Noise Protection Headsets
Noise protection headphones: total insulation at work
Earmuffs are part of the essential PPE to protect hearing.
In the worst-case scenario, exposure to loud noise can cause total hearing loss. However, hearing loss in Europe is an increasingly common problem that could nevertheless be avoided with the proper personal protective equipment.
Hearing loss, if caused by noise, is unfortunately irreversible: the sound waves damage the hair cells, which, once compromised, can no longer regenerate.
In the 'best' case scenario, however, noise can cause:
- metabolic and digestive disorders
- decreased circulation
In addition, disturbances related to noise exposure often occur slowly, starting with the lack of perception of higher tones up to medium and then low tones.
For the above reasons, noise insulation in the workplace is essential to prevent potential damage at an early stage, which can be permanent.
When is hearing protection essential?
Many people wonder if and when hearing protectors must be used; this is stipulated by the European directive 2003/10/EC, which states that the employer must provide hearing protection from a noise level of 80 dB and above. More specifically, the obligations regarding the provision and wearing of hearing protectors can be categorised as follows:
- Noise level < 80 dB / sudden noise < 135 dB → no obligation to wear PPE
- Noise level between 80 and 85 dB / sudden noises between 135 and 137 dB → exclusive obligation to wear PPE
- Noise level → 85 dB / sudden noises > 137 dB → obligation to wear and dispose of them
It is also important to remember that hearing protectors only retain their noise-reducing effectiveness if worn for the entire work session: removing them for a short time would completely nullify the protective effect.
There are different types of noise reducers, but before going into the details of each, we would like to make an initial distinction:
- Active noise-cancelling headphones→ barrier from the sound from outside: internal and external noises colliding cancel each other out.
- Passive noise-cancelling headphones→ isolation from external noise. Good for continuous noise
Let us now deal with the actual structural differences of each type of earmuffs:
- Disposable earplugs or reusable earplugs
- Earplugs with headband
- Noise-reducing earmuffs
- Headsets with special functions
Within our catalogue, you will find two types of earplugs:
- Disposable earplugs
- Reusable earplugs
Disposable earplugs are particularly suitable for use in hot and humid environments. In addition to excellent sound filtering, even at very low frequencies, they weigh so little that they probably do not even weigh 2/3 g.
As they are not bulky, they can be combined with other PPE, do not accumulate heat and can be discreetly transported anywhere.
However, it is essential to pay attention to their correct insertion because otherwise, there will be a reduction in the insulating power.
Reusable earplugs offer the same advantages as disposable earplugs with the difference that the former can be reused without losing their original shape; once use is over, they can be stored in a special case.
Also, in this case, the weight and size are irrelevant, and the drawstring allows them to always be at hand. Still, incorrect insertion would cause a not inconsiderable loss of effectiveness.
Earplugs with a headband
Earplugs with a headband are simple and comfortable to use: they are put on and removed quickly and, unlike other earplugs, are not inserted into the ear canal but rest against the ear canal, offering a maximum level of comfort.
They are also ideal for use in hot working environments and are undoubtedly one of the most environmentally friendly alternatives: the earplugs can be replaced, but the bracket or headband is reusable.
Frequently asked questions
Are noise-cancelling headphones bad for you?
This is perhaps one of the most frequently asked questions we can answer: generally speaking, no.
There are indeed headphones that are more comfortable than others, but actual pain is not contemplated.
The most comfortable and non-oppressive types are headphones with a headband and classic noise-cancelling headphones with ear cups.
Do wireless headphones exist for work?
We are often asked this question, but there is a lot of confusion about it.
Many users ask this question by referring to actual noise-cancelling headphones. In this case, we can say that all noise-cancelling headphones are wireless. There are no corded models for this type of device because these are not the classic headsets used for communication purposes in customer care activities!
By how much can the noise level be lowered with headphones?
As a rule, anti-noise headphones can guarantee a noise reduction of 19 - 26 dB, while simple earplugs guarantee a reduction of 15 - 35 dB.
The higher the quality of the headphones, the more they will be able to reduce the sound level in favour of the user.
Noise-cancelling headphones price
The price of noise-cancelling headphones varies depending on the type, and obviously, the greater the use of manufacturing materials, the higher the final cost of the headphones will be.
In any case, on Lineonline, it will be possible to purchase headphones starting from 3 €. Even the most sought-after types will still have an affordable price: we have always thought that accident-prevention articles and personal protective equipment should be available for purchase by anyone because, in many cases, they are able to protect operators from the most unpleasant and unfortunately common accidents at work.