Etymotic Research has released Music•PRO earplugs, designed for musicians who desire hearing protection during performances while avoiding the inconvenience of removing earplugs to hear communications at safe sound levels.
The Music•PRO 9-15 combines the performance of two of the company’s high-fidelity passive earplugs, the ER-9 and ER-15 musicians earplugs. The resulting Music•PRO line is a high-fidelity adaptive electronic earplug that allows natural hearing when sound levels are safe and automatic protection from both loud, sustained music and loud percussive sounds. The new earplugs also can allow the soft sounds of music and speech to be enhanced.
The Music•PRO circuitry automatically changes output levels as sound input levels change. Consequently, hearing appears natural, as if nothing is in the ears, until sound exceeds safe levels. As sound levels increase, the earplugs gradually provide 9 or 15 decibel sound reduction. When sound returns to safe levels, natural hearing mode is automatically restored.
Etymotic says that the earplugs are designed with directors and musicians in mind, although front-of-house personnel, support staff, and security personnel near the stage may also benefit from Music•PRO’s ability to switch between levels of protection and communication.
Dr Gail Gudmundsen, managing director, audiology division, at Etymotic, stated in the press release, “With Music•PRO earplugs, we’re pleased to offer the first electronic earplugs for music industry professionals that allow them to hear their music naturally but be protected with no loss of clarity when sound exceeds safe levels. No other devices can do that.”