting foam earplugs in. At least he got some trippy looking tie-dyed plugs, I thought as I wondered what exactly he could hear through them anyway. It turns out that guy with the earplugs in isn’t a complete idiot after all.
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of 120 decibels rocking through your entire body, the air around you even feels alive. Sound companies that put on EDM shows and festivals know that the fans feed off of this feeling. Your personal speakers at home wince at the sight of these monstrous machines, whose bass would blow your subwoofer out of the water. Music is scientifically proven to sound better at higher volumes, but the EDM experience provides a place where hearing goes to die.
Human ears can only withstand about 80 decibels before hearing loss begins. When you’re standing front row at a Bassnectar concert, you’re ears are gonna have a bad time. Basically, the hair cells that move when recognizing sounds get completely destroyed at concerts, and continuous exposure can cause noise induced hearing loss. Every 10 decibels doubles the volume output, making your show experience the equivalent to holding a chainsaw to your ear for hours on end. Just ask any metal fan from a few decades ago, I’m sure he’d tell you that ear plugs are a good investment, if he could hear you ask, that is.
Maybe next time you leave a show with that constant dull ringing in your ears, you’ll decide earplugs are worth a shot. Cheap porous foam earplugs you can buy for cheap will typically muffle the music in a less than desirable way. However, science has done it again! There are earplugs designed to lower the volume while still transferring through clear sounding music. If this could catch on, we as a generation can continue to listen to EDM without fear of premature hearing loss. Next time you see that one guy with earplugs in, give him a high five for enjoying the music responsibly.
Written By: Melanie Gordon