What makes the EB15•LE different from other Hearing Protection Devices (HPDs)?
There are two types of hearing protection devices: passive and active. Passive HPDs, such as earmuffs and foam earplugs, offer users adequate protection, but greatly reduce their sound detection and localization capabilities. As detection and localization are the two key attributes to auditory situational awareness, most end users who are issued passive HPDs choose not to wear them.
Unlike its passive counterparts, the EB15•LE is an active hearing protection/enhancement device (HPED). This means that the EB15•LE uses electronic circuitry to restore the situational awareness that is generally lost by the obstruction of the ear canal. In comparison to other active HPEDs, the EB15•LE provides the best sound detection and localization capabilities on the market, often at a fraction of the price. As an added benefit, a switch is provided to allow users to toggle between natural and 5X enhanced hearing, as the user deems necessary.
Why is there no on/off switch?
The EB15•LE uses standard #312 zinc air hearing aid batteries. Because these batteries begin losing their charge as soon as their tab is pulled off, and cannot be turned off to save energy, there is no reason to include an on/off switch. After all, why include one more thing to break?
How long do batteries last? Are they easy to find?
The EB15•LE's #312 zinc air hearing aid batteries tend to last about 2-3 weeks after the tab is removed. As they are standard hearing batteries, they are readily available in most pharmacies and grocery stores. If you only use the devices occasionally, carry spare batteries.
Does battery life depend on the mode used (LO or HI)?
Will the EB15•LE's still provide protection when the batteries run out?
Yes. When the batteries run out, the EB15•LE becomes a passive HPD. It does not offer any enhancement of situational awareness, but will still provide full protection from both impulse and steady-state noises.
What are the best eartips to use with the EB15•LE earplugs?
Ear canals come in different shapes and sizes. To obtain optimal sound quality and noise isolation, eartips must be properly sealed in the ear canal. All EB15•LEs are packaged with 5 pairs of eartips. We recommend experimenting to see which eartips provides the most comfortable and effective seal for you.
What are filters, and what are they used for?
The EB15•LE electronic earplugs are equipped with special filters that enhance sound quality and prevent ear wax and other agents from entering the receivers. If a filter becomes clogged, and sounds are no longer audible, it should be replaced. The frequency and need to change filters varies widely among users.
Do I need custom molds for the EB15•LE?
EB15•LE earplugs come with a large supply of ready-fit eartips. Additional sizes are available as accessories. Customization is an option, but in general it is not difficult to obtain a comfortable seal with the eartips provided.
Where can I order replacement eartips, filters and other accessories?
Purchase eartips, filters and other accessories online at www.etymotic.com/ephp/ehp-acc.html
or call Customer Service toll free at 888-389-6684.
What does NRR mean?
The US Environmental Protection Agency requires manufacturers to print a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) on all non-custom earplugs. The formula used to determine NRR includes an adjustment for individual variability and for those persons who do not wear hearing protection as instructed. NRR is computed from laboratory data that are usually not representative of the values attained in the real world by actual users. In the case of Etymotic electronic earplugs, the rating does not accurately represent the maximum sound reduction provided.
Will I hear distortion in the EB15•LE when a firearm is discharged?
Peak sound pressure levels above 120 dB are simply clipped to safe levels by the output limitation of the circuit. Because these bursts are so short – on the order of a few milliseconds – the clipped transients are safe. Since clipping is essentially instantaneous, the users' hearing is completely protected from intense transients. The nearly instantaneous recovery time of the circuit ensures that there is no loss of fidelity. All the while, ongoing sounds are natural, so you are never "off the air."
What is "adaptive attenuation"?
In acoustics, to attenuate sound means to reduce it. Think of 'adaptive' as being able to change with the environment. The EB15•LE earplugs contain circuitry that automatically changes as sound levels change. When sound levels are safe, hearing is natural, as if nothing is in the ears. As the sound pressure level (SPL) increases, the circuitry gradually changes from natural hearing to 15-dB attenuation (reduction). In the HI switch position there is up to 5X improvement in situational awareness.
What makes the EB15•LE earplugs high fidelity?
The EB15•LE earplugs contain high-definition transducers, balanced-armature drivers and high-sensitivity microphones. The bandwidth (40 Hz – 16 kHz) is unprecedented, and the sound quality exceeds that of all known electronic earplugs and modern digital hearing aid devices.
What is that funny ticking, or motorboating sound I hear in my EB15•LE earplugs?
The ticking, or motorboating sound is called LOBAT™, a special feature that warns you when a battery is at the end of its life. The performance of the EB15•LE does not change when the sound is present. If heard, users tend to have enough warning to change batteries at a convenient time. If not, the EB15•LE will continue to provide full passive protection for the user.