16 April 2018

Quiet is the new loud – what's in store for tomorrow?

"Quiet is the new loud" is the motto for the 21st Noise Awareness Day in Germany, to be held on 25 April 2018.

Tag gegen den Lärm 2018

(EUHA/Mainz, 16/18 April 2018) In the 1970s, when going to the disco, nobody was thinking of protecting their hearing, in the 1980s, portable audio cassette players were on the rise, and from 2000, MP3 players have blasted our ears with music.

The International Noise Awareness Day is an occasion to raise awareness of noise in daily life. In the past few years, there have been several initiatives for the protection of hearing. Headphones with loudness limitation provide a wonderful sound experience, concerts can be listened to while wearing individually fitted hearing protection. Roads have also been tackled: special silent asphalt reduces driving noise. Baden-Württemberg has introduced display panels for motorcyclists: instead of showing the speed, these panels indicate the noise level. For cabriolet drivers and motorcyclists, special hearing protection is available, reducing driving noise while making warning signals, music, and information from the radio audible again.

In the workplace, noise dampening elements, or absorbers, are used in open-plan offices to absorb noise, as do special carpets, foliage plants, and curtains. Noise protection at work has been controlled by the Noise and Vibration Occupational Safety Regulation, which employers must implement.

In private households and during leisure time, people rarely identify noise sources as such. The vacuum cleaner is used several times a day, delicious smoothies are prepared using the food processor. Not many people are aware that sound levels can reach 80 dB and beyond, e.g. when using the lawn mower. Martin Blecker, President of the European Union of Hearing Aid Acousticians: "Noise levels above 85 decibels can damage people's hearing. Such noise is caused by lorries rushing by at five metres' distance. Hearing aid acousticians are experts in noise protection. They offer tailor-made solutions for almost any listening environment, including for children, as their ears sometimes require more protection than those of adults."

If we are able to raise awareness for striving for more silence in our lives, future generations will have learnt from yesterday's mistakes. Headphone parties at reduced volume and trendy clubs inviting patrons to relax and enjoy quiet music may come to govern tomorrow's listening experience!

Types of hearing protection

Custom-made hearing protection. Optimum protection for the ears is accomplished by using custom-made hearing protection with a defined and invariable effect. It is durable and custom-fit for ultimate comfort, and available from any hearing aid acoustician.

Active hearing protection. This special type of protector is equipped with electronic noise cancellation for ambient-specific attenuation. Soft sounds remain audible while intermittent and impact noise is attenuated. Ideal for hunters.

Standard hearing protection. Prefabricated earmoulds for hearing protection without filter are suitable for all those who wish to protect their ears without having any specific requirements for wearing comfort or sound quality. This type applies more attenuation to the hazardous high frequencies, which results in a more muffled sound.

Acoustic earmuffs or defenders. These shell-type ear protectors are suitable for professional use in heavy noise, such as in industrial environments or at airports. As they cover the whole ear as well as the bone-conduction area, they provide optimum protection from extreme noises. 


For more information visit: www.tag-gegen-laerm.de (German)

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