Whether you’re working at a noisy site or riding a loud motorcycle, you need the best hearing protection headphones to prevent hearing damage.
Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), prolonged exposure to noises over 70 dB can lead to permanent hearing loss. Therefore, you need to protect your ears from all the noisy situations and tasks out there. However, it can be a daunting task to find the right hearing protection headphones.
Hearing protection headphones are also known as “noise reduction earmuffs.” They resemble large over-the-ear noise-canceling headphones.
However, their ear pads are made of special materials that reduce loud noises before they enter your ears. By wearing good-quality hearing protection headphones, you can protect your ears from potential damage.
To help you find the right hearing protection headphones, we tested over 20 such products over 90 days. After thoroughly tested each pair of hearing protection headphones, we shortlisted these 6 headphones that are worth purchasing.
- Best Hearing Protection Headphones With Bluetooth – 3M WorkTunes Connect Hearing Protector with Bluetooth Technology
- Best Hearing Protection Headphones with Radio – Honeywell Sync Digital AM/FM/MP3 Radio Earmuff
- Best Hearing Protection Headphones With Microphone – PROTEAR Hearing Protector with Bluetooth and Boom Microphone Technology
- Best Hearing Protection Headphones for Shooting – GLORYFIRE Electronic Shooting Earmuff
- Best Hearing Protection Headphones for Lawn Mowing – 3M Pro-Grade Noise-Reducing Earmuff
- Best Hearing Protection Headphones for Kids – 3M Kids Hearing Protection PLUS
Therefore, whether you want simple hearing protection headphones or are looking for something extra, we’re here to help.
In this guide, we’ll review all the 6 hearing protection headphones one by one, list their pros and cons, discuss different factors you should consider while buying noise reduction headphones, and a lot more.
Why Hearing Protection Headphones Are Better Than Ear Plugs
When working in a noisy environment, you may think about trying earplugs and earphones as they sit inside your ears. However, here are a few reasons why earmuffs and hearing protection headphones are better than earplugs when it comes to protecting your hearing ability:
Hearing Protection Headphones Provide Full Ear Coverage
While earplugs do protect your hearing, they don’t cover the entire ear canal. Not only this but they keep falling out if you don’t get an accurate fit. On the other hand, hearing protection headphones cover your ears completely and are more comfortable. You can use the adjustable headbands to ensure a proper fit.
Hearing Protection Headphones Deliver Balanced Audio
Hearing protection headphones comprise microphones that amplify sounds and limit harmful noises. Therefore, they provide balanced audio.
How to Find the Right Hearing Protection Headphones – Buying Guide
Hearing protection headphones can be used for a variety of reasons and situations. However, that does not mean every design, model, style or brand is equally useful for you.
Therefore, if you are looking for the right hearing protection headphones, you must find something that suits your requirements the best.
Here are some of the most critical factors you should consider while finding the best hearing protection headphones:
1. Noise Reduction Rating
The Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) is the number of decibels your hearing protection headphones can reduce. While it can never be exact, it is something you need to consider while finding the right hearing protection headphones.
You can pick the NRR based on your requirement. For instance, if you are looking for industry-grade hearing protection headphones, you need headphones with a high NRR. Similarly, if you are looking for hearing protection headphones for lawn mowing or other yard work, you can do with headphones with a low NRR.
Since you’ll be wearing the hearing protection headphones for hours at a stretch, you need to ensure they are comfortable. Check if the headphones have well-padded ear cushions and headband. Also, don’t forget to assess the weight of the headphones. Ensure the hearing protection headphones you are planning to buy are lightweight and not too tight on your head.
3. Audio In
Even though hearing protection or noise reduction headphones cannot be used as substitutes for regular headphones, some of them comprise built-in speakers so you can listen to music and keep yourself entertained while you are working. In most cases, you can use both the Bluetooth and 3.5 mm audio input to connect your device to the headphones.
4. Power Source
Battery-powered hearing protection headphones are helpful when you are on a move. However, most people prefer rechargeable hearing protection headphones.
