The first thing to know about noise induced hearing loss is that it can be prevented.

Noise induced hearing loss or NIHL is an increasing concern in a wide array of professions, specifically the military. Without the right equipment and protocols, many veterans are faced with a future of hearing loss.

The Hearing Foundation Veteran Statistics show that hearing loss is one of the two leading health conditions among military veterans at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers. According to the Veterans Benefits Administration Compensation report, “As of fiscal year 2020, more than 1.3 million Veterans were receiving disability compensation for hearing loss, and more than 2.3 million received compensation for tinnitus”.

With proper fitting and consistency in wearing the hearing protective devices, hearing loss is very preventable. Military soldiers typically experience hearing loss after exposure to loud noises, such as working in an airplane hangar or the noise of an explosion.

NIHL can also occur in professions like farming, manufacturing, landscaping, and more. Decibels are the units in which sound is measured; studies show that long or repeated exposure to noise at or above 85 decibels can be dangerous. 85 dBA is the zone where noise induced hearing loss can occur.

With today’s increasingly advanced technology, soldiers and workers no longer have to choose between protecting their hearing and doing their jobs.

There are a few ways to prevent NIHL:

  • Limit exposure to 85dBA and above
  • Encourage hearing recovery
  • Protection technology

There are three great ways to prevent noise induced hearing loss. Prevention starts with limiting exposure to 85 decibels and above. This can be challenging if you work within a profession where exposure is consistent. If you are in that type of position, it is important to take as many breaks from the loud noise as much as possible.

Hearing recovery is a big part of preventing NIHL. If you work in a position where exposure is impossible to escape, it is important to avoid any noises at or above 85dBA outside of work hours. This rest gives the hairs inside your ears, which are most impacted from loud noises, a chance to rejuvenate.

Noise exposure protection equipment varies from earplugs to communications headsets. 3M Peltor, David Clark, and Sordin are top producers of the best communications headsets that also prevent NIHL.

Technology that can help:

Brands like 3M Peltor, Sordin, and David Clark are known for producing reliable technology like headsets to protect hearing. These brands often allocate large portions of their budgets to developing the newest NIHL prevention technology.

In January 2017, 3M introduced a hearing protection headset for hunters and shooters that simultaneously measures and cancels out specific gun noises while amplifying voices and phone conversations. This technology is specifically beneficial to soldiers.

3M Peltor, Sordin, and David Clark offer a variety of products including what is listed below:

In addition to these products, the 3M COMTAC headsets have become very popular among US Military Special Forces. The 3M Peltor Headset Kit includes:

  • Gel cushions, PTT adapter, camo bag & batteries - coyote brown, single COMM
  • Level dependent surround sound “talk-thru” function
  • Ambidextrous noise-canceling boom microphone
  • Compatible with ACH, MICH helmets

Top Rated Headsets Available:

The 3M Peltor Worktunes headset was designed for mowing the lawn and other landscaping tasks. Featuring built-in AM and FM radio, Bluetooth, and hearing protection, Worktunes is more than just hearing protection. It also has a built-in antenna that allows storage of up to 5 stations.

The Worktunes headset is also equipped with a voice guided menu system, digital station search, and low battery warning. If you prefer connecting to a stereo system, Worktunes has a 3.5mm jack to connect to external devices.

In addition to entertainment features, the 3M Peltor Worktunes doubles as hearing protection. It has a 24-26dB noise reduction rating transforming any activities that produce 85dB down to safe hearing levels. Priced between $79.99 and $119.99 and available in four options, the Worktunes headset is affordable hearing protection with bonus features.

  • DeWalt DPG 15 Digital AM/FM Radio Headset

The DeWalt DPG 15 Digital AM/FM Radio Headset is a great option for anyone looking for hearing protection that also features entertainment possibilities like music through radio or connection.

This headset features a LCD display of the digital AM/FM radio tuning. There are 8 radio station presets and it can be used with any audio playing device with a 3.5mm wire auxiliary jack. The Dewalt DPG offers a variety of methods for listening making it convenient and versatile.

Moreover, the DPG is a lightweight and durable headset which is impressive for a headset that also offers a 25dB noise reduction rating. It is powered by AA batteries and costs on average $60.

  • David Clark Model 10S/DC

David Clark is known for durable headsets. The David Clark Model 10S/DC has stereo output with a 3.5mm stereo plug. It has a lightweight 6ft extended coil cord.

These features pair well with the super-soft and double foam headpad. A comfortable headpad is important when you know you’re going to be using your headset for long periods of time. David Clark also included dual volume controls to this headset.

The 10S/DC features the newest undercut comfort ear gel seals ensuring quiet listening to prevent noise induced hearing loss. The earphones are hi-fidelity and dynamic with a NRR of 23dB.

  • Sordin Classic XLS
    • Extra wide headband—reducing pressure on head, more comfortable fit
    • Two-point mounting system on ear cups, distributes the pressure evenly around the cushions
    • Easy to take off and put on even with gloves
    • Moulded inserts give excellent noise attenuation with maximum space for ears
    • SNR 25dB signal to noise ratio

The Sordin Classic XLS is made for long hours and tactical jobs. The Classic XLS features an extra-wide headband which reduces the pressure on the head leading to a more comfortable fit. Moreover, the wider headband makes the headset easy to take off and put on with gloves.

Adding to the comfort, the headset also has a two-point mounting system on the ear cups. This design distributes pressure evenly around the cushions preventing discomfort.

The are moulded inserts that give excellent noise attenuation with maximum space for ears. The inserts aid in SNR or signal to noise ratio 25dB.  

Here is how we can help:  First Source Wireless carries a large inventory of 3M Peltor Hearing protection products, to be able to deliver reliable and durable products to serve the sole purpose of preventing hearing loss. Some of our recent customers have been with the secret service, Special Forces, and the Customs Border Protection. With nearly a dozen 3M-headset options to choose from, let’s take a look at the various

Select a 3M headset below to prevent hearing loss:

One of our customer favorites is the 3M Peltor Comtac Tactical & Military Headset for the following reasons:

  • Incredible hearing protection
  • Tactical radio communications
  • Environmental Listening
  • Engineered to prevent crosstalk in Dual Comm Configurations
  • Gel ear cushioned for improved comfort

With the advancement of technology, there is no reason for an increase in the number of veterans suffering from hearing loss. Let’s put a halt to the hearing loss epidemic! Call our knowledgeable staff to determine the best solution for your hearing protection, and communication needs at 800-991-4569.

 Updated April 13, 2022

Works Cited

"Noise0Induced Hearing Loss." National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, 16 March 2022, 

"Part 2 Annual Benefits Report (ABR)-Compensation-Fiscal Year 2020." Veteran's Benefits Association, 2020,

Nick Hohman is the Vice President of First Source Wireless. Nick has used his knowledge of tactical headsets to improve communication in the military and public safety. He has attended several communications conferences including the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO), and International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE).

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