How To Find The Best Electronic Hearing Protection
Those working in noisy environments such as construction sites will often require the best electronic hearing protection. While foam or silicone earplugs might be effective in certain situations, those who are constantly exposed to extremely loud noises on a daily basis should invest in muff level protection, since these products utilize advanced electronics which will suppress loud sounds while simultaneously amplifying ambient ones.
NRR (Noise Reduction Rating)
Some electronic hearing devices are capable of canceling out extremely loud noises, including gunshots and explosives. Such units use a special rating called NNR which designates the level of protection the device offers. Standardized NRR for the majority of electronic earmuffs will range from twenty-two to thirty-one decibels. The greater the number, the more protection you’ll have.
But even better, these electronic hearing devices are manufactured to amplify certain lower-level ambient sounds, which helps with communication in extreme environments. Any noise which is above a safe level will be automatically blocked out, without disrupting your ability to hear nearby colleagues or teammates.
Because of their circuitry, current electronic earmuffs tend to be a bit bulky, but this is likely to change as technology advances. Always choose a model with a headband that is adjustable with a customized fit. If you’re employed in an industry where you use a firearm, such as hunting, police or military work, you’ll need to be sure the muffs don’t interfere with the gun stock.
Key Differences between Electronic and Passive Hearing Devices
When deciding which hearing device is best for you, it is important to know the key differences between electronic and passive hearing devices, which are:
- Electronic hearing devices: These devices utilize speakers which are integrated and function to enhance nearby environmental sounds, while also blocking out higher decibel noises. Since they are digital, many of these devices come with Bluetooth or headphone jacks which enable you to listen to podcasts or music while going about your daily activities.
- Passive hearing protection: These devices do not utilize electronic technology and instead depend solely on ear pad thickness to block out incoming sounds. However, they will also block out important sounds such as audible communication from teammates and are thus not suitable for higher-risk applications such as police work, hunting or military operations. Passive hearing devices are best reserved for construction work or any environment where you can safely block out all incoming noises.
Direction-Based Sound Amplification
One feature that greatly benefits musicians is direction-based sound amplification. This enables you to detect specific environmental sounds through the usage of acoustic filters, and in some cases amplify them.However, in noisy environments, it isn’t enough just to be able to hear specific sounds such as those from nearby colleagues, you must also know which direction the sound is coming from. This is achieved through the usage of electronic components along with microphones that are strategically positioned to detect environmental sounds you normally couldn’t hear if your ear was uncovered. The noise is then amplified and played through a specific speaker which is located in the earmuffs.