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12 votes

Why can't wearing both ear muffs (whether passive or active) and earplugs simultaneously yield more than 36 dB noise reduction ratio (NRR)?

Small disclaimer about decibels For sound pressures, decibels are defined as follow: XdB = 20 log (p1/p0) with p1 being the amplitude of the pressure field of the sound, and p0 a reference (...
Tom's user avatar
  • 5,137
4 votes

Do I need ear protection to practice piano?

Generally, hearing protection is required at 85 decibels. Hearing damage usually occurs because of a combination of the loudness and the duration of the sound. For example, according to OSHA, 85 dB is ...
Giovanni's user avatar
  • 981
4 votes

Why does the formula to compute the Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) subtract 3dB?

TL;DR: Subtracting 3 dB is done to avoid the underprotection that could result from variations in compute the rest of the NRR formula. But some manufacturers incorrectly (intentionally?) do not ...
Franck Dernoncourt's user avatar
4 votes

How can I achieve maximum hearing protection, beyond custom-fitted earplugs + earmuffs?

Other than making a lead bucket that goes over your head, or maybe lead ear-caps that go under your earmuffs, I think you've pretty much hit the current technology for hearing protection. The ear plug ...
Alphonso Balvenie's user avatar
3 votes

Why can't wearing both ear muffs (whether passive or active) and earplugs simultaneously yield more than 36 dB noise reduction ratio (NRR)?

In addition to what @Tom_C said, another reason is that both earplugs and earmuffs are very good at blocking high-frequency sounds, but very poor at blocking low frequency ones. Presumably the "...
BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

Why do SNR ratings tend to be about 3 dB higher than NRR ratings? I.e., what difference(s) in the testing procedures account for this gap?

Do you read french? If not, here is a small synthesis of what comes out from this document: First, the tests are not performed of the same samples of the population: SNR and NRR are expressed in ...
Tom's user avatar
  • 5,137
2 votes

What's the point, if any, of having ear plugs that go beyond the ear canal?

Some interesting answers I got on Reddit: verdant_hippie: Better retention and fit, which can help with noise reduction ashleeh92: Mandibular movement can’t cause seals to break in canal styles. Have ...
Franck Dernoncourt's user avatar
1 vote
Accepted

Do I need ear protection to practice piano?

Never deafened myself in many thousands of hours practising/playing! None of my students ever went deaf either. So, not a potential problem, unless playing fff for hours on end. If you are concerned, ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 195k
1 vote

Why can't wearing both ear muffs (whether passive or active) and earplugs simultaneously yield more than 36 dB noise reduction ratio (NRR)?

As an additional data point, the 2010 study {1} observed an attenuation of 40 dB or better at all frequencies except 125 Hz when wearing both ear muffs and earplugs simultaneously: The measurements ...
Franck Dernoncourt's user avatar

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