I originally saw the 3M Noise Indicator NI-100 model in a Tool Monger review by Benjamen Johnson. Now, I know 3M is a solid company and they have some fantastic products. I myself won’t use anything but their adhesive transfer tape, for instance. But, the Noise Indicator seems a bit of an odd product to me; though I can just picture a certain, well known “on the job safety” organization licking their collective lips over it. I guess it’s meant for those who are either A) too
dim irresponsible to wear ear plugs when the noise becomes unpleasant or B) maybe already borderline deaf?!?
The 3M Noise Indicator is outfitted with LED light sensors that flash red when noise levels are above 85 dBA, apparently the danger level, and green when the noise level is below, indicating you probably don’t need hearing protection. I just don’t see where a flashing light is going to inspire someone to use hearing protection if they aren’t already inclined to do so. Me? I usually rely on the screeching, banging or otherwise unbearable…noise level…to prompt me to take action.
The Noise Indicator is small and clips on to your shirt, or any spot within your line of vision so you can see the light, thereby forewarned of impending deafness. I suppose if one is absorbed in his work, and not paying rapt attention to the light, he could rely on instincts and personal discomfort to save the day and compel him to use earplugs. The rechargeable battery operates for up to 200 hours in between charges. The Tool Monger article mentions a selling price of $30 before shipping, but I’m seeing a starting price of about $40 for the 3M Noise Indicator on Amazon.
“Huh?”…I said $40…”What did you say?”…For God’s sake, take those damned plugs out of your ears…”Did you just call me queer?”… Oh, never mind.