Children's hearing protection comparison - which hearing protection is the right one?

Children's hearing protection comparison - which hearing protection is the right one?

As a parent, you naturally ask yourself which hearing protection is right for your child. Who wouldn't want to make the best choice?
However, there are many factors to consider. We have compiled a few key data in a clear overview.

Various online shops offer products from Chinese sellers, which are often shipped directly from China. But German suppliers also have hearing protection for children in their range. These no-name products may look great in pictures, but they often do not comply with European standards for occupational safety or do not have a CE mark. In many cases, this is not recognisable to the buyer. Unfortunately, the quality of the hearing protection products from these sellers is often absolutely inferior. The products from KiddyPlugs are completely different. Our hearing protection is tested without exception according to the valid EN 352-1:2002, naturally have the CE mark and possess the new EU standard 2016/425, which will be mandatory from 2019. Very few suppliers even fulfil this standard.

The CE mark is not a seal of quality, but exclusively a marking. With the CE marking, the manufacturer declares, in accordance with EU Regulation 765/2008, that a product complies with applicable requirements laid down in the Community harmonisation legislation on its affixing. You can find more information here. Many cheap products from the Far East already fail to comply with this marking, which is, however, absolutely necessary for capsule hearing protectors. You should never buy products without CE marking.

EN means nothing else than "European standard". This EN regulates the requirements for products in the field of occupational safety and health. For example, EN 352-1:2002 applies to earmuffs, but there are other ENs. The KiddyPlugs "School" have this standard and were certified by PZT GmbH in Bremerhaven. The 2016/425 standard, which will be valid from 2019, has also been certified. Thus, all KiddyPlugs "School" products comply with important safety standards based on this norm.

Very few products in the field of children's hearing protection are low in harmful substances. However, this is extremely important, especially in the area of application for children. No parent wants children to come into contact with products that contain too many harmful substances. Products from the Far East, which are often offered in the trade, are not REACH compliant according to Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006 (REACH Regulation) Chemicals Regulation. Therefore, pay attention to this labelling and, if in doubt, ask the supplier about it if it is important to you.

Attenuation value refers to the basic sound protection as an average of all frequencies. An attenuation value of 24.3 dB SNR means that the hearing protector reduces external noise by 24.3 dB. Ear muffs never seal off the hearing 100%. The wearer must still be able to perceive his environment. Especially in working areas with construction machinery, dangerous situations could otherwise arise if, for example, you cannot hear a lorry approaching from behind. Therefore, capsule hearing protectors can and must only attenuate the noise. Important here, however, are the values for the frequency ranges High, Mid and Low. These values indicate in which frequency range a hearing protector attenuates the most and protects against painful frequencies. The following example:

High 36.7 dB (8000 Hz)
Mid 38.3 dB (4000 Hz)
Low 18.9 dB (500 Hz)

Here you can see that the hearing protector protects against noise especially in the range of high and medium frequencies. If you are in an environment with mostly high frequencies, there is no point in using hearing protection that is particularly strong in the low range. If, on the other hand, you work in an area with loud and low sounds, then you should use hearing protection that is better suited for low frequencies. For normal everyday use, you should rather pay attention to strong values in the high and mid range. The low range can be neglected.

SNR (Single Number Rating) is the European system of the EU and describes approximately the same as the NRR value. The tests for this standard are carried out in independent laboratories and comply with all regulatory requirements of the EU. In addition, the SNR value is compatible with the EN standards for hearing protection. In Germany, the SNR value is the more common value than the NRR value and is used especially in the context of certifications. If you would like to know more about sound pressure, dB and SNR, click HERE.

NRR (Noise Reduction Rating) was introduced by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency USA) and describes the value that a hearing protector can achieve in a noisy environment. The tests are carried out in a controlled environment.

You can use the SNR values to directly compare how strongly a hearing protector protects. However, the SNR value is not necessarily the only decisive factor. What use is a hearing protector with a high SNR value if the product is not adjustable in size or only has a simple wire headband? As is often the case, the cheaper the product, the simpler it is. 

Which hearing protection do we recommend?

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