In the article “How Loud Is Too Loud? Doctors and Club Owners on Hearing Loss and Volume,” Molly Beauchemin explores the dangers of loud music at venues. She stated that while photographing for an event in Montreal, she saw audience members covering their ears, which she later learned that this was because the music was so loud that audience members could develop Tinnitus. The article states that, “Tinnitus is a neurological problem that originates in the brain, involving miscommunication between noise-damaged sensory cells; the result is a continuous ringing sound in the ears.”
Beauchemin advised that concert goers should wear earplugs to the venues, “When properly inserted, foam earplugs block out dangerous frequencies . . . Most agree that if earplugs are going to “cut out” any important sounds, it’ll be vocals, which sit on the high end of the mix and are hardest to capture because of the artist’s distance from the mic and the fact that they are constantly moving. Audiologists, however, agree that vocals aren’t loud enough to be blocked out even from cheap earplugs, which are designed to cut out only the dangerous frequencies.” These “Dangerous” frequencies would be at the high end of the frequency scale, ranging from 3khz to 20khz, which is this high-pitched sound that change tone on each frequency. However, the most damaging frequency to humans is said to be around 4KHz or 4,000Hz.
Beauchemin also stated that most venues are said to play music at 98-115dB, which is significantly loud, being that the max volume played is 20dB louder than what is required for hearing loss to occur. Playing music this loud is mainly to make an environment that the audience can feel and it creates, as one would explain, “an out of this world experience.” If music was played lower at concerts I don’t think the audience would have the same experience as they currently do, although It being played ‘too loud’ is not particularly good for one’s ear, it’s the experience which makes it enjoyable.
Ultimately, I would rather loud music because it creates a specific feeling, as stated above. However, I would wear earplugs so I don’t damage my ears as much.