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Protect Your Hearing With Earbuds – Tips and Key Features

How to get the most out of your new earbuds

Have you ever come home from a music festival with the noise in your ears? That's tinnitus, one of the earliest symptoms of hearing loss — no reason to freak out right away because it could only be minor.

Earbud hearing protectors function like standard audio earbuds, but besides allowing you to listen to music and — with some models — make phone calls, they also offer hearing protection.

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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 Hearing With Earbuds?

For Hearing With Earbuds, the best ear plugs are Powerbeats Pro Totally Wireless Earphones .

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.

Note that radio headphones cannot replace hearing aid systems and cannot shield the hearing protector from noise damage. But what causes hearing problems? 

Irrevocable hearing problems can occur as low as 85 decibels. A typical conversation is around 60 decibels. You should consider wearing a hearing protector if you work in environments with a noise or sound level that exceeds 85 decibels (A-weighted) or dB (A). Even when people know this, it is surprising that only a few of them wear earbuds. Unfortunately, less than 5% wear earbuds in loud environments.

1 out of 4 individuals suffers tinnitus — a persistent ringing in the ears. Here's how this happens: the ears can only deal with a sound volume of 85 decibels.

This article provides more guidance to health and safety features, with reliable information on what to consider when selecting your hearing protection gadgets. It should become a new tradition for due care in collecting and using your earbuds for protection.

When selecting a hearing protection device, here are five highlighted elements to consider.

Quality of Product

With Hearing Protection Devices, there are great products out in the market that range from ear muffs, disposables to custom hearing protection. However, it is essential to look at two elements; adequate protection and communication safety. With hearing protection, not all devices are designed equally.

Size/ Fitting and Comfort

Even when one size suits, no size fits when it comes to earbuds. Every human ear is peculiar in its size, shape, and depth. Therefore, it makes sense that it must be custom fit for hearing protection to be the most effective and the most comfortable. Fitting defines how efficiently the earbuds will seal noise and how safe and comfortable they are when used. 

Most manufacturers sell their earplugs as a "universal fit." They typically cover 75% of the population. The ear canals differ, but suggest a specific size for those at the opposite ends of the continuum of unusually large or narrow ear canals. If they are too small, they might not seal properly and fall off. If they are too large, they may put too much pressure on your ear canals leading to soreness and inflammation. 

Is there any fit warranty that gives an individual the assurance that the earpiece fits and seals suitably? A fit warranty that guarantees comfort is essential as it is one thing that ensures compliance decreasing any liability or damage at the workplace.

Know that the fitting process helps determine the adequacy of the product. For Custom Protection Hearing, the fitting process usually takes about 10 minutes. It typically begins with one of their highly trained and certified experts visiting the customer's plant or workplace to do the fitting on site. Some earbud hearing protectors fit like foam earplugs, and others offer the fit of a flanged earplug. Some come with multiple styles and sizes of earplug tips to let you find the best fit.

Noise Reduction Ratings

When shopping for earbuds, you need to know how well the equipment attenuates the noise exposure and reduces the sound level, measured in decibels (dB), to an acceptable level. Hearing protectors have a noise reduction rating (NRR) that shows the noise reduction level they can supply. The NRR tells you in decibels the average reduction of sound level the hearing protection provided in a testing environment where the protective device was used as directed. 

A higher NRR shows greater effectiveness in reducing the sound level. Regardless of the NRR, any hearing protection needs a proper fit to work correctly. A poor fit or improper use means the noise reduction level will be lower than the listed NRR.

Warranty & Product Guarantee

Purchasing earbuds are an investment in your health and safety, so it is essential to know how many years they warrant the product for and the warranty claim process should be easy. Ideally, when dealing with a warranty issue–you should be able to call and deal with an actual person who can walk you through the claim process.

Noise-Canceling Feature

Some also offer noise-canceling features to reduce persistent sounds like those from a mower or generator. This is important for your ear protection.

Protect your hearing - Earbuds

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

Extra Features

You can find wired versions and rechargeable or wireless earbuds that connect to mobile devices via Bluetooth. Some earbuds come with attenuation too.

Bottom Line

Earbuds reduce the noise exposure level and the risk of hearing loss. Hearing protection's effectiveness is significantly reduced if the earbuds do not fit properly or worn only part-time during periods of noise exposure. To maintain their effectiveness, you should not change them or take them off during loud activities and noisy environments. Going through the above five steps when selecting your earbuds will make your life easier and remove any concerns about protecting your hearing.

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

Other Questions

Is Noise Cancelling worth it?

Yes, it is worth it if you are using the right kind of device to cancel it. One such tool is earbuds which block all the noise and trick your ears into believing that there is no noise around you. This allows you to focus completely on whatever task you are performing thus improving your productivity.

Noise-cancelling also allows you to sleep peacefully if you are a light sleeper, this alone makes them worth it because if you are not getting enough sleep you will not be able to perform any task efficiently. It also helps you to concentrate better on your studies so you can score better in your tests.

