IntroductionGreat sound, comfort and fit, excellent build quality, versatility, compatibility.These are just some of the many reasons for choosing a headset from EPOS.Acoustic safety is another important factor, so it is reassuring to know thatEPOS Contact Center and Office (CC&O) headsets are equipped with EPOSActiveGard , one of the most advanced hearing protection technologiesagainst acoustic injury caused by sudden sound bursts. This White Paperprovides an overview of the technology, the regulatory background and thesafety and wellbeing benefits of EPOS ActiveGard .Sound safetyOccasionally, heavy phone users may be exposed to poten tially dangerousacoustic shock from unexpected and extremely loud sounds on the line.EPOS’ patented ActiveGard technology protects headset users from anyhearing loss or damage on the rare occasions where they experience thistype of incident – so that the users feel protected and secure to performtheir jobs.With the introduction of softphone-based telephony, the EPOS ActiveGard technology has been further adapted to provide users of EPOS’ digital (USBand wireless) headsets the same security and sound safety. This means thatregardless of the choice of professional headset, users can be sure thatEPOS ActiveGard is always on duty to protect their hearing, ensuring thatnothing unexpected gets in the way of important communications.2

About ActiveGardFacts about the technologyFirst designed for EPOS’ wired headsets,EPOS ActiveGard is a sound compressionsystem consisting of a sophisticated electrical circuit. The patented system utilizesa compression technology to remove theenergy from an excessive incoming signaltransmitted through the telephone system,leaving the signal free of distortion.EPOS ActiveGard can be compared to anautomatic and fast-working “intelligent”volume control. If an incoming signal risesto a level that is harmful to your hearing, itis instantly “turned down” to a considerablylower, and more comfortable level. When thesound level returns to normal, the volume willbe “turned back” to the original level after ashort period of time as EPOS ActiveGard reverts to its stand-by surveillance mode.3

Compression not clippingIn many traditional wired headsets the noiselimiting function is achieved by using simplediode- or transistor circuits, which activatea peak-clipping function when the headsetspeaker signal reaches a certain voltage.Though it may fulfill the legislative requirements, the peak-clipping technology stillleaves distortion of the signal and offersonly a certain degree of protection for theheadset user.Compared with a traditional system, EPOSActiveGard offers some key benefits andproductivity-enhancing advantages:1. The incoming signal is compressed in onecontrolled operation. EPOS ActiveGard detects an excessive signal and reactsby initiating a compression process thatoccurs in just a few milliseconds – fasterthan the human ear.4. The more powerful the incoming signalis, the more powerfully the system compresses.5. In contrast to peak-clipping circuits,EPOS ActiveGard keeps the volume ata comfortable level, even if the incomingsignal is a sound burst well in excess ofthe limit which is generally consideredto be harmful to hearing.Below is an illustration showing how EPOSActiveGard technology works comparedto the traditional systems.Listen* to the difference by clicking on thesound files below – Please be warned thatthe sound without EPOS ActiveGard canbe extremely high. We recommend thevolume should be set low when playing:2. Due to the compression method there isvirtually no distortion of the signal.3. In contrast to peak-clipping circuits, EPOSActiveGard removes the dangerousenergy from the signal by means of thiscompression technique.Play soundwithoutEPOS ActiveGard Play soundwithEPOS ActiveGard *P lease note that the latest version of Adobe Reader (XI) and Adobe Flash Player are needed to play the sound files.Also note that the Adobe Flash Player will not work with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.4

The regulatorybackgroundMeeting or exceeding the requirementsThe EU, the United States and many othercountries have set noise limits coveringthe use of headsets so it’s reassuring toknow that all headsets meet or exceed therequirements currently in force.The EU directive in briefThe European Union’s Noise at Work Directivelays down rules for protecting hearing in theworkplace. The Directive basically deals withtwo types of noise induced hearing damage:Acoustic shock, and excessive noise exposurethroughout a working day.Safety andwellbeingProtection against acoustic shockBecause acoustic shock can cause eithertemporary or permanent traumatic damageto hearing, the Noise at Work Directive alsodeals with areas such as instantaneous noiseexposures and sets a limit of 137dB(C) forthese types of sudden loud sounds – comparable with standing next to an aircrafttaking off. The Directive does not specifythe duration of such impulsive noises but theInternational Telecommunication Union definesthe limit of 137dB(C) for sound impulses witha duration of less than half a second.satisfactory protection against acousticinjury. All EPOS headsets headsets fulfillthis maximum limit of 118dB(A).Protection against excessive noiseThe Directive defines two critical levels fornoise exposure throughout a working day.For up to 80dB(A) the employer has noobligations. Between 80dB(A) and 85dB(A)the employer should offer hearing protectionand education. For levels exceeding 85dB(A),employees must be provided with, and wear,hearing protection equipment. The IMPACTSDW 5000 Series, DW Series, SD Series,UI 770 interface box as well as CEUL 33and CEUL 34 interface cables are just someexamples that comply with the Directive.In summaryThere are a number of international telecom muni cation standards which have traditionallyused another maximum acoustic output levelthat is also based on the 85dB(A) noiseexposure limit. These standards define amaximum limit of 118dB(A) for long durationdisturbance (above half a second), measuredat the ear entrance. Since the late 1980s,the European Telecommunication StandardsInstitute (ETSI) has shown that this longduration disturbance limit has providedEPOS ActiveGard benefitsEPOS ActiveGard patented technology- Protects users against acoustic injury causedby sudden sound bursts- Limits maximum sound pressure on all EPOSheadsets to international telecommunicationstandards of 118dB (SPL)- Keeps the volume of a sound peak at a safeand comfortable level- Allows safer and stress-free working whenusing a headset5

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EPOS Contact Center and Office (CC&O) headsets are equipped with EPOS ActiveGard , one of the most advanced hearing protection technologies against acoustic injury caused by sudden sound bursts. This White Paper provides an overview of the technology, the regulatory background and the safety and wellbeing