Ear defenders or earmuffs are essential if you want to keep your hearing at the top of its game, especially when you’re working in loud, harsh environments. Choosing the right Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) can make an instrumental difference to your quality of life, and with so many different options available, there’s something for every situation.
Whether you need discreet noise protection to shield your eardrums from factory noise, or thermal ear defenders to safeguard against cold conditions and extreme sounds, MAD4TOOLS has the right product for you.
Understanding Protection Levels
Ear defenders are rated according to how much protection they offer against different decibel levels and different levels of noise attenuation.
We know that sometimes it can become a little overwhelming when trying to understand the level of protection you need. So, below we’ve helpfully outlined what these terms mean.
What is attenuation?
Attenuation is the process of losing noise energy and is recorded by SNR values assigned to each set of ear defenders. The higher the SNR, the higher the level of noise attenuation provided by the hearing protection.
What does SNR stand for?
SNR is a Single Number Rating system. The SNR value is used to understand the level of noise attenuation provided by different ear protectors.
What is HML?
When you’re shopping for ear protection, you’ll also notice H, M and L ratings, which refer to the level of noise attenuation.
H = High frequencies
M = Medium frequencies
L = Low frequencies
Understanding decibels (dBs)
We use decibels (dB) to measure sound intensity, which means a log scale is used rather than a linear system. For example, for every three-dB increase, the intensity of a sound will roughly double to the human ear.
To work out your daily and weekly noise exposure and estimate the performance of hearing protection you need, you can use HSE’s handy calculators.
Types of ear defenders
Below, we’ve put together a selection of some of the best ear protectors available today.
Standard ear defenders
The Delta Plus Interlagos Safety Ear Muffs feature ABS cups and pads filled with synthetic foam. These defenders have a double plastic headband (POM), which are adjustable in height and soft reinforcement for better comfort. Available in 2 colours, yellow or grey.
On a budget? These OX ear protectors are perfect for you. They are ideal for everyday use and can be worn overhead, behind the neck or under the chin. They’re also lightweight and robust and conform to EN352-1.
Ear defenders integrated with helmet
Impact-resistant helmet with integral ear protectors and visor for all-around safety. The helmet features an adjustable head harness, padded brow strap and chin strap. Conforms to EN352-3, EN397 and EN1731.
The Delta Plus Suzuka Clip-On ear muffs feature high flexibility ABS arms and cups padded with synthetic foam. These can be used on their own or with a face shield holder. Suitable for use with GRANITE, QUARTZ, ZIRCON and DIAMOND safety helmets.
Electronic ear defenders
Solid-state circuitry allows normal speech and sounds to be heard but automatically deadens noise above 85dB. They also feature an on/off switch with adjustable volume control and an auto-adjust headband.
Related blog: Get to know: Delta Plus PPE