Hearing protection for clubbers is music to their ears

Elizabeth Francis Beach, Warwick Williams, Megan Gilliver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Issue addressed: While it is difficult to promote the use of hearing protectors in noisy workplaces and leisure settings, some nightclub attendees choose to wear earplugs when exposed to loud music. This qualitative study investigated the perceptions of clubbers about the advantages and disadvantages of earplug use in nightclubs. Such first-hand information could potentially be used to educate non-wearers about the features of different earplug types, the experience of wearing earplugs and their relative merits. Methods: Structured telephone interviews were conducted with 20 regular clubbers who wear different types of earplugs at nightclubs. Participants were asked about their experience of wearing earplugs and, in particular, what they perceive to be the advantages and disadvantages of earplugs. Results: Participants' responses revealed that cheaper foam earplugs are considered less satisfactory than more expensive earplugs, which are relatively discreet and comfortable, facilitate communication with others, create minimal music distortion and, in some cases, improve music sound quality. In terms of effectiveness, all types of earplugs were considered beneficial in reducing the after-effects of loud music and providing hearing protection. Conclusions: The perceived advantages of earplugs, which are often not recognised by non-earplug wearers, should be communicated in order to encourage the use of earplugs among clubbers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-221
Number of pages7
JournalHealth Promotion Journal of Australia
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Earplugs
  • Hearing protection
  • Leisure noise
  • Loud music
  • Nightclubs

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