Critical listening is the live-sound audio engineer's most essential tool for informed sonic assessment. In producing a cohesive mix that fulfills an event's aims, audio engineers affect the experience and well-being of all live-sound participants. This study compares the results from a 2020 international audio engineer survey with published research. The findings demonstrate that although in theory, engineers recognize their hearing as being their most essential critical listening tool, in practice, many have not foundways to manage their hearing and optimize their assessment ability effectively. Many engineers with impeded or impaired hearing continue to mix, believing that any negative impact on participants is minimal or nonexistent. The livesound experience and participant health and well-being are improved by promoting and acting on appropriate hearing management practices.
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