What is the average attenuation (noise reduction)?

  • There are also likely to be variances between readings from right ear to the left ear. However the average attenuation level is 30dB.
  • Readings will vary as everyone’s ear canals are unique to them.

How do I distinguish which plug is for which ear, as they are both a different shape?

  • The plugs are colour-coded with a red band for the right ear and a blue band for the left ear.
  • The way to remember is ‘Red for Right’ or ‘R for R’!

What do I use for cleaning the earplugs?

  • Warm water is sufficient. A little soap may be used, and an antibacterial wipe is also suitable.
  • Avoid using cleaning chemicals or detergents.

As the plugs are made from a medical grade silicone, can people become allergic to them?

  • As it is a medical grade silicone, there is no known allergic reaction.

Can I purchase more lubricant?

  • Absolutely! Your approved distributor will have stock of this product.

How do I register my plugs for the 2-year warranty?

  • You can register your plugs here
  • This will open up a simple form and once completed, simply press ‘send’.

What happens if a team member loses their earplugs? Is this covered by the warranty?

  • Unfortunately not!  As the plugs are equipped with a lanyard, name tag and also a carrying pouch we have made it very easy for users to look after them. And believe it or not, it works.

As our company has a high turnover of staff, will this product be too expensive?

  • This depends on the level of your staff turnover. As you saw from the vast savings that can be made, even if you had a staff turnover rate of 30% you would still make significant cost reductions.

What is the correct way to insert my plugs?

  • You need to hold the face plate so that the Sonolab wording is facing the floor.
  • Insert gently and turn 90 degrees backwards so that it locks comfortably in position with the SonoLab wording facing forward.
  • For a fitting demonstration watch the video here or consult the fitting guide provided inside the box with each product

Should I wear my plugs all day

  • When you first have your plugs, we recommend that you break them in slowly, a bit like you would a new pair of shoes.
  • For the first week or so, use them for a couple of hours at a time and then increase. You can also use he lubricant provided.
  • You will soon be able to wear all day and forget they are even in……yes they are that comfortable!

My partner snores…can I wear them in bed?

Why not? Others do!

Can I recycle the headband and packaging when I have finished making the plugs?

  • Definitely. Every aspect of the product is 100% recyclable.
  • This is another significant advantage over disposable plugs.
  • The environmental footprint is greatly reduced.

Should a dam be fitted in the ear canal first before making the plugs, to avoid the plugs expanding too much and damaging the ear drum?

  • No, this is not necessary. As the plugs are of a generic length, this has been perfectly calculated so that the length of the plug is such that there is still room between the plug and the ear drum.

If I or my colleagues have a known problem with our ears, should we be making these plugs?

  • We always recommend you see a doctor or an ENT specialist if you have any known problems with your ears, and get their consent first.

How do SonoLab Instant Fit Custom Moulded ear plugs differ from conventional custom moulded ear plugs?

  • SonoLab plugs carry all the benefits of conventional custom moulded ear plugs with equally high attenuation levels.
  • The major advantage of SonoLab plugs is that they are ready-to-use in six minutes.
  • This time saving represents a huge cost saving in maintained production, and a significant relief from unnecessary administration.There is no need to get impressions made, send them to the lab and experience a three-week turnaround time.

What’s the difference between NRR and PAR?

The NRR is short for Noise Reduction Rating and is the standard reference for hearing protection devices in North America. The objective of the rating is to guarantee the minimum protection that can be expected with a hearing protector. It is not as fair as a PAR.

Complex maths is used to calculate the weighted average over seven octave bands. In a nutshell the software uses use the average attenuation achieved in the sound booth for 20 test subjects minus two standard deviations to arrive at the number. The weighting by octave band is intended to reflect the increased risks of damage to the ear by the lower frequencies.

Statistical theory suggests that in a normal distribution the value of the mean minus two standard deviations should give you a lower threshold that ensures that 97.5 % of the population has a level of protection that is greater than the number that appears on the product.

In practice the NRR is heavily biased by the manufacturers in two ways:

  1. What is supposed to be random unqualified test subjects is rarely the case. Most companies cherry pick their subjects in order to retain only the ones that consistently get high ratings, and
  2. Manufacturers perform repeated testing since you are allowed to publish the best results obtained and disregard the unfavourable results.

The biased practice has led NIOSH to recommend a de-rating of the NRR by suggesting that the actual protection value should be obtained by subtracting 7 dB from the published number and then dividing the result by two. As an example, a popular foam hearing protector has an NRR of 33. The NIOSH de-rating methodology suggests that the actual protection for this hearing protector is more likely closer to 13 dB ((33-7)/2). The NRR is a rigged game and everybody in the industry knows it. The only people that don’t are the general public.

PAR is short for Personal Attenuation Rating. It is different since it is an objective measurement for each earpiece in the individual subject’s ear. The PAR should therefore not be subject to de-rating because you don’t need to predict the performance of the earpiece in the subject’s ear since you have its actual performance.

We have demonstrated in the past that the attenuation performance of the earpiece does not degrade over time (we measured attenuation over a three- hour period on numerous subjects and found that the PAR actually tends to increase slightly). Also we have demonstrated that over time (a matter of days) the PAR for an individual tends to increase slightly over a short period as the wearer becomes more familiar with the insertion. This suggests that the actual PAR for an individual is more than likely to be slightly above the PAR measured at initial fitting.