wearing earplugs

How come you sound like a whale when wearing earplugs

25 Jun 2018 Now

You know you should wear your earplugs 'cause you know, hearing damage and stuff. Once the damage has been done, you can't turn it back. But why the hell do we hear ourselves so crazy loud when wearing earplugs?

Through the bones

Breathing, chewing, swallowing; it's as if all your internal sounds come across way louder when you wear earplugs. Now we are here to ensure you that's not just your imagination. And in order to explain why, we have to get a bit scientific on you.

dirty earplugs

Wearing earplugs and vibrations

All those sounds are normally transmitted through the bones of your jaw and skull. These vibrations, especially the lower frequency ones, are dissipated outwards by the shape of your ear. But if you block your ears with your fingers or earplugs, you create a resonating chamber between your eardrum and the blockage. It’s not just that inside noises sound louder by comparison with the muffled sounds from outside, there is a real, measurable amplification of up to 20 decibels. Sort of like you are creating an internal speaker that only you can hear. Cool, ey?

Tadaa: there you have it. This is why your voice sounds like a whale communicating underwater when you wear earplugs. And so no, that is not a reason to stop wearing earplugs. You get used to the crazy sound quite quickly anyway. Just embrace it and keep that party going. That's the most important, right?

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