Take 90 Seconds To Find Out How Much DJing Has Damaged Your Ears

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:

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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!

Comments

  1. audiokrayz says:

    this is not an accurate test unless you have speakers that can actually produces frequencies up to 20khz

    • That’s true hence the need to use really good headphones

      • ive been once for that hearing test at a clinic. and to listen to, you had to wear a headphones while doctor been modulating freqs. so this youtube clip is not about listening on you laptop or desktop speakers, use your djing headphones at least.

      • You may not want to use your DJ headphones. Often DJ headphones will cut off the extreme high end in order to do less damage to your hearing. After all we are more focused on Beat Matching. Check the specs on your phones to make sure. If your ears hurt more from the PA system than your phones, then your phones are doing their job.

    • Yeah, I watched this on my iPhone and by the 3rd test my speaker can’t produce anymore high frequencies.

    • The cheapest Pioneer headphones available in my country go up to 28khz :)

      So I’m guessing just about every DJ reading this article would have headphones that can handle 20khz

  2. Galvanized says:

    Let’s see… I’m 18 and I couldn’t hear at 18 kHz. My ears are already 6 “ears” older than me.

  3. Of course wouldn’t you need high end headphones for this test?

    Cheapies aren’t going to pick up the full ranges and it seems like a Youtube video wouldn’t have the full range either. I’ll try it out though.

  4. Surprisingly my ears are under 20 years old while i’m 23 and have been DJing for 5 years.In other words DJing seems to have saved my ears.Although that might also be due the fact that i wear my headphones almost 24/7.

  5. Wow, could hear up to 15kHz, even I am over 50. Didnt expect that.
    Well, that also means for those of us who can’t hear over 15kHz, its much harder to tell if mp3 or wav sounds better, because its the higher frequencies which mp3 cuts of (there are other things mp3 format does to archive the compression, but the higher frequencies seems to be the main thing where you can tell them apart).
    And the other way around, if we can’t tell the difference, it doesnt mean our audience can’t too. (But its most likely they dont care).

  6. 28 years old… I can hear only the attack of the sine from 16K+. But i can hear the attack even of the 19k sine… is ok or terrible? :|

  7. Surely for this test to be any where near accurate it needs to specify a particular volume level for the out put of the computer and the out put of the you tube clip (as well as the quality of the vid)
    am i missing some thing?

  8. I did this test and my headphones are not the best and at certain frequency the headphones just click haha.
    Well at least I heard all the tones till that moment.

    But I’m happy to say that my hearing is still great!

  9. Benno Nieuwstraten says:

    This test is not accurate at all.

    I’ve done a similar test at the hospital and my ears were fine. I do have tinnitus and a mild hyperacussis though. The range of frequencies I could hear was above average , while in this test it’s not. I’m 20 years old.

  10. DJ SpecializED says:

    15k oh man im in trouble

  11. the best way is to have it professionally tested.

    I’m 49 now, ben in high volume areas (higher than DJ-ng) and my ears are at approx 30…35 . I can stillhear the at 10% level 19 kHz stereo pilot tone with ease. Have used special earprotection all the time and stil do.

  12. King of Snake says:

    I’m riding the waves, so no issue here..

    :)

    regards,
    KoS

  13. I don’t appear to own anything that can go over 15kHz – I suspect its a load of tosh.

  14. Chuck "DJ Vintage" van Eekelen says:

    Deterioration of your hearing as such is nasty, but I’d take it any day over Tinnitus, which is the real bitch here. And unfortunately, there is no measuring it beofre you start noticing it, at which point it is way too late.

    Your can develop tinnitus at a higher age, like 45+, which is the result of not paying attention to this stuff (cause DDJT wasn’t around yet).

    You, dear reader HAVE been warned though and have no excuse to let this happen to you!

    I bought my son a pair or Alpine musicians ear plugs, custom made, which set me back 150 euro’s. A lot of money for earplugs, but a GREAT investment.

    Greetinx,
    C.

  15. I’ve always used split cue and don’t use the monitors very much,been a pro DJ for over 25 years so I was interested in doing the test.I used my senheisser hd 25s and turned the laptop volume up full,I was a bit suprised I can hear all the frequencies I’m 44 years old by the way! but even so in real life I wouldn’t say my hearing is great.

  16. Did pretty good on this test, I’ve been to the audiologist before.

    I have tinnitus, but I’ve had it ever since I was a child; not sure the cause. It’s kind of a pain in the ass, but I’m very used to it.

    • As a note, ALWAYS wear ear plugs; or just turn it down if you can. It’s one thing to save your ears, it’s another to save the ears of everyone on the dance floor as well.

      • HankBizzle says:

        I’ve always been very good at controlling my levels and volumes but I’ve worked with plenty a DJ who just didn’t have a clue how to properly work a sound system. Guys running all the levels into reds and even thinking the gain was just a volume knob!! Sound engineers worst nightmare.
        My mate is actually a sound engineer and works regularly at The Arches in Glasgow he’s told me stories about many a big name DJ who they’ve had to ask not to touch the gains anymore even one very big name DJ who was just asked to finish his next tune and leave because he kept turning the levels into the red after being repeatedly told not to!

  17. I can’t hear anything above 8,000, but then I am 70 years old. Not too pleased knowing that – I thought my hearing was fine. I can just about hear 10,000 Hz on other tests on YouTube. Seems I wasted money buying good headsets and speakers then.

  18. HankBizzle says:

    I haven’t tried the test in the vid but when I left the RAF a few years back, I did a hearing test and heard absolutely every single frequency. I was told I had “exceptional” hearing. Which pleased me greatly since I’ve been DJing since the late 90’s!

  19. audiokrayz says:

    f##k it you can roll like my boy frank wild in this movie

  20. Samuel Jamieson says:

    Of course this test will vary as everyone uses different soundcards and headphones ect. I’m sure the main point of this article is to raise awarness tho so well done.

  21. So a few things…
    If you don’t have speakers that reproduce these frequencies it wont be very effective. Also the ear is a non linear hearing device, meaning, if you listen to this test at a low level vs high level the perceived volume of each of the frequencies will be dramatically different.

  22. Don’t trust this video to give you accurate results!!! Try synthesizing your own sine waves , THEN go off the information in the video, but not the audio…

    I’m 26 and my limit is 16,450hz (using the synthesis tool set to sine.)

    Couldn’t hear past 15khz on the vid. And it doesn’t matter about volume so don’t try cracking it up if you can’t hear…

    James

  23. Its just an individual differences, after all they’re lots of people who smokes and aged without having cacer. So it is on Djs and headphones , everything has to do with your immune system.

  24. I couldn’t hear the 16,000 but I heard all the others , I’m 37 & been spinning since I was 16 …. I wonder what this actually means ?

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