Cars have given us some of the most recognisable sounds known to people. The rich, fat burble of an idling exhaust on a supercar. The vroom everyone made as a child discovering the Doppler Effect.
Or, if you’re unlucky, the coughing fit and possible explosion that tells you it might be time to visit a garage.
All these, and many more, speak to us in their own way and are as much a part of driving as anything else.
However, your ears are important too and although keeping them healthy seems like the antithesis of childhood nostalgia, no-one wants to be in the market for hearing aids before their time.
The options below are good places to start when protecting your hearing while driving.
It might not be the most stylish of after-market additions, but sound deadening is a move that facilitates all others.
The most flexible option is to make use of the specialised carpet and thick tape. Available in one size but easily adjusted to fit required spaces, these items are often overlooked and do a more than adequate job.
With the possibility of reducing the basic running noises – engine and road sounds – by up to 30%, this combination is easily forgotten when it comes to car upgrades. For those wanting to go even further, specialised kits are available for doors and boots.
On top of this, it can often improve music sound quality. Speaking of which…
Quality trumps quantity in sound as in other walks of life. Playing music at the kind of volumes normally associated with festivals in a small, enclosed space to drown out ambient noise is not good.
It’s not necessarily bad in short bursts, say for a favourite song, but the best solution is to consider upgrading your speakers.
Getting better speakers will improve sound quality and depth without requiring huge increases in volume. While that potential is obviously still there, a better defined sound will stand out on its own without it.
One for those who drive motorbikes and a handy way to get the best of the options open to car owners.
A miniaturised amalgamation of sound-deadening and music enhancement, good headphones are worth the investment.
Maintaining situational awareness is key. Having to frequently adjust your music setup because the ‘cans you have aren’t up to the job is asking for trouble.