For more than 40 years the BHI has promoted better hearing and hearing conservation. Exposure to noise is one of the key sources of hearing loss. The LRAD's power lies in its ability to emit sound in narrow 30-degree "beams" as if it were traveling through a "sound tunnel". Set at 150 decibels, the sounds can reach a target as much as 1,600 feet away. The human threshold for pain is between 110 and 120 decibels. Any exposure to the device at its maximum power could cause irreversible damage to the ears since the sound exceeds that of a jet engine taking off or a gun shot near a person's ear; in addition it can result in debilitating tinnitus (ringing in the ears).Thanks to Richard Einhorn for tuning me in to this story.
27 May 2012
Better Hearing Institute condemns use the of "sound cannon" by Chicago police
—a nonprofit organization that advocates for people with hearing loss —released a statement condemning the use of the LRAD. In it, executive director Dr. Sergei Kochkin had this to say about the device: