What makes HD•15 earplugs 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. With HD•15 earplugs, communication is clear. It is not necessary to remove earplugs to hear conversation.
Unlike their passive counterparts, HD•15 earplugs are active hearing protection/enhancement devices (HPEDs). This means that they use electronic circuitry to restore natural hearing that is generally lost by obstructing the ear canal. A switch is provided to allow users to toggle between natural and 5X enhanced hearing, as the user deems necessary. Impact noise protection is provided in both switch positions.
When do HD•15 earplugs help?
Hearing is protected from sustained high-level noise when operating heavy equipment and vehicles or working in a machine or automotive shop. If noise levels are safe, your natural hearing is restored for easy communication.
What is "adaptive attenuation?"
In the LO position on HD•15 earplugs, the circuitry automatically changes output levels as sound input levels change. Hearing is natural, as if nothing is in the ears, until sound exceeds safe levels. As sound levels increase, earplugs gradually provide 15-dB sound reduction. Natural hearing is restored when sound returns to safe levels.
How long do batteries last?
Battery life: 2-3 weeks of continuous operation.
- Do not remove the battery tabs until ready to use HD•15 earplugs. Once the tabs are removed, zinc-air batteries may self-discharge in about 4 weeks whether they are used or not. Discharge rate varies with temperature and humidity.
- After a tab is removed, it may take a few seconds for air to enter the vent holes and activate the battery.
- It is sometimes possible to prolong the life of the battery by placing the tab back over the air holes, but results vary.
Recommendation: Always carry spare batteries.
What if I only use HD•15 earplugs occasionally?
If you only use the devices occasionally, you may want to purchase silver batteries.
- Silver batteries are used in watches and other products.
- Silver batteries are not activated by air; they do not have tabs or holes.
- Silver batteries will not die if not used (prior to their expiration date).
- Battery life is estimated at 80 -100 hours.
- The #312ZA equivalent in silver is #384 or #392. Be sure to open the battery door when not using earplugs and silver batteries will remain active until end of life.
Where can I find batteries?
Each device uses one #312 zinc-air battery, a very commonly used hearing aid battery. Batteries are easy to find in pharmacies, super centers or RadioShack.
Is the battery life affected by the mode (LO or HI)?
No, the mode used does not affect battery life.
Will HD•15 earplugs still provide protection when the batteries run out?
Yes. When the batteries run out, HD•15 earplugs become passive earplugs. There is no enhancement of sound, but the earplugs still provide protection from both impact and continuous loud noise.
What are the best eartips to use with HD•15 earplugs?
Ears come in different shapes and sizes. To obtain optimal sound quality and noise isolation, eartips must be properly sealed in the ear canal. HD•15 earplugs are packaged with 7 pairs of eartips. We recommend experimenting to see which eartips provide the most comfortable and effective seal for you.
What are filters, and what are they used for?
HD•15 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 or sound is no longer audible, it should be replaced. The need to change filters varies widely among users.
Do I need custom molds for HD•15 earplugs?
HD•15 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
or call Customer Service at 847-228-0006 or 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 NRR formula adjusts 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.
What makes HD•15 earplugs high fidelity?
HD•15 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 HD•15 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 HD•15 earplugs do not change when the LOBAT sound is present. If heard, users usually have enough warning to change batteries at a convenient time. If not, HD•15 earplugs will continue to provide passive protection.