So how much have you wrecked your ears so far through loud music and partying? Once your ears are "broken", there's no mending them - so this test is going to be a sobering wake-up call for some of us. The truth is that just like your eyes, deterioration in your ears is inevitable - but by watching the video above (set it to 1080HD in YouTube and use your headphones), you can see whether your ears are holding up well - or deteriorating too fast.
What to do about it...
So how did you do in the test? Now do something about the results! Assuming you're not in real trouble (in which case, get down to the doctor and come out of denial..,) here are some tips to slow the inevitable deterioration in your hearing as a DJ:
- Use headphones that isolate well when DJing - The less you can hear from outside when wearing your headphones, the less you'll have to turn them up for them to be effective. Also, keep the volume outside as low as you can, by - for instance - not having your monitor speakers turned up blisteringly loud
- Give yourself a break - DJing night after night after night at high volume without giving your ears time to rest is a recipe for disaster. I used to limit gigs to two a week in order to counteract this
- Don't smoke - Weirdly, it seems that smokers have a much bigger chance of developing hearing loss than non-smokers, at least according to this source. So if you smoke and you want to keep hearing, consider stopping
- Use earplugs - You can get earplugs that just reduce the volume without "muffling" everything, like those made by Etymotic, for instance
Me? My hearing appears to be a bit better than average for my age which was a comfort - maybe due to the fact that I've always watched booth levels, worn good headphones, and I no longer smoke (however, I've always found earplugs a step too far). I'm definitely not getting complacent, though...
So, how did you do? Is your hearing "older" or "younger" than you are? Please share your results in the comments!