Hearing loss in DJing is no laughing matter. The career of a DJ is filled with towered speakers, blown monitors, and over compensated headphones. If DJ’s don’t take care of their ears out in the field, they can be at risk of losing a vital body function that you need to DJ. That is why it is always important to practice preservation techniques to save your hearing. (Check out Ean’s tips to prevent tinnitus.)
The Australian government launched a new website recently that gives a pretty good gauge to test your hearing and evaluate your risk when it comes to hearing loss. Read more below about Know Your Noise and how it can teach you about your own hearing abilities.
Noise Risk Calculator
Being a DJ, typically, puts one into a high risk environment for hearing loss. Know Your Noise has two parts to understand one’s hearing abilities. The first part is a Noise Risk Calculator which looks at leisure and work activities to determine one’s risk of hearing damage from noise exposure. This is a comprehensive survey that takes about 8-10 minutes and goes into pretty much every aspect of one’s life.
Taking the test is really easy to understand and I had no problem getting in each part of my life. The results also show how each part of your life contributes to your overall hearing score. Here is a sample of my results below to show the extensiveness of the Noise Risk Calculator.
What is admirable about this Noise Risk Calculator is that it displays the leading categories of hearing loss while offering resources on how to prevent hearing loss. A big thing that I need to start doing more is wearing my ear plugs while DJing and going to concerts. Ear plugs may be the saving grace when it comes to developing hearing loss. Check out the DJTT store for your own pair of ear plugs made for music.
Know Your Noise Hearing Test
The Know Your Noise Hearing Test is the second part when it comes to understanding one’s hearing abilities. This test is meant to assess whether or not one’s hearing is damaged and if it is similar to other people’s results in their own age group. If people are having trouble hearing, they often report that they have trouble hearing in noisy environments. To assess this problem, the Hearing Test measures how well one can hear given a noisy environment.
The objective is to repeat the numbers given as they are played along with what sounds like an electronic jack hammer. I took the test and I could hear a difference in the difficulty as the test progressed. I tested the hearing test without headphones so it became a little hard to hear but Know Your Noise does recommend using headphones while taking this test.
Obviously this doesn’t replace a clinical test administered by an audiologist or ENT specialist however, if you are concerned about your hearing this test can be used as an estimate on your hearing abilities.
Know Your Noise And Play Safe
Know Your Noise is a great non-commercial tool for people, especially DJs, looking to assess their hearing abilities. People only have two ear drums and those do not repair themselves. For DJ’s it is very important to your hearing. Whether that means turning down the volume on ear buds when casually listening to music or wearing ear plugs when playing a gig, it is important that you take the time to protect your hearing. Know Your Noise has been created by the National Acoustic Laboratories (NAL) and is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health.