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Thread: Best and most comfortable ear protection

  1. #1
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    Best and most comfortable ear protection

    Does anyone have a recommendation on higher end ear protection? Ive been using over ear 3M Peltor ear protection for several years, and while they have been fine for the price, i find them to be uncomfortable for hours at a time and the noise reduction could be better. For $20, they are excellent value, but im wondering if there is another step up in the $100 range that is more comfortable with more noise reduction? All i see in the $50-75 range is bluetooth compatible devices, which would be nice at times, but not necessary.

  2. #2
    Comfort is subjective.

    Best---you might want to visit an audiologist to get a custom ear plug/noise protector.

  3. #3
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    I wanted to make a joke and say go with the Bose QC35 II's but for 349.99, they're not always worth it in the shop. It is ridiculous how well their noise reduction works even when music isn't being played. I can say with the price tag, I've found full value in them. Between being at the gym, cutting grass, blocking out my wife at home, and working on some flight and cutting boards with my father and brother-in-law, they work pretty great. Each their own though.

    I know you said bluetooth isn't necessary, but at the Woodworking Shows this year IsoTunes was there. I was impressed with what I was looking at. https://isotunesaudio.com/collection...lug-headphones
    https://www.manmadediy.com/best-nois...es-woodworking
    Last edited by Tim Derr; 08-27-2019 at 1:52 PM.

  4. #4
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    I know these are 3x more than your price range but how many tools do you have that cost $300 or more? If youíre anything like me, Iím guessing a lot. Iím 70 years young, use hand and power tools at least 4 days a week and visit the shooting range twice a month. Been using these for years and my hearing is still excellent. The beauty of these is they instantaneously cancel out loud noises while allowing you to hear low noises like conversations. Before I bought these I tried a few, some of which were decent and cheaper, but Iíve yet to find any that are close to this effective. Best of all, Made in USA and guaranteed forever! You can probably find them a bit cheaper if you shop around or on a limited time special offer. https://www.brownells.com/shooting-a...prod32394.aspx

  5. #5
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    Historically, ive struggled with in-ear ear protection. My ears must be incompatible, because the stupid things always fall out.

    That is the first time i have seen high end ear protection, Stephen. I didnt think to look at the gun world. And yes, $300 doesnt get you too far in the tool world. I think my full face shield from 3m was around $200, so i dont mind paying for quality PPE. Im 31, and have always taken care not to blast my earbuds or car radio. Would hate to lose my hearing because i only spent $20 on ear protection that i wore all the time.

  6. #6
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    Pay attention to the DB Attrenutaion numbers. I see them rated for 20 -32 Db or so. Peltor make some muffs for working on jet engines that have a very high DB#.
    The DB scale is a logarithmic scale meaning a change of around 7Db will cut the energy level by about 50%. This means a 1or 2 Db difference is enough to hear and your ears will last longer with just a few Db's difference. I use a Peltor/Husqvarna logging helmet with a face screen for lots of stuff. The screen does not fog up and the helmet keeps the sun off my head.
    Bill D

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Rosenthal View Post
    I know these are 3x more than your price range but how many tools do you have that cost $300 or more? If youíre anything like me, Iím guessing a lot. Iím 70 years young, use hand and power tools at least 4 days a week and visit the shooting range twice a month. Been using these for years and my hearing is still excellent. The beauty of these is they instantaneously cancel out loud noises while allowing you to hear low noises like conversations. Before I bought these I tried a few, some of which were decent and cheaper, but Iíve yet to find any that are close to this effective. Best of all, Made in USA and guaranteed forever! You can probably find them a bit cheaper if you shop around or on a limited time special offer. https://www.brownells.com/shooting-a...prod32394.aspx
    I was intriqued and looked them up and it looks like the manufacturer is $30 cheaper than Brownells.... $259
    And I do like very much a couple of features. Std audio plug, Auto off after 4 hours. I've killed numerous batteries in my Peltor muffs by not cutting things off. And a 5 Year Warranty.
    https://proears.com/product/pro-ears-pro-tac-mag-gold/


    Last edited by John Lifer; 08-27-2019 at 7:35 PM.
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  8. #8
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    Hearing protection made by Clark is very comfortable and not very expensive. They are marketed primarily for airport workers, as I recall NR is 26 db. I bought a pair 35 years ago, replaced the cushions about 5 years ago.
    Because of a need to hear the voices of other people, I recently purchased a pair of Howard Leight by Honeywell for $55 and added Noisefighters gel ear pads. Very comfortable and NR 30 db. Best noise reduction I have found.
    Last edited by Steve Hubbard; 08-27-2019 at 7:35 PM. Reason: spelling

  9. #9
    I am very happy with my 3M work tunes. They are Bluetooth. they use replaceable batteries.A few other guys in the shop have rechargeableís but they always seem to die when you want them to work

  10. #10
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    I do have the 3M Worktunes and use them for mowing and some long CNC milling sessions, but they are definitely not comfortable for longer time wear...the material that the pads are made with gets noticeably uncomfortable as soon as about 40 minutes of wear for me. So I most often use a "band type" ear plug with softer memory foam type, pointed plugs for when I need to wear for a long time. I cannot use regular insert in the ear type plugs...my ear canals are not compatible with them and they just fall out. (can't use ear-buds for music, either, for the same reason) The bands insure that they stay put.

    This is not the same product I use (I forget the brand) but it's similar for illustration purposes:

    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  11. #11
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    I wear 3M Peltor X-Series muffs that have an NRR of 31 dB. They work well with my cnc router. I find the 3M muffs pretty comfortable overall, but if you’re hot and sweaty, not so much. I’m not sure what can be done about that. Looking around Amazon I found a pair from Fnova that claims a 34dB rating. I just ordered a pair and will give them a try. Very inexpensive too.

    I have Bose, Logitech, & MPOW noise cancelling headphones and none of them work as well with really loud noise, IMO. Great on airplanes tho.
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  12. #12
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    I wonder how accurate the noise reduction numbers are for those made in China. made in Sweden I believe their numbers. Ear Muffs from harbor Freight I doubt their numbers very much.
    Bil lD.

  13. #13
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    For general in-shop use and most power tools, I use these. Graingers was passing them out free several years ago and I got about 100 pairs.

    ear plugs.jpg

    For real noise makers like my power hammer or metal chop saw, I use these (in addition to the ear plugs shown above - so ear plugs + ear muffs):


    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    Ear Muffs from Amazon.jpg

    This is a power hammer for shaping metal and it is pretty loud.


    Last edited by David Buchhauser; 08-28-2019 at 12:30 AM.

  14. #14
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    I use Pro Ears, to me they are worth the extra cost. As i recall they were rated at 30 dB reduction which is near the top of the range you are likely to find. Their real benefit to me is in the gasket material and resultant seal around my ears. I wear glasses and some muffs do not seal well around the glasses stems. Most use plastic for the seal. The plastic covering gets hard and inflexible and the foam fill collapses in short order. Pro Ears use leather for the gasket material which has maintained its flex and the foam fill has to date maintained its squish. Spendy up front, but they are still comfortable to wear and have maintained their ability to seal around my ears. Batteries are simple to change out, unlike Peltor.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dufour View Post
    I wonder how accurate the noise reduction numbers are for those made in China. made in Sweden I believe their numbers. Ear Muffs from harbor Freight I doubt their numbers very much.
    Bil lD.
    I question that too but I'll be able to do a direct comparison with my 3M X5 muffs.
    Please help support the Creek.

    When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

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