Flare Audio have launched the ISOLATE and ISOLATEpro hearing protection ear plugs, accompanied by a blizzard of social media marketing, often including statements about 'switching off ears' and 'leaving you only hearing via bone conduction'. The ISOLATE and ISOLATEpro plugs certainly look good and Flare's claims for them are for extremely superior protection, but how do they perform in reality when looked at for use in the workplace, how much do they actually reduce noise by away from the marketing hype, how do they perform compared to other protection, how do they fit, and are they as good as the marketing claims? This post looks at each of these and includes the missing SNR, HML and APV data for both the ISOLATE and ISOLATEpro plugs.Read More
I ride a motorbike and at motorway speeds the wind noise is very high indeed inside the helmet - I would estimate it to be somewhere around 90dB(A). I also have an in-helmet audio system which I use for listening to music, podcasts or sat nav directions but when on motorways this has to be cranked up to full blast to try and overcome the wind noise. The wind noise on its own is enough to leave your ears ringing after a long motorway journey but then the audio system on top really pushes you over the edge.
So my questions were three-fold:
- Can the Flare ISOLATE ear plug control the wind noise?
- Can the ISOLATE plug really eliminate the wind noise and leave me just hearing the music?
- How comfortable are they long-term under a tight-fitting hemet?
Noise at work is pretty well managed and everyone is well aware of the noise in a nightclub or a music concert where your ears are ringing or sounding a little dull afterwards, but there are other less obvious places where we get what can be very high noise exposures.Read More
An ear drum, or 'tympanic membrane' for those who like proper words, is the thin partition between the outer ear and the middle ear, sealing off the ear canal and is the bit which vibrates in response to sound waves hitting it and turns noise into something you can hear. Bursting or puncturing it is fairly common, if painful, and after many years of doing hearing tests around the country, these are some of the most cringe-worthy stories I have been told about how people burst their own ears...Read More
A lot of jobs in industry can be, let's face it, utterly dull to do hour after hour, day after day. The temptation for many employers is to provide music via a PA system, to allow employees to wear headphones (under hearing protection if necessary), or provide hearing protection with built-in music players, but is that a good idea?Read More
Gizmodo UK recently published an article detailing a case of a bang caused by fire suppressant gasses being released into a NASDAQ data centre that was loud enough to physically kill some of the equipment being used in there.Read More
This is an area which I have avoided tackling head-on in the past and generally turned a blind eye to it as it is an area packed with uncertainty and potentially large issues to sort out, but nevertheless it is an interesting question - how do the Noise Regulations apply to people driving a vehicle on company business? This would cover the obvious such as truck or van drivers, but also motorcycle couriers, anyone driving a company car on a work-related journey, or indeed anyone driving their own car on a work-related journey.Read More
Whether to rent or buy noise meters really comes down to how often you are thinking you will be using your noise meters. Here's a rough suggestion for how to work it out.Read More
Sometimes in a high noise area nothing beats the good old fashioned approach of 'most powerful is best' when it comes to hearing protection. But cost is not synonymous with best or most powerful.
Out of the 170+ types of hearing protector listed on the Hearing Protection Data page on this site, these are the top ones ranked by SNR, the single number which is an indicator of how powerful they are at reducing noise.Read More
Low frequency noises can be the hardest to reduce exposure to via hearing protectors, and none on the market can block low frequency (bass) noise completely, but which are the best?Read More