When you are looking for earplugs that can help you prevent your ears from being affected by too loud noises, you need to take a closer look at their NRR (Noise Reduction Rating). 

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What Is NRR (Noise Reduction Rating)?


Simply put, NRR (Noise Reduction Rating) is the level of sound that some specific ear plugs are able to block out. One of the things that you need to know about NRR (Noise Reduction Rating) is that this rating is only applied to earmuffs and ear plugs. 

The NRR (Noise Reduction Rating) is the amount of sound produced and it is measured in decibels. 

Understanding the NRR Ratings

To ensure that you understand the NRR ratings, you need to consider that this rating considers that a person hearing threshold is defined as 0dB (decibels). However, when you have a good or normal hearing, you should be able to hear sounds at 15dB. 

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When you are simply having a conversation with someone, the average sound is around 50 to 60dB and when you are whispering, this rates at about 30dB. 


As a rule of thumb, the higher the NRR (Noise Reduction Rating) the greater the amount of noise reduction. 

The best noise reduction ear plugs tend to have an NRR between 30 and 33. 

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One of the things that you need to understand about ear plugs is that even though you are wearing ear plugs with an NRR of 33, for example, you will still be able to listen to some noise. This is because you don’t absorb the sound just by your ears. In fact, most of the sound tends to be absorbed by your head. Nevertheless, high NRR ear plugs are definitely one of the best ways to prevent hearing loss. After all, they lessen the harshness of the noise and bring it down to a safer level. 

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The Difference Between NRR And SNR


In case you have been looking for some high-quality ear plugs with a high NRR, you probably already seen some mentioning the NRR and the SNR. So, what is the difference between these two ratings? Which one is more important?

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The NRR (Noise Reduction Rating) is the rating that is used in the United States and it is accepted in many different countries like Australia, for example. 

The NRR tries to establish a hearing protector based on how the overall noise level is reduced by the ear plug. The NRR (Noise Reduction Rating) was first establish because there was the need to ensure that the ear plugs were both safe and reliable. So, when you are looking at this type of ear plugs, you know the type of sound they will block out. 

So, what about the SNR? 


The SNR or Single Number Rating is the system used in the European Union. The SNR serves to indicate the amount of protection that some hearing protection device such as ear plugs offer you. The SNT is mostly used in the European Union countries as well as on affiliated countries. 

In order to determine the SNR for each ear plug, entities need to conduct two different tests at independent testing laboratories. One of the things that is important to mention is that the frequencies test is different than the one used to determine the NRR. 

The SNR is a more complete rating since besides the overall rating, it also rates protectors in terms of the specific noise environments they can be used. The SNR will include the L for low-frequency, the M, for mid-frequency, and the H for high-frequency noise environments. 

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