NAL's Free Hearing Test

NAL's Free Hearing Test

NAL are making it easy for music fiends to finally give a shit about our hearing.

Have you ever taken off your little Apple headphones after a jog and thrown 'em on the table and walked to the kitchen to get a glass of water and you can still hear the music super clear? And thought, ‘woah, my music is clearly far way loud’… only to continue listening at that volume the next time, and the next.  Have you ever stood so close to a speaker stack at a club that your internal organs shake, and your ears ring well into the next day? And you look over at your mates with fluoro orange ear-plugs in and think ‘maybe it’s about time I started wearing plugs in the club?’.

In an Australian first, National Acoustic Laboratories have developed an online hearing test (HERE) and noise risk calculator (HERE).

The Hearing Test
You jump on and listen to a bunch of numbers and record them down, then the site measures you on a median compared to others your age and recommends a course of action - whether it be simply getting some earplugs, or actually heading to an audiologist for some more permanent assistance. If you’ve ever wondered about how shot your hearing might be but never been brave enough/had the initiative to go to a testing clinic, NAL’s Know Your Noise test is an easy and accessible way to get some answers.

The Noise Risk Assessment Test
This involves a quick survey. Based on the places you hang on, and the things you do, NAL will let you know how much noise you’re being exposed to, and whether it's okay or too much. I let NAL know that I go to gigs, clubs, parties, and listen to music in my headphones and cars mostly every week, and received feedback that I’m exposed to too much noise – twice the level of maximum noise exposure than is usually accepted, actually.

Thanks NAL for finally motivating me to turn down my headphones (maybe, sometimes) and wear earplugs at gigs (definitely). Fellow Pilerat Layton, who plays in a punk band, has made it easy for himself by buying a pair of earplugs on a keychain - they're called Downbeats, they come in a slick and durable anodised case, and you can get yourself a pair for around $20. 

Image by Marija Strajnic.

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