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Hearing protection and decibel levels..."just the facts ma'am...just the facts please."

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chiz1180
UnGe
targetbarb
Sa-tevp
Tripscape
james r chapman
joeangi
Domino1
bruce martindale
Dcforman
SmokinNJokin
Jack H
LenV
boisepaw
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Hearing protection and decibel levels..."just the facts ma'am...just the facts please." Empty Hearing protection and decibel levels..."just the facts ma'am...just the facts please."

Post by boisepaw 2/24/2024, 12:19 am

Two months after experiencing catastrophic and complete hearing loss in my left ear, and probably 10 appointments with a variety of doctors and healthcare professionals, the audiologist today pretty much insisted that my left ear is "dead"...i.e. damaged beyond repair.  Meaning that hearing aids won't help so the ability to sort out sounds and background noises, requiring two function ears, is gone from my life.  So settings like sitting at a large family dinner or in a crowded room with people chatting means that I will be sitting there with a dumb half-smile on my face because I don't understand a word of what is being said when there is more than one voice/sound going on at the same time.

"Protect your right ear" was the message from the audiologist.  "Or you might end up in a world of complete silence."  Again, hearing aids won't help.

Normal conversation is at about 50-60 decibels.  Sudden noises at 120 decibels can cause immediate damage.

A 22 is maybe 140-150 decibels.  But 9mm or a 45 ACP and just about everything else...rifle, handgun and shotgun is about 160 decibels or above.

Your out of the box hearing protection is going to be around 30 decibels of protection.  

That's a recipe for hearing damage.

What is your solution?

IN PARTICULAR...what do the noise canceling devices like the Walker Razor or the Axil devices actually work?  The ones that say they have electronics that can cancel sharp noises.  What decibel level does a gunshot end up being with those devices?

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Post by LenV 2/24/2024, 1:13 am

Sometimes "old school" really is the answer.. Clark's from the 70's. It wasn't match shooting that messed up my hearing. It was the 10 shots a year fired with no protection while hunting big game. Well that and live fire exercises with M60 main battle tank. Sad Hearing protection and decibel levels..."just the facts ma'am...just the facts please." 20180712
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Post by Jack H 2/24/2024, 2:27 am

My hearing has always been bad. And it is not getting better. I did not know what things really sounded like until I got $7000 hearing aids.  My hearing was messed up from having had measles when I was very young.  And I have had my share of machinery and guns through the years. For me to hear around a 1000 cycles it has to be about 80db.  And the higher frequencies are about half that bad.    The doc said I will still not hear normally.  But it is much better now with aids even if not perfect.  Yes in a group setting I too sit with a dumb half smile, agreeing to everything I didn't hear. 

Moral is:  PROTECT YOUR HEARING
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Post by SmokinNJokin 2/24/2024, 5:31 am

Always double up. foam ear plugs under the over-the-ear protection of your choice. Still protect the bad ear, regardless of what the doctors say.

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Post by Dcforman 2/24/2024, 6:08 am

Yup. Double it up. I ALWAYS use foam plugs with electronic muffin from Sordin. I will say that the gunshots get louder when the batteries stop working, so the electronics do something.... plus I can still hear normal conversation and range commands easily.

Dave

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Post by bruce martindale 2/24/2024, 7:12 am

The sound level you hear strongly depends on the surroundings. A 9mm indoors is not the same as a 9 outside. Outdoor sound without any nearby walls or hard floors is as quiet as it gets. I recently withdrew from a training session ( another sport) with shoulder to shoulder 9 shooters. The number of shooters in synch also affects sound pressure levels spl. Your orientation from the muzzle matters too. 

All that said, I like the shiny foam plugs on a blue cord. They always fit well and I have no issues with removal. They’re reusable. Custom moulded plugs are expensive and your ear shape can change with weather etc potentially leading to leaks. Lowes had really good 3M muffs. Theyve been out of stock recently though. Double up on that. re

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Post by Domino1 2/24/2024, 7:20 am

I use a Peltor 10 muffs that use to have the best sound reduction and custom plugs.  I also wear hearing protection for cutting lawn and blowing leaves.

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Post by joeangi 2/24/2024, 10:34 am

I always double up. I found some 32db. Reduction foam plugs from my motorcycle riding days, I wear them under Howard Leight impact pro’s. Pretty quiet, especially on a line of shooters. Recently saw a YouTube video that showed that the ear muff shells had very little foam in them. I added some more foam, but haven’t tried them out yet.

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Post by james r chapman 2/24/2024, 3:03 pm

Also Cochlear implants recover some hearing loss
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Post by Tripscape 2/24/2024, 6:22 pm

joeangi wrote:I always double up. I found some 32db. Reduction foam plugs from my motorcycle riding days, I wear them under Howard Leight impact pro’s. Pretty quiet, especially on a line of shooters. Recently saw a YouTube video that showed that the ear muff shells had very little foam in them. I added some more foam, but haven’t tried them out yet.
Please post your experience. Not sure, but denser/more.foam may transmit more waves instead of spreading them.

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Post by Sa-tevp 2/24/2024, 9:48 pm

SmokinNJokin wrote:Always double up. foam ear plugs under the over-the-ear protection of your choice. Still protect the bad ear, regardless of what the doctors say.

A while ago I did some hearing protection research and found research papers made the US Navy, as carrier deck workers were having hearing damage. The research papers consensus was deep inserted foam ear plugs and high quality headsets did the most to SLOW down the hearing damage. Unless you are wearing a full-face motorcycle type helmet the best foam plugs and headset dB reduction is 33dB combined, so you still get some damage from gunfire sound levels.

