Long exposure to loud noise is dangerous to the health of your ears. That is why in industrial settings, ear headphones, earmuffs, earplugs, and earbuds are all used to block out excessive noise levels that reduce the risk of damaging your hearing.
The sound is a wavelength, like light, it is measured in decibels (dB), and ever since the dawn of the industrial era, the environmental sound has increased exponentially. In fact, today, the sounds generated in a standard commercial district do not come from machinery, but from digital sources, such as mobile devices and digital projection devices. What I term the new 3M, which are Music and Movies on Mobile.
As a human, you can perceive many sounds and ranges, but anything above 85 dB and you start to suffer, consider that a rock concerts sound level is 115 dB. Now, compare to that the sound level of a standard lawnmower which is 90 dB. Take into account that when you listen to a sound above 85 dB for more than 8 hours constantly, you will suffer hearing loss.
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How can we protect ourselves from sound?
Well, one of the best ways is by using something that is obvious and around us constantly, and that is using hearing protection with Bluetooth devices. This means you plug into your ears a Bluetooth set that can act as a barrier as well as a conduit. The main difference is that you control the level of noise that reaches your ears.
Take a look at your average day, all 24 hours of it, let’s start at the beginning:
You wake up and its usually quite silent, the world around you are also waking up, so what you hear are vehicles outside and the weather, if it’s raining or sunny, there are sounds from the natural environment. So far so good. Then you go and turn on the radio, TV, iPad, tablet, coffee maker, toaster, flush a toilet, talk, all these activities start to increase the constant barrage of sound.
Now let’s move onto your daily routine when you leave the house, and think of all the sounds on the way to work, or the mall, or a game. Add to these sounds the sounds of the car music system, if you use public transport add the sounds of the digital era, specifically people that use their phones as music stations and gamepads, letting the sound of their device invade your ears, now multiply that by a few thousand devices and improve this with all the sounds of transportation, construction, devices, etc.… you are getting the picture now.
The world is a noisy place, and if someone could time travel from the beginning of the 18th century (only 200 years ago) they would cry out in pain because all they had was the sound of nature and perhaps the sound of gunpowder, but that was infrequent unless used in war.
The best way to protect your ears is with hearing protection with Bluetooth devices, yup, you are fighting fire with fire. Since you already have a mobile device with Bluetooth, and since you want to negate all the noise from around you. The best way to filter out the noise and allow only the sounds you want to be heard is through a good set of Bluetooth earphones, headphones buds or what have you.
Now, it’s not that simple, since not all Bluetooth devices are good, just as with any product, you need to check out the standards and performance features.
Noise Reduction Rating (NRR)
The NRR is what your device will deliver to your ears, in other words, you don’t want a device that can blast out 90dB pulses of sound that will deafen you very quickly. An NRR device is limited to 25 dB, which means all noise is reduced to a maximum of 25 dB, and this way, when the device is operating, you will receive calls, hear music and enjoy focused sounds at an acceptable and non-harmful level.
A big issue with ear protection is the use of a device that will not interfere with your workload. Also consider what you need while not at work, during your hours of travel to and from locations. In most cases, today people will be traveling anywhere from half an hour to four hours a day at least. So consider the four hours of travel, the 8 hours at work, and you already have 12 hours or half the day in an audio-dangerous environment. Picking the size is important, you want something that does not stick out too much, is not too heavy, and will protect your ears.
Make sure the Bluetooth device you pick is easy to charge, using a USB charger is the best option, and make sure you have an AC/DC charger option, as well as a unit that has a lithium battery cell pack for longer use.
Today you can find some very inexpensive headsets and devices that are NRR compliant as well as lightweight and come with many features such as AM/FM radio receivers as well as connecting to your mobile devices. A good Bluetooth device is not just saving you money while delivering focused sound, its also saving you from early deafness, which is a common ailment in this digital era.