Continuous exposure to loud sound generated by power tools in woodworking shops can deafen the users who work there regularly. Therefore, most audiologists suggest using a hearing protection while working with such noisy tools. Be it a DIY fun project to a serious woodworking task, a good quality hearing protection is important to keep your ears protected from a consistent noisy environment.
However, with the rise of different brands of hearing protection for woodworking, choosing the best in kind is quite challenging. While some are simpler in design, others are fancier and expensive with Bluetooth available in it and more. Remember that whichever product you choose wouldn’t necessarily be the one that provides maximum hearing protection; the product quality may differ based on certain factors which we will discuss further in the article.
To save your time in finding a product that fulfills what it promises, we have profiled a list of top 10 hearing protection for woodworking that promises higher user satisfaction.
Table of Contents
Best Hearing Protections for Woodworking
1. Mpow 035 Safety Ear Muffs : Best Product Overall
The first hearing protection product for woodworkers is the Mpow 035 Noise Reduction Safety Ear Muff. It has made sure that these safety muffs are lightweight and portable. One can carry them easily due to the foldable design. You can store them in a travel bag which is provided along with it. Due to the less weight, they don’t exert pressure on the ears when you wear them.
Mpow Earmuffs are the most trusted for its noise blocking quality and excellent performance. They are equipped with the noise dampening padding, double-shell, and solid ear cup sealing. Also, the headband is made up of retractable stainless steel and is adjustable as per the sizes.
2. Neiko 53925A Safety Earmuff : Best Alternative Mpow 035
The Neiko 53925A Safety Earmuff is yet another hearing protection that you can undoubtedly invest in. Even though it is expensive but is still an excellent solution to block the loud noises of machinery. The noise reduction rating (NRR) of these high-value earmuffs is around 26 dB. These are perfect for you to use this one for drilling, sawing, grinding, carpentry, etc. The flexibility of the headband to fit every size is one of its best qualities.
The cushion ear pads and lightweight design provides comfort when worn. Their certification from the US and European Union makes them the ideal hearing protection. An outward bending of the earmuff lets you wear the safety glasses properly.
3. 3M WorkTunes Connect + AM/FM Hearing Protector : Best Premium Pick
3M WorkTunes Connect + AM/FM Hearing Protector is a very famous brand that assures the best hearing protection. This one is ideal for the users who are looking forward to getting a different earmuff. One can be very much satisfied with its 24 dB noise reduction rating. These are equipped with the feature of WorkTunes, which offers comfort with the help of its vented nature. You will inevitably find this design comfortable because it helps to release heat. Along with this, they also have enough padding.
The one feature that makes this hearing protection different is the in-built AM/FM radio. It provides enough entertainment to the users while working. What’s even better with the radio is that a total of 50 stations are saved.
4. Honeywell Howard Leight Quiet Band Earplug : Best Budget Pick
The last one that we put on the list is Honeywell Howard Leight Quiet Band Earplug. These are specially designed for those who are in the profession of woodworking. This earplug has a noise reduction rating of 25 dB that offers excellent hearing protection. When not in use, these earplugs can rest on your neck to keep away from dirt. It is very easy for the wearer to use them.
Wearing these Honeywell earplugs is not a problem for the user. This is all because of its ergonomic design, which is made up of foam pads. These are very comfortable and soft, which makes them convenient for the wearer. It has been made very clear that they are designed mainly for surrounding with intermittent noise hazards.
5. 3M Peltor X-Series Over-the-Head Earmuff : Best Ear-Muffs for Professionals
The next in the list is 3M Peltor X-Series Over-the-Head Earmuff, which is an excellent choice for the professionals. It is ideal for industrial settings with moderate to high noise due to its NRR being around 31 dB. A very lightweight headband with the right amount of cushioning is used in the earmuff. This enhances the comfort provided by these earmuffs when worn for a longer time.
Earmuff also includes a wire headband with electric insulation, also referred to as dielectric. These devices help minimize sensitivity to unsafe noise levels if correctly chosen and used. The metal part of the headband is covered by an insulating material to help in deterring electrical hazards.
6. Honeywell Howard Leight MAX Corded Foam Earplug : Best Disposable Earplugs
Are you looking for disposable hearing protection for woodworking? If yes, then the Honeywell Howard Leight MAX Corded Foam Earplug is perfect for you. When compared to other disposable earplugs, this one has the highest NRR, which is 33 dB. Comfort is the priority of these earplugs from Honeywell. This is because they are made up of soft PE foam material which is very comfortable when used.
Earplugs are designed in such a way that it conforms easily to the inner ear. Its bell shape matches the inner ear contour for maximum noise reduction. These push-in earplugs feature a soil-proof closed-cell foam skin that helps prevent the dirt accumulation and enhance ear protection.
7. 3M Peltor X-Series CapMount Earmuff : Best Hygienic Earmuffs
One will never get disappointed if they pick this 3M Peltor X-Series CapMount Earmuff. It is designed with a reasonable noise reduction rating up to 25 decibels, which is good enough to block high-frequency noise. The company has instilled some of the latest advanced technologies in these earmuffs. New advanced ear cup foam inserts and spacers are fitted in the earmuffs. These help in improving attenuation along with foam technology for efficient acoustic sealing and consistent protection.
The plastic ear cups of Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) produce high-strength, and impact-resistant earmuffs for harsh environments. 3M is hygienic because it gives you the option to replace the silicone liners and ear cushions. These earmuffs are ideal for occupational and industrial use.
Other Great Picks
The Noise Reduction Safety Ear Muffs of TACKLIFE offer a significant reduction in noise at a reasonably affordable price. They are not just popular hearing protection, but also the ones with the lowest price tag. Each earmuff has two thick foam pads of 15mm that provide a soundproof seal. The cushioned headband is able to efficiently lower the pressure on the head.
