A Musician’s Story & His Plugs

I  had a great conversation this morning with Dr. Welman, one of our staff Audiologists and wanted to share this story about Musician’s Ear pieces…..




Richard Reikowski, Au.D.

Director of Audiology


Amy Welman, Au.D. Doctor of Audiology

…..”This week I had such a fun learning experience with a patient who is a musician and has a passion for entertaining the public.  From a user point of view it was great to hear about some pros and cons about musician plugs and in-ear monitors.  Musician plugs filter out the dangerous noise levels out and allow the high pitch sounds to be able to hear all the notes and stay on key which can be great for non-singing musicians, although singers may hear their own voice more than the instruments which can be difficult to follow along with the instruments.  In-ear monitors are a hard-wired device encased in a custom ear mold which plugs into a wireless box, usually worn on the performers back pocket.  This allows all instruments controlled by the soundboard to be audible to the singer at a safer sound level as well as allow the singer to control the volume of their voice with a volume knob.   For live performers in an auditorium setting where the sound is overwhelmingly loud and can cause echoes, these monitors help protect and hear all sounds comfortably.  My patient had an issue with the acrylic based material of the monitor not staying securely in his ear and is curious to see if a silicon based material, which is a much softer material, would work better for his needs.  Depending on the shape and curvature of the ear canal this can be an alternate option.

Outside my bubble of in-ear monitor knowledge I learned about Kevlar re-enforced cables and the different options of single, dual, triple and up to 16+ drivers (which controls different ranges of pitch).  Also acrylic material can be more cost-efficient and resistant to damage than silicon but silicon can better protect from dangerous noise levels.   Musician plugs, which have different choices of decibel attenuation filters typically are made of a silicone base and are less expensive than inter ear monitors.   But for the serious musicians it’s worth the cost.

My patient’s understanding about the dangers of noise exposure and knowledge of acoustics in general was impressive and I learned a few things for sure.   This patient was truly a joy to talk to and put a smile on my face.  Hopefully I’ll get to enjoy one of his live performances one day”.

Amy Welman, Au.D.

Doctor of Audiology



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