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Can In-Ear Monitors Damage your Ears? Safety Tips using them

Can in-ear Monitors Damage your Ears

Many people, especially musicians, listen to music for a longer duration, mostly lasting between 8-10 hours daily. The question is whether using in-ear monitors can damage your ears or not.

The volume at which the music is playing is a vital aspect that deserves a lot of consideration. A better instance is when you stay in an environment with loud music for some hours.

Check our buying guide and learn the best Sennheiser in-ear monitors to buy for this year.

The outcome is always a temporary hearing impairment. Similarly, musicians also experience the same thing.

Therefore, to protect their hearing, they decide to go for in-ear monitors. Even though they are generally good, the question remains, “Do they protect hearing?” Continue reading to find out more…

Can in-ear Monitors Damage your Ears?

The apparent reason that prompts hearing impairments, especially to people in the music industry, is how long they listen to the music and the volume at which the music plays.

In-ear monitors can damage ears if one turns high volumes and gets used for long hours. If you use in-ear monitors for more than 1 hour at more than 85 decibels, you may damage your eardrum. However, if you use low volume for shorter durations, IEMs are safe to use.

Also, the ability of in-ear monitors to damage your ears is dependent on factors such as;

Some in ear monitors
  • The volume at which the music is playing
  • The duration you listen to music with in-ear monitors on
  • The type of in-ear monitors used

Practically, the in-ear monitors are good at delivering fantastic music to your ears at the desired and recommended volume.

However, you may often find yourself increasing the capacity of your music, and that’s where the problem arises. Opting to increase the volume to higher standards will harm your ears after a given period.

It may not be soon, but listening to music frequently will generally impact you negatively in the long term.

Also, the high sound vibrations will make the eardrum move further, hence making the cochlea fluid move faster. The ultimate effect will be damage to the little hair that helps in sensing in the cochlea.

Listen to music over a long duration can also make you lose your hearing abilities. What happens in a situation where the music is playing at a loud volume in your ears.

The design of the in-ear monitors makes them deliver a suitable sound that is good for your ears. However, factors such as noise in the external environment may cause you to increase the volume so that you hear well without distortions.

If that happens over a long duration, the ears get damaged too. Another factor that can make your ears to get is the kind of headphones you use.

There are two common types of headphones;

  • Open Headphones
  • Closed Headphones

Open headphones:
are suitable for an isolated environment e.g., home where you do not have to do sound isolation. They release all the extra sound pressure to the ears but in less intensity hence making them an excellent preference.

Closed headphones:
are preferable when in a noisy environment e.g., the street where noise isolation is required.

Having closed headphones means that you will not strain when listening to music despite the loud noise. The functionality of the closed headphone is also as good as that of the open.

In both instances, having in-ear monitors daily can still have some significant damage on the hearing ability. It is, therefore, essential to consider your frequency.

Concerning whether in-ear monitors will damage your ears, the answer depends on some of the above highlighted factors, thus making the response partially yes and partially no.

Either way, one has to decide what is best for him or her at a personal level; High volume –ear damage or optimum volume-little effect.

Besides, there are other considerations when using the in-ear monitors that can make you use them safely. Below is the in-depth information;

Tips on How to Use in-ear Monitors Safely

1.Make it a habit of using them

using your in-ear monitors may be an ironic safety measure. However, it’s a recommendable practice.

It is advisable that when your in-ear monitors are still new, you should use them frequently so that you know how to control them, whether on your phone or music system. It will also introduce a personal touch between you and it.

2. Do prior setups

before the actual mix or performance, you should set your in-ear monitor correctly and ensure that the sound delivered to your ears suits your ear’s health.

3. Avoid the tendency of using just one;

One thing that many people get wrong when using in-ear monitors is using only one for an extended period. Practically, using one of the monitors for long will trick you into increasing the volume, thus damaging your ears.

4. Learn to put them on properly

take your time to figure out how to wear the in-ear monitors well. By putting on the monitors incorrectly, the volume of sound delivered to your ears may sound low.

However, it may be unknown to you that the music is playing at the recommended volume hence triggering you into adjusting the volume.

The ultimate hazard that high volume causes are known. Therefore it’s vital that you master how to navigate your in-ear monitor around your ears.

5. Only play at a comfortable volume

bearing in mind that your ears are hypersensitive to any obstructions caused by high volume; you should be careful and ensure that you only have the right intensity of sound delivered to your ears. That is the ultimate way of ensuring that you operate the in-ear monitors safely.

6. Maintenance

also, you should have a perfect maintenance schedule for your in-ear monitor. How well the in-ear monitor will function is highly determined by its status.

Is your in-ear monitor in lousy shape or you always maintain it? If you do proper maintenance, then the chances are that it will function well hence causing no hear to your ears.

A poorly maintained in-ear monitor can make the volume to reduce over time. As a result, this compels the user to play the music at a relatively high volume.

This increases the possibility of damaging the eardrum. Proper maintenance can be done through regular cleaning and checking on the speakers.

Therefore, it is suitable for you to have in mind the above safety practices as they play a vital role in your ear’s health. You should also cherish the fact that you can hear since some wish to have the same ability, but they don’t.

Considering how useful ear monitors are in the music industry, a feeling may prompt you to use it in gaming. However, a common question arises;

Are in-ear Monitors Good for Gaming?

Depending on your objectives, the IEMs may be preferable to you though they rarely used. Your main aim for using the in-ear monitors for gaming could be getting a clear and better sound.


Also, noise isolation could be one of the reasons for applying in-ear monitors in gaming.

All those goals are dependent on the type of IEMs you are using. Therefore, a No and Yes answer may be perfect.

One of the in-ear monitors that are recommendable for gaming is the Kingfisher ceramic gaming universal in-ear monitor.

Also, the game raider is a perfect one for gaming. The design of the two makes them suit the common purpose of the user.

Customer testimonials in various vendor sites also show that the in-ear monitors are suitable for gaming.

Here is an instance of a customer’s comment on whether the in-ear monitors are perfect for gaming, “I use my IEMs for gaming almost all the time. “That clearly shows that they are suitable for gaming.

Why the Health of your ears is Important

Statistics from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) show that almost 20% of both children and adults suffer from hearing loss at one stage of their lives.

In the current days, there are a lot of things which can result in this issue. This makes us be concerned by the debate of in-ear vs over-ear headphones health to know is better.

In almost every place you go, you will find noises from machines, cars, and people shouting among other sources of noise.

If you are exposed to such noises for prolonged periods of time, the health of your ears can easily be negatively affected.

Treatments for hearing-related issues are usually very costly. You may even require surgeries if your ears have issues.

People who suffer from permanent hearing loss do not get to hear again in their lives. So you understand how important it is to protect your hearing at all times.

You can better understand this by knowing the best headphones design between in-ear and over-ear headphones in protecting the health of your ears.

Concluding Word

From the above justification, it is clear that in-ear monitors protect hearing only up to some extent. However, a larger percentage of protection is owned by you.

You have the power in your hands. You can either decide to hamper your hearing capabilities or protect them.