Hearing / Ear Protection - Any recommendations?


Senior User
Subject line "says it all."

My doctor told me I needed to get hearing protection or, soon, my hearing aids wouldn't let me hear my wife.

I nodded and left. I shouldha asked him for a recomendation - now, the only way to get in touch is via email and I doubt a VA doctor's going to put a recomendation in writing unless prescribing.

So, my thoughts turned to a group of older guys working around loud machinery who might have received similar recommendations and found a preferred solution that doesn't cost me an ear and a lobe.



Board of Directors, Development Director
Staff member
Corporate Member
I like full sized ear muffs, I have tried the ISO-Tunes in-ear version and thought they were less than effective.
(I typically listen to music or an audiobook when I am working in the shop or mowing / edging.)
so I have only looked at Bluetooth capable versions
I looked at the ISOtunes ear muffs and a credible friend told me the 3M was better for sound and noise cancellation...
I have had these for nearly a year and are very happy with them: Amazon.com

I think Klingspor has them as well, but I could not find them in a quick search


Corporate Member
"My doctor told me I needed to get hearing protection or, soon, my hearing aids wouldn't let me hear my wife."

And you're point is????:p

I have shooters ear muffs. Most any sporting goods store should have them.
I rarely use them but when I do, they help.


Corporate Member
If you have glasses or wear safety glasses, I find the expanding plugs are more comfortable. However the over the ear type probably eliminate more noise…if they conform around your glasses.

Mark Johnson

Corporate Member
I use foam ear plugs and a Bose noise canceling headphone. No problem still hearing the phone (through the head phones), and no problem knowing what is going on with the machines.


I use the disposable foam earplugs.... I have a pair of shooters earmuffs with noise cancel but I almost never use them as my safety glasses mess up the seal...


Senior User
Another +1 for 3M over the ear type hearing protectors. I recommend something like this: Earmuff PELTOR (3M) model H10A, 30 dB, over-the-head model, Optime 105.

I wear standard prescription glasses. The arms interfere a bit with the seal, but the Optime 105 have a really thick foam ear pad, so the loss is minimal.

I've had a pair of the Optime's in use for 20+ years..before 3M bought the design from Aereo, who bought it from Peltor.



Corporate Member
Pretty much the up to date model of the ones that they used to give us at the plant I used to work at.

Just a little background on that place I used to work.

We had 5 blowers that had 1500 hp motors with 5 start up windings and a final 6th running winding for operation. The DB rating sign if you walked in the building had it listed at 113 decibels. It was a bit higher on one of the startup windings (I think the 4th where it was starting to get up to cruising speed) but it was in the 100+ db area during normal operation. If you were caught in that building without the earmuffs it was a writeup on the first offense and possible termination on the second.

We also had 4 liquid/solid/air vacuum pumps in another building. 2000 hp motors on those so while the motor was small the pump itself was much louder. They also had a sign on the door for that building and that one said noise in the area could at times exceed sound levels that were safe for hearing and any exposure without protection could cause immediate and irreparable hearing loss. DB rating 120+ on the sign. They also had the same rules about getting caught without hearing protection in the area.

Meh. I shy away from wanting to hear music while I'm cutting stuff up and trend to wanting to hear music later in life so I just stick with the muffs when it's about to get loud. Play my music on a USB speaker when I get in the shop and when I turn on the equipment I really don't need to hear the music again until I'm done.

After working at that plant and a few other loud places (and a few very loud concerts thank you very much Ted Nugent) I can still hear the wife (mostly) and I'd kind of like to keep it that way.


Senior User
I use typical shooting style over the ear muffs. They do interfere a little with my glasses but I deal with it.

The rubber type ear plugs are reusable and also work well. I don't find the in the ear type to be comfortable for very long though


Senior User
As odd as they look, these SensGard SG-31 for which Pappy gives an Amazon link really do work. And they work well. I use them and also use the IsoTunes Pro in-the-ear guards. For a wearer of glasses, both of these units stay out of the way and don't interfere with glasses, dust masks or full face dust shields. The key to both products is to have the foam in good condition. With the IsoTunes, use the foam inserts (squeeze them down before inserting, then let them expand in your ear canal) rather than the optional molded rubber plugs which are not noise rated.


Corporate Member
The key number to look for first is NRR 29 or better. After that, choose your style.
What does this mean? I'm pretty new to this but agree that the headsets don't work well with glasses and safety glasses. I have been looking for the small inserts with a band on them like the link above. Pretty sure I'll try the out next..


Corporate Member
I have the Peltor shooting muffs. I wear glasses and have hearing aids for both ears. The hearing aids are the "over the ear" type. The advantage of the Peltors is that they let in normal volume noise so you can hear other people talking. They block (reduce) anything over 80 db. You can turn them off, and they function like normal ear protectors.

Peltor also makes a bluetooth version so you can pipe in your tunes if you like, altho the non-bluetooth also have a usb port to plug in your phone or Ipod, etc. They also have an upograded silicon gel filled ear pad that you can put on them for a more comfortable fit as well as better seal around eye glasses. Both are powered by 2 AA batteries.

My right ear has "normal" hearing loss and the over the ear do not cause me much problem. My left ear is significantly damaged, and due to the hearing aid being maxed out, will cause feedback with the muffs, so I have to remove that side.

If I understand the technology correctly, there is a difference between shooter muffs and music listening noise cancelling muffs like the Bose. Shooter muffs when turned on, are designed to only muffle/cancel noise above a set decibel level (like a gunshot). They let in all the lower level noise (like a table saw running, etc). Noise cancelling like Bose are designed to cancel the frequencies of ambient noise. They may be more effective in a woodworking shop, but I cannot say as I have never used them. My hearing is so damaged that I can no longer appreciate much of the music out there.

John Jimenez

Corporate Member
I’ve had the isotunes in the pic for 3 years now. They are awesome…I can listen to music, take and make phone calls, and they have worked well with my shop glasses. Highly recommend them.


  • IMG_1727.png
    973.1 KB · Views: 30


Corporate Member
I could not agree more on the need to be able to hear your tools are running. I bought ear muffs with an fm radio. 30 minutes into using my new hearing protection I had the only serious accident I have ever had in the shop because I could not hear the planner. To this day I have no idea how or why the planner was running. It could have been much worse than it turned out to be.

I wear shooters muffs which are adjustable.

I know the need to try and buy the best for less but how much is a finger worth.

Premier Sponsor

Our Sponsors