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In-Ear Monitors

In-ear monitor (IEM) systems can assist in preventing hearing damage, but they aren't foolproof protection.

In-ear monitor (IEM) systems can assist in preventing hearing damage, but they aren't foolproof protection. Although there's no direct correlation between where to set your volume control and how much SPL is present in your ears, here are a few suggestions to help protect your hearing.

1. Use an isolating earphone. Desired sounds must be at least 6 dB louder than any ambient noise. Average live music levels typically run 110 dB SPL, where hearing damage can occur in as little as 30 minutes. To hear IEMs when using a non-isolating earphone would require a sound level of 116 dB SPL, which can be dangerous. Inexpensive “ear buds” offer little, if any, isolation. Avoid these types of earphones for personal monitor applications.



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