Musicians and Hearing Protection

Musicians and hearing protection

We asked respondents when they started using hearing protection, and 42% noted some form of damage or symptom which made them begin to use hearing protection.

We asked respondents to tell us why they did not use some of the hearing protection measures we listed, in a free text box.   38% mentioned ‘cost’ in their answers.  Other commonly cited answers referred to the hearing experience being compromised, playing being affected, and the use not practical.

  • 81% of all respondents believe that musicians should use hearing protection but only 67% told us that they have used hearing protection
  • 82% of the respondents had used standard earplugs as at least one of the hearing protection measures they have tried.
  • 50% of all respondents are concerned about noise levels at work. 
  • 83% of respondents told us that they feel that employers should provide hearing protection.

When a respondent told us that they used customised earplugs and/or custom-molded in ear monitors, they were much more likely to tell us that they found them ‘very effective’* than any other form of hearing protection. *(on a scale of Not effective, Quite effective, Effective, Very effective, N/A)   


Types of hearing protection

67% of respondents told us that they have used hearing protection. We asked respondents to tell us all the different types of hearing protection they had used, and how effective they found each method. 82% of the respondents to this questions had used standard earplugs, with just under 50% telling us they find them ‘quite effective’.  When a respondent told us that they used either/or customised earplugs or custom-molded in ear monitors, they were much more likely to tell us that they found these protection ‘very effective’.

  • 8% of respondents who told us that they use hearing protection use it every time they play their instrument
  • 50% of those who use protection use it when they attend a loud gig, and 61% when they are performing in a loud concert
  • 56% of respondents told us that they control the length of time they are exposed to loud noise as one of the methods of hearing protection they used.  2/3rds of these said that they found this an ‘effective’ or ‘quite effective’ means of hearing protection.

Read more on how musicians use hearing protection.