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 By Mike Coviello (Tanner)

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AOS Safety Professional Ear Muffs Review

The AOS Safety Professional Ear Muffs appear to be well constructed and made from high quality materials. They're not one of those electronic types of earmuffs and have no batteries or electronics at all. They have a simple yet effective design.

 

AOS Safety Professional Ear Muffs
AOS Safety Professional Ear Muffs

 

These earmuffs are not for those who want to make a fashion statement. They are for those individuals either working in or participating noisy areas and wish to protect their hearing. They're not of the slum design, and when placed on the head make you look silly, but they work very well. Of all the earmuffs that I have researched these have the highest decibel ratings for noise reduction that I have found so far.

These muffs have an adjustable headband and will fit all head sizes. The headband is covered with a padded plastic covering and is very comfortable when one worn. The band is made such that it does not squeeze the head when worn. It is very comfortable.  (One ear muff that I rented at the range actually gave me a headache because it was too tight). The "muff" portion of the ear muffs that actually cover the ears are very well padded and extremely comfortable.  I purchased these ear muffs for hearing protection because I recently took up the sport of target practice and shooting guns at the gun range.  I used them for few times, then I looked around and observed what the other shooters were wearing for their hearing protection and noticed that many of them were wearing cool looking earmuffs. They were of the slim and did not protrude noticeably from the head. When I got home I put on my ear muffs on and looked at myself in the mirror and noted to myself that I looked ridiculous while wearing these. From that moment on, I never wore them again for target shooting. I began a search for a "cooler looking" way to protect my hearing.

 

RECOMMENDATION

RECOMMENDED. Excellent hearing protection (Noise Reduction Rating is 29dB),  but it would be nice if they were a little slimmer. See all hearing protection at Amazon.com.

 

Earmuff Product Information

AO Safety Professional Hearing Protector, Model# 90561. The patented design of this AO Safety professional hearing protector provides the highest rating for earmuff tested in an approved laboratory. Effective, lightweight, comfortable protection for loud conditions. NRR 30dB. U.S.A. Hearing Protector Type: Ear-muffs, Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) (dB): 30, Adjustable Fit: Yes, AM/FM Radio: No, Battery Required: No, Case Included: No. Fully adjustable steel wire padded headband. 

 

Fun Facts about Noise and Ear Muffs

 

  1. Highest-rated ear muffs on the market today have an NRR of 30 dB.

  2. Highest-rated ear plugs on the market today have an NRR of 33 dB.

  3. A really loud noise such as a gunshot can cause immediate hearing loss.

  4. Gunshot noise level is about 140 decibels.

  5. Threshold of pain: gunshot is about140 decibels.

  6. Ear muffs range in cost from $10 to $300 or more.

  7. The decibel (abbreviated dB) is the unit used to measure the intensity of a sound.

  8. Any sound above 85 dB can cause hearing loss.

  9. The NRR (Noise Reduction Rating) is a single number rating which is required by law to be shown on the label of each hearing protector sold in the - United States.

  10. Health and safety experts suggest that 90 decibels is the maximum noise level that a person should be exposed to over the course of an 8-hour day.

  11. Ear plugs can be effective only if they are properly inserted in the ear. Very often, due to discomfort or improper training the ear plug does not - provide the level of protection advertised.

  12. Don't over protect! Too much protection can be unsafe as critical communication cannot be heard.

  13. Ordinary cotton halls or tissue paper wads stuffed into the ear canals are very poor protectors; they reduce noise only by approximately 7 dB.

 

Noise Levels (Typical)

  1. Near total silence - 0 db

  2. A whisper - 15 db

  3. Normal conversation - 60 db

  4. A lawnmower - 90 db

  5. A car horn - 110 db

  6. A gunshot or firecracker - 140 db

 

Hearing Protection and Earmuff References

  1. Ear Muffs: A Field Guide  -"Contrary to popular belief, ear muffs typically offer lower Noise Reduction Ratings (NRRs) than ear plugs. In fact, the highest-rated ear muffs on the market today have an NRR of 30 dB, as opposed to 33 for the highest-rated ear plug. This seems counterintuitive because ear muffs are bigger and heavier, but it is an ear plug's ability to fully block the ear canal that really attenuates sound. Still, ear muffs offer a high degree of comfort and usability, and most products with an acceptable NRR level will screen out block most harmful noise, most of the time, provided they are fitted and worn correctly"  http://ohsonline.com/Articles/2005/06/Ear-Muffs-A-Field-Guide.aspx 

