View Full Version : Improved hearing protection

October 28, 2001, 03:27 PM
After an afternoon with the .357 sig, I started thinking about my hearing protection-alot. Here is my question. I took apart my Bilsom compacts and looked inside. there was the plastic shell of the muff itself, the seal-which fits around the ear, the dampening material- which was the concerning part. This inner material was only about 1/2" in thickness of pulled cotton batting and a super thin 1/8" piece of sparse foam. Now I think these things actually had a good NRR. It could be improved upon. So, how do you think that spray foam filler from home depot would work for sound dampening? Or, could you think of anything better? I also pondered stuffing that acoustical foam inside were the old batting is. Also, which is the best muff? Thanks for your indulgence.

October 28, 2001, 03:32 PM
Dillon's Ultimate 10 headset (made by Peltor) has a NRR of 29. This is the best I've seen so far.

October 28, 2001, 04:29 PM
On those days that my ears feel specially sensitive, this idea impressed itself upon me.

Along with the Headset I also use the pink foam ear plugs. I was looking at the different ratings and it seems that the pink foam ear plugs have a high rating for ear protection (31), and when used with the headset there is no discomfort at all. Of course, you can forget talking to me unless I see you lips moving, but it certainly keeps the sound down.

October 28, 2001, 04:36 PM
Howard Leight muffs have a 31 rating.

October 28, 2001, 04:39 PM
I have a pair of plain Leightning's (NRR 31 db, $30) and Peltor 7s NRR 26, $150). The Leightnings reduce sound quite a bit, but I had trouble hearing the range master. So, I went out a bought the Peltor's. Good noise reduction, but not as good as the Leightning's but at least I can hear stuff around me. However, the do "clip". I thinking about moving up to electronic Leightning's that use Pro-Ears electronics and a 31 NRR. Someone brought it up in the Gears and accessories section. Gotta have more toys! :D

October 28, 2001, 06:19 PM
After some years of indoor shooting I discovered simply adding foam earplugs under my Peltor's bettered my scores.

Big difference. Now, unless I'm just testing, I ALWAYS wear plugs and muffs.

October 28, 2001, 06:44 PM
another vote for ear plugs and muffs...:rolleyes:

October 28, 2001, 07:32 PM
I wear the Peltor muffs with earplugs. I just turn up the volume on the muffs a bit, and I can hear normal conversation with the plugs in, but I have excellent protection from the loud sounds. IMO, it's close to a perfect combination.

October 28, 2001, 10:36 PM
One of the guys in our pistol club is a doctor (Eye, Ear, Nose & Throat specialist). He always wears the ear plugs AND muffs as several here have suggested. I have always just used the Peltor electronic muffs. However, lately I've noticed a slight decrease in my hearing, especially since I also took up rifles. An afternoon next to a really loud rifle makes me want to take the extra precaution of adding the plugs.

October 29, 2001, 12:32 PM
Plugs and muffs -- all the time now. Trying to save what hearing I have left.

Double Naught Spy
October 29, 2001, 01:44 PM
I have yet to feel like I have gone wrong with too much hearing protection. I like to wear Leighting 31s and ear plugs as well. If I am in a class, I may choose to not wear one ear plug. More often, if the class is outside, I wear both ear plugs and simply uncover one ear. The benefit of this is that I am never completely unprotected, even if I forget.

If you have too much protection, you can always scale down for a given circumstance, but if you don't have enough and you do damage, then it is too late.

October 29, 2001, 04:11 PM
I shoot at an indoor range, and although my muffs have an NRR of 29, the noise is just too loud unless I use plugs in combination. I try to do what I can to keep the permanent ringing in my ears from getting any worse.

October 29, 2001, 05:06 PM
This past spring at the Supershoot, I had a pair of custom plugs made... Apart from the fact that my ear canals seem to meet in the middle, and get bigger further in, the things work great. By themselves, I say "huh?" a lot, and with muffs on, they're really great...

A place that does hearing aids, etc., may be able to make you some...

October 29, 2001, 10:53 PM
Yes indeed! Use both. You do not want to damage your ears and get tinnitus. Believe me, you do not!

October 30, 2001, 04:20 AM
So, how do you think that spray foam
filler from home depot would work for sound dampening?

i would not try to out think the logic behind the accoustic engineer that designed those muffs

Part of sound deadening is un coupling the sound from the local environment

Filling the muffs with spray foam would couple the interior directly to the outer side

In one of my accoustics classes we had a demo of "sound uncoupling" involving a 100 dB alert bell

It was encased in a plywood and loose batting box while ringing.
A dB meter measured the sound level.
The first box was inserted in another similar box.
After about larger 5 boxes encased the sound source, the bell was inaudable.

The sound had to travel through the air, through the batting, through the plywood, then through air, though batting, through plywood...

Each density of material acted as a buffer to the direct transfer of the sounds energy to our ear drums.

After enough uncoupled density hops, the force was dissapated.

November 11, 2001, 11:30 PM
In a never ending quest to have my cake and eat it too, I got a pair of the Pro-Ears muffs which amplify soft sounds and attenuate loud sounds. They really work, but they are only good for a NRR of 23 or 24 IIRC. I talked to an engineer at Pro-Ears and he said that they sell a lot of these to military customers and that they "double-plug" when they will be shooting indoors. I almost always follow their lead and double-plug. The cool part is that I can turn up the volume on the normal conversation and it has a reasonable chance of getting through the foam plugs. They weren't cheap, but they are nice :D

Just another option,