Best Hearing Protection For Woodworking

When it comes to choosing the best hearing protection for woodworking your choices are broken down into two major categories, protective ear muffs or earplugs. In this article, we are going to take a look at both types. We will review the ones we consider to be the best rated and make a recommendation on the best one in each of the categories.

4 Best Earmuffs for Woodworkers – Detailed Review

Noise in a woodworking environment such as jigsaws and routers can get pretty loud. Loud enough to cause temporary or in some cases permanent hearing loss. Often times the sufferer does not realize their hearing is being damaged due to the fact hearing loss is usually a gradual process. There are other effects of hearing damage that can happen quicker such as tinnitus. This is permanent ringing sound in the ears that can be quite distressing, especially when the environment you are in is quiet, such as trying to sleep.

Protecting your hearing from these loud noises is best done with noise reduction earmuffs. In a woodworking, environment noise levels can easily exceed 85 dB. To provide the best protection for woodworking the earmuff should reduce the sound level reaching your ears to below 85 dB.  Anything lower than 85 dB and you may not hear warning signals etc. Woodworking earmuffs should have an NRR (Noise Reduction Rating) of 25 to 33. Let’s dive into the best hearing protection for woodworking reviews.

Ultimately the best hearing protection for woodworking is going to be the one you are most comfortable using and one that you will actually use.

Mpow Noise Reduction Earmuffs – Our Top Pick For Best Hearing Protection for Woodworking Earmuffs

The Mpow is our recommended earmuffs for woodworkers. It has a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 28 dB. It is built with 2 layers of noise-damping foam, high sealing solid cup, and a double-shell construction.

They are made to adjust and one-size can fit both kids and adults. The Mpow earmuffs are lightweight and the headband is ergonomically designed to stay close to your head without causing unnecessary pressure.

Included in the price is a carrying pouch as well. Simply fold them for storage and your good to go. Overall these earmuffs offer very good noise reduction, are adjustable to just about any size head, and are excellent for the budget-minded consumer. That’s why we rate them as the best ear protection for woodworking.

Pros

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  • Comfortable to wear
  • Adjustable to most head sizes
  • Can be used for kids

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Cons

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  • Some report noise reduction not as expected
  • Headband sometimes too tight
  • Build quality issue for some

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3M Peltor Optime 105 Over the Head Earmuff

The Peltor Optime 105 is another excellent hearing protection earmuff with a Noise Reduction Rating of 30 dB.

These Peltor’s feature a patented double cup design that helps boost noise reduction through the full range of low and high frequencies.

The headband is comfortable and durable and resists bending and warping.

The earmuffs themselves contain soft liquid, and foam so they fit comfortably around your ears.

They also provide an effective noise-blocking seal.

Pros

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  • Comfortable to wear
  • Works in most noisy environments
  • Excellent seal around ears

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Cons

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  • Sweaty ears when used in warm environments
  • Some report noise reduction inadequate for their needs

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Professional Safety Ear Muffs by Decibel Defense

The Decibel Defense Professional Safety EarMuffs have an NRR of 34 dB (OSHA).

They have an extra padded headband, and lightweight and fold for easy storage and portability.

Overall many users report excellent results with these earmuffs.

In addition, we need to state that when customers have had a problem the company has reached out to them quickly to resolve the issue.

Pros

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  • Extra padded headband
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Foldable

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Cons

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  • Some units fit a bit too tight

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Neiko 53925A Safety Ear Muffs

These Neiko hearing protection earmuffs have an NRR rating of 26 dB.

They offer an adjustable headband which allows them to fit almost anyone.

They are lightweight and have cushioned ear pads for added comfort.

The design allows you to easily wear safety glasses or google, and any form-fitting head cover or baseball cap.

Though these are the last on our list of the Top 5 earmuffs for woodworking they are still excellent and offer a great value.

Pros

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  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Easily adjustable to most head sizes

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Cons

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  • A little too tight for some head sizes
  • Headband might stretch and become loose after time

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5 Best Earplugs for Woodworkers – Detailed Review

Earplugs offer several advantages over earmuffs, but they also have several disadvantages as well. First off earplugs are comfortable to wear since they don’t seal off your ears. They are extremely portable, just roll them up and insert them in your pocket.

