KES Transactions on Innovation in Music

Publisher Future Technology Press
Vol. 1 No. 1 Special Edition - Innovation in Music 2013
Article TitlePotential for reduction in noise exposure using closed back headphone monitoring for rehearsal - a pilot study
Primary AuthorChristopher Barlow, Technology School, Southampton Solent University
Other Author(s) Adam Wenman
Pages 41 - 52
Article ID im13bk-004
Publication Date 17-May-15
AbstractStudent and young musicians often rehearse for long periods of time in small, often reverberant rehearsal spaces, resulting in high sound pressure levels, and have shown significantly higher rates of hearing loss onset than the general population. As a core element of rehearsal is quality of sound and good communication, musicians are often resistive to the use of hearing protection devices (HPDs). This study analysed the noise levels musicians were exposed to during rehearsals, and whether use of individual monitoring using closed back headphones in rehearsal environments could result in a reduction of noise exposure for musicians. It was hypothesized that the sound isolation from the headphones would allow musicians to monitor at a lower level while retaining clarity.

Results indicated that the in-ear sound pressure levels did not significantly decrease overall, and in some cases significantly increased for musicians using headphone foldback. This also suggests that there may be potential increased risks issues with in-ear rather than loudspeaker monitoring for live music acts.

Keywords: Rehearsal, Noise Exposure, LAeq, NIHL, monitoring, foldback.
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