Professional Ear Defenders

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by blakeyboy, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. blakeyboy

    blakeyboy Member

    Hi everyone,

    I've just been to the hearing specialist due to my tinnitus becoming more and more prominent, and have been diagnosed with a slight hearing loss on my left side at certain frequencies, I play rep so most noise comes from my left, but its only marginably noticable right now but doesn't make playing difficult.

    I've been advised to get professional, moulded ear defenders and wondered if anyone can recommend any particular brands, or companies due to service and expertise etc.

    Obviously, I am aware that these can be expensive but I'm willing to pay for the best to protect my hearing from any further damage whilst playing in band.

  2. Ianroberts

    Ianroberts Well-Known Member

    Sorry to hear (see what i did then) about your problem, I would put a tenner on it though that its probably the bands basses that have caused it !


    I'll go now
  3. BrianT

    BrianT Member

    Hearing Protection

    If you play a brass instrument with in-ear defenders then what you hear is largely by conduction through your skull, which sounds pretty terrible - you can hear your tongue moving about. Plus you cannot hear the overtones of other players, which makes intonation changes as you play much harder. You need protection against loud sounds, but if you play pianissimo with ear defenders in it's hard to get the correct volume balance.

    I did one contest where I was on the front row, and started with plugs in for the ff opening, took them out for the quieter middle section, put them back in for the end. Pretty fiddly to have to do that. I've used industrial rubber plugs, expanding foam plugs and some more expensive musician style plugs. They all behaved pretty much the same.

    I'm pretty sure some sort of active in-ear system (in-ear monitors) like you see on the TV would be better than passive defenders, and noise-excluding headphones or over-ear defenders might work well too. Don't know for sure. I'm just passing on my experience with passive in-ear defenders.

    I'd be interested to read a review of hearing defenders from a brass player...
  4. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    The only pro brass players I know who regularly use ear-plugs are those who work in commercial situations involving amplification, where sound levels are consistently high, and ears need to be protected from the specific frequency ranges which are potentially most damaging, usually those from bass amps and drums. I cannot imagine them ever being suitable for acoustic work with regular instances of low dynamic levels, as Brian says.
  5. pbirch

    pbirch Active Member

    no, no, no, it will be either the trombones or the percussion.

    On a serious note though, this is a real problem due to large bore instruments we play and the huge battery of percussion that the band accompanies these days. Military musicians use ear plugs and professional ensembles use shields to avoid direct exposure to the brass and percussion and that might be what you need
    I would say that it is the responsibility of the band to take reasonable measures to look after your health and safety and make sure that dynamics are reasonable and shielding is used and, if necessary, to get the appropriate ear defenders
  6. GinGinnie

    GinGinnie New Member

    Sorry to hear about your problem. I have just been watching the Apprentice and on the BBC2 after show was Tom , last years winner. On his website, is the Amadeus Acoustic Screen......devised for musicians.
    Just thought it may be worth a look!
    Good luck.
  7. pbirch

    pbirch Active Member

    We need that "like" button, this looks like a great product
  8. Alyn James

    Alyn James Member

    What's wrong with a bit of deafness anyway? I certainly wouldn't want to hear everything my family says about me....
  9. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    Sounds like (see what I did there?) you want something like the Nacre Quietpro+, designed for military use that allow 'normal' volumes but cut out any over the top noise levels.

    Racal do something similar, but both are ear defenders more like a headphones in design.

    How they'd work in a band environment I have no idea, probably be a bit strange hearing half the music and then silence for a few bars and then music again.

    I used a similar thing, at work, and you could hear the radio and talking etc. but not gun shots or explosions.
  10. euphymike

    euphymike Member

    Alas, too late for me as I have had tinitus for the last 18 years. Mines due to putting down the brass instrument and then standing in front of very loud amplication on big stages. (at one gig in germany the foldback was around 100K watts!) We tried all sorts but could not find anything that gave the 'fidelity' we needed to function correctly as musicians. I was/am part of the musicians union twenty year survey on hearing loss. I have a set of 'hearing aid' looking things which create random white noise to confuse the my inner ear in an attempt to make it stop. They dont do much im afraid. I live with it and alas those around me. The 16years of drugs sex and rock and roll and money was wonderful but its caught up with me now! good luck with your buzzing friend in your head!
  11. waynefiler

    waynefiler Member

    As an Army musician, these are the ear plugs that we're issued Ours come with 9db and 15 db filters that attempt to keep noise levels to a managable volume.
    I'm not a fan of them, you can't hear what's going on around you as all you can hear is yourself. It's also noticable that your intonation is affected too.
    But, they do the job they're designed to do, which can't be faulted. I used them at a Dragonforce gig (Speed thrash metal band, check them out if you don't them) which obviously is very loud, and the plugs were brill.

    I hope this is helpful.
  12. chris.neufeld

    chris.neufeld Member

    I can recommend Holt Hearing & Balance Services. They are based in Stoke on Trent, but cover Staffordshire, Cheshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, North West Midlands, and Mid-Wales.

    Their website is and direct contact can be made on 01782 722840

    Hope that this information is of use to you.


    I ve been playing Bass in brass bands for 40 years and also spent most of my life in the Steel Industry...a recent hearing test at work showed no damage or hearing loss.Ive never heard anything as daft as wearing ear plugs whilst playing in a brass band.I m told that the army bands arn t allowed to play BB basses anymore because they are too heavy !I think the PC and H&S brigade have gone mad.
  14. GinGinnie

    GinGinnie New Member

    The OP didn't say he had hearing loss due to playing in a Brass Band. He just wants to protect his hearing from further deterioration.

    I found your post a tad harsh.

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