What is the Best Hearing Protection for Woodworking? (2022)

3M WorkTunes Hearing Protection

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It’s no secret that power tools produce loud noises that could cause distraction, or worse—permanent hearing loss. Although this dilemma could be solved with products that serve as woodworking ear protection, not all earmuffs offer the same level of defense. 

In this post, our woodworking professionals will recommend and test the best hearing protection out there to keep your ears and wallet safe from second-rate offerings. 

Premium Option
3M WorkTunes Hearing Protection
Editor’s Choice
3M Peltor X2A Over Head Ear Muffs
Budget Option
Flents Soft Foam Earplugs
3M WorkTunes Hearing Protection
3M Peltor X2A Over Head Ear Muffs
Flents Soft Foam Earplugs
• NRR Rating: 24 Decibels
• Over-the-Head Design
• Built-in Bluetooth Technology
• Built-in Microphone
• Customized Fit Earmuffs
• Replaceable Earcups
• Wire Headband Design
• NRR Rating: 24 Decibelst
• Easy and Comfortable Fit
• NRR: 29 Decibels
• Latex Free
• Slow Rebound Time
Premium Option
3M WorkTunes Hearing Protection
3M WorkTunes Hearing Protection
• NRR Rating: 24 Decibels
• Over-the-Head Design
• Built-in Bluetooth Technology
• Built-in Microphone
Editor’s Choice
3M Peltor X2A Over Head Ear Muffs
3M Peltor X2A Over Head Ear Muffs
• Customized Fit Earmuffs
• Replaceable Earcups
• Wire Headband Design
• NRR Rating: 24 Decibelst
Budget Option
Flents Soft Foam Earplugs
Flents Soft Foam Earplugs
• Easy and Comfortable Fit
• NRR: 29 Decibels
• Latex Free
• Slow Rebound Time

Reviews of the Top Hearing Protection Products for Woodworking

1. 3M Peltor X2A Over Head Ear Muffs

Handling DIY projects with prolonged exposure to noise require ear muffs that can prevent hearing damage. Lucky for you, 3M Peltor X2A has customized in-ear styles that could fit most people. 

One of a few things our team liked about this ear protection is its double headband design, reducing heat buildup. Although its noise reduction rating (NRR) covers your ear canal completely from 24 decibels of sound, you can still have normal conversations while using it.   

Besides being saved from loud noise during the cutting operation, it’s also surprisingly sanitary with its replaceable cups. To keep it clean, you can pair it up with a hygiene kit from the same brand.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

2. 3M WorkTunes Hearing Protection

The best hearing protection for woodworking isn’t always affordable, which is why our testers decided to give 3M WorkTunes a try. Emerging from the same brand as our top choice, it didn’t surprise us much when we found out that these earmuffs can protect your hearing from sounds ranging up to 24 decibels. 

Unlike the traditional over-the-head earmuffs, this product includes optional features like Bluetooth technology. Not only does it have a tight seal for noise isolation, but you can also use it in making phone calls, thanks to its integrated microphones.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

3. Flents Soft Foam Earplugs

If you find earmuffs a bit overbearing to wear, you can consider earplugs like those sold in Flents. Besides being highly affordable than noise-canceling headphones, these foam plugs can protect your hearing from sounds ranging up to 29 decibels. 

With that measurement, you can expect to block any loud music or even sounds from table saws. Another thing we like about Flents Soft Foam Earplugs besides lesser noise exposure is how it doesn’t apply pressure to the ears. 

If you wear it appropriately, it can seal your ear canal. It’s an ear protection product we can recommend to people with a limited budget or woodworkers who prefer absolute focus when working. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

4. 3M Peltor X3A Over-the-Head Ear Muffs

Shying away from traditional earplugs, we decided to look back at the same earmuff line which led us to discover 3M Peltor X3A. If you look closely, the structure of this unit is somewhat similar to the previous products from the same brand. However, did you know that this ear protection can block 28 decibels of sound? 

