If you don’t know how active ear defenders work and you don’t know the differences between the latter and those defined instead as “passive,” you are in the right place. It is essential first to establish the meaning of the term active and passive.
You may be undecided about which earmuffs to buying, partly out of inexperience and slightly out of fear of spending a large amount of money on devices that may not prove satisfactory.
Here we had selected some of the best models of ear defenders that are present below.
Things to Consider Before Buying Ear Defenders
Not all ear defenders are the same. Therefore it is essential to understand which is the most suitable product for your needs before investing hundreds of euros in something that, in the end, may not give you any satisfaction.
When you think of earmuffs, you usually imagine large devices used mostly by those who carry out work that could damage hearing. Just remember, for example, of highway workers who handle large pneumatic hammers all day, or even those who work on airport runways.
However, these are not the only users who use earmuffs, but there are different types for different uses. For example, would you ever have thought that earmuffs can also be used to obtain higher concentration during study sessions? Or that they can protect children’s hearing when taking them to crowded places, concerts, or using household appliances?
Well, on sale on the market you can find all these variants, all with costs ranging from a few tens of euros to a hundred. So make sure you understand the intended use first and only then evaluate the different characteristics of the individual products.
Whatever type of ear muffs you buy, the most crucial element is always the reduction of noise. To understand how effective they are, you should, therefore, take a look at the SNR value, clearly indicated in the datasheet of most products.
This value in itself has no value but is associated with the maximum decibel value that the headphones can tolerate allows us to understand the attenuation.
Take, for example, a pair of headphones that can tolerate 85 decibels, with an SNR value of 25, and the perceived noise will be equal to 60 dB, without thus damaging human hearing.
Design and Convenience
Headphones, if used for business purposes for more than a couple of hours a day, must necessarily be comfortable. So make sure that consumers’ comments are positive; otherwise, you risk having to return after only a few hours of use, with a significant waste of time and money.
In other cases, however, the design factor could prove decisive, perhaps headphones with captivating colors or shapes out of the ordinary that could, therefore, attract children. Although they are lower, numerically speaking, as options on the market, they are still available and may prove interesting for some consumers.
How to Choose the Best Ear Defenders?
If you don’t know how active earmuffs work and you don’t know the differences between the latter and those defined instead as “passive,” you are in the right place. It is important first to establish the meaning of the term active and passive.
In the first case, in fact, we are faced with noise-canceling headphones that have a chip inside that actively attenuates the sound coming from the outside, balancing it with a sound signal with the same amplitude.
The two noises, the one coming from outside and the inside, will collide and cancel each other, guaranteeing the wearer of headphones a perfect silence.
Their primary function is to protect from not excessively high noises. Therefore it is possible to use them to study, for example, or perhaps even to work, in all those cases, in short, in which a little concentration is required.
Passive headphones, on the other hand, are those able to isolate from loud noises, for all users who work in places where they are persistent. For example, consider a building worker who is on construction sites all day, subjected to loud noises from industrial machines, pneumatic hammers, and so on.
In these cases, active headphones may be of little use, and it is, therefore, necessary to opt for passive ones that fall within the PPE, i.e., personal protective equipment.
What Are Harmful Sounds?
Of course, not all noises are harmful to human hearing and health, although many are annoying, the threshold not to be exceeded is that of 85 decibels if you find yourself in places where the noise emissions slightly or widely exceed this value.
Then it is recommended to buy earmuffs or demand them from your employer who, in many cases, is forced by law to provide all the protection tools to his employees. Sound over 85 decibels can permanently damage hearing based on exposure time.
To give a practical example, the sounds between 85 and 100 decibels, such as those produced by heavy traffic, a little hairdryer, a motorcycle or even music played at maximum volume, require about six hours of exposure to create damage while with those higher, from 110 to 180 dB, it takes even a few minutes.
This last category also includes noises that can happen to be heard like a balloon that bursts close to the ear or if you are too close to the speakers during rock music concerts. Hearing aids, therefore, can help you prevent temporary or permanent hearing loss, and for this reason, they should not be underestimated.
Things to Know About Ear Defenders
What Are Ear Defenders?
The ear defenders are products that aim to isolate the user who wears them from any sound emission from the outside. These devices have different purposes and can be used both to increase one’s concentration while studying, and to listen to music without mixing it with external noise, and to avoid hearing damage when working with heavy machinery that can emit up to 100 decibels.
How Many Types of Ear Defenders Are There?
There is no real classification of the earmuffs on the market, so you will always have to take a look at the individual characteristics of each product and determine whether or not they are right for you. However, it is still possible to split into macro-categories to help you understand the various features.
There are, therefore, professional earmuffs, usually with a high SNR value to cope with industrial and non-industrial machinery that produces a large amount of noise when operated. Headphones of this type are more expensive than the average but also guarantee adequate protection.
Below you will find noise-canceling headphones for sportsmen, in particular for those who practice hunting or shooting at the shooting range. These are designed to reduce the noise from small or large caliber firearms, and in some cases, they can also amplify sounds lower than a specific decibel value to help the hunter in identifying prey.
Finally, the standard earmuffs are those with the lowest price and which guarantee minimum protection from external noise, designed primarily to isolate those who study and thus increase their concentration.
What Does Snr Mean?
The term SNR, which you find on most noise-canceling headphones on the market, stands for Signal to noise ratio, or the relationship between Signal and noise. Usually, for headphones on the market, you will find the acronym followed by a number.
If we consider headphones that can protect against noise equal to 95 decibels and find, for example, the wording SNR 25 dB, then the attenuation will bring the maximum noise of 95 decibels to a milder 70 dB. So consider these factors carefully before buying a pair of ear defenders.