The Woodstock Generation and hearing loss

50 years later: The Woodstock Generation, the music experience, and hearing loss

Over 400,000 music fans and 32 of the best acts of the 1960s: Woodstock was a pivotal moment in American and music history. It ushered in a new era of rock and roll for baby boomers, set the tone for fashion, culture, and politics for decades to come. 

But does the Woodstock Generation still enjoy music the way they used to? Oticon commissioned a survey by The Harris Poll to find out.


Peace, love & hearing:

A survey of the “Woodstock Generation”


Did the Woodstock Generation’s tendency to rock out to music at loud volumes in their youth impact their hearing health today? 50 years after Woodstock, we asked The Harris Poll to question more than 1,000 U.S. adults age 65-80 – “The Woodstock Generation” – about their music listening habits then and their ability to hear and enjoy music now.

The survey found that 47% of the Woodstock Generation who listened to loud or very loud music when they were in their teens and 20s now report hearing loss.

As a result of their hearing loss, many of these hard-rocking music lovers are unable to enjoy music as they once did and are struggling to fully participate in social situations with their loved ones. 

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Solutions for rockin’ baby boomers

Just because you have hearing loss, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy music like you once did. Our advanced Oticon Opn S™ hearing aids are powered by ultra-fast sound analysis and processing that give wearers access to a more complete range of sounds. Built-in internet connectivity enables wearers to stream music directly to their ears. The result is that the Woodstock Generation and music lovers of all ages can enjoy a richer, more authentic music experience, both in live settings or in the comfort of their home.

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Prevention and protection:

Time to face the music

For decades rock-and-roll lovers have thought the louder the volume, the better the music experience. And bands have been eager to please. The Who, one of the original performers at Woodstock, at one point was the world’s loudest band, playing live at a blaring 126 decibels. That record has since been shattered, with bands delivering live performances as loud as 140 decibels! – well above the threshold considered for safe hearing. 

Studies such as this Harris Poll survey are shedding light on the long-term consequences of exposure to loud music and starting a dialogue about how music lovers can protect their hearing during concerts and other loud events. 

Learn how to safely rock out to your favorite band


Research Methodology 

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by The Harris Poll between June 5 and June 12, 2019 on behalf of Oticon among 1,006 U.S. adults age 65-80 (“Woodstock Generation”) including 437 older adults with hearing loss. Data were statistically weighted where necessary by age by sex, education, race/ethnicity, region, income, household size, marital status, and employment status to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population.

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