The main disadvantage of earplugs is that they do not offer as much protection as a good set of earmuffs. Below you will find our 5 picks for woodworking earplugs.

SureFire EP4 Sonic Defender Plus Earplugs

Our Top Pick For Best Hearing Protection for Woodworking Earplugs

The SureFire EP4 earplugs have a noise reduction rating of 24 dB with the filter cap installed.

You can remove the filter caps to hear normal safe sounds.

The Sonic Defenders have a triple-flange stem that is soft and adjustable. It provides a secure seal in the ear canals and is quite comfortable.

They are designed to be low-profile which allows you to wear a helmet, hat, mask or even supplemental ear protection such as protective earmuffs.

The patented ear lock ring uses 7 contact points to lock and keep the earpiece in place the same way every time.

Pros

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  • Excellent noise reduction
  • Low profile design
  • Comfortable fit

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Cons

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  • Some users do not find these comfortable
  • Some report too much noise reduction and can’t hear close conversations

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Decibullz – Custom Molded Earplugs

The Decibullz earplugs have a Noise Reduction Rating of 31 dB.

The design is made to easily and quickly fit the exact shape of your ear.

To customize these earplugs you simply have to place them in boiling water, let them cool for a bit and shape them to your ears.

Obviously good for woodworking as well as loud concerts, working etc.

In addition to the earplugs, you get 3 flange tips (small, medium, large) and a carrying case.

Pros

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  • Custom molded
  • Comfortable fit
  • 3 different flange tips included

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Cons

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  • Cheap carrying case
  • Poor instructions
  • Some report insufficient noise reduction

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3M Peltor Combat Arms Earplugs

The Peltor Combat Arms Earplugs have a Noise Reduction Rating of 22 dB.

They are used by the military and NATO.

When the yellow end is inserted you get noise-activated instant protection again noise.

They are not low-profile so if you wear earmuff over them you will find the inside of the earmuff cup hits the earplug end.

If you insert the olive end you get passive protection in contact noise.

The patented triple flange design provides a custom secure fit. Includes a reusable storage bag.

Pros

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  • Excellent noise reduction
  • Comfortable fit
  • Nice carrying case

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Cons

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  • Not as comfortable as the Surefire
  • Can’t always be used with supplemental earmuffs
  • Priced higher than other earplugs

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Otis Technology Ear Shield Hearing Protection

The Otis Technology earplugs have a 31 dB NRR rating. These earplugs are more than just earplugs.

They go on like a set of headphones…somewhat.

They are lightweight and are easily collapsible. They do not require any batteries.

They still allow you to hear some sounds while effectively reducing loud noise.

The noise reduction is a result of the chamber design that dissipates the energy of percussive sound like that from a machine startup. It’s a pretty ingenious idea that seems to work rather well.

Pros

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  • Effective noise reduction
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Allows you to hear normal conversations
  • No batteries required

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Cons

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  • A bit pricey
  • Some dislike the band
  • Bulky for some users

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Radians Disposable Uncorded Foam Earplugs

Nothing fancy or high tech about the Radians disposable foam earplugs. They simply work.

They have a noise reduction rating of 32 dB which is pretty good for foam earplugs.

Easy to use by just rolling them up into a ball and then letting them expand in your ear canal. Tight fit, with very little discomfort.

Buyers typically used them with supplemental ear protection such as earmuff to improved noise reduction.

Overall a good value as you get 25 pairs in the bottle.

Pros

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  • Very good noise reduction
  • Great value
  • Good fit for most
  • Can be used under earmuffs for extra noise reduction

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Cons

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  • Tend to easily fall out if not insert properly

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Best Hearing Protection For Woodworking Conclusion

In the shop, I prefer to use a set of Mpow earmuffs with the added protection of disposable Radians earplugs. This combination works extremely well and is comfortable for me. At the end of the day, you have to take hearing protection very seriously.  Choosing any of the earmuffs or earplugs recommended on this page is going to go a long way to protecting your precious hearing and allow you to enjoy woodworking. In the end, the best hearing protection for woodworking is the solution you will actually use.

If you enjoyed this article and found it useful please share it. Looking for a woodworking apron, check out our top 6 picks.

Last update on 2018-06-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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