Hearing / Ear Protection - Any recommendations?


Senior User
I have hearing aids and use the 3M over the ear. They work great. The hearing aids can connect to my phone to play music so no need for any music in the earmuffs.
I have hearing aids as well - trying to get a new pair dialed-in. I am told that I might be able to get a pair of aids that essentially turn the protection on