  2. What are the advantages of earmuffs over earplugs and vice versa? - "Earmuffs are easier to use correctly, and therefore provide attenuation that is much closer to the laboratory derived NRR. Earplugs are hard or sometimes very hard to insert correctly, and therefore often do not provide the same attenuation in the field, as they do in the laboratory. This is the reason that NIOSH recommends different de-ratings for earplugs and earmuffs. You can read more about this subject by clicking on this link. An earmuff may be preferable in the intermittent environment, while an earplug may be the choice in a long-term exposure. An earmuff may be preferred in a cold environment, while an earplug may be the choice in a hot and humid environment. Most importantly, you should chose a protector that is comfortable and you should use it during the entire noise exposure." http://www.elvex.com/FAQ.htm#What are the advantages of earmuffs.

  3. How Much Hearing Protection Is Needed When Shooting? - "Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) is only required by law to appear on any label of every hearing protector sold in the United States because of the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) labeling regulation. The law was passed so the user will deduct the NRR from the dB level at hand to get the dB level at the ear. For example, if your noise level at hand is 100 dB minus the Hearing Protector NRR of 25 dB, then your noise level at the ear would be 75 dB." http://www.ehow.com/about_5078757_much-hearing-protection-needed-shooting.html

 

Authored By Mike Coviello (Tanner)

 

Ask A Question/Tell Your Experience

 

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Sent: November 09, 2011
Subject: Extra Large Ear Muffs (Hearing Protection) For Large Ears

All current GUN MUFFS have an MEDIOCRE opening of only 2 ½ inches including BOSE. Has anyone invented one with a larger opening and actually made Gun Muffs for men? I wear muffs often and It is painful for me to stuff my 3 1/16" ears into a 2 1/2" opening.What a great business oportunity it would be for AMAZON or anyone to offer, for the first time, gun muffs for men! Ray


Response - Ray,

I never had that problem myself but I have heard the complaint before.At the range that I attend, one of the rangemasters (a very big guy) has had
problems finding comfortable hearing protection. He eventually switched to ear plugs (though I don't think they provide as much hearing protection).
I think I will stick with muffs.

Tanner

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Sent: August 26, 2011
Subject: Disturbing Noise

Crazy neighbor sounds horn at 6:00 A.M. about 110 DB. What to do?
Joe


Response - Joe,

The obvious thing of course would be to politely ask him not to do it. If for some reason that is not an option, you could try a combination of ear muffs/ear plugs with a white noise generating machine. Here is a link for some of them.

http://www.whitenoiseforfree.com/buy-white-noise-generator-machine.html

Good luck.

Tanner

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Sent: Sunday, October 05, 2010
Subject: Hearing Protection

In general Gun Muffs are too small for a comfortable fit to my ear size. I can only look with envy at a typical football game and see the beautiful ear muff size worn by all coaches. They appear to be the perfect size for some one like me who wears muffs often.

I cannot believe that I am the only man with ears that measure 3 1/16 Inches! It seems that all Earmuff Manufactures have conspired that the world shall only have muffs with an opening of 2 1/2 inches. This includes even upscale Mfg. like Bose. Who cares about men with larger ears? Let them stuff the rest of their ears into the size we give them. So what if they are uncomfortable.

Peltor appears promising but can they accommodate at least 3 1/16 Inch ears perhaps even with some added clearance?
Ray

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Sent: Sunday, September 05, 2010 1:23 PM
Subject: Hearing Protection


I am an orthodontic lab tech, in a one-person Lab. I make retainers to keep people's teeth straight, I mix plaster with a Whip Mix spatulator to make study models of their teeth and I use a Dremel-like device (a Doriot hand piece on an Emesco dental engine) to cut out thermo-formed plastic and to clean up and polish the retainers and other appliances that I make.I have been doing this for almost ten years. Earlier this year I was hit by a car and received a head injury which effected my hearing. I can no longer use ear plugs to protect my ears in the Lab,(to save what he4aring I have left), and I finally bought some ear muffs made or endorsed by Field and Stream, rated 30 Decibels, (before I was able to look into just how loud my equipment really was). I haven't tried them at work yet(I just got them 2 days ago). With all that I'm seeing online, what good will these things be if my machines are at least 65-70 decibels, and what else can I do? Are there any other headphones/earmuffs out there? What do the police or people on the rifle range use? Please help me find a solution. I love my job, but I don't want to lose what's left of my hearing by this time next year! Thank you very much for your time and everything. Sincerely,