5. AM/FM Radio
AM/FM Radio is an interesting feature that can be found in modern hearing protection headphones on the market. They can be great choices for people who prefer listening to news, interviews and ongoing music, instead of playlists. The AM/FM Radio feature can come in handy for shooters who are working in a forest or secluded area.
Top 6 Hearing Protection Headphones to Keep Your Ears Safe
Let’s now look at the detailed reviews of the top hearing protection headphones one by one:
1. 3M WorkTunes Connect Hearing Protector with Bluetooth Technology
Best Hearing Protection Headphones With Bluetooth
- Good build quality
- Comfortable and lightweight
- Fantastic built-in battery life; can work for 30 hours when fully charged
- Easy to set up and use
- Good sound quality; however, the volume is probably 50% of regular headphones
- Great passive earmuff hearing protection
- Simple and straightforward controls
- Not suitable for shooting as they reduce your situational awareness
- No volume controls on the headphones
- Low volume
If you are looking for premium-quality hearing protection headphones to protect your ears as well as keep yourself entertained, the 3M WorkTunes Connect Hearing Protector With Bluetooth Technology can be a good option.
Firstly, these headphones are Bluetooth enabled. You can connect them with your Bluetooth devices and stream entertainment as you work. We did not experience any issues while connecting these headphones with our Bluetooth devices. You can also connect them to non-Bluetooth devices using the 3.5 mm audio input.
Secondly, these headphones are comfortable and durable. The ear cushions are comfortable and soft, and provide an accurate fit. The headband is flexible and sturdy. It comprises cutouts for added comfort when worn with caps or hats. Thanks to the simple design of these headphones, they are lightweight and perfect for continuous use.
Thirdly, the 3M WorkTunes Connect Hearing Protector With Bluetooth Technology comes with a NRR of 24 dB. However, to make the most of the noise reduction feature, ensure these headphones fit accurately.
You may not be able to leverage the full NRR potential if these headphones are not fitting properly. So, whether you are using a powerful saw or mowing the lawn with a loud lawn mower, these hearing protection headphones will protect your ears.
Fourtly, we really liked the sound quality delivered by these headphones. The high-fidelity speakers deliver clear and crisp sound. These headphones also comprise a built-in microphone that allows you to make/take phone calls without removing them.
In conclusion, 3M WorkTunes Connect Hearing Protector With Bluetooth Technology is affordable, comfortable, durable and perfect for protecting your ears when working in noisy environments.
We did not experience any issues while setting up these headphones or using them. You can use the single-button interface and audio-assist technology to set up and use these headphones without removing them. Just push the button once (long push) to switch on or off and twice to pair the headphones with your Bluetooth device.
2. Honeywell Sync Digital AM/FM/MP3 Radio Earmuffs
Best Hearing Protection Headphones with Radio
- Great hearing protection earmuffs; protect your ears even when switched off
- Good Bluetooth range
- Excellent microphone performance in extremely noisy environments
- Good audio quality
- Comfortable and lightweight
- Ear pads can be changed per your requirements
- Great battery life
- Long battery charging time
- Low volume
If you are looking for the best hearing protection headphones with radio, there’s no better option than the Honeywell Sync Digital AM/FM/MP3 Radio Earmuffs.
Firstly, these hearing protection headphones are equipped with digital AM/FM tuning and an LCD display, and automatically search for radio stations. You can explore 10 pre-set stations and enjoy high-fidelity digital stereo radio reception. You can also make the most of the Volume Management Technology to create a customized listening experience both indoors and outdoors.
Secondly, these headphones provide superior hearing protection. The NRR of these headphones is 25 dB and they are equipped with a patented Air Flow Control technology that reduces sound across a variety of frequencies without increasing the size of the headphones.
Thirdly, the Honeywell Sync Digital AM/FM/MP3 Radio Earmuffs are extremely comfortable and lightweight. Both the ear pads and headband are generously padded. Reinforced folk slides on the headband enhance its sturdiness and make it more flexible for a comfortable fit.
The sleek design ensures the earmuffs remain lightweight. We have some large heads on our team and these headphones fit all of them perfectly. These headphones are one of the most comfortable headphones to protect your hearing.
