What's the best hearing protection

Calina

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The best protection is to stay away from the noise!

At the range, I use silicone plugs and Peltor muffs; even then when somebody wants to shoot 44 magnum next to me, I move away or I pack.

I mostly shoot 22 caliber but some partners prefer louder and bigger gun. I take pleasure in trying to put them all in the same hole, others seem to take pleasure in making the most noise.
 

Ken_McE

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There are a variety of new and used aviation headsets on eBay. Don't know how they compare with the other items in this thread. I have a pair of the Bose sound cancelling headsets, I find they give me a headache.
 

Sigman

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Ahhhhh, I found the paperwork for my favorite "plugs". They're "Hock's Noise-Breakers" made of medical grade silicone (the most comfortable & efficient "in the ear" plugs I've ever worn). Mine are the custom fit version.

They've got several different models - prowl around on their site & you can find a dealer near you if you are interested. They have several different models from "standard to custom fit". You can get their "standard" models with the "Noise-Breaker filter" for a more affordable price.

Some may be fortunate enough to have their employer's safety department pay for them if required on the job.

Some info:


Some custom noise reduction plugs can cause an uncomfortable "plugged up" feeling. Our Breaker-Vented custom noise reduction plugs are made with a Hock's Noise Braker installed that lets the inner ear breathe and lets the wearer hear normal speech. In the presence of dangerously loud noise the Noise Braker acts to prevent hearing damage from extremely loud noises including gunfire, nail guns, concert music, wind noise on motorcycles and many noises commonly encountered in manufacturing environments.
 
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CLHC

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Curious to know about them FoxEars by EarPro (SureFire aqcuired EarPro Communications) that SureFire has in their 2007 Catalog.

For those familiar with EarPro, they are an audiology products developer and maker of advanced technology hearing and communications products. According to the manufacturer; FoxEars use sophisticated technology to simultaneously provide hearing enhancement and hearing protection—ambient sounds are amplified while harmful high-decibel sounds are lowered to safer levels.

Getting smaller and alot more efficient these days as technology advances. . .
 

Robstorch

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I borrowed a friends pair of David Clark(aviation headset maker)ear muffs used when working around jet planes. Worked great while I was doing a lot of wood sanding.
I think you would look very strange wearing these at a concert tho...
 

coldsolderjoint

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cy said:
I've got Peltor chainsaw helmet with built in ear muffs. Stihl and Husky also has chainsaw helmets.

one of the most effective ear protection is custom molded ear plugs.

+1, i find that I like muffs ALOT better then plugs, faster to put on and off for me too. At the steel mill, I have them on my helmet.

I go shooting with muffs, for me, its alot more comfortable, but at a concert, I guess you have no choice but to wear plugs.
 

Josey

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Well, bummer. I bought some custom fitted plugs from Westone, which are supposed to block out most sound. They don't work very well. Unless I push on them hard, they block much less sound than my cheapest set of muffs. I can easily hear the TV without turning up the volume. And they are not comfortable to wear. They don't like to stay in tight. They're going in the trash. Total waste of $105.
 

Jumpmaster

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Friggin' MORE COWBELL!!!
Sounds like whoever fitted you with them didn't know what they were doing. I know that if that had happened with my EAR-INC rep, he would have remade them at no additional cost.

JM-99

Josey said:
Well, bummer. I bought some custom fitted plugs from Westone, which are supposed to block out most sound. They don't work very well. Unless I push on them hard, they block much less sound than my cheapest set of muffs. I can easily hear the TV without turning up the volume. And they are not comfortable to wear. They don't like to stay in tight. They're going in the trash. Total waste of $105.
 

gromit

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Apr 21, 2004
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For a cheap available at most drug stores is the Howard Leight brand. Will help to cut down the noise. I find them very comfortable, compared to the foam orange types.
 

gromit

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Ken_McE said:
There are a variety of new and used aviation headsets on eBay. Don't know how they compare with the other items in this thread. I have a pair of the Bose sound cancelling headsets, I find they give me a headache.

Bose is 1st of all a marketing company, technology 2nd.
You can almost always find something better and cheaper.
 

cedarcreek

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I'm no expert here, but...

The best single item I know is a foam earplug by Howard Leight, with 33db attenuation, although from looking at the link below, it appears EAR also has a 33dB plug, and at least one pair of (huge) ear muffs approaches that (but most muffs don't).

In general, the disposable foam plugs are the best thing you can use, if your interest is maximum sound suppression.
Scan this for typical ear plug effectiveness:
http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/categories/safety/hearing-protection/earplugs

I've got two pairs of silicone ear mold plugs, and they're really nice, especially for long periods of wear, but they're not particularly effective---I'm thinking 22-25db or so. If that's all you need, they work great.

There are some ear muffs that provide attenuation as high as 32db or so, but they're very uncommon, and they're big and bulky.

Scan this for typical ear muff effectiveness:
http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/categories/safety/hearing-protection/ear-muffs-and-accessories

A couple comments:

To get the disposable plugs to work, you've got to get them *in* your ear canal. I see people all the time with them just barely inserted, and I'm guessing it's (1) because they don't know, or (2) because they're just accepting less attenuation to improve communication or something.

When you really need a lot of attenuation, sink the plugs in deep, and then use ear muffs too. I often use just a lightweight pair of earmuffs on top of the ear plugs, and it both works (about 50dB of attenuation), and is very comfortable.

Most plugs are bright-colored so supervisors can "check for compliance", but you can find some light brown plugs that are less visible to people around you. (If that matters to you. I like them on airplanes.)

I tend to buy a box of plugs from Grainger or Fastenal (or lots of places), and the yellow EAR plugs in a paper container are usually among the cheapest. I find those get hard before I'm done with the box---I take a lot longer to use my personal plugs than a typical industrial environment does. Because the hardening makes them less effective, I tend to pay more for plugs sealed in plastic bags.

My favorite plugs are Howard Leight "Max" (33dB) with the little plastic cord. If I don't want the cord for a specific use, I just cut it off. Usually I like the cord.

I prefer to just throw them away after one use, rather than having to clean reusable plugs. (My experience says you need to clean reusable ones more than most people think.)

I find the tapered or molded foam plugs a little nicer, but I most often use the "company-provided" yellow EAR non-tapered plugs. And they are perfectly adequate for 90% of my needs.

Now, getting off subject, if you can get by with a little less attenuation, a lightweight pair of ear muffs is great, and you can more easily use iPod earbud headphones. That's what I now use most of the time.
 
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shrap

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If you want ear protection while at a rock concert or some other venue where the quality of sound is important - try the Etymotic ER-20 earplugs. They're designed to dampen sound uniformly across all frequencies, so loud music sounds the same - just softer, unlike the foam plugs which muffle sound unevenly.

I've got two pair, and they work as advertised. I put on the plugs, then put headphones on top of the plugs, and the music sounds similar, not strange or distorted.
 

RedLED

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I have a US Navy issue pair of ear muffs used on the flight deck of carriers. They are big, but work very, very good.

They are easy to find, and not expensive.

Mine were given to me when I photographed an event on board a carrier years ago, and the XO told me to keep just them.
 

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