You walk in the club. There are people wall to wall. You might be feeling a buzz already, but drinks are still available at the fully stocked bar. The lights are blazing in all different directions and frequencies; it takes a second to adjust, but soon you feel as if you were always meant to be there. The main reason: ALL THAT BASS.
So tell me, supporters, would you like to maintain feeling that beat for as long as possible? Do you want to enjoy EDM to its fullest extent? If so, tell me, do you also wear earplugs? Whoa buddy! Earplugs? How am I going to destroy it on the dance floor if I can’t hear the beat drop?
Valid question… and here’s the valid answer. A study in the Journal of Sound and Vibration by K. Howell and A.M. Martin suggest that, “Levels above about 85 dB, at which hearing protection is considered necessary, the wearing of protectors will not cause degradation in intelligibility for the person listening to the speech (or music) and in fact may effect a slight improvement. The reason for this slight improvement would appear to be a reduction of distortion products within the ear by the attenuating characteristics of the hearing protector.” BOOM science BOOM! Mind you, most concerts average at around 115 dB. That would be most concerts. EDM concerts, as you all may know, would certainly rate at even higher decibels.
Recently I talked with Constantin Posleski who photographs many of EDMNYC’s events. “All the time. Can’t shoot without it.” He’s been going to events frequently for well over a year now and that was his answer to if he uses ear protection. “I know a lot of artists use ear plugs while they play too,” says Constantin.
There you go. Even the DJs themselves are prone to wearing ear protection. This information might come as surprising to many of you because of Zedd’s recent tweet about acute hearing loss in his left ear, so he clearly wasn’t wearing protection. If anything it gives a better reason to wear the gear. Mind you that there are many different types of earplugs, not just those old foam orange ones you’ve seen in the past. They are now being designed specifically for events, especially as EDM continues to grow as a phenomenon. For some brands it’s even hard to tell that you have them in, if it is that you care about being seen with them.
I also talked with Esteban Carmona; a frequent at EDM events. “The volume has a huge impact on the experience, thinking in a much more extreme sense; no one wants to listen to dubstep at a low volume when they’re at an event.” I couldn’t agree more with him. Best part is earplugs today get rid of back ground noise not relevant to the actual MUSIC. They get rid of all the other “distortion products within the ear” as the study mentioned above states.
So how can we get past this idea that earplugs will ruin your EDM experience? If the science behind it, the DJs support of using earplugs, and the indiscrete look of earplugs themselves isn’t enough for you, think of it this way… One of the greatest musicians of all time was deaf. That’s right, Beethoven. He may not be your style, but the man certainly knew how to write music. How could he do this? He felt it. Music ran through his veins. I know you can attest to feeling the same way. Ask yourself: what keeps me coming back? While the lights, the people, and the atmosphere contribute a great deal, we all know that BASS is where it’s at. So feel it. You already do. Deafness didn’t stop Beethoven, and earplugs won’t stop you.
Written by Michael Brewer