If they are what I think they are, they allow people shooting firearms to hear conversation and other sounds normally - there is a little microphone that picks up sounds and relays them to a little speaker in the earmuffs. There are electronics in it and when a very loud sound such as a gunshot comes through, it instantly turns off and does not relay that sound and they act as normal earmuffs. I believe just not pushing the button to turn them on will make them be normal earmuffs. They are adjustable - each earmuff can be lengthened or shortened where it attaches to the headband.
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Similar to what James said, they look like Active Noise Reduction hearing protection or noise canceling headphones. They work by creating something called destructive interference which, when used properly, should be able to cancel out virtually all noise.
If they indeed are noise canceling headphones then you should be able to simply put them on, flip the switch and noise instantly goes away.
A word of caution though. Some ANR headsets are so good at canceling noise that they leave you effectively deaf while wearing them. Don’t worry, no harm is coming to your ears, but the noise can be so effectively cancelled that there is simply nothing to hear. A person can walk up behind you and give quite a startle simply because they are impossible to hear. Also, they are not recommended for use near a highway or around loud equipment because it becomes near impossible to perceive these sounds.
But if you just want to make the noise of the world disappear, then these are for you.
Anne, I use a similar pair when I shoot and they work exactly how James said.
Unfortunately, I don't know that they are the best option for you because although they could be too small, they ARE designed to be tight. You need a good tight seal to protect your hearing with gun fire. We all take regular breaks to rest our ears / heads because otherwise the pain just builds. I would suggest getting a pair that's not designed for shooting since you don't need that level of protection and can fit more loosely. Maybe just ear plugs?
The only adjustment I see is in the red circle. It looks like the ear cups probably slide up and down on the wire. What I circled in yellow, is that the screw you referred to? I don't think that's a screw. Notice it always matches the color of the outer ear cup? I think that's cast as part of the ear cup, to let it attach and swivel. I think it's split so the halves can squeeze together to go through the hole, then expand and lock into place.
My daughter called so I ask her about adjusting them. Her dear hubby said to hold the part that goes over the head in the middle and then pull down on the earmuff part. That worked great though I am still not comfortable wearing them.
It is war movies with cannon going off; lots of fighter jets, transformer type movies, and movies with a lot of yelling that bothers me.
Are there some lighter weight ones that work?
I looked at earplugs though there are so many different ones that it confuses me.
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If you adjust the volume control, they should work for what you need. Mine do a good job of letting me hear sounds below the set volume, while toning down anything louder.
The only two downsides I've found with mine are that if I wear them a lot I tend to develop acne where the pads touch my face. And, if my neck is acting up, the weight of them can make it worse.
That said, I consider these to be a Godsend!!! I have a condition called hyperacusis. Basically, I have super-hearing, but with no way to turn it off, and no way to filter out the sounds I'm hearing. I often wear these earmuffs when working in the kitchen, because the clink of dishes or the sound of a blender running is more painful than I can handle. On a really bad day, I might wear them just sitting at my desk.
(If I actually go to a shooting range, I have to wear both the marshmallow-type earplugs AND these earmuffs.)
I do (did, pre covid) a lot of traveling and I work wherever I go, often in airports, coffee shops, people's houses-- and I need quiet.
I always have the marshmallow-type earplugs (usually sold in the pharmacy) in my work kit, and they work well enough to drown out most noise. They are very affordable, and so you dont feel bad about throwing them out when they start to get icky (last time I was in the US I bought a package with 50 or 100 pairs for next to nothing). I use them on airplanes as a rule, if I want to arrive with my hearing; during a 10+ hour flight they are comfortable enough, and I've used them sleeping too with no problems.
I used to use the Bose noise cancelling earbuds and headphones, some years ago I had a work gig that got me a lot of cool freebies, but recently I found that even the cheaper over-ear headphones work just as well (perhaps with the exception of being on a plane seated near the engine-- in that case I'm now using cheaper over-ear Sony headphones with the marshmallow earplugs too).
They make all different sizes. These pink ones fit me just right and are comfortable all day. If I'm somewhere loud, I put them in as instructed. Most of the time, I just put them in lightly, just enough so they don't fall out. Then I can still hear everything, but without pain. I forget I have them in and wonder why people aren't talking to me. It's because they think I can't hear them with these bright pink earplugs in.
If it's movies at home that are giving you trouble, there may be a setting on your TV to reduce the loud noises. Sometimes called "night mode". If you tell us the brand and model number (probably on the back of the TV usually near the power cord) sometimes on the front, I'm happy to look up what audio settings options you might have.