Who Needs Hearing Protection? 

  • Anyone and everyone exposed to loud sound needs hearing protection. 
  • You could be at risk for noise-induced hearing loss if you: 
    • ​work in a noisy environment;
    • commute in a noisy urban area or commute with your windows down;
    • listen to audio over headphones or earphones regularly, for long periods, and/or at loud volumes;
    • visit places with amplified music such as nightclubs, concerts, fitness classes; 
    • participate in motorsports; 
    • ​hunt or participate in firearm sports; 
    • are an active or previous fireman, policeman, or military service member; 
    • attend loud sporting events.


How Much Does Custom Hearing Protection Cost? 

  • Custom hearing protection is an investment, but we believe it is an investment that is well worth it. Contact us for a price quote and/or to schedule a consultation appointment to discuss your options. 


What is Filtered Hearing Protection? 

  • Conventional earplugs reduce sound more in the high frequencies than in the mid and low frequencies, which make voices and ambient sounds unclear and unnatural. Filtered hearing protection allows for maintained clarity of speech and ambient surroundings with a more natural sound quality while still protecting your hearing from damaging loud sounds. 

How Long Does Custom Hearing Protection Last? 

  • High quality, custom hearing protection earpieces are made from a durable silicone and can last for years without shrinking or showing signs of wear and tear. In fact, with proper care and use, high-quality, silicone custom earplugs will most likely out last your ears. Because our ears are mostly cartilage, they continue to change as we age which means that over time the earplugs will no longer provide optimal attenuation of the sound and you will experience "leakage", in other words you'll hear sounds getting in past the earplugs. When this happens, it is time to get new custom earplugs. How quickly this happens is really dependent on how quickly your ear anatomy changes, but on average you can expect a custom earplug to continue to work for you for about 4-5 years.  

sound access Hearing protection

Investment in your hearing health today can prevent costly hearing damage and loss later. 

Protect Your Hearing

Noise-induced hearing loss can be prevented. One of the most effective ways to prevent noise-induced hearing loss is to wear hearing protection whenever you are exposed to loud sounds. 


What is Impulsive Peak Insertion Loss (IPIL)? 

  • Due to the way that NRR is tested, it doesn't reveal the attenuation of hearing protection for high level, short duration, impulse noises. Hearing protection devices function non-linearly with high dB SPL impulse noises such as gunshots. The ANSI S12.42-2010 standard created a metric for impulsive noise reduction, or Impulsive Peak Insertion Loss. The IPIL is not the same as the NRR rating but specifically measures how high level impulse noises are affected by a given hearing protection device. IPIL is the difference between the maximum estimated pressure for the open-ear condition (without hearing protection) and the maximum pressure measured when hearing protection is in place.

How Do I Get Custom Hearing Protection? 

  • Our audiologist will take ear mold impressions of your ears. The ear mold impressions will be sent to a manufacturer who will hand craft your hearing protection here in the United States. The earplugs will be made to the unique specifications of your ear anatomy. Once the earplugs are ready, you meet with our audiologist again to ensure that the hearing protection is properly fit to your ears. At that appointment we go over the use and care of the earplugs and we discuss safe listening practices with you. 

What is Noise Reduction Rating (NRR)? 

  • Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) is a unit of measurement used to help determine the effectiveness of hearing protection devices to decrease sound exposure and is categorized by the potential to reduce noise in decibels (dB). Hearing protection devices must be tested and approved by the American National Standards (ANSI) in accordance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The higher the NRR associated with a hearing protector, the greater the potential for noise attenuation. The highest possible NRR for earplugs is 33.

Why Choose Custom Hearing Protection?

  • Deeply-inserted foam earplugs can provide good sound attenuation, but they are often difficult to properly put in your ears and they are not often worn correctly, which decreases their effectiveness. Standard, universal-fit earplugs with foam or flange style ear tips are often uncomfortable when worn for prolonged periods. In addition, our ears are unique and universal-fit isn't always so universal and many people are unable to successfully wear this type of earplug. 
  • ​Custom earplugs are made to specifically fit your ears, creating more accurate and repeatable attenuation with increased comfort. ​
  • Custom earplugs come in a variety of styles, for a range of different listing environments and needs. 
  • If you wear disposable foam earplugs frequently, custom earplugs can also offer a more environmentally friendly alternative. ​​

How is NRR Used To Determined Level of Exposure? 

  • NRR is measured in decibels; however, the hearing protection device does not reduce the exposure level by the exact number of decibels associated with the NRR. For example, if you are exposed to 100 dB of noise and you are wearing earplugs with an NRR of 29 dB, your level of exposure would not be reduced to 71 dB. To determine the amount of decibel reduction (when decibels are measured in dBA), you take the NRR number (in dB), subtract seven, and then divide by two. Given the previous example, your noise reduction equation would by: (29-7)/2=11. This means that if you are exposed to a level of noise at 100 dB and are wearing hearing protection with an NRR of 29 dB, your level of noise exposure is 89 dB.

How Much Hearing Protection Do I Need?

  • The risk of hearing loss from loud sound exposure is a function of (1) how loud the sound is, (2) the length of time you are exposed to the loud sound, (3) how often you are exposed to loud sounds, and (4) individual risk factors of susceptibility. Most activities and environments will not require the maximum available hearing protection. Our audiologist, Dr. London Gleghorn, is happy to discuss your sound exposure and what level of attenuation will meet your individual hearing protection needs.