When I was a teenager, I thought that pumping up the volume to max was the only way to listen to music I liked. It was because music was (and still is) something that’s felt. I could feel the bass line vibrating through my body. I could feel the emotion that the song engendered in me. Isn’t that what music’s about? Being completely immersed in it … drowning happily in the sensations.
Unfortunately, loving music that much has its drawbacks. Although I was lucky not to develop tinnitus or significant hearing loss. I know that I just don’t hear as well as other people who refrained from “enjoying” their music to the same degree that I did. That was a choice I made as a young person that continues to impact my life today.
But for some people, the threat of serious hearing loss is nearly inevitable. Anyone who works in a loud environment, does not have a choice about whether or not to turn it down. DJs fall in with that group.
The clubs DJs play typically push the limits of volume as far as possible, probably because they want the audience to feel the music in the same way that I did. Somehow, though, DJs have to be able to hear their planned transitions, edits, etc over the music. The only way to do that is to jack the volume on their headphones.
Have you found any kind of ear plugs or noise cancelling headphones that have solved this problem for you?
Recently, Dan White over at DJ Tech Tools ranked the best earplugs for DJs. Check out his findings here.