When audiologists see the descriptor “musician” or “audio engineer” on their clinical appointment schedule, it can cause a variety of reactions. Audiologists may think, “oh, this will be an easy 15-minute appointment for molds.” Others may react by saying, “oh no, these people think they know more than me; I hate these appointments.” Finally, some may say, “I can’t wait; musicians are my favorite!” Some audiologists may call these types of patients “talented listeners,” some would call them “kindred spirits,” and some would simply say they are “trouble.” That being said, most audiologists experienced in working with musicians and other music industry professionals would recognize these “professional ears” as belonging to their own unique auditory culture. Music audiology is a subspecialty in our field that is focused on caring for music industry professionals across the auditory life span. Benj Kanters, associate professor of audio engineering at Columbia College Chicago (Chicago, IL) and director of the studio and music engineering curriculum, sums it up well, “Audio professionals need an audiologist the way everyone else needs a dentist” (Kanters, 2010). Caring for the professional ear includes hearing conservation/hearing loss prevention, amplification, hearing disorder management, or a combination of these. When an audiologist works with a music industry professional, whether a hobby musician or Grammy Award-winning audio engineer, they are caring for something precious and priceless: their sense of hearing. The goal of optimizing the musician’s ear while preserving hearing is a careful balancing act, and the use of earplugs and IEMs is only one component of an overall hearing wellness plan. This content is an exclusive benefit for American Academy of Audiology members. If you're a member, log in and you'll get immediate access. Member Login If you're not yet a member, you'll be interested to know that joining not only gives you access to top-notch resources like this one, but also invitations to member-only events, inclusion in the member directory, participation in professional forums, and access to patient resources, tools, and continuing education. Join today!