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With the increasing popularity of AirPods, more and more people are using them for various activities, including working out and shooting firearms. Some people have even been using them to protect their hearing from loud noises. You may wonder, “Can AirPods Be Used as Hearing Protection?”
Hearing protection isn’t listed as a feature of Apple’s AirPods. As a result, they should not be used to replace ear defenders or protectors that are specifically intended for that purpose. They may, however, provide some protection in certain situations.
In this blog post, I will discuss whether or not AirPods can be used as hearing protection. I will discuss the pros and cons of using AirPods as hearing protection and give you some tips on doing it safely.
Can AirPods Be Used as Hearing Protection?
The most prevalent cause of hearing loss is long-term exposure to loud sound volumes. You can use earplugs, ear defenders, or other equipment to protect their ears from loud sounds to avoid this.
Because AirPods are worn in the ears, they naturally offer some noise protection. Noise-canceling features are included in the AirPods Pro, which filters out noises from outside the earphones and enables users to concentrate on the in-ear music.
Wearing AirPods will significantly lower background noise loudness and dB levels as they reach the ear. This is due to the AirPods’ ability to block sound waves and create a barrier between the inner ear and outside sounds.
When using AirPods in a noisy area, the music coming through the integrated speakers will be difficult to hear. The temptation is to turn up the AirPods’ level to compensate for the loud background noises, but this can damage your hearing rather than preserve it.
AirPods’ noise-canceling capability may give some hearing protection, but it was not built.
As a result, there is a scarcity of data and evidence to demonstrate that they are helpful methods for avoiding hearing problems.
How to Use AirPods as Hearing Protection
AirPods can provide some hearing protection if you use them correctly. To use AirPods as hearing protection, you should:
- Wear the AirPods snugly in your ear canals. If they are loose, they will not be as effective.
- Use noise-canceling features if your AirPods have them.
- Do not turn up the volume too high.
- Take breaks from using them if you are in a noisy area.
- Remove them if you experience any pain or discomfort.
Are AirPods Effective When Used as Hearing Protection?
The decibels of sound waves entering the ear must be greatly reduced for something to be classified as sound-reducing. On the other hand, noise-canceling merely implies that some frequencies are reduced for others to be heard more clearly.
The most important part of avoiding hearing impairment is to protect yourself from high SPLs (sound pressure levels). Many earplugs are developed for this purpose, and they are a much superior alternative to using AirPods.
Nevertheless, it would be inaccurate to claim that AirPods provide no hearing protection. AirPods will likely prevent some louder noises from entering the ears and causing harm, but not as well as other devices built particularly for this purpose.
The AirPods Pro is substantially more effective than the first or second-generation AirPods in reducing external noise decibels.
This is partly because they come with silicone tips in a variety of sizes to fit the listener’s ear size and shape.
Pros of using AirPods as Hearing protection
1. They are Convenient
AirPods are convenient and easy to use. You don’t have to worry about them falling out, and you can wear them for long periods without discomfort.
They fit in your pocket and are easy to take with you on the go.
2. They Block Out Some Noise
As mentioned earlier, AirPods do offer some noise-canceling capabilities. This means that they will block out some of the noise around you, making it easier to concentrate on what you’re doing.
Cons of using AirPods as Hearing Protection
1. They Don’t Block Out All Noise
While AirPods do offer some noise-canceling capabilities, they don’t block out all noise. This means that if you’re in a particularly noisy environment, you may still be able to hear some of the noise around you.
2. You May Turn Up the Volume Too High
Because AirPods don’t block out all noise, you may be tempted to turn up the volume to compensate. However, this can be harmful to your hearing.
Is There Noise Protection That Fits Over Airpods?
If you work in a noisy setting or find that the music from your AirPods is often drowned out by road sounds on your commute to work, wearing over-ear protection that fits over the AirPods might be a good option.
This is achievable, and ear protection suited for this purpose is available. It’s crucial, though, to proceed with caution. The danger of harm from high SPL is increased if the over-ear protection forces the AirPods farther into your ears.
As a result, it is critical to choose over-ear protection that cup the AirPods rather than pressing against them.
Outside noise will be prevented, and the music from the AirPods may be played at a low enough level to avoid hearing damage.
There are two kinds of hearing protectors to choose from:
- Industrial Hearing Protectors– They are designed for persons who work with noisy power tools, construction equipment, or other loud sounds.
These hearing protectors can filter out potentially dangerous high SPL sounds and keep them out of your ears. They also feature a cupped design, allowing AirPods to be inserted without causing any pressure.
- An Existing Pair of Noise-Canceling Headphones– You may also utilize an existing set of noise-canceling headphones with a deep cup shape, such as these from Sony.
While these headphones are not meant to entirely filter out hazardous loud sounds, they do provide some protection to your ears.
AirPods are not designed to be used as hearing protection. They can, however, be used for this purpose in some instances.
I hope this article has helped you learn how to use AirPods as Hearing Protection and how you can effectively do this.
Espen is the Director of ProPairing and has written extensively about Bluetooth devices for years. He is a consumer product expert and has personally tested Bluetooth devices for the last decade.