In conclusion, the Honeywell Sync Digital AM/FM/MP3 Radio Earmuffs work pretty well. We listened to audiobooks and music while operating some really loud equipment.
The microphone audio quality is excellent. One of our team members had a long chat with his friend while mowing the lawn at full power; both the microphone and speaker audio clarity were phenomenal.
You can use these headphones as Bluetooth hearing protection headphones or wired headphones (using the audio cable included with the product).
3. PROTEAR Hearing Protector with Bluetooth and Boom Microphone Technology
Best Hearing Protection Headphones With Microphone
- Comfortable and lightweight
- Solid build
- Easily affordable
- Fit well
- Quick Bluetooth connection
- MP3 input included
- Great battery life
- Clear and precise sound
- No bass
- Low volume
Even though most of the hearing protection headphones on our list come with microphones, the PROTEAR Hearing Protector With Bluetooth and Boom Microphone Technology provides the best microphone audio quality. The Boom microphone provides crystal-clear audio output in the noisiest environments. You can rotate it and use it per your convenience.
Secondly, the hearing protection provided by these headphones is really impressive. Their NRR is 25 dB. We tested these hearing protection headphones while doing a variety of yard work (lawn mowing, hedge trimming and so on) and they did not disappoint us even once.
The PROTEAR Hearing Protector With Bluetooth and Boom Microphone Technology also comes with AM/FM digital radio. You can enjoy 8 pre-set stations or program them per your choice. All you need to do is pop in the 3 AAA batteries and get started.
Lastly, these hearing protection headphones are comfortable and lightweight. They comprise a simple design and well-padded headband that’s easily adjustable.
In conclusion, the PROTEAR Hearing Protector With Bluetooth and Boom Microphone Technology are inexpensive hearing protection headphones that work really well. They sound good.
4. GLORYFIRE Electronic Shooting Earmuffs
Best Hearing Protection Headphones for Shooting
- Comfortable and durable
- Great build
- Excellent sound quality
- Great hearing protection
- Can be folded; easy to carry
- We did not experience any issues with the product
Whether you are a beginner or an ace shooter, the GLORYFIRE Electronic Shooting Earmuffs can be a great buy. These professional-grade hunting and shooting hearing protection headphones come with an NRR of 25 dB. They shut off all the external noise completely when ambient sound reaches 82 dB.
The GLORYFIRE Electronic Shooting Earmuffs use Compress Technology to eliminate noise above 82 dB.
Secondly, these headphones work wonderfully when sound amplification is required, especially during hunting. Even if your prey makes the slightest sound, these headphones amplify it six times to get you the perfect shot.
They also comprise a 3.5mm receptacle and a connection wire so you can use them for as your own music source or in a networked communication system with your co-shooters or in any tactical environment.
Thirdly, the sound quality delivered by these headphones is excellent. You can use them as stereo headphones to enjoy your favorite music when you’re on a break from shooting.
Lastly, the GLORYFIRE Electronic Shooting Earmuffs are comfortable and sturdy. Both the ear pads and headband are well-padded. The deep ear pads protect your ears from damage while shooting.
In conclusion, the GLORYFIRE Electronic Shooting Earmuffs provide excellent noise isolation and ear protection with even better sound production and gunshot noise elimination. They are comfortable and durable. We’ve used them on multiple occasions and they did not disappoint us even once.
5. 3M Pro-Grade Noise-Reducing Earmuffs
Best Hearing Protection Headphones for Lawn Mowing
- Excellent noise cancelation
- Comfortable and durable
- Professional-grade hearing protection headphones
- Easily affordable
- Cannot be used for listening to music
The 3M Pro-Grade Noise-Reducing Earmuffs are one of the highest noise reduction earmuffs on the market. Their NRR is 30 dB. So, whether you are mowing the lawn with high-grade equipment or working in residential construction, you can rely on these hearing protection headphones.
Secondly, these hearing protection headphones are comfortable and durable. The headband is made of steel wire and molded with rubber for enhanced sturdiness. The ear cups are covered with premium-quality cushions and are rotatable. The flexible headband can be easily adjusted to ensure a proper fit. Not only this but the headband is also vented to improve comfort when you are wearing a cap or hat.
