ISO/TS 4869-5:2006 specifies a method for measuring noise reduction of passive hearing protectors at the threshold of hearing. The method is designed to provide estimates of the noise reduction obtained by typical groups of users in real-world occupational settings, who may lack the training and motivation to wear hearing protectors in an optimum manner.
The principle of the test method is to measure the difference in hearing threshold with and without wearing a hearing protector. This difference between the thresholds constitutes the noise reduction. The measurement is done twice on a given number of test subjects.
This test method yields data that are collected at low sound pressure levels (close to the threshold of hearing), but which are also representative of the noise reduction values of hearing protectors at higher sound pressure levels. ISO/TS 4869-5:2006 is inapplicable for level-dependent hearing protectors for sound pressure levels above the point at which their level-dependent characteristics become effective.