3M Humans of Hearing

Why hearing protection matters

Let's talk about noise-induced hearing loss.

  • We're listening. Join the conversation.

    The sound of your child’s laughter. The sound of rain on the roof. The sound of your favorite song. We all have emotional ties to what we hear, and love hearing the things that make us happy. That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to things you hear that could rob you of savoring the sweet sounds you enjoy. Power tools, city traffic, rock concerts and crowd noise can all cause noise-induced hearing loss.

Have You Heard: Your All-Time Favorite Song

We're listening. Here are some great responses to the questions "What's your all-time favorite song?" and "Where were you when you first heard it?"

  • Have You Heard, Kathy
    Kathy, Australia

    "The Time of Your Life" is my all-time favorite song, I first heard it at one of my children's primary school graduation

  • Have You Heard, Conny
    Conny, Sweden

    My all-time favorite song is Moldova’s Eurovision song contest contribution in 2010. The saxophone solo is fantastic!

  • Have You Heard, Yveth
    Yveth, El Salvador

    My favorite song is performed by Barbra Streisand and Bryan Adams singing "I Finally Found Someone". I heard it in the movie The Mirror Has Two Faces.

  • Have You Heard, Aarek
    Aarek, United States

    I have a lot of favorite songs but I would say that Pearl Jam, "Evenflow" is my favorite. I first heard it at a campfire in my friend’s backyard.”

Have You Heard: Sounds you would miss the most

We're listening. Here are some great responses to the question "What sound would you miss the most if you lost your hearing tomorrow?"

  • Human of Hearing Kelly
    Kelly, United States

    “I'd miss the sound of water. The sound of my feet upon rocks that are thousands of years old that effortlessly share their wisdom with my soul. The sound of power that knows it's own strength and revels in it's own beauty, but doesn't boast. The sound that grounds me. The sound of pure fluid adventure."

  • Human of Hearing Rob
    Rob, Canada

    "I started playing the guitar when I was a teenager and have been playing in bands my whole life. I never took any formal lessons and taught myself to play by ear. If I lost my hearing I wouldn’t be able to hear the music and struggle to play the song. Hearing is very important to my ability to play guitar. I’m 69 years old and recently reunited with my original bandmates practicing weekly in my basement."

  • Human of Hearing Rebecca
    Rebecca, Romania

    "Certainly, I would greatly miss the early spring bird songs because they calm me most. Sounds of nature, in particular have a positive effect on my state of mind. Also, the voices of loved ones I'd miss very much."

  • Human of Hearing Eason
    Eason, China

    "If I were to lose my hearing tomorrow, I would miss the voices of my relatives and friends. If I could not hear these sounds, I would feel lonely, even if I was staying with them."

Have You Heard

Have you Heard?

Have You Heard: Least favorite sound

We're listening. Here are some great responses to the question "What's your least favorite sound and why?"

  • Human of Hearing Allen
    Allen, China

    "The noise caused by city traffic, especially the loud speakers of a car at night which wakes me up and I cannot fall asleep. Definitely my least favorite sound."

  • Human of Hearing Erik
    Erik, United States

    "After getting laid off, I was able to find work as a ramp agent at the airport. It was actually kind of a fun job, doing something different and new. But it was noisy — really, really, really noisy. Working 100 yards from a runway is loud even when you’re wearing earmuffs. I would often get home after a shift and just sit in silence to give my ears a break.”

  • Human of Hearing, Natalia
    Natalia, Costa Rica

    "I really hate the sound of Styrofoam. Screeching! I feels like my mind is bursting."

  • Human of Hearing Galina
    Galina, Russia

    "Shouts and cries are my least favorite sounds. Negative emotions depress me, especially when they are in such a pronounced manner."

Protect Your Hearing To Win

Protect Your Hearing To Win

Have You Heard: Favorite sound

We're listening. Here are some great responses to the question "What's your favorite sound?"

  • Human of Hearing Vindhya
    Vindhya, Sri Lanka

    "My favorite sound is the waves of the ocean in the night."

  • Human of Hearing Hermes
    Hermes, Costa Rica

    "I love the sounds of nature; the birds, the rain, the wind, those are my favorite sounds."

  • Human of Hearing Anne Marie
    Anne Maire, Brazil

    "My favorite sound is my daughter's voice."

  • Human of Hearing Stephanie
    Stephanie, United States

    "My favorite sound in the world is the purring of my kitties, Pepe and Felix. They love to purr when they cuddle at night and first thing when I wake up in the morning. Makes it really hard to get out of bed."

Life Can Be Loud

Life Can Be Loud

Noise is everywhere.

  • Even common sounds you hear at work or home can contribute to long term hearing loss and other health risks. Over time, noise at or above 85 dBA can damage hearing and cause ringing in the ears. Reduce these sound levels by using hearing protection in loud environments. Protect your ears from loud noise so you can enjoy the soft sounds.

  • Noise Induced Hearing Loss

    Pay attention to your surroundings.

    Noise-induced hearing loss can be caused by a one-time exposure to an intense impulse sound or by prolonged exposure to noises over 85 decibels.

    While exposure to a loud impulse sound may damage your hearing and cause tinnitus (a ringing in your ear), continuous exposure to loud sounds causes a gradual loss of hearing over time — that you may not notice until it is too late.

    Hearing loss can lead to fatigue, stress, depression and withdrawal from social situations.

  • If you’d like to share your story and submit a photo, please download the entry kit and send your submission to haveyouheard@mmm.com. Please include the following information in your submission:

    • Your First Name and Last Name
    • Your City, State and Country
    • Your Age
    • A short statement (50-500 words) responding to one of the questions above about the sounds around you and hearing protection.
    • Approval to use your Photo and Statement as part of the Safety Now & Next Blog
    • Your photo submission should be at least 1200 x 1200 pixels and 72 dpi

    Our goal is to create awareness for NIHL and provide a glimpse into the lives of people from around the world. Stay tuned for more highlights from the Have You Heard campaign.

Our Science of Safe and Sound

  • Earplugs

    Earplugs come is a variety of types and styles to suit almost any need. They’re easy to take anywhere and have on hand just in case you find yourself in a noisy situation.

    See 3M Earplugs

  • Earmuffs

    Earmuffs are a popular choice in hearing protection due to the ease of use and consistent fit. Available in headband, neckband, hard hat attached and folding models, earmuffs meet hearing protection needs in many common applications.

    See 3M Earmuffs