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Old December 23, 2011, 11:29 AM   #1
Mikechandler
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Is there a maximum to ear protection?

I am a little bit confused, trying to put together some decent ear protection for my wife and two daughters.

I use some leighton active muffs, and in ear plugs, but even so I do get a little fatigued after a couple hours with magnums. My hearing has been lousy for many years though, so it works for me. My kids and wife have pristine hearing, and I think they deserve to keep it for as long as possible!

In looking for options, and I have seen most active muffs are only 22db reduction, and most plugs 18db. How is that combined? Is it cumulative? Or is there some maximum imposed by each component?

I have seen Pro Ears Pro Mag Gold have a NR of 33db - if I combined those with in ear plugs, would it be much more, or is there a physical limit already reached again? If that's true, are the pro ears really any better than combining lessor muffs with in ear plugs? Understand my dilemma?

I'd like to get them a minimum of 30db of protection, by some combination. Any advice on what to use, or insight into how the two types of protectors work together, would be greatly appreciated.

They're only going to be shooting 22 for quite some time, but they'll be surrounded by a lot of magnums (our range is quite large, and quite loud).

Thanks a bunch!
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Old December 23, 2011, 11:33 AM   #2
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Don't overdo it.

Take care, especially with the kids, that they can still hear your voice- the ability to hear "Cease Fire!" or other range commands might be important at some point.

My ear muffs had a 29dB reduyction rating, and I think they are plenty, especially for the .22rf ......
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Old December 23, 2011, 11:45 AM   #3
Mikechandler
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Good point - and I had that in mind, which is why I am only considering active muffs - those that amplify sounds into the muff, cutting only sounds that are harmful. It's what I am using.

As for passive muffs - there are a ton of them that are 33DB, at reasonable prices, even in pink, if only it was that simple.
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Old December 26, 2011, 02:23 PM   #4
pturner67
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http://www.earinc.com/p1-nonelectronic-instamold.php

NRR is 30 and worth every penny. Call and they will give you the contact info for the nearest rep who comes to you and custom fits the molds to your ears.
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Old December 26, 2011, 02:53 PM   #5
Don P
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Quote:
In looking for options, and I have seen most active muffs are only 22db reduction, and most plugs 18db. How is that combined? Is it cumulative? Or is there some maximum imposed by each component?

I have seen Pro Ears Pro Mag Gold have a NR of 33db - if I combined those with in ear plugs, would it be much more, or is there a physical limit already reached again? If that's true, are the pro ears really any better than combining lessor muffs with in ear plugs? Understand my dilemma?
Simple answer is no to cumulative.
The way it works is combining muffs and ear canal plugs will give roughly a 4-7 db increase in NRR so if muffs are 30 NRR and the plugs are 33 NRR then you will have a 37-39 NRR.
Peltor has muffs at a 30 NRR and Howard Leight has ear canal plugs at a 33NRR
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Old December 26, 2011, 09:02 PM   #6
JohnKSa
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Quote:
The way it works is combining muffs and ear canal plugs will give roughly a 4-7 db increase in NRR so if muffs are 30 NRR and the plugs are 33 NRR then you will have a 37-39 NRR.
Correct. However it's worth keeping in mind that a 7dB reduction actually cuts the noise power getting through by about a factor of 5, so it's not really a small reduction even though it doesn't look large when expressed in dB.

Having used plugs and muffs together in the past, I can tell you that the difference between using only one or the other vs. both is considerable.

One option is to combine active hearing protection with plugs. Turn the volume all the way up on the active muffs and that will often allow the user to hear range commands through the plugs while still providing additional protection when there are loud noises.
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Old December 27, 2011, 08:34 AM   #7
Don P
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Quote:
Having used plugs and muffs together in the past, I can tell you that the difference between using only one or the other vs. both is considerable
I thought that is what I said Personally I have not found active hearing protection that offers a high enough NRR to suit me. Unless you plan on spending upward of $300. Just my opinion now for me I use ear canal plugs and Peltor muffs. It works for me and is affordable for me.
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Old December 27, 2011, 08:58 AM   #8
Double Naught Spy
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Quote:
I thought that is what I said
No, you just said hearing protection wasn't cumulative and then explained how that is was, just not on an arithmetic scale.

Actually, the combined hearing protections do provide an arithmetic barrier of protection for the auditory canal. The problem is that sound gets to the middle and inner structures through other means such as bone conduction through the skull and mandible and even via the Eustachian tube.
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Old December 27, 2011, 09:12 AM   #9
Don P
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I learn something new every day! At times reading comprehension takes a back seat, way back and then at times is in the seat next to me.
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Old December 27, 2011, 03:59 PM   #10
JohnKSa
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I thought that is what I said
My comments were intended to be supplemental to yours, not contradictory or even intended as corrections.
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Old December 27, 2011, 04:16 PM   #11
parker
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For me I'd just muzzle my wife and my noise problem would be solved!
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Old December 27, 2011, 10:59 PM   #12
Don P
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My comments were intended to be supplemental to yours, not contradictory or even intended as corrections.
No worries John sometimes I don't read so good and at times my reading comprehension is nill and somewhere in left field totally not understanding what I just read. Me thinks at times all that fun I had as a youngin just pops up out of nowhere. I also have found that brain farts usually give me poopie ideas.
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Old December 27, 2011, 11:20 PM   #13
JohnKSa
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It's not a problem. I've done the same thing many times myself.
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Old December 30, 2011, 04:40 PM   #14
plumbercrack
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Check this site out. I called them and these plugs are rated at 34db.

http://www.earplugsonline.com/aboutus.html

At the price I know I'm ordering some.
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Old December 30, 2011, 05:03 PM   #15
checkmyswag
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During my last trip to the indoor range...I had to head back out the door to double up as the guy next to me was shooting some sort of magnum handgun.

Have got to join an outdoor range!
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Old December 30, 2011, 05:24 PM   #16
SIGSHR
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I have been wearing plugs and muffs for years, but I pick up sounds through the rest of me. I look at hearing protection like a volume control-you can adjust it to a comfortable level, but it's not an on-off switch.
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