The earmuffs for shooting are assessed and evaluated on the basis of certain standards from ANSI S-3.19 and CE-EN-352.1. The former is the American National Standard Institute and the latter is from Europe. The evaluation methods include measurement and application levels of testing. At the measurement levels the tests are related to the level of attenuation and user comfort achieved by the device. At the application level the tests measure the A-Weighted sound pressure level. They also consider the Noise Reduction Rating of the device.
Measuring the Earmuffs for Shooting
The threshold noise near the ears when the user is not wearing the earmuffs (Assume the value to be X) for shooting are measured in laboratory and real time conditions. Then the same measurement is taken when the user is wearing the earmuffs (Assume the value to be Y). The difference between two values is calculated (Z=X-Y).
The tests are also conducted on users who have experience in wearing the earmuffs and those who don’t have any sort of experience at all. The difference in their experience levels is considered for the measuring the comfort levels. Though there are no official standards for making such measurements, the general testing procedures list out some simple procedures.
- How long can the users wear the earmuffs for shooting without feeling discomfort? Do they make them sweat? What happens when they wear the earmuffs in hot and humid conditions?
- Do they have any idea about earmuffs maintenance and cleaning procedures? If yes, what are the methods and tools they are using? Do they use any liquid for cleaning? If yes, is the liquid recommended by the ANSI standards? Do you know the correct method of wearing the earmuffs? What is the perfect fitting condition for the earmuffs?
- These are some of the common questions listed out for the users. Based on the answers the testers evaluate their comfort and experience levels. If the device manufacturers have provided the right kind of user instructions which they can understand easily, the answers would be positive.
Application Standards of Earmuffs for Shooting
The total Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) is measured based on the formula prescribed in the ANSI standards. The sound pressure levels are measured using the regulations of Environment Protection Agency (EPA) or the European standards. Octave bands are measured for A-Weighted values and C-Weighted values.
- The 80-20 ratio for the filtered noise and modulated frequency (considered to be harmless after filtering the harmful spikes in the sound waves) levels are recorded from real time tests.
- The standard tests may include exposing the users wearing the protective device to various intensities of noise. This may vary from chainsaw noise to the muzzle blast shock waves from gunshots. The time interval between two tests is also varied to evaluate the condition of the earmuffs for shooting and consistency in levels of protection.
ClearArmor 141001 Shooters Hearing Protection Safety Ear Muffs have been subject to all the measurement and application levels testing, according to ANSI S-3.19 and CE-EN-352.1 standards. The results have confirmed their recommendation as the superior class earmuffs for shooting.