The foam ear plugs dampen a different range than headsets so they are not very additive in dB reduction but together gave a better range of frequency dampening.
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Post by Sa-tevp 2/24/2024, 9:55 pm

Tripscape wrote:
joeangi wrote:I always double up. I found some 32db. Reduction foam plugs from my motorcycle riding days, I wear them under Howard Leight impact pro’s. Pretty quiet, especially on a line of shooters. Recently saw a YouTube video that showed that the ear muff shells had very little foam in them. I added some more foam, but haven’t tried them out yet.
Please post your experience. Not sure, but denser/more.foam may transmit more waves instead of spreading them.

I tried several types of sound reduction foam material inside large David Clark headsets and I don't think I achieved any benefit over the best 3M headsets that come with lab results. I like the David Clarks for easy parts support and ear cushion/head pad options. They can be very comfortable to wear.
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Post by targetbarb 2/24/2024, 10:09 pm

I use electronic earplugs with NRR 32; was leaving an outdoor range recently and slipped on my back up muffs (NRR 25) and was shocked at how loud the gun shots were.  Sticking with my plugs for sure.

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Post by Tripscape 2/24/2024, 10:20 pm

Can you please share make and model?

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Post by targetbarb 2/24/2024, 10:31 pm

Tripscape wrote:Can you please share make and model?
3M Peltor, I use the foam "skull screws" replacement tips which give additional protection versus the silicone tips that come with the unit.  The charging case uses AA batteries and they seem to last a long time.  Unlike others you can't forget to turn them off; after 2 hours of use they beep a few times then shut off if you don't manually turn them off and then back on.  I've had this happen occasionally during sustained fire, but didn't find it bothersome.

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Post by Tripscape 2/24/2024, 10:59 pm

Sorry, which model Peltors? They have models ranging from $50-500.

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Post by targetbarb 2/25/2024, 12:09 am

Tripscape wrote:Sorry, which model Peltors? They have models ranging from $50-500.
Sorry, TEP-100.  Bought them 5 years ago so they're probably "new and improved" and more costly now.  It appears they're still available on Amazon 3M PELTOR Tactical Earplug TEP-100, 1 Kit EA/Case: Amazon.com: Tools & Home Improvement

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Post by Tripscape 2/25/2024, 10:55 am

Wow, very expensive.

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Post by UnGe 2/25/2024, 11:10 am

https://www.headphonesty.com/2020/02/noise-reduction-rating-explained/

TL;DR:
- Real reduction of noise level is ~ (rating -7)/2. E.g. plugs rated at 32 dBA give 12.5 DB protection
- Using dual protection can add not more than 4-8 dBA

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Post by chiz1180 2/25/2024, 11:56 am

Remember the dB scale is logarithmic not linear.
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Post by targetbarb 2/25/2024, 8:11 pm

Tripscape wrote:Wow, very expensive.
The price has increased substantially - when I purchased mine in 2019 the price was "only" $300.  However, after severe headaches from many styles of muffs and dissatisfaction with multiple other in-ear hearing protection these have performed beautifully for me.

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Post by Centerline 2/26/2024, 12:38 am

chiz1180 wrote:Remember the dB scale is logarithmic not linear.
True. It's hard to compare without a chart. Also damage is mostly time-sensitive to exposure until you get into really loud sounds. Also earmuff foam inserts are more for audio clarity (keeps sound from bouncing around inside like a tin can) than isolation, but they do help a bit. The muff shell is for isolation. I've found its an improvement using the aftermarket gel pads to help seal up against your head. Using muffs vs plugs is mostly a convenience thing but doubling up is super-duper.

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Post by Stewboy 2/28/2024, 11:49 pm

As other have suggested, doubling up--ear plugs and some 32 db 3m Ear Muffs--works best. That and shooting .22's almost exclusively (in my case). 

By the way, on the subject of hearing loss: for anyone who has moderate hearing loss, you should give Apple Airpods Pro, 2nd gen and after, a try. They're not marketed as hearing aids, but on "transparency" mode, you can have them amplify sound with remarkable results. I learned this from an audiologist on YouTube. In any case, having lost the ability to hear the higher register of sounds, which allows you to hear and distinguished consonants, these things have changed my life. And the interface with the Iphone is extremely user friendly. Keep in mind, the airpods themselves have mics, so you don't have to have your phone around for them to work. Boisepaw, you might give them a try for your good ear.

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Post by spyer40 3/9/2024, 10:58 am

Tripscape wrote:Wow, very expensive.
Get the green Peltors, been using for years.  I called Peltor before buying and was told they are the same as the black "tactical" ones just no auto shutoff and case has to be plugged in USB to charge.  They used to be under $100 but more now like everything else.  Check eBay, occasionally can fund deals

https://www.amazon.com/EEP-100-Rechargeable-Construction-Manufacturing-Maintenance/dp/B07P8YDBZD/ref=asc_df_B07P8YDBZD/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=343161321564&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=6125020800658876485&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=m&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9016175&hvtargid=pla-759048331424&psc=1&mcid=fdb5d8835a74305eb4808643f75b81e2&tag=&ref=&adgrpid=71833457274&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvadid=343161321564&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=6125020800658876485&hvqmt=&hvdev=m&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9016175&hvtargid=pla-759048331424&gclid=Cj0KCQiArrCvBhCNARIsAOkAGcWfAnqtu-bd5bvvrx5YdKxiv25xgi3Fx1140n1tD-36y-6m7qak7wwaAgYoEALw_wcB

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Post by Sa-tevp 3/9/2024, 12:18 pm

Peltor also offers several eartips choices.


    Choice of replaceable communications eartips designed to fit most ear canal sizes:
  • UltraFit:tm: Communication Tip (23dB)

  • Triple C Communication Tip (27dB)

  • Skull Screw Communication Tip (30dB)

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