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I always heard this saying applied to your melon when talking about, say, riding a motorcycle. In this case, it’s something almost as important: your ears. You can pick up a pack of 200 Howard Leight LL1 Laser Lite cordless earplugs at Amazon for $20. Made of expandable foam and resembling stylish red-and-yellow rocket ships (hey, it’s cool), it’s worth 20 cents a pair for long-term hearing protection.

Research suggests you subject your tubes to no more than a maximum of 85 decibels for eight hours a day: that’s about the level of busy street traffic. But what about those who work in factories or warehouses, in construction or demolition, or in elementary teaching? Power tools easily run at 100-110 db; jack hammers at 120; a lawn mower at 90 db. (By the way, a sound 100 times louder than 10 db is 20 db. A sound 1,000 times louder than 10 db is 30 db, and so on.) I bet an elementary school kid can do at least 100 db.

With a maximum of 32 db noise reduction rating (NRR), these little plugs can turn your growling John Deere rider into a gentle purr — so you can enjoy sweet engine sounds into your golden years.

Via Amazon [What’s This?]
Street Pricing [Google Products]

 

19 Responses to Only Protect What You Want To Keep

  1. Billy says:

    Your post says $20, should be $.20.

  2. dano says:

    I use some when I sleep. I should get a pair of custom ear pieces already…

  3. Toolhearty says:

    Billy Says:
    Your post says $20, should be $.20.

    That’s $20 per pack of 200, or $.20 per. Clearly says so in the post.

    (I know, you were told there would be no math.)

  4. bajajoaquin says:

    I buy these by the case. I wear them when I ride my motorcycle (under my helmet). I use them in the shop. I wear them when I go to sleep camping if my camp mates snore. I wear them racing, and when going to the races. Even concerts.

    I’ve found that the 32dB plugs work best for me, based on my motorcycle priority. It cuts down on enough wind noise, but still lets me hear cars, horns, etc. Other uses could require more or less sound deadening. You should try different plugs to find the one that works for you.

  5. Loomis says:

    That’s $20 per pack of 200, or $.20 per.
    Oops. Better check your math again. There’s too many two’s in there not to have a 4 or a 1 pop up somewhere.

  6. Toolhearty says:

    Loomis Says:
    That’s $20 per pack of 200, or $.20 per.
    Oops. Better check your math again. There’s too many two’s in there not to have a 4 or a 1 pop up somewhere.

    I should have been more specific: per = per pair

    I do like your mental quick-check for correctness, though. I do the same thing.

  7. cc says:

    Headline + pic made me think it was some kind of vibration absorbing cup for people who do alot of motorcycle miles and want to protect their junk

  8. Chris says:

    I don’t actually like these particular ones because of the shape of the back end. The softer foam is great, though; I prefer earplugs made of this foam but with a more regular cone shape (instead of that funky flared end). I think the ones I’m using right now are 3M brand.

    cl

  9. Gordon DeWitte says:

    If you don’t like earplugs, Highland currently has the over-the-ear Peltor 10A hearing protectors (30dB NRR) on sale for $19.99.

    http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/peltorh10aprofessionalhearingprotectors.aspx

  10. Chris says:

    Now’s probably a good time for me to point out what I’ve said on other hearing-protector posts: the fit matters a LOT. Make sure you’re using the hearing protectors as the manufacturer instructs; wearing over-the-head headphone-style protectors around the back of your head or under your chin (basically upside-down) can cut their effectiveness in half or worse. Plopping the foam plugs in your ear without properly rolling them and inserting them into the ear canal will be similarly ineffective.

    My dad’s an audiologist, so I always got lectured on this sort of thing when I was little 😉

    cl

  11. Morgan says:

    For the cost of 9 boxes, you can buy custom ear protection that filter only noise over a certain decibel. The difference is phenomenal as you can do almost any grinding, cutting, hammering etc and still be able to hear someone talking to you. I find it particularly handy as a welder because it allows me to hear the sound of my weld over the sound of my generator.

  12. Tetsubo says:

    I get this for free at work. I work nights and sleep days. And some days, these are the only way I can get any sleep at all. The city worked on the street outside of my bedroom window for two months one summer. These things saved my sanity. They are also handy when the guy in the apartment sharing my bedroom wall decides to play his guitar during the day…

  13. Chris K says:

    Morgan – I haven’t heard of that. Got a link or brand? That would be way useful.

  14. Chris says:

    Chris K: There are passive (mechanical) and active (electronic) versions. As you might imagine, active are MUCH more expensive (two orders of magnitude more). Here’s an example of each. I haven’t used either one.

    Active: http://www.espamerica.com/default.aspx

    Passive: http://www.surefire.com/EP3-Sonic-Defenders

    The ones by Surefire are cheap enough that you could just buy a pair and try ’em out. The ones by ESP are more of a “you might want to make sure these things really work before you go spending two grand” kind of thing.

    cl

  15. MarilynH says:

    I had the same thought as CC. Very disturbing photo.

  16. Cameron Watt says:

    I always wear these when welding…no matter what. You only pick hot slag out of your ear once…

  17. Avisciciulli says:

    As someone who’s worked in noisy web printing plants for a long time, I highly recommend over the ear rather than in ear. Except for snowblowing. Or loud concerts.

    I’m not recommending this site per se, but these are super comfortable, and the ones I bought were the highest dB reduction I could find at 32dB.

    http://www.approvedgasmasks.com/earmuffs-leightning.htm

    However, I’m starting to think about custom molded ones designed for specific frequencies.

  18. Simon says:

    I have used these in the past at http://www.gflaser.co.uk but I prefer the larger ear muff type of defenders. The reason for this is that they are more comfortable and hygenic.

  19. Steven says:

    It’s interesting that wearing ear defenders upside down can result in them becoming less effective. Lots of guys around our factory do this…….

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