In conclusion, the 3M Pro-Grade Noise-Reducing Earmuffs are the quietest and most comfortable hearing protection headphones on the market right now. And, the best thing is that their price is really low for their utility and quality.
6. 3M Kids Hearing Protection PLUS
Best Hearing Protection Headphones for Kids
- Interesting color options
- Extremely comfortable and lightweight
- Compact, foldable and portable
- Good hearing protection
- Sealed ear cups
- Can fit adults too
- Easily affordable
- Durable and sturdy
- Does not cancel out noise completely
If you are looking for good-quality hearing protection headphones for your kids to ensure their ears don’t get damaged during concerts, outdoor activities, stadium events, truck shows and more. You can check the 3M Kids Hearing Protection PLUS Headphones. These hearing protection headphones have an NRR of 23 dB.
Firstly, these headphones are extremely comfortable and lightweight. The ear cushions are padded and the flexible headband provides an accurate fit. We promise your kids won’t get annoyed even if they wear them for hours together.
Secondly, when these headphones are not in use, you can fold them and make them compact. Therefore, you can easily carry them in your bag when you are traveling.
In conclusion, the 3M Kids Hearing Protection Plus Headphones definitely don’t cancel out noise completely but dampen sounds for kids who have sensitivities.
Read our article on The 5 Best Baby Headphones to find hearing protection headphones for babies.
Understanding the Definition and Measurement of Noise
Noise levels are typically measured in decibels (dB). The louder the noise, the higher will be the decibels. Higher decibels can lead to hearing loss.
Decibels can be measured on a scale of 0 to 140. Since the decibel measurement system uses an exponential scale, an increase of 20 dB means the sound is 20 times louder than before. Here’s a list of approximate decibel measurements for different scenarios:
- Ambience, quiet Noise and whispering: 30 to 40 dB
- Chatter and conversations: 50 to 70 dB
- Movie theatre: 80 to 90 dB
- Concerts/loud music: 110 to 120 dB
- Bars/nightclubs playing music: 90 to 110 dB
- Dangerous/painful sound: 130 to 140 dB
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About the Best Hearing Protection Headphones
Here are our top picks for the best hearing protection on the market:
– Best Hearing Protection Headphones With Bluetooth – 3M WorkTunes Connect Hearing Protector with Bluetooth Technology
– Best Hearing Protection Headphones with Radio – Honeywell Sync Digital AM/FM/MP3 Radio Earmuff
– Best Hearing Protection Headphones With Microphone – PROTEAR Hearing Protector with Bluetooth and Boom Microphone Technology
– Best Hearing Protection Headphones for Shooting – GLORYFIRE Electronic Shooting Earmuffs
– Best Hearing Protection Headphones for Lawn Mowing – 3M Pro-Grade Noise-Reducing Earmuffs
– Best Hearing Protection Headphones for Kids – 3M Kids Hearing Protection PLUS
The GLORYFIRE Electronic Shooting Earmuffs are the best hearing protection headphones for hunting
The highest possible NRR rating you can get is 33. However, for indoor shooting, hearing protection headphones with NRR 28 to 30 are good to go. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, shooters should use both earmuffs and earplugs while shooting.
Professional shooters around the world use the Howard Leight by Honeywell Impact Sport Sound Amplification Electronic Shooting Earmuffs.
Your ears are sensitive and you need to protect them when working in loud environments. Continuous exposure to booming and blaring sounds can lead to hearing loss. From our list of the best hearing protection headphones, we sincerely hope you’ve been able to shortlist a few options. If you haven’t yet, don’t worry; take your time.
However, if you ask us to pick a favorite, we’ll vote for the Honeywell Sync Digital AM/FM/MP3 Radio Earmuffs. These hearing protection headphones comprise everything you need to protect your ears. They are affordable, comfortable, and durable. Both the speakers and microphone deliver excellent audio quality. You can use these headphones as Bluetooth hearing protection headphones or wired headphones (using the audio cable included with the product).
If you have any suggestions/questions for us, please feel free to post them in the comment section below.