Performance Assessment of Passive Hearing Protection Devices
Interim rept. Feb-Aug 2014
AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH HUMAN PERFORMANCE WING (711TH) WARFIGHTER INTERFACE DIVISION/BATTLESPACE ACOUSTICS BRANCH
Pagination or Media Count:
Military personnel working in operational environments could be exposed to both continuous and impulsive noise while performing tasks such as voice communication, auditory detection and localization. The performance of these tasks is critical to mission success and survival. An objective assessment of the performance of the device provided to troops is essential. Passive hearing protectors, capable of attenuating both continuous and impulsive noise, have been designed to reduce the risk of hearing damage to our troops. Preservation of ambient listening capabilities and situational awareness is necessary for many military operations. Twelve passive earplugs were assessed for continuous noise attenuation, impulsive peak insertion loss, sound localization, auditory detection, and subjective comfort. A rank order of performance was developed per assessment. These assessments found that passive hearing protectors that provide exceptional noise attenuation have a higher likelihood of negatively affecting sound localization and auditory detection performance and thereby reducing situation awareness.
- Radiofrequency Wave Propagation
- Protective Equipment