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Hearing Protection

1902 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  sunnybob
I'm starting to have some ringing sensation in my ears since I started woodworking every weekend for the last 5 months. I saw this custom earplugs in YouTube from this brand called Big Ear. Have any of you guys tried any product from them? If ever you haven't, do you have any recommendation?

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I go for ear muffs, with the highest decible rating I can find
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If you have to talk above your normal voice level to be heard over the noise around you, you need hearing protection.

The simplest and cheapest are the kind used on shooting ranges
The most effective are the plastic inserts moulded to your ears.
The foam plugs are almost useless for constant noise.
You choose what works for you, but budget should NOT be a factor. If you lose your hearing, there isnt enough money in the world to replace it.
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I have had the hard, custom molded, filtered ear plugs at work. About 2011 the company tried them out because they were sold on the fact that they would be more cost effective in the long run. We each got molds made, and were given one set of filtered plugs and one individual communication earpiece to use with our UHF radio. The results were less than impressive.

The first thing is the plugs are only good for 2-3 years, or less if you gain or lose 10 lbs. The molds were stored by our provider, and could be remade if needed.

The reception by the crews were sharply divided. They were either the greatest thing in the world (about 20% of the users) or the worst thing ever. I fell into the last category. The plugs are HARD, they are not at all like the ones you can get made instantly at the gun show. They are really noticeable in the ear, and maybe not the best for a high temp, humid environment. Worse, they seemed to move when I spoke or moved my mouth, etc and I could then hear the loud machinery noise around the seal. The filter feature made it seem much louder than the 33NRR plugs I normally use, so I wasn't 'sure' that I was getting the same level of protection.

I do love the communications earpiece. The speaker goes into the filter, so that blocks that noise, and it makes important communication in a loud environment much easier.

I kept the other plugs for air travel. They do a pretty good job of blocking engine noise, and the filter in them allows for pressure to equalize during takeoff and landing. They are seeing less use as I use my Bluetooth OTE earing protection so I can listen to music or the movies.

That's my humble opinion, your reception could be much different. Ask for a 100% satisfaction guarantee. For me, I can buy a lot of EAR Classic Superfit 33 earplugs for the price and be a lot more comfortable


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The only style I've been able to tolerate for any period of time is the headset style. Even used them when I was younger playing my stereo at near full blast:).... but seriously, the headset muffled works best for me and I have several pairs. One I use always when cutting the grass and the other for when operating the shop equipment. I had originally thought I'd need something better when I installed the Clearview DC system but because of it's remote location to the shop it's quieter then the table saw.

That said I always wear them when operating the equipment and have two additional sets, one for my wife and another for a guest. They reduce noise considerably, maybe not a low as some but the point is it's far lower than tolerable levels and they get used all the time. Better ones that are uncomfortable and not used are useless. The headset style gets used, reduces the noise level to below comfortable, and that' means they are doing good.

I have a pair of those earplugs on plastic headband that I just simply don't like. Seems I have to push them in hard to get the same results as the headset so why bother?
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I’m an ear muff guy too. Peltor H10 model good for about 30 db noise reduction. I have to take them off to have a conversation. I wore shooters ear plugs for several years running a chainsaw but I was happier with the muffs after trying them. Plus I wear glasses and the muffs keep them in place.
Muffs by far.

If you have a hearing loss, you need to get hearing aids PDQ. The brain soon forgets how to interpret some word sounds that you've lost. So understanding what someone says becomes iffy. Cosco now has hearing centers with very good prices for their basic aids. The new ones have small transducers that fit in the ear so they render the full spectrum of sound. The behind the ear models now can be tuned to boost the weak frequencies more to match the frequencies you can hear.

For decades you had to pay full ticket for hearing aids, but the story has it that the Cosco founder was hard of hearing, pissed at paying $6-7 thousand for a pair. So he got the law changed and sells the private label units very near cost. And the centers are set up with the very latest test equipment so they get your aid tuned up perfectly for you. Went for years with a loss that made music lyrics go fuzzy. Got the new aids and I can understand lyrics for the first time in 35 years. Prices for the cheapest aids is about $1400 the pair. Double that if you wait too long to protect your hearing. For someone with early loss, the cheaper models work fine. They also have the batteries at about 1/6 the retail price.

Finally in this sermon on hearing loss, the social cost of hearing loss is really high. Hearing impairment is the only disability where people blame the one with the problem. Wives often take it personally that you never listen to them, when the truth is you really can't follow what they're saying. Womens voices are in the range you lose first. So it's a good idea to wear hearing protection any time you operate machines or wind up in noisy situations. I don't know a single musician who isn't hard of hearing. Huh? What? Say again? said often means you have a loss and need to do something about it. Amen. :wink:

Guess how I know all this.
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Tom, never a truer word said.
After 50 years of motorcycling (mostly without a crash hat), and a working lifetime of heavy machinery, I'm doing quite well really, but the missus is always talking softly and usually with her back to me so I have to tell her to repeat.
She is always telling me I'm deaf, to which i reply "I KNOW, THATS WHY I CANT HEAR YOU!!!
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