An Objective Methodology for Measuring Earmuff Hearing Protector Noise Attenuation 2010-36-0502
This article describes an objective methodology for measuring the noise attenuation of earmuff hearing protectors using as a reference the method known as microphone-in-real-ear (MIRE). The methodology implements the Insertion Loss (IL) paradigm, in which IL is measured using miniature microphones, specially designed to comply with ANSI and ISO standards for the MIRE technique. The results for a commercial hearing protector are compared with the subjective method known as real-ear-attenuation-at-threshold (REAT). Correction factors are included in the methodology to account for external effects such as physiological noise and bone conduction. The objective method predicted well the real protection of the earmuff and the proposed methodology showed lower standard deviation values than the REAT method.