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Noise reduction rating on ear protection..

CS8161CS8161 Member Posts: 13,595 ✭✭✭
edited September 2008 in Ask the Experts
What exactly does the NRR rating mean when it comes to ear muffs? I was looking at a set of muffs that have a NRR of 22, does that mean they will block out sounds over 22 decibels? Is a higer NRR number better than a lower number?
Thanks for any information!


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    flyingtorpedoflyingtorpedo Member Posts: 1,301 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    From how I read it it blocks that much noise so it will make it sound 22 decibels lower than it actually is. The higher the number the better it is as it blocks more noise, and generally the more expensive they are.

    The electronic ones I think are the opposite and block noise above a certain noise level. I've never had any electronic ones so I'm not sure on that.
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    B17-P51B17-P51 Member Posts: 2,221 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Yes higher # is better, The highest that I own personally is a 30 the lowest is an 18 for shotgunning. 22 nrr should be considered minimum for light handguns (9mm, 38 spl). If this is all you have, supplement the 22's with plugs when shooting heavy or ported rifles and any other caliber handguns especially revolvers. For 454 and up I use the 30's with plugs.

    Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) is the measurment, in decibels, of how well a hearing protector reduces noise as specified by the Environmental Protection Agency. The higher the NRR number the greater the noise reduction. When dual protectors are used, the combined NRR provides approximately 5 - 10 decibels more than the higher rated of the two devices. For example, using disposable ear plugs (NRR of 29 decibels) with ear muffs (NRR 27) would provide a Noise Reduction Rating of approximately 39 decibels.

    The amount of on-the-job noise exposure can be determined through various testing devices. Excessive noise is defined as 85-90 decibels or more over an 8 hour period.

    Examples of noise levels considered dangerous by experts are a lawnmower, a rock concert, firearms, firecrackers, headset listening systems, motorcycles, tractors, power tools and industrial machinery. All can deliver sounds over 90 decibels and some up to 140 decibels.

    150 dB = Rock Concerts at Peak
    140 dB = Firearms, Air-Raid Siren, Jet Engine
    130 dB = Jackhammer
    120 dB = Jet Plane Take-off, Amplified Music at 4-6 ft., Car Stereo, Band Practice

    Extremely loud:
    110 dB = Machinery, Model Airplanes
    100 dB = Snowmobile, Chain saw, Pneumatic Drill
    90 dB = Lawnmower, Shop Tools, Truck Traffic, Subway

    Very loud:
    80 dB = Alarm Clock, Busy Street
    70 dB = Vacuum Cleaner
    60 dB = Conversation, Dishwasher

    50 dB = Moderate Rainfall
    40 dB = Quiet room

    30 dB = Whisper, Quiet Library
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    perry shooterperry shooter Member Posts: 17,107 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Hello all replies are correct but to clear up ELECTRONIC ear muffs do 2 things one it lets normal sounds TALKING go through and even can make it louder then normal if you turn the Volume up. How ever it has a CLIPPING circuit The way this works is any sound over a pre set level is "CLIPPED" so the MAX sound you hear gun shot TOP FUEL dragster ETC is all below the level that will damage your hearing after that loud noise is over the level is normal again . They are great to hear range commands etc.
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    CS8161CS8161 Member Posts: 13,595 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks for the info, I saw Midway had a pair of electronic Howard Leight muffs on sale for $10 off, so I bought a pair. Never had electronic muffs before but figured I'd give them a try.
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