As musicians we depend heavily on our sense of hearing. The idea of damaging our hearing over time resulting in losing our ability to hear properly can be quite frightening. Unfortunately, as musicians, the very thing that can damage our delicate hearing, namely repeated exposure to high volume levels is exactly what we are subjecting ourselves to on a regular basis. Because of this, musicians are in fact four times more likely to lose there hearing.
We often think that only professional musicians need worry about the risk of hearing damage, but nothing can be further from the truth. Weekend musicians are just as susceptible to hearing issues. With noise pollution on the rise, and exposure to loud music via our mobile devices, concerts, clubs and other daily exposure, we are finding ourselves causing non-reversible damage to our ears. In fact, we are seeing a dramatic rise in hearing problems in much younger people.
My search for hearing protection began when I noticed a ringing in my ears after rehearsals with my band. I would often expect it to subside after a few hours, which it normally did. Unfortunately for me, after a while the ringing took longer and longer to subside until it no longer did. I currently live with a constant ringing tone in my left ear. In my search to find a solution that would allow me to continue to play music while avoiding any further hearing damage, I discovered a new product by REV33. This compact device was designed to work with in-ear monitors, or ear buds to essentially allow you to hear the music warmer, richer and clearer with less distortion and ultimately less ear fatigue. I decided to try out a unit for myself to see if this device could allow me to lower the volume levels of my in ear monitors during rehearsals.
Before ordering a set I got an opportunity to speak with Brett Butler the CEO of REVx Technologies. He graciously explained the more technical aspects of how this new technology works to clean noise and distortion from the audio signal resulting in improved sonic clarity.
He mentioned that the REV33 was designed from the ground up to make in-ear monitors or headphones render the music with greater definition without processing your music. Essentially, all speakers generate distortion that isn’t comprehended in standard Total Harmonic Distortion (THD+N) measurements. This unwanted energy moves from the speaker back toward the amplifier and distorts the original music signal. The patent-pending True Sound technology inhibits the effect of these external noise sources, reducing the ability of the in-ear monitor to add this unwanted energy. This technique does not require analyzing the audio signal, so you’ll hear more of your music—more clarity, more precision, and more warmth. With a 30-day money back guarantee I figured I would have nothing to lose.
When I received the package I quickly opened it and found a device that was slightly smaller than a zippo lighter. It came with a couple of audio jacks and a nice carry case for it. I was so eager to try it out that I immediately plugged it into my in ear monitors that night during a rehearsal. I was expecting to hear something quite different, but instead I was quite surprised that the REV33 didn’t really color the sound. The REV33 was clean and allowed me to play the volume on the monitors a little lower than I would normally need to. We continued on with the 3-hour long rehearsal as per usual and at the end of the evening, I did notice that the ringing in my ears was noticeably less than it had been during other sessions without the REV33. It reduced my ear fatigue while increasing the sonic detail I was hearing. I didn’t find myself struggling with the other frequencies as much and felt it was easier to hear myself in the mix.
Would the REV33 stop ear damage from high volume? Probably not since it is not designed to act like an attenuator, but it does indeed clean up the sound and allow the music to be heard with less distortion. It also allows the sound to cut through better allowing you to reduce the overall volume required which is always a good thing especially if you already have ringing in your ears.
My overall impression of the REV33 is that it can be a great tool if you are looking to reduce hearing fatigue and undo stress on your ears, but you should always try to limit any exposure to loud music for extended periods of time when possible. I will continue to use the REV33 as I feel it is definitely worth the cost.
For anyone that would like to get more information on how the REV33 works or would like to try out a unit for themselves, you can find all the information on the REV33 website at www.rev33.com