Online tool to help music fans take care of their hearing health


Reviews of more than 20 high-fidelity earplugs have been compiled into a single interactive website, making it easier for people to enjoy live music without fear of damaging their hearing.

HearSmart reports on the new online tool and explains that the aim is to help people avoid the sensations of hearing damage after exposure to loud music: dulled hearing or persistent buzzing in the ears.

The tool is called What Plug? and was developed by the Melbourne, Australia-based HEARing Cooperative Research Centre (CRC), in association with the National Acoustic Laboratories, the research division of Australian Hearing. The project also involved a partnership with Choice, a leading consumer advocacy group in Australia.

What Plug? includes reviews of more than 20 different commercially available, high-fidelity earplugs. The tool provides the noise-reduction properties of each earplug, along with a comprehensive range of other features important to users. These include comfort, sound quality, ease of use, and of course price. The technology aspects are underpinned by strict scientific testing in the lab and the experiences of users at actual music venues.

“There are several devices on the market, but the team recognised that choosing between a bewildering array can often be overwhelming. The aim of the project was to provide a way to easily compare products and help people choose what is best for them,” HEARing CRC Researcher Dr Elizabeth Beach explained. “It’s great to see there are so many options for people wanting to proactively manage their hearing health. But it can be challenging to find the earplug that’s right for them.”

Source: HearSmart