Comfort Evaluation of a Customized Additively Manufactured Headset
Comfortability and end user satisfaction are two of the main objectives in any human-centered product. This is especially important when the product requires interaction with the human head and with the brain. For this research, a customized wearable headset fabricated using additive manufacturing (AM) techniques along with three commercial head devices were analyzed to provide an evaluation of comfort and determine the factors that affect comfort score. The customized headset protects users from dangerous sound frequencies and levels that can permanently damage the human ear (around 82 dB, for extended periods of time). This device is designed to preserve spatial cues and enable sound localization. The commercial earmuff and hearing devices (non- hearing protection) were included in this study as a benchmark comparison to analyze the customized headset comfort. The study demonstrated the relationship between force applied by the headsets and hearing devices on a human surface, the head width, and gender to assess the comfortability of the devices. The study indicated that clamping force and location of the devices are the key factors that dictate the comfort of a device. The AM customized device which was the heaviest and had the largest clamping force reading, got the highest comfort score, about five (in a scale from 0 to 10), corresponding to just below discomfort. Future headset designs need to evaluate materials that minimize the clamping force while providing the required hearing protection and optimize the interface with the external ear canal.
Dominguez, Rene, "Comfort Evaluation of a Customized Additively Manufactured Headset" (2022). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI29325356.