How to ruin your hearing


#1

On a United 737-800 or 900. One row ahead of wing. Measured at cruise:
97db C weighted. A three hour flight.

I’ll never travel again without good hearing protection!

I had foam earplugs, then wadded wet paper towel behind that, and for quite a while, my fingers holding it in.

Yes, I know about noise cancelling headphones. My BOSE ones died all by themselves without help.


#2

Thanks, man - I’ve meant to do that for a long time, but never remember to bring the meter with. One of those situations where you sort of accept it and try to dial it out. Doesn’t mean it’s good.


#3

I’ve been travelling a lot lately and I’ve found my Shure SE215 headphones to be live savers in this regard. They have passive 37dB noise cancellation and sound excellent to boot at the asking price.


#4

Even if you have some on the ears or over the ears you could reduce by a bit to make it safer.

My last flight I wore over the ears without anything playing.


#5

Actually yeah - I often wear my Etymotic in ears while flying, whether I’m listening to music or not. -23dB. Just always curious what the actual cabin levels were, then I would keep forgetting to put a meter in my briefcase.


#6

I love Etymotic, those are my concert earplugs. So much better than standard foam plugs.

Last time a flew a few months ago I was surprised it was about 93db in the cabin; that’s ok for an hour but not on a 5 hour flight.


#7

I use AudioTools on my iPhone. Pretty close measurements compared to my RadioShack sound meter.


#8

Ha! I’ve had that on my ipad for years. Had it with me all along, and never thought of it!


#9

This is actually a serious problem. I carry Edifiers (Got em for like 30 bucks) when I travel now. Not necessarily to make beats on the laptop while I’m flying but also just to cancel the loud noise. Airplanes need to really look into this. It’s darn loud in there these days.

Update: Nice review here as well. I can totally relate.


#10

Loud enough to cause permanent damage in some planes!


#11

Unfortunately, airlines are not going to address this. OSHA does not require hearing protection for workers until the time- weighted average over 8 working hours reaches 85dB. You will notice the airline employees in the cabin are not wearing hearing protection (at least they were not on the four flights I took last week).

As the typical daily passenger exposure is much less, airlines are not going to bother doing anything until people refuse to fly. Airline passengers have long-established they are willing to accept near limitless abuse for the privilege of paying to fly.

It is easy to put a couple of packages of foam earplugs in your carry on. Cheap and highly effective. And it keeps one from hearing the inane chatter of your fellow travelers.


#12

Also useful on NYC subways. Never leave home without my earplugs.


#13

Excellent suggestion.


#14

I use my Shure SE535s for the same thing. They are in-ear noise isolating, not noise cancelling but work quite well. They are also quite good for music.


#15

Sadly, if they are like the other Shures (longtime fan and user of their pro gear, live near them in Chicago, etc.) they just do not fit in my ears : (.

So I have no idea how they sound. Bought some and sold them. Kinda like, “these are the best shoes ever” and they don’t make them in your size.

Isolating is where it’s at. Cancelling, not so much.


#16

I know what you mean. It takes a little twist for me to get them in right. I’m used to it now. I use them with my iPad mini 4 with an AQ Dragonfly Red, AQ Jitterbug, and Apple USB camera adapter. It looks clunky and gets weird comments while sitting on my tray table but the sound is quite good.


#17

Reminds me of when I first took my Sony Discman Sport (bright yellow and grey) CD player on a plane, and my neighbor (sorta) jokingly wondered if I was going to take over control of the airplane with it.


#18

I’m not sure noise cancelling headphones provide protection for one’s hearing. Since they output a difference signal, are they really providing any hearing protection?