Carol

 

Response - Carol,

AT THE SHOOTING RANGE
People at the shooting range use a variety of hearing protection including ear plugs, regular ear muffs and electronic ear muffs. The most comfortable form of hearing protection seems to be ear plugs but they generally offer the least amount of hearing protection and GUNS ARE LOUD. I don't see too many shooters wearing ear plugs. Electronic ear muffs let you hear certain sounds like people talking and reduce the level of lower frequency noises but they can be very expensive. Most shooters that I see use the good old fashioned ear muffs. They are generally cheap, provide the most hearing protection and if you chose the right pair very comfortable. Some shooters
who are particularly susceptible to loud noises use ear muffs and ear plugs simultaneously.

IN YOUR CASE
The Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) on your ear muffs is 30 Decibels (db). As I understand it, the rating measures the muff's ability to block out noise or sound. Your muffs, if worn properly 100% of the time and if they fit perfectly (which is unlikely) would block out a MAXIMUM of 30 db of noise. In reality they would most likely block out half of that or about 15 db of noise. So when you wear your earmuffs instead of hearing the 65-70 decibels of noise created by your tools you are actually hearing around 50 decibels, which would be less than that of a normal conversation.

OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO TO REDUCE SOUNDS
In addition the ear muffs there may be other ways to reduce noise at work for you. You might want to look into the following methods of reducing or dampening noise.

REDUCE NOISE BY CHANGING YOUR WORK ENVIRONMENT
- Install carpeting and rugs. They do a good job of absorbing sound.
- Install wall hangings and curtains to reduce noise. They don't have to be placed only over windows.
- Install sound-absorbing panels. Many are designed for office or industrial use. See what's available at Amazon.com by searching for sound absorbing panels.
- Use fabric-covered office partitions reduce noise.
- Hang acoustic panels on the walls.
- See if you can work in a larger room. Smaller confined rooms concentrate the noise.
- See if it is possible to reduce the noise of the tools by covering portions of them with foam tape (making sure that the tape is acceptable to use and won't cause them to catch fire or overheat)

Suggestion - Go to Amazon.com and do a search for the following. They may give you some ideas.
Sound Absorbing Foam, Sound Absorbing Panels, Sound Absorbing Blanket
---------------
ENVIRONMENTAL NOISE CHART
Weakest sound heard 0dB
Whisper Quiet Library 30dB
Normal conversation (3-5') 60-70dB
Telephone dial tone 80dB
City Traffic (inside car) 85dB
Level at which sustained exposure may result in hearing loss 90 - 95dB
---------------

Hope that helps.

Good luck.

Tanner

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Sent: Friday, March 18, 2011
Subject: Ear Plugs Verses Ear Muffs

Would you recommend wearing ear muff protection OVER ear plug protection? Especially, for an indoor shooting range?
Miranda,



Response - Miranda,

I have never had much luck with ear plugs. They tend to wiggle loose and I find myself having to tuck them back in every once in a while. So I would recommend wearing ear muffs over ear plugs. Plus ear muffs can be very comfortable and they provide greater noise reduction.

Another reason ear muffs may be a better choice is that they offer more physical protection for your ears and head. I was at the indoor range a few days ago when a shooter got hit just above the eye with a ricochet. It drew a little blood and wasn't that serious but it could have been if it hit him just right. I did some research and found that getting hit by ricochets was more common than I thought. It prompted me to upgrade my eyewear to provide better ide-protection.

If I misread your question and you meant to ask if I recommend wearing ear muffs on top of ear plugs (in addition to) I would say - Only if you need to. It would depend on your needs and circumstances. Either form of hearing protection by themselves (depending on what you buy) can give you the protection you need. I don't know of any shooter at the range that I go to that wears both. It may make it very difficult to communicate with other shooters. I would suggest trying it both ways to see what you like best.

Tanner

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