These earmuffs are the most efficient hearing protection with the NRR around 28 dB. It is accredited by the CE EN352-1 (EU) and ANSI S3.19 (US) laboratory standards. An adjustable headband of stainless steel is suitable for all sizes. The ear cups can be rotated up to a 360-degree angle. Lastly, the nylon swivel makes the earmuffs foldable for easy portability.
Yet another amazing product that is perfect for noise reduction is the 3M 1100 Foam Earplug. You can get them in a box of 200 pairs of similar earplugs that undoubtedly makes it an affordable investment. One of the best things about this earplug is the soft and comfortable structure. This is due to the soft polyurethane foam used to manufacture them.
The dirt-resistant surfaces of the earplugs promote hygiene, which makes them safe. One can roll them down for a proper and comfortable fitting. Its tapered design makes the earplugs fit comfortably in the ear canals. These soft and uncorded foam earplugs are the best for hearing protection due to their conformity to the inner ear.
One can never deny that Pro For Sho Safety Ear Protection is an amazing investment for the woodworkers. With the 34 dB noise reduction rating, it can help block the high noise of the industrial environment. Keeping the problem of conventional ear muffs in mend, these have been redesigned. They are lighter and flexible enough to fold. The slimmer structure and the foldable design makes them portable.
Pro For Sho earmuffs is ideal for noise reduction while woodworking, shooting, or hunting. Their padded headbands make it possible for the professionals to wear them all day long without any inconvenience. Due to the headband’s adjustable feature, this hearing protection can ensure a proper fit for everyone.
Buyer’s Guide: Things to Consider Before Buying a Hearing Protector
Various types of hearing protection are available for woodworking, but only a few are there that deliver what they promise. To guide you with a better product selection and to answer a very popular question which is “how do i choose hearing protection?”, we have mentioned some considerable factors to find the top ear protection gear available on the market:
1. Fit and Comfort
Choose one that is comfortable to wear for a longer time interval at every use. With that in mind, the hearing protection should be of easy fit. These two are necessary to ensure depending on the type of woodworking environment you deal with everyday. For example, if your work is mostly related to sanding wood pieces, then putting on earplugs is not a smart choice. For such stuff, earmuffs are best as you can easily brush off the grime and dust that might get into it during work.
2. Reduction in Noise Level
Decibel range is another important thing to look for while shopping for the best ear protection gear. Check the level of noise that the product can reduce. The value of decibel range is generally given in front of the package or the leaflet that comes within it.
However, it would not be a good idea to expect much noise suppression. The earmuffs or earplugs can generally decrease the noise level only by 20 to 30 decibels. But, that doesn’t mean that none of these are effective at all.
Suppose, you are using a drilling machine that generates a tremendous level of noise of around 100 decibels. But, wearing the right earmuff can suppress the loudness by 35 decibels. So, the amount of level you bear is only 65 decibels; this too is quite a high range, yet lesser than the damaging 85 to 90 decibels.
3. Weight and Portability
Choose the one with a lightweight that your head and neck can bear. Else, it may strain your neck. With that in mind, pick a compact cum portable hearing protection which you can put on for a longer time period.
Earplugs are the issue-less one as you can carry them in your pockets anywhere. But earmuffs are not that handy, you need to find one that can be folded conveniently to fit in your work bag.
4. Type of Hearing Protection You Require
Hearing protection is of different designs and types based on their requirement in a typical work environment. You can pick the one that suits your work. For example, if you are using hand power tools, such as orbital sanders, hand drills, or other handheld equipment, then choosing a pair of earplugs will do. Even earplugs are applicable for other noisier environments as well, but upto a considerable (decibel) range.
On the other hand, if your tasks relate to using table saw or band saw, and other floor-mounted woodshop tools, then earmuffs set is the ideal choice. Moreover, if you are a blacksmith, you won’t regret choosing earmuffs to save your hearing.
A benefit of preferring earmuffs to earplugs is you can use earbuds underneath and enjoy your music unless you crank the volume up. Whatever product or brand you choose, make sure it does the work of reducing the noise to a safer level that doesn’t harm your hearing.
Durability is the last, yet the most-sought factor, especially if your pick costs a little high. We always try to find the one that can last long and also fit the budget. Or, sometimes disposable earplugs are also used by some which are meant for one time use only. In that case, durability is not a concern. However, at times you may require to use reusable earplugs. In such a case, picking the one that is durable by at least 1 month is wiser, before it loses pliability.
While selecting earmuffs, check its band flexibility. If you find the metal band based earmuffs, grab it straight. Avoid the one made of plastic as it’s susceptible to breakage. Last is the ear pads of the earmuffs; this is the first thing that goes out of order. Initially, the foam (ear pad) dries up, eventually ends up cracking. After sometime, the foam will start coming out of the earmuff. While purchasing make sure that the ear pads are replaceable so you won’t have to change the entire set every time for the sake of those ear pads.
Well, that was all for the day. If you dabble in woodworking shops, or a DIY hobbyist looking for a safer work environment, consider the above points. Although the use of woodshop tools like hand drill, saw, belt Sanders, etc. make your task little easier, the noise they generate are hazardous to health. So, make the choice accordingly depending on your work type. As per today’s review, Mpow 035 Noise Reduction Safety Ear Muff is the ultimate one to check if you are a serious woodshop professional. Else, Honeywell Howard Leight Quiet Band Earplug is another versatile ear protection gear to serve different heavy woodworking environments. Hope that helps. Happy woodworking!