Its cushions are also soft, making extended operations less straining to the ears. Thanks to their durable construction, these muffs don’t only protect your hearing but have enough impact-resistant characteristics to handle tough pressures. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

5. ClearArmor 141001 Safety Ear Muffs

Another great find with a lower price tag that caught our testers’ eyes is ClearArmor 141001. While not as equipped as premium ear protection with Bluetooth capabilities, this unit is engineered with a signature SonicSeal that prevents you from hearing any sound leakage. 

Excessive exposure to noise can cause hearing loss[1], so this manufacturer ensured users are fully protected with 3-layered noise dampening foams. Through this feature, the muffs can absorb sound frequencies. 

The headband is highly adjustable, and it comes with a padded surface which makes long operations more comfortable. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

6. Howard Leight by Honeywell Foam Earplugs

Although earplugs are often not considered the best hearing protection for woodworking, our team found this Howard Leight by Honeywell plugs set quite decent to the ears. For one, it has a great reduction capability that can block up to 32 decibels. It doesn’t matter if you have smaller or larger ears. These plugs can fit anyone perfectly. 

On top of that, they offer comfort and ease because you can easily insert and remove them from your ears without any hassle. We’re certain that woodworkers would definitely love this product, given that each purchase includes 200 pairs of plugs. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

7. ProCase Noise Reduction Safety Ear Muffs

Finding the best ear protection may not be about being stylish, but visuals are one of the first things we noticed with ProCase Safety Ear Muffs. Upon the testing, our team quickly took notice of the ample space on the earcups. We also find its soft padding really pleasant as it doesn’t pressure the ears. 

The construction of this product also seems pretty decent. It has an ABS shell and dampening foam that makes it highly durable. You’d be surprised with its folding design as well. With this feature, users can carry these compact muffs anywhere without any problem. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

Hearing Protection for Woodworking Buyer’s Guide

Type of Hearing Protection

When you shop for the best hearing protection for woodworking, you’ll encounter different types of products from plugs, Bluetooth headsets up to the typical earmuffs. Everything depends on your preference and how many decibels of sound you’re exposed to. 

For example, our woodworkers wouldn’t recommend plugs to people who have very sensitive ears. However, if you notice, they block a higher range than other options. There are also earmuffs that allow you to listen to music or FM radios. 

Noise Reduction Rating

Another feature you should check is the noise reduction rating. Woodworking tools are known to produce ear drumming sounds, so it’s crucial to know how much your ear protection can handle. The unit of measurement for this feature usually comes in decibels. 

Connectivity Options

If you’re a modern worker, going for products with Bluetooth is definitely a great idea. Although not mandatory to have, it’ll be great if you can cater to a phone call and listen to music while working.

Comfort

There are woodworking tasks that’ll take hours, so you should consider buying plugs and earmuffs that are comfortable to wear. Our experts urge you to inspect how soft the paddings are for a more comfortable extended usage.

Fit and Compatibility

It only applies to earmuffs, but it’s also important to consider the fit of your woodworking ear protection. Products with adjustable bands and ample cup space should be on top of your list. 

Why Hearing Protection is a Must For Woodworking Activities

Did you know that continuously hearing sounds ranging up to 70dB may start damaging your hearing? Depending on how many decibels your plugs or muffs can handle, your hearing may be spared from getting damaged.

FAQ

What noise reduction rating is needed for woodworking?

The noise reduction rating needed for woodworking should be able to hold at least 25 percent of the overall noise. And while products with NRR ranging from 20 to 30 decibels don’t block everything, they should be decent enough to block the impact of the noise and prevent damages on your hearing. 

Our Top Pick For a Hearing Protection Product for Woodworking: 3M Peltor X2A

The best hearing protection for woodworking doesn’t have to be expensive or full of extra features, which is why we hailed the 3M Peltor X2A as our top pick in this roundup. Not only does it have an affordable price tag, but it’s also comfortable to the ears and provides enough protection to prevent hearing damages. 

Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson
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