 

Are earbuds or headphones better for noise Cancelling?

Both earbuds and headphones are noise-cancelling devices, however, both have their advantages and it depends on the user what they are looking for. Earbuds are portable and smaller in size so they can be carried easily. Moreover, with earbuds, you can sleep easily without being uncomfortable.

Headphones are bulky and larger in size so it would not be easy to sleep with them on. Earbuds are also inconspicuous so you can go anywhere wearing them and people won’t even notice.  Therefore earbuds are slightly better than headphones in terms of ease of use and portability but both devices are good at cancelling noise.

 

What is the difference between noise Cancelling and regular headphones?

Noise-cancelling headphones use active noise-cancelling technology which detects ambient noise in your surroundings and uses what is known as phase cancellation to essentially protect the ears from hearing it. The rubber tips of the headphones fit snugly in your ears or big ear cups that wrap around your ears also help reduce noise transmission.

Noise-cancelling headphones are great for when you want to listen to your favourite tunes because they allow you to focus more. Regular headphones do not alter the frequency of sound, making your ears more prone to hearing damage so you cannot imagine solitude while wearing them because they do not reduce any kind of noise.

 

How do you fix earbuds when only one side works?

A lot of people entirely rely on earbuds for noise reduction so when one of the earbuds stop working it can be very frustrating however, in some cases that can be fixed. To fix the earbud that stopped working you should first try to twist and tap the cord until the sound comes through it. If that doesn’t work, you will have to open up the earbud and check if any connection wire is broken. If that’s the case then you should use a soldering iron to solder the connection. That should fix the issue, however, if you take proper care of your earbuds you may never have to face this issue!

 

Which is better for your hearing headphones or earbuds?

There are many hearing protection devices available in the market such as earbuds and headphones. Both have their own pros and cons and it depends on the user what their requirement is. Earbuds are compact and smaller in size, making it easy to carry them.  Furthermore, with earbuds, it is easy to sleep because they are quite comfortable.  Headphones are heavy and bigger in nature, so sleeping with them on will not be easy. Due to being inconspicuous, earbuds cannot be spotted easily so you can wear them without getting noticed. Therefore, earbuds are a better choice when it comes to ease of use and portability but both devices provide good hearing protection.

                                                                                   

How long should earbuds last?

How long do earbuds last depend upon the quality of the earbuds and how often you use them. If you take proper care of them they might even last longer than a year. The average life of earbuds is 4 to 6 months. The first sign of earbuds damage will be the loss of sound in one earbud. In some cases that can be fixed however sometimes the damage is irreversible that means you have to buy new earbuds once the old ones stop working. This is why taking proper care of earbuds is important.

Apple EarPods with 3.5mm Headphone Plug - White
  • Unlike traditional, circular earbuds, the design of the EarPods is defined by the geometry of the ear which makes them more comfortable for more people than any other earbud-style headphones
  • The speakers inside the EarPods have been engineered to maximize sound output and minimize sound loss, which means you get high-quality audio
  • The EarPods also include a built-in remote that lets you adjust the volume, control the playback of music and video, and answer or end calls with a pinch of the cord
Echo Buds (1st Gen) – Wireless earbuds with immersive sound, active...
  • Immersive sound – Premium speaker drivers deliver crisp, dynamic audio. Bose Active Noise Reduction Technology and sealed in-ear design limits background noise.
  • Hands-free with Alexa – Echo Buds work with the Alexa app to stream music, play Audible audiobooks, make calls, or get directions—just ask.
  • Access other assistants – Supports access to Siri or Google Assistant from a supported device—just press and hold your earbud.
  • Long-lasting battery – Get up to 5 hrs music playback per charge, up to 2 hrs with a 15-min quick charge, and up to 20 hrs with the charging case.
  • Customizable fit for better sound – 3 sizes of ear tips help form a comfortable in-ear seal for immersive listening.
Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earbuds - Apple H1 Headphone Chip, Class 1...
  • Totally wireless high-performance earphones
  • Up to 9 hours of listening time (more than 24 hours with charging case)
  • Adjustable, secure-fit ear hooks for lightweight comfort and stability
  • Reinforced design for sweat & water resistance during tough workouts or running
  • Protect your Beats with AppleCare+ - Add AppleCare+ to your order and receive accidental damage protection and 24/7 priority tech support from the people who know your headphones best

Last update on 2021-07-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

References

If you require more information, please check these references

The Hearing Loss Risks of Entertainment Headphones in Different Noise Environments , article, "en.cnki.com.cn", retrieved on, Sun 01-November-2020

Tips To Protect Your Child S Hearing , article, "journals.lww.com", retrieved on, Sun 01-November-2020

Targeting Hearing Health Messages for Users of Personal Listening Devices , article, "pubs.asha.org", retrieved on, Sun 01-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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