When you buy a product through a link on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn More.
The 5 Best Hearing Protections
If you’re working around loud noises, you need to wear the best hearing protection in order to keep from hurting your ears. Whether you’re managing large tools in a personal work space or working around large machines at a job site, the chances of there being loud noises is extremely high, and hearing protection is essential safety gear for any workshop. For instance, there are usually saws, drills, and other machines capable of producing loud sounds. Being around these tools for long periods of time can risk damaging your hearing, and it can be painful. If you need a new pair of ear muffs, keep reading for our hearing protection reviews and ratings.
In This Article
Best Choice: Professional Safety Ear Muffs by Decibel Defense
The DECIBEL DEFENSE Professional Safety Ear Muffs are one of the best hearing protection options on the market due to their adjustable size and comfortable headband that makes you want to keep wearing them.
The DECIBEL DEFENSE Professional Safety Ear Muffs lead the industry in offering NRR 37 dB protection. They’re also extremely comfortable, since the headband comes with a smooth and padded-cell design. Not only that, but these earmuffs are able to be folded and are compact, so they can be stored practically anywhere.
In addition to that, these earmuffs offer the best hearing protection because they’re safe for people of all ages, including adults, toddlers, and older children. Additionally, these ear muffs can be used for various purposes, such as mowing the lawn, at concerts, at shooting ranges, or operating heavy machinery.
Item Key Features:
- Can be used for different purposes
- Fits all head sizes
- Padded design is comfortable to wear
- Not extremely durable
Premium Pick: Howard Leight by Honeywell Earmuff
Howard Leight Honeywell Impact Sport Sound Earmuffs are one of the best hearing protection options because their sound canceling comes with a low profile, included batteries with a 350-hour run-life, and they can be used as headphones.
The Howard Leight Honeywell Impact Sport Sound Earmuffs have built-in microphones that are able to amplify the range commands. They also dampen loud noises to a more natural listening tone. Not only that, but these earmuffs have a noice reduction rating (NRR) of 22.
Furthermore, these earmuffs are the best hearing protection because they include an AUX input as well as a 3.5 mm connection cord for MP3 players. You can listen to music while wearing these headphones and receive protection from external noises around you.
In addition, these Howard Leight ear muffs have an automatic shut-off feature that’s capable of turning off after four hours of use. They are conveniently battery-powered as well, and they can last up to 350 hours.
Item Key Features:
- Reduces sounds to a safe 82 dB
- Has low profile ear ups for firearm stock clearance
- Batteries included last up to 350 hours
- Can be used as headphones
- May be too tight for some people
Best Value: 3M Peltor Optime 98 Over the Head Earmuff
The 3M Peltor Optime Over the Head Earmuffs are one of the best hearing protection options because they protect from sounds up to 95 dB and are made from durable stainless steel.
The 3M Peltor Optime Over the Head Earmuffs provide protection from noises up to 95 dB, which is more than a large amount of other products on the market. Additionally, these earmuffs present a stainless steel construction that’s durable and long-lasting, since it can resist bending and warping overtime.
Not only that, but these earmuffs have earcup pivot points that are able to offer optimal comfort and efficiency. They also offer optimal comfort because of the ultra light material of the foam-filled cushions inside the earcups. Moreover, these earmuffs have a noise reduction rating os 25 dB, and they’re extremely lightweight Just as a good first aid kit good protective ear muffs are an essential in your work kit.
- Made for noise levels up to 95 dB
- Helmet attachable model sold separately
Musical Pick: 3M WorkTunes Connect Hearing Protector
The 3M WorkTunes Connect Hearing Protector is one of the best hearing protection options because it allows you to listen to music while you work without sacrificing ear and hearing protection.
The 3M WorkTunes Connect Hearing Protector offers the best hearing protection because they have an NRR of 24 dB. They give your ears maximized protection whether you’re located in a personal workshop, at a job site, or simply located around loud noises.
Likewise, these bluetooth protective ear muffs are known for their ability to let you listen to music while you’re wearing them. More specifically, they offer both AM and FM radio tuning as well as a bass boost option. You can even program the radio on these ear muffs to 50 AM and FM radio in order to use a lesser amount of battery when needed.
- Lets you listen to music while working
- Has easy-to-use controls
- Allows you to plug into your phone
- Not very comfortable while also wearing glasses
Best Cap-Mounted: 3M Peltor Optime 105 Cap-Mount Earmuffs
The 3M Peltor Optime Cap-Mount Earmuffs are one of the best hearing protection options because they’re very comfortable and don’t irritate your ears. Plus, they can protect against extremely loud noises of up to 105 dB.
The 3M Peltor Optime Cap-Mount Earmuffs can protect your ears against noise levels as loud as 105 dB loud. Additionally, this product presents a cap-mount design that’s compatible to use with safety hard hats.
Furthermore, these earmuffs offer the best hearing protection because they have a unique dual-cup design that has foam-filled cushions for extreme comfort. You can wear these ear muffs for long periods of time without having irritated skin around your ears.
- Protects noise levels up to 105 dB
- Color-coding for compliance sighting
- NRR of 27 dB
- Doesn’t offer music like some other products have
Benefits of Wearing Hearing Protection
In addition to OSHA regulations for woodworking hearing protection on the job, there are a number of reasons why you should never forego hearing protection, just as with hand safety gear.
- There are so many different models for you to choose from, so you can choose the best pair that works for your ears
- Some hearing protection pieces come with the ability to not only protect your ears, but also play music
- Hearing protection pieces can be used for a different purposes for different situations
- Offer protection against different tools and machines, including air compressors, electric saws, powered drills, and other large machinery
Hearing protection will help prevent hearing loss over long-term exposure to loud noises. Make sure you find the best hearing protection for your job so you can maintain your health and hearing throughout your career.
Important Hearing Protection Features to Consider
There are a number of different woodworking hearing protection options to keep your ears safe on the job. All of them have different features and levels of noise protection, so make sure you do research to determine which type you need for work.
Disposable ear plugs
Disposable ear plugs are designed in order to provide temporary protection, and they’re usually produced from a foam material. They’re available at cheaper prices and they’re more lightweight than other types of hearing protection. Unfortunately, they are more capable of irritating your ears. Not only that, but they also put you more at risk of developing ear infections in the future.
Ear muffs are classified as hearing protecting in which there are round protective shields around both of your ears. They are generally connected by a headband that goes around your head for additional support. There are varying models and functions on the market, but most of them can be clicked into a safety hat.
Additionally, ear muffs can provide more protection for your ears than other types of options because they cover your whole ear completely. But they may cause the skin around your ears to become irritated, depending on the specific material that they’re made of.
Silicone ear plugs
These ear plugs are similar to the disposable types of woodworking hearing protection, but they’re more durable and long-lasting. Not only that, silicone is a softer material, so these ear plugs are less susceptible to causing irritation in your ears.
Silicone ear plugs differ in that they are responsible for covering your auditory canals, rather than being inserted into your ear. Because of that, there is a risk of them falling off, but they provide more protection than some other types of hearing protection pieces.
Otoplastics are customized ear pieces that are able to provide the best personalized hearing protection for your ears specifically. They’re able to fit perfectly into your ears, so they can give you the most comfort. They’re also usually produced with a higher quality material. Given that, this option for woodworking hearing protection tends to be the most expensive, but it’s also the longest lasting.
Overall, each of these woodworking hearing protection options can give your ears with the ultimate protection needed in order to avoid any damage to your hearing, which is why using ear protection is just as important as having a fire extinguisher or good knee protection. Given their ability to provide comfort, durability, and maximized protection, you may want to purchase one of these pairs of earmuffs.
If we had to pick just one of these products, we’d have to go for the top pick: the DECIBEL DEFENSE Professional Safety Ear Muffs. These earmuffs are a great option because they aren’t very expensive, but they still provide a lot of protection. Plus, their customer service is great, so if any issues come up, all you have to do is email them to get them sorted out.
These earmuffs are comfortable and look good—they even come in a variety of colors and an extra large size option for people with larger heads. These are just some of the reasons we think the DECIBEL DEFENSE earmuffs are the best hearing protection option for your workshop.