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Musicians' Hearing Center

As a musician, exposure to high levels of sound can increase your risk of permanent hearing loss. At the UPMC Musicians’ Hearing Center, we offer a full range of services to help you protect and preserve your hearing.

Established in 2003, our mission is to provide musicians of western Pennsylvania with the hearing protection and information they need to play their music with reduced risk of permanent hearing loss.

Hearing Evaluations and Assessments for Musicians

Our audiology experts will perform a comprehensive audiologic evaluation to provide a baseline for monitoring your hearing health.

We also can conduct an individual assessment for new hearing protection technology and offer both custom and non-custom earplugs.

Hearing Protection for Musicians

In the past, many musicians did not wear hearing protection because the available earplugs attenuated some sounds more than others, leaving speech and music muffled.

In recent years, a special musicians’ earplug has been introduced that reduces the overall sound evenly across all pitches. Speech and music stay clear — just quieter.

Custom musicians’ earplugs

Custom earplugs with interchangeable filters provide comfortable protection for a variety of instruments, situations, and contexts.

Musicians’ earplugs can use 9, 15, and 25 decibel (dB) filters, depending on how much protection you need.

Audiologists at the UPMC Musicians’ Hearing Center will conduct an individual evaluation and extensive interview to select the appropriate filter and ensure a proper fit and attenuation of sounds.

Non-custom musicians’ earplugs

A non-custom version of musicians' earplugs with a 20 dB filter is available through our center.

These plugs may not be comfortable for the musician who needs to wear them for a long time, but may be ideal for casual concert goers who want to protect their hearing.

In-Ear Monitors

In-ear monitors provide musicians with needed information for the sound engineer who will be tuning the monitors. They can offer excellent sound quality while protecting you from harmful, loud sounds.

At the Musicians' Hearing Center, we have several styles of monitor earphones available that we can custom fit to meet your needs.

Learn more about our custom earmolds for hearing protection.

Hearing Protection Strategies and Education

The UPMC Musicians’ Hearing Center can tailor strategies specific to your individual listening environment for reducing the negative effects of high levels of sound.

Our audiology experts are available to conduct educational seminars or provide textbooks for classroom learning.

The center’s comprehensive hearing protection services also may benefit others who are continually exposed to loud noises, including:

  • Recording engineers
  • Sound crews
  • Construction workers
  • Aircraft personnel
  • Emergency vehicle operators
  • Industrial workers
  • Medical-dental workers
  • Those engaged in noisy sports or leisure activities
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