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Towards a Better Hearing Protection Experience for Musicians: Music Filters and Acoustic Leakage Tester

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Musicians are exposed to such high sound levels that this will inevitably lead to hearing loss or Tinnitus over a number of years. Musicians are aware of this; yet most do not wear adequate hearing protection, because it can be uncomfortable to wear, lead to occlusion, have a bad acoustic transfer function and a poor acoustical seal. Recently, hearing protection has been developed providing solutions for the first 3 issues in both universal and custom fitted earpieces. Nowadays, the acoustical seal is commonly tested by applying air pressure, which comes with certain disadvantages. in this article, we present a way of testing the acoustical seal by means of an acoustic leakage tester. Together with a control device to control the system, the leakage tester comprises a housing with a signal generator for providing an acoustical signal and a microphone for measuring it. During the measurement, the housing is inserted in the earpiece under test and the earpiece fit is tested in the ear. Changes in the measured sound pressure level provide a measure for the acoustical seal quality. Especially for musicians this is relevant as solutions like musician’s earplugs provide low frequency attenuation and for proper functioning this requires a sufficient acoustical seal.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society