I live in a noisy world. This is my conclusion.
Most of the time, when I walk into shopping malls, I could often hear disturbing background noises. I presume those background noises occur due to loud music played by the individual stores of the shopping mall, and the poor acoustics of the mall.
I think VivoCity is a fine example of a poor acoustics (but beautiful, though) mall. When I was at VivoCity on Christmas Day, my ears kept sending me signals that the place is horribly noisy!
My home is a noisy place, unless everyone else is sleeping or not at home. I have parents whom I think have hearing problems but who think that I am too fussy in insisting that the volume of the television shouldn't be too high. To add to my woes, I have brothers who play mahjong. I don't mind the occasional noise when the mahjong tiles have to be shuffled, but I do mind the volume of the television and radio which were switched on to provide some entertainment. The volume is far too loud than I could sanely bear.
With ears sensitive like mine, it is often a painful experience to bear with noises. The bad news is that I heard that one corner of my workplace would be undergoing some refitting and renovation works. Noises again.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, human ears can only endure seven-and-a-half continuous minutes at 115 decibels before hearing damage begins. (View my source)
But I think I am living in a world where I may be subjected to such noise hazards many of the times.
One of my blog friends has been very kind to offer to get me ear filters to protect my hearing and offer some relief to my ears. The best part is that she was so thoughtful that she took the trouble to show me the various available designs of ear filters so that I could choose the one that would best suit my needs. She brought to my attention that there is something special about these ear filters. I have yet to find them in any other music shops in Singapore. Anyway, these ear filters are suitable for musicians to use while playing!
I felt so privileged to even browse through each of the various kinds of musician earplugs. I found myself reading away the instructions on the packagings.
Come to think of it, earplugs designed for the musician will come in handy. If I were to be sitting right near the tuba or trombone, no matter how lovely the instruments are played, the volume can still be pretty loud at some juncture. This evening, while catching a concert by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, I actually saw one of the double bassists who was sitting very near the tuba putting on earplugs just before the end of the intermission.
Some years ago, I had the opportunity to play the double bass with a jazz band, I was so put off by the loud volume from the amplifier connected to the instruments of the band that I had not been playing with any other jazz band since. Normal ear plugs didn't work for me then since it was difficult to hear some parts of the music using normal ear plugs. On the other hand, the HiFi HEAROS ear filters that my blog friend showed me today are designed to reduce the volume level without changing the frequency balance of the music that musicians would hear while playing. Hey, I realised that I love understanding how things work.
Eventually, I chose Xtreme HEAROS Ear Filters for it has a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 33 Decibels. I figured that I will need ear filters with higher Noise Reduction Rating to bear with the noises at home.
Having gone through so many kinds of ear filters and knowing the functions of these ear filters, I realised it was hard to resist buying one of these ear filters for my orchestra's double bass tutor, GM, as his birthday present. Furthermore, the personnel at that music shop have been friendly, attentive and customer-oriented to share with me information on how such ear filters could help protect the sense of hearing of musicians, at my pace. The informed knowledge of the product got me to decide on getting the High Fidelity HEAROS for my tutor. It costs $28 per set, and I think it is value-for-money for its technology and the hearing protection that it offers.
When I got home and surfed for more information about the ear filters, I realised that many of those ear filters for musicians can also be used in contexts where one is subjected to loud noises. Knowing this made me feel even more thankful to this blog friend of mine who is so kind to get me a set of Xtreme HEAROS Ear Filters as a gift. I am feeling blessed to get such an ideal, practical gift. Here's to thank this blog friend once again.
I like the gift because it comes with a free case for the ear filters. I think this is a great idea. I had often faced a problem of carrying earplugs around because those earplugs that I had bought from the pharmacy are usually kept in cardboard casing or do not come with any case. Now, I shall be a proud owner of the HEAROS Ear Filters, and I shall proudly show you how a pair of the ear filters would look in the case.
By the way, while surfing HEAROS website, I chanced upon a Musician's Article on HiFi HEAROS. I think it is an interesting read to check out.
In case any of my Singapore-readers would like to find out where to get this rare find of mine, here is the location of the store where you can purchase HEAROS ear filters, right in Singapore:
MUSIC ENSEMBLE PTE LTD
35 Selegie Road
#03-09 Parklane Shopping Mall
Tel: 63381210/ 63381220
(Please call after 10 a.m.)
(Nearest MRT station: Dhoby Ghaut)
If you have tried it and like it, please spread the word around. Our hearing and our ears are precious enough to be given the due protection.
URLs that you may wish to read: