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sheeks

Audibles with adjustable volume?

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First is I would recommend wearing foam ear plugs to protect your hearing - I've just started doing this and to my amazement I could actually hear conversations in the plane over the earplugs, yet the noise level was reduced to a comfortable level.

I also had no problem hearing my audible. I'm sure any would do fine, although I am a bit biased, as I do work for the company who makes the Brilliant Pebbles ;) (which the volume could be set to 255 different levels so you should be able to get exactly the alarm volume you need) :)

Most other audibles I've seen can control the volume as well (the NeoXS had 4 different volume settings if I remember correctly).

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It is wise to be concerned about damage to your hearing, but wind and airplane noise are also damaging. I prefer the noise filter type earplugs such as these:

http://www.dropzone.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?post=4083263#4083263

Many threads can be found on the subject, and reports of hearing your audible more easily with all forms of earplugs is I believe always true.

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I wonder if the L&B Solo has adjustable volume?

If we want to go old-school, then of course the original dytter that few have ever seen was definitely not adjustable for volume, and the paralert from Steve Snyder (even less likely to be recognized) was also not. I think the old time-out was fixed volume.

Every other type I know of is adjustable.

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Based on their manuals, neither the Solo nor the Solo II can be adjusted in their volume. The Optima and Optima II can be adjusted, but the lowest volume on Optima II is 112dB, still painfully loud. Wikipedia helpfully states this is above a non-electric chainsaw at 1m distance.

Concern regarding hearing loss is valid, but in my opinion better solved by use of earplugs rather than by adjustment of an audible. Ear plugs have the added advantage of protecting against engine noise and freefall wind noise as well as against super-loud audible noise. Think of it this way: earplugs generally lower ALL volumes. If you can hear your audible in freefall, it is loud enough to rise over the rest of the noise. By lowering ALL volumes, you don't change the difference in audible volume vs other noise volume. So you'll still hear your audible perfectly fine.

Anecdotically, I use my Optima II mostly for canopy alarms, and typically in my front pocket due to a halfshell helmet (#CRWdog). Those rare cases where I have my audible inside my video helmet and I forgot my earplugs, even the canopy alarms are physically painful to hear. Earplugs are the way to go, and even very high quality foam earplugs will only set you back €30 for 200 pairs, just €0,15 per jump if you grab fresh ones every jump!

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Even the manual for the older ProTrack says:

LO: +110 dB +/- 2dB measured at 1 inch (2.5 cm)
HI: +117 dB +/- 2dB measured at 1 inch (2.5 cm)

But similar to what others are saying, alarm sounds are only that high so that the alarms can be heard in the first place over the wind noise. And such  numbers were chosen when open face helmets were more common. So use earplugs if you like. Even the airplane noise isn't great. Maybe not at the 'clearly harmful' level, but it isn't bad to keep the noise level down when jumping a lot. (There have been studies published and some data presented on dz. )

If you have some fancy-ass closed face helmet, and the volume is too loud, and the helmet liner isn't enough to reduce the volume, and you don't use ear plugs ... it shouldn't be too hard to come up with a little extra padding or covering over the sound port on the audible to lower the volume.

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