We get a lot of questions about NRR, or noise reduction ratings. That said, here is some information that might help you understand how NRR is used by our ear plugs to manage the sounds around you.
So you know, sound intensity is measured in decibels. The higher the decibel level is, the louder the sound. A whisper measures about 30 decibels, while that of a jet engine is as high as 190 decibels. The human ear can safely tolerate up to 80 decibels, equivalent to the noise of an alarm clock or traffic. Noise above this level may cause hearing impairment or loss, as well as high blood pressure, heart attacks, upset stomach, and sleep problems.
Covering ears with one’s hands or lowering the volume of the stereo might help. However, sometimes it is impossible to avoid excessively loud noises, such as during power tool use, mowing the lawn, riding a motorcycle, practicing at a shooting range or other high noise activities. In these cases, hearing protection helps prevent auditory damage.
In choosing hearing protection, one should consider its noise reduction rating or NRR, which measures the level of protection provided. Higher NRR means greater protection for your ears. For example, a hearing protector with an NRR of 30 decibels means that it will reduce the noise exposure of a 90-decibel lawn mower down to 60 decibels.
Ear muffs are one form of hearing protection, covering the entire outer ear, using an adjustable band to stay in place. They can protect against most noises and generally have very high NRR when worn properly. However, they can be uncomfortable, especially for individuals who also use eyeglasses or hats, or when worn on a hot summer’s day. They will not protect from noise properly if worn over eyeglasses or long, thick hair.
Earplugs, on the other hand, are small inserts that fit snugly into the outer ear canal. They are available in many different shapes and sizes, and they can even be custom-fit. They can be made of plastic, silicone, or foam. Silicone ear plugs are flexible to fit any ear canal size and shape They are also suitable for swimming. Ear plugs can have a relatively high NRR at around 30-33.
HEAROS offers ear plugs for a variety of uses, including swimming, listening to music, sleeping, and shooting of firearms. Whether they are silicone or foam ear plugs, HEAROS plugs are incredibly soft and comfortable enough to sleep with, yet provide between 30 to 33-decibel NRR. They are reusable and washable and come in sets of four, six, eight, or more with a storage case.
There are even screw-shaped varieties that will not accidentally fall off during motorcycling, swimming, or other extreme activities. The ‘Rock n Roll’ set from HEAROS, which has a lower NRR of 22, is made especially for concert performers or spectators. The High Fidelity HEAROS has a thinner shape that is designed for long-term use, and is particularly suited to listen to loud music. This allows one to enjoy the music without worrying about hearing loss. Another product from HEAROS is the Deep Sleep kit, which includes not only ear plugs and storage case, but also a sleep mask and a relaxing aromatherapy lotion.