Spectral analysis of hearing protector impulsive insertion loss
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Spectral analysis of hearing protector impulsive insertion loss

Filetype[PDF-1.32 MB]


  • Alternative Title:
    Int J Audiol
  • Description:
    Objective To characterize the performance of hearing protection devices in impulsive-noise conditions and to compare various protection metrics between impulsive and steady-state noise sources with different characteristics. Design Hearing protectors were measured per the impulsive test methods of ANSI/ASA S12.42-2010. Protectors were measured with impulses generated by both an acoustic shock tube and an AR-15 rifle. The measured data were analyzed for impulse peak insertion loss (IPIL) and impulsive spectral insertion loss (ISIL). These impulsive measurements were compared to insertion loss measured with steady-state noise and with real-ear attenuation at threshold (REAT). Study Sample Tested devices included a foam earplug, a level-dependent earplug, and an electronic sound-restoration earmuff. Results IPIL for a given protector varied between measurements with the two impulse noise sources, but ISIL agreed between the two sources. The level-dependent earplug demonstrated level-dependent effects both in IPIL and ISIL. Steady-state insertion loss and REAT measurements tended to provide a conservative estimate of the impulsively-measured attenuation. Conclusions Measurements of IPIL depend strongly on the source used to measure them, especially for hearing protectors with less attenuation at low frequencies. ISIL provides an alternative measurement of impulse protection and appears to be a more complete description of an HPD’s performance.
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