Acoustic test procedure for ear-muffs with audio communication

Project No. BIA 4083


completed 12/2002


For the EC type examination of ear-muffs with built-in electro-acoustic devices for audio communication - such as broadcast receivers, radios, facilities for the connection of mobile phones - the test procedures according to EN 352 "Hearing protectors; General requirements; Part 1: Ear muffs" are insufficient. An appropriate procedure has to be developed to assess whether such products satisfy the basic requirements specified in EC Directive 89/686/EEC on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to personal protective equipment.


A suitable test procedure was developed. This procedure had to show whether in the case of correct use of the product, the noise exposure resulting from both the working noise and the communication facility (facilities) exceeds the permitted limits.


The results of the project were incorporated into the revised European draft standard prEN 352-6: "Ear muffs with audio communications". A further result of the project conducted by the BG Institute for occupational Safety and Health (BIA) was the passing of the first drafts of the European standards prEN 352-8: "Entertainment audio ear-muffs" and prEN 352-11: "Two-way communication ear-muffs" to the responsible working group of the European Technical Committee (CEN TC 159, "Hearing Protectors"). The principles drafted for testing of ear muffs with supplementary electronic facilities will also be applied to the testing of ear plugs with supplementary electronic facilities in the draft standards prEN 352 -9: "Ear-plugs with electrical audio input" and prEN 352-10: "Entertainment audio earplugs", which are yet to be developed.

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Last Update:



Financed by:
  • Hauptverband der gewerblichen Berufsgenossenschaften (HVBG)
Research institution(s):
  • Berufsgenossenschaftliches Institut für Arbeitsschutz - BIA

-cross sectoral-

Type of hazard:



Lärm, Persönliche Schutzausrüstung, Messverfahren

Description, key words:

ear-muff with built-in broadcast receiver, radio ear-muff, ear-muff with communication facilities, test procedure, sound level limitation, sound level limiter, ear-muffs with combined function modes