I had my hearing tested last week as part of my lab work for a Subjective and Environmental Acoustics module. I had previously done it myself using online tests such as this one from Action On Hearing Loss, but our experiment was much more accurate as we were listening in soundproof chambers through high quality headphones and using a specialist audiometer. I have always thought it interesting that though everyone goes for frequent eyesight checkups, most people have never had their hearing tested. So for International Noise Awareness Day in April this year, I posted a link to the online test on Facebook, and it was fairly telling that only one out of nearly four hundred of my contacts took it. Most people are not aware of, or concerned about, their hearing. In fact, even in a group of five acousticians, only one of us uses earplugs at all. Since I always carry a pair with me, we thought it would be interesting if I take the test a second time while wearing them. I have attached the audiograms of both tests, and it is clear to see that even cheap earplugs block out a good amount of sound, especially the high frequencies (because in low frequencies less energy is transferred to the medium). I think they’re worth a couple of pounds to protect such a valuable sense!