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Noise reduction ratings were developed as a system to evaluate hearing protectors, and detail their benefits in a noisy environment.
Hearing protectors are tested within a simulated setting to reproduce the type and the intensity of noise a person will be subjected to. Afterwards, the hearing protector is graded on the NRR scale, and its noise reduction rating is published in decibels-NRR, by writing it on the outside of the package.
Noise reduction ratings are beneficial to use when determining the type of hearing protector to choose, because the NRR received in a simulated setting is the highest amount of noise reduction a particular hearing protector can produce.