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The Lantos 3D Scanning System and Computer Aided Design of Musicians Earplugs

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Musicians Earplugs (MEPs) are custom-fitted passive hearing protection devices that are intended to maintain the relative loudness of sound across frequencies, while providing a modest amount of attenuation. To achieve the intended performance, the earplug must be sufficiently long (past the ear canal's 2nd bend) and the earplug's hollow sound bore must have acoustic mass that falls within manufacturer specifications. Herein, we report the performance of MEPs made from Lantos ear scans and digitally manufactured to correct, as well as incorrect, acoustic specifications for a cohort of ears. Data show that the uniformity of attenuation and occlusion effect magnitude were heavily influenced by the length of the earplug in the ear canal. The acoustic mass of the sound bore of the earplug did not significantly influence the occlusion effect magnitude, and had modest effect on the uniformity of attenuation across 125 – 8000 Hz.

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