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A critical review of the literature on comfort of hearing protection devices
Definition of comfort and identification of its main attributes for earplug types Objective: This article presents a comprehensive literature review of past works addressing Hearing Protection Devices (HPD) comfort and to put them into perspective regarding a proposed holistic multidimensional construct of HPD comfort. Design: Literature review. Study samples: Documents were hand searched and Internet searched using “PubMed”, “Web of Science”, “Google Scholar”, “ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Professional”, “Scopus” or “Google”...
Predicting discomfort from whole-body vertical vibration when sitting with an inclined backrest
Current methods for evaluating seat vibration to predict vibration discomfort assume the same frequency weightings and axis multiplying factors can be used at the seat surface and the backrest irrespective of the backrest inclination. This experimental study investigated the discomfort arising from whole-body vertical vibration when sitting on a rigid seat with no backrest and with a backrest inclined at 0° (upright), 30°, 60°, and 90° (recumbent). Within each of these five postures, 12 subjects judged the discomfort caused by vertical sinusoidal whole-body vibration (at frequencies...
L’effet d’occlusion est une source d’inconfort qui entraine une réduction du temps de port
Les bouchons d’oreille représentent la solution de protection auditive à court terme la plus utilisée en milieu de travail. Cependant, l’effet d’occlusion du canal auditif cause une modification de la perception de sa propre voix par le porteur et une amplification des bruits physiologiques. Il est donc une source d’inconfort qui entraine une réduction du temps de port. Source : Martin K. Brummund, Petit, Y., Sagard, F., Laville, F. Modélisation de l’effet d’occlusion des protecteurs auditifs de type bouchons d’oreille...
Clamping force and increased bulk increases discomfort and wearing difficulty for circum-aural hearing protectors
The physical properties of circum-aural hearing protectors, such as mass, clamping force and cup volume, have an influence on the attenuation performance of the device. This paper closely examines the physical and acoustic properties 39 of hearing protectors readily available to all users. The results indicate that attenuation increases with clamping force up to a limiting value of around 11 Newtons above which expected increases in attenuation are very small for large increases in clamping force. Likewise increasing the (newly introduced term) bulk of a hearing protector (volume, mass and cup...
Peak values not appropriate for predicting the discomfort caused by transient vibration and experienced by standing people
For motions with high crest factors, the vibration discomfort of standing people tends to be underestimated by rms methods (with an exponent of 2) and overestimated by rmq methods (with an exponent of 4). The optimum evaluation method in this study with standing people exposed to fore-and-aft, lateral and vertical vibration had an exponent of about 3.0 for transient motions centred on 1 Hz and an exponent of about 3.5 for motions centred on 8 Hz. The findings of this study with standing people are broadly consistent with studies using different motions and different psychophysical methods with...
Mid-level transient sound occurrence rates significantly correlated to perceived annoyance and loudness levels
Intensive care units (ICUs) have important but challenging sound environments. Alarms and equipment generate high levels of noise and ICUs are typically designed with hard surfaces. A poor sound environment can add to stress and make auditory tasks more difficult for clinicians. Two units with similar patient acuity and treatment models showed little differences based on traditional overall noise measures. The objective differences between the two occupied sound environments emerged only through a more comprehensive analysis of the “occurrence rate” of peak and maximum levels, frequency...
A predictive discomfort measure of seated subjects is proposed to assess discomfort in complicated environments and to develop reliable biodynamic models.
A predictive discomfort measure considering the combined neck and trunk is introduced in this work and compared with the seat-to-head transmissibility and subjective reported discomfort due to fore-aft whole-body vibration of seated subjects under two sitting postures. The proposed discomfort quantifies whole-body musculoskeletal discomfort considering body posture, closeness of the joints to their limits, and severity of the angular acceleration at the joints. The proposed predictive discomfort captured the trend of the subjective reported discomfort and showed good potential to capture the effect...
Support and determination to get accustomed to hearing protector use are important factors in hearing conservation for musicians.
Despite a high level of sound exposure and a fairly large selection of earplugs available, musicians have often been reported to use personal hearing protectors only seldom. Musicians reported that earplugs hampered listening to their own and their colleagues' playing; earplugs affected either timbre or dynamics, or both. Additionally, several reasons related to discomfort of use were itemized. The research therefore tested subjects. With the REAT procedure, the values obtained in sound field were relatively close to the manufacturer's nominal specifications. Then, subjects were tested...
Less overall comfort of insert earplugs is associated with an increase in attenuation.
Noise-induced hearing loss is almost always preventable if properly fitted hearing protectors are worn to reduce exposure. Many individuals choose not to wear hearing protection because it may interfere with effective communication in the workplace or it may be uncomfortable. Hearing protector comfort has not received the same amount of attention as noise reduction capability. The present study was conducted to evaluate the comfort level of two different types of insert earplugs as well as the attenuation levels achieved by the earplugs. Attenuation levels were obtained with a commercially available...
“Speaker’s comfort and voice health in classrooms” project shows speakers adjust their voices to other acoustic cues than only loudness.
The indirect auditory feedback from one's own voice arises from sound reflections at the room boundaries or from sound reinforcement systems. The relative variations of indirect auditory feedback are quantified through room acoustic parameters such as the room gain and the voice support, rather than the reverberation time. Variation in voice level is induced by the acoustic environment as a consequence of the sidetone compensation or Lombard effect. In the range of typical rooms for speech, the variations in overall voice level that result in a constant autophonic level are on the order of...

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