News

Scottish DJ gives hearing protection a spin

29 November, 2017
Customised earplugs are life-changing for DJ
Scottish DJ Bob Jeffries popped in to Specsavers Sauchiehall Street for hearing aid

Scottish DJ and well-known musician, Bob Jeffries, is calling for greater use of hearing protection in the music industry.

Bob – who has worked in the industry for more than 40 years, playing at festivals and gigs across Europe – wants to ensure those in the music trade are not affected by the life-changing effects of tinnitus and hearing loss.

A word from Bob Jeffries

The 58-year-old from Kilmarnock said DJing is seen as a fun and fast-paced career, but believes upcoming and established DJs often fail to consider the dangers of excessive exposure to loud music or how to protect their ears from damage.

While it may be a less glamorous consideration of the industry, it’s a hugely important aspect, and DJs and musicians are being made aware of the dangers of excessive sound exposure and how preventative measures such as musicians’ earplugs can ultimately save your hearing.

A word from Sauchiehall Street Specsavers

Arisha McGuigan, Registered Hearing Aid Dispenser for Specsavers Sauchiehall Street, said: ‘Wearing earplugs is essential for many music industry jobs. The chances are most DJs or musicians have experienced the sensation of ringing in their ears after a particularly loud concert and know it can take a few hours before the ringing finally goes away.

‘Unfortunately, for some people, that persistent buzz never disappears and they can be left with the constant tone for life. We refer to the condition as tinnitus, and it can range from barely noticeable low tones to disturbing high frequencies that could, ultimately end careers.

‘But the good news is awareness is on the up, and we are even seeing health and safety regulations tightening in universities and colleges which offer music courses.’

Customised earplugs

Bob said: ‘I’ve always considered my hearing when DJing at gigs and festivals but this is the first time I’ve been fitted for customised earplugs. There is a common misconception in the industry that using earplugs reduces the sound of what you can hear when, in fact, it simply reduces the intensity.

‘Musicians’ earplugs won’t spoil the music – you’ll still hear what people are saying and, while they’ll reduce ambient noise, the quality of the original music is preserved without losing clarity. I would advise people to limit the hours they spend without the correct ear protection in any loud environment – the consequences could ultimately be life-changing.’

Bob has worked on his own soul music evening, Suite Soul in Kilmarnock, alongside his wife Lorna for more than 12 years. And while he has not yet experienced any problems, he decided to take action before it was too late.

Consider the volume of music

Arisha continued: ‘To put it into perspective, natural conversation is around 60 decibels (dB) while anything over 105dB can cause hearing damage if endured for more than 15 minutes. So when you consider that a nightclub is around 110dB, headphones are around 112dB and concerts are around 120dB, it’s important to take care.’

Bob has performed at international festivals including SunceBeat, Vocal Booth and Ibiza Soul Week. He and his wife Lorna also organise an annual concert, Suite Soul Stands up to Cancer Alldayer, in Kilmarnock to raise funds for Cancer Research.

Details of the charity event, which takes place on 2 June 2018, can be found here   

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