Best Ear Protection for Explosions: Noise Attenuation is Key

Best Ear Protection for Explosions: Noise Attenuation is Key

If you have never heard an explosion, you might be surprised to find out that they all sound quite the same and, most importantly, they can all cause irreversible hearing damage if you lack the best ear protection for explosions. Just imagine that it is a shock wave, a massive volume of energy accumulated into the air, causing a pulse that moves faster than the speed of sound.

This shock wave causes a booming sound that can, in the case of nuclear blasts, for example, literally burst the eardrum of an individual (if they survive the initial heat of the explosion, obviously!) and apply a pressure that causes lethal damage to organs such as the lungs or stomach.

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In A Hurry?

If require the Best Hearing Protection for this item, and do not want to read the entire article, below are my recommended ear protection.

Which are the best Earplugs For Explosions?

For Explosions, the best ear plugs are Fnova Lattissim 34dB Highest NRR Safety Muffs Defenders.

However, this will depend on several things. If you use them a lot, for example, if it is your principal job, or perhaps just minor use. Also, if you want to use these ear plugs for other things, like listen to music, or Answer Your Phone.

There are earplug options available, for example: Convenient Fitting, Noise Reduction Rating (NRR), Long-Lasting, Flexibility, and if you want earplugs or headphones. As you can see, there is a lot in picking the best fit.

Knowing this alone should be enough for you to start looking for the best ear protection for explosions available on the market

Is Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Really Needed for Explosions?

Asking if you need ear protection for explosions is like asking if you need a safety helmet in construction work or if you need gloves and gauntlets when working with chemicals, biological agents, or extreme temperatures.

How Can You Protect Your Ears from an Explosion?

Since each increase of 10 dB doubles the loudness of a sound and that any sound that is 85 decibels or higher presents a high risk of damaging your hearing, explosions, which can get as loud as 200 dB and beyond, depending on the type of explosion, protecting your hearing cannot be stressed enough.

Just so that you can get an idea of how loud explosions are, nuclear explosions are considered one of the loudest phenomena on Earth and they can reach a whopping 280 dB!

Another interesting fact to keep in mind is that the loudest sound sustained by our planet’s surface is of about 194 dB, so anything close to that level of noise can obviously do irreversible damage to the human body in general, not only to the auditive system, by causing an air embolism in your lungs. This air embolism causes death by reaching the heart. It is also possible to be killed merely by the increased air pressure caused by a loud sound.

Noises When Riding A Motorcycle

The following infographic shows a list of the various noises when you are out and about. Any noise over 70-80db over a long period of time may cause damage to your hearing. A noise of over 120dB may cuase immediate harm to your ears

So How Can You Avoid Hearing Damage from Explosions?

How can you protect your ears from an explosion? Usually, the best ear protection for explosions is adequate for the worst-case scenario that you may encounter, which means you should choose hearing protectors with a noise attenuation capacity that will reduce even the loudest potential sound to a level that is close or below the recommended safe noise level of 85 dB.

Aim for Earplugs designed for shooting and impact, these types of ear protectors are specially designed to protect your hearing from the noise made by explosions, gunshots and even artillery shots.

An alternative to earplugs is over the ear hearing protection, such as noise-cancelling headphones, headbands or earmuffs designed in a way that protects your hearing during an explosion. For the best hearing protection during explosions, you should aim towards ear protection designed for the military, as they are manufactured to protect the inner ear from mechanical damage that may result in the permanent hearing loss while being exposed to dangerously loud sounds.

These types of ear protection equipment have the added advantage of allowing you to maintain auditory awareness so that you can avoid losing your hearing, but still be able to hear regular sounds and have conversations with those in close proximity. Last generation technology used in hearing protection earplugs and earmuffs can adjust the volume as it gets louder. What they do is practically lower the volume perceived by the individual gradually as the outside sound gets louder and louder.

Should you cover your ears in an explosion or should you open your mouth during an explosion?

These are frequently asked questions related to protecting yourself while in the proximity of an explosion. The reason why this is believed to be necessary is that explosions cause shockwaves, and the pressure of that shockwave on your body and especially on your auditory system can cause permanent damage.

Opening your mouth during an explosion can, in fact, save your life and your hearing, since what this does is that it equalises the pressure created by the shockwave inside your body to protect the eardrums and minimize the damage. What many people do not know is that it also helps if you cover or plug the ear that is closest to the explosion and leave the other one uncovered while opening your mouth.

Covering your ears during an explosion is, unfortunately, a tricky subject. Its efficiency depends on how close you are to the explosion and what you use in order to protect your ears. If you just cover the ears with your hands while being in close proximity of an explosion, it won’t help much.

What Level of Hearing Protection do You Need for Explosions?

Since explosions count as a very dangerous noise level, it is important to understand the noise reduction rating or the amount of noise that a product is able to cancel out, of the hearing protection equipment needed in such conditions. The higher the NRR, the safer your ears are during an explosion.

What is The Best NRR for an Ear Plug or an Earmuff for Explosions?

The highest DB reducing rating for earplugs is around 33 decibels, and since each increase of 10 dB doubles the loudness of a sound, you should evaluate how loud the sound you are going to be exposed to is and figure out if you may need double protection, which means that you should add a pair of earmuffs on top of the high NRR earplugs. The highest NRR for earmuffs is around 31.

Noise Attenuation of Hearing Protectors Against Heavy Weapon and Explosion Noise

Usually, when exposed to the noise of explosions, bazookas, cannons or other types of heavy weapon, your hearing needs some sort of protection, and choosing which one is best for such dangerous sounds can be difficult. We provide some estimate values of the noise attenuation usually offered by the two types of hearing protectors available so that you can choose one suitable for your situation.

Studies show that earplugs usually offer an attenuation of 16 to 23 dB, while earmuffs provide a noise reduction of 10 to 20 dB. If you combine earmuffs and earplugs, you get double hearing protection with a sound attenuation of 24 to 34 dB.

Please Note: Just because an ear defender is marked, for example, "Gunshot" - it will still cover other things, like "explosions"

Best Ear Plugs

The following are the best earplugs  (They go from low price to high price.)

Other Questions

Should you cover your ears in an explosion?

Ear security is essential because during an explosion to cover the ears. No one wants to risk their hearing sense. The goal is for pressure to be controlled. A spike in pressure and negative pressure can cause an eruption that can be very dangerous to the ears and inner organs.

A rapid rise in intensity resulting during a blast wave is the main, immediate impact on human beings. It can damage human organs like ears and lungs that are vulnerable to pain.

Should you open your mouth during an explosion?

It is said that leaving the mouth open equalizes pressure, thereby reducing internal injury. The intention is to put weight on both sides of the eardrum to be on equal footing. The field, heavy or medium bombardment bang can be pretty much a thing!

Explosions respond with increased shock waves, which can be very harmful to ears and internal body parts, accompanied by negative pressure. So, yes! Keep your mouth open during explosions.

What level of hearing loss requires a hearing aid?

This relies solely on how severe a hearing loss is. This frequently raised question cannot be resolved definitively. Hearing loss is rated as mild if it is between 25 and 40 dB; moderate when between 41 and 55 dB; moderate to severe when between 56 and 70 dB; severe if it is between 71 and 90 dB; profound if it is over 90 dB.

In contrast to moderate hearing loss, there are several reports of people with minor auditory loss. Cognitive skill, age, health conditions, or other auditory associated disorders can impair the ability to perceive sound.

190nm-450nm & 800nm-2000nm Wide Spectrum Continuous Absorption Laser...
  • Protection band 190-450 & 800-2000nm OD4+
  • Safety glass with a case and cleaning cloth
  • OD 4 + T% = 30
  • The lens is made of imported optical PC material, hardened and strengthened, anti-shock, anti-scratch, explosion-proof, alcohol-resistant, water-resistant
  • Soft ear rests increase wearer comfort
PROTEAR Bluetooth Hearing Protection Ear Muffs, AM FM Radio...
  • 【AM/FM Digital Radio with LCD Display】☛ Built-in Radio with Hearing Protection with Channel memory function, 8 different preset channels - more than enough to program all your favorite stations.
  • 【Hearing Protection】☛ ANSI S3.19 CERTIFIED NRR 25dB. 25 decibels noise reduction rating effectively reduces outside noise and protects your ears from hazardous sound levels.
  • 【Bluetooth Technology】☛ Seamlessly stream music from your mobile phones, tablet or other Bluetooth enabled devices. Powered by 3 AAA batteries,(not included).
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PROTEAR Bluetooth AM FM Radio Noise Reduction Safety Ear Muffs with...
  • NRR of 25dB:25 decibels noise reduction rating effectively reduces outside noise and protects your ears from hazardous sound levels
  • Bluetooth Wireless Technology:Seamlessly stream music from your mobile phones, tablet or other Bluetooth enabled devices
  • Integrated Microphone:Answer calls as you work with multifunction button and built-in microphone - without having to remove the headset
  • AM/FM Radio:Built-in Radio with Hearing Protection with Channel memory function, 8 different preset channels - more than enough to program all your favorite stations
  • Ideal choice:Lightweight, low-profile design with soft, comfortable ear cushions and adjustable padded headband to help make your workday more efficient, entertaining and–most important–safety
Fnova Lattissim 34dB Highest NRR Safety Muffs Defenders for Shooting,...
  • Build with 2 layers of professional noise dampening foam, high sealing solid cup design, blockade sound travels by built in double room.
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Last update on 2021-04-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


If you require more information, please check these references

The Effect of ear Protectors Against Sound Waves from Explosions , article, "www.tandfonline.com", retrieved on, Fri 20-November-2020

Explosions and blast injuries , article, "www.sciencedirect.com", retrieved on, Fri 20-November-2020

Effects of Gun Explosions on the Ear and Hearing Mechanism. , article, "www.cabdirect.org", retrieved on, Fri 20-November-2020

Author: Nick

Hi, I am Nick, and I have suffered with ear problems my whole life, mainly tinnitus. I have tried a lot of products to help protect my ears over this period, and several devices to block out the constant ringing

“Are you having problems hearing? If so, those around you already know it. Hearing loss is no laughing matter, so don’t be a punchline.”

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