Live loud music and HA's - How to protect ears and enjoy improved frequency response I get with HA's


Just got my HAs a couple of weeks ago. There is a live music festival I go to every year. Always wear earplugs. Now that I have HAs is there a way to protect my hearing while keeping the improved reproduction I get with the HAs? Something a little more subtle than wearing over the ear hearing protectors (like for shooting) while wearing my HA’s underneath? Though if that was the easiest way, I would consider it.



I can think of two options:

  1. Special program for concerts: get a program with lower insertion gain for the such events.
  2. UCL: UCL is auto calculated by the software but you can also manually get your UCL set up to safe limits.


The earpieces are open backed. I would think this would let the damaging sound get to my ears. Maybe not.


In that case temporary fitting of non vented / occluding domes + switching to a low gain program might help for that period of time


Hearing aids are not ear protection, even with occluding domes. As far as I know, earmuffs are your only option if you want to keep the hearing aids in.


I would suggest power domes plus earplugs for concert-going. You’ll almost certainly need to have your audi set up a special program to use with the power domes if the power domes are not what you usually use. Also have your audi turn off all speech enhancement features in your new live-music program. Especially reduce feedback suppression to minimum levels (but not entirely off).
Then use a phone app for whatever HAs and phone you own. Use the phone app to greatly decrease your HA volume when a song begins. Then increase volume to talk to other audience members between songs. The phone app will react more quickly than trying to increase or decrease volume using the rocker switches or buttons on your HAs. Good luck and rock on!


Earmuffs appears to be the simplest option. Perhaps a bit dorky at a music festival, but this festival is a bit nerdy anyway so that may not be a big deal.


I’ve been to two concerts. I had to remove my aids and stick my fingers in my ears when fans were screaming. The screaming was ear piercing to say the least and gave me pain. Full surrounding ear protection head gear like I use for shooting would have worked well but who wants to wear them at a concert when everyone else is just taking it. Actually, I would have but I didn’t think to bring them.


Last year I wore noise reduction ear plugs It was the only way I could tell what music was actually playing. There were no screaming fans. They worked well. I’ll check into the earmuffs. Seems like the simplest plan.

I feel no obligation to “just take it” :slight_smile:


Do not attend concerts with hearing loss :wink:


I would think a quality ear-plug would be the best. A fitted one with a filter designed for music. Of course that would be instead of wearing your hearing aids.

They have a lot of offerings using a variety of technologies. Lots of musicians are using in-ear monitors these days so if you are keen for a bigger project you might want to look at some kind of personal monitor with fitted plugs.

Also have a look at Marshall Chasin’s articles. He is keen to convince musicians with hearing loss to stick with it, under the right conditions of course. Just Google his name and spend an evening reading his fantastic contributions.


It depends on the aid if you can use it as protection. My aids allows for negative gain, so it can function as protection when worn with closed domes (power domes are a good choice).

The problem is that my aid (even though it’s a bernafon aid with special raised input-level for live music) starts to distort at concert with big bass amplification.

So for concerts I usually wear my earplugs (custom elacin plugs with 9 dB, 15 dB and 25 dB filters which I can change depending on the concert).

I wear my aids with power domes when making music myself, because then (especially at rehearsals) I can change the program to be able to understand something in between the music.


Chasin is fantastic!


The concert event I’m referring to is Moogfest, which is mostly experimental electronic music and EDM. So there is serious big bass. Other than it looking a little odd, what do you think of just wearing ear muffs and leaving the hearing aids in? This is only 4 days out of the year.



Too far for me or I’d be there for the engineering/maker day. :slight_smile: I have a house full of synths.

“Muffs” reminds me of the things you wear to keep your ears warm, so no. The protection ones (sorry I don’t know what the real name for them is) probably have an actual decibel reduction value that you can find somewhere. Are there no stylish ones yet?

Over the ear headphones and noise cancelling headphones (not turned on) might offer a slight reduction? Maybe in conjunction with your hearing aids underneath, but turned off. I would think any noise cancelling headphone would have a spec for the turned off reduction in dB too. Not sure though.

BTW Chasin has suggested settings for live music situations.


The problem with muffs is that they are non-linear. So this is very likely to not sound good (to sound crappy, to be precise).

Do you have musicians plugs? If so, take the aids out and use them.

If not: I dont know. Maybe you can post your hearing loss here (the measurements, loss in dB), it depends a bit on that. The problem is that normal plugs attenuate the highs much more than the lows. As hearing loss tends to be in the highs, too, this will probably sound very bad.


Ah, here you are! :wink:
You already mentioned that bass is tricky for all HAs. Maybe you want to give Naida a try the next time you need new HAs? Oh wait, your loss seems to be too good in the mid-range (1kHz) to use Naida.


Even with closed domes, HAs do not deliver below 100 Hz (as there is no speech below 100 Hz). But for the real HiFi-Enthusiast, the fun begins just there :wink:

So “sounds good” depends on what you compare it to.


Which is why I don’t personally make too big a deal out of streaming. It will never sound as good as live or out of a set of excellent speakers with open domes. I do realize that there are many out there who can’t have an open fit and streaming is very important to them.


Musician, I know your point of view from another forum. That’s why I asked you to try Naida when you have to get new HAs. I used Audacity to generate sinus-waves at 100Hz, 50Hz, 33Hz, 25Hz and 20Hz. 20 is VERY silent, almost not detectable. But the same applies to most speakers, too. 25Hz is silent but you will hear 33Hz very clearly and 50Hz is even strong, as strong as 100Hz. And of course, it is way not comparable to the feeling of a bodyshaker. But I believe it compares to good InEar-Speakers. You must not try Phonak Audéo as it does not have much volume at low frequencies in contrast to Phonak Naida.