This week on Gig Gab, dive deep into the world of hearing health with Frank Wartinger, a renowned music audiologist and podcaster! Wartinger emphasizes the importance of protecting your ears, especially for musicians and avid music fans. He introduces the “Dangerous Decibels Three Part Solution” – a practical approach involving turning down the volume, walking away from excessively loud sounds, and consistently wearing ear protection. He highlights the significance of being a considerate onstage neighbor and viewing your band in terms of ‘entrées and side dishes,’ where you’re often the side dish, suggesting a balance in sound levels. Frank also recommends various earplugs like Etymotic ER20, Loop, Vibes, and Eargasm, stressing on the need for filtered earplugs to maintain sound quality while protecting hearing.

Further into the show, the conversation shifts to the technical aspects of hearing protection, discussing the loss of specific frequencies during live performances and the importance of getting custom-molded earplugs for the best protection. Lists from JH Audio and Sensaphonics are recommended for finding reliable audiologists. The discussion then turns to the use of in-ear monitors (IEMs) and how to maintain safe levels to avoid long-term hearing damage, citing a 2008 study comparing stage monitor levels with IEMs. Wartinger and Hamilton remind listeners that in the world of music, it’s crucial to “Always Be Performing,” but that also means taking care of your health, especially your hearing, to ensure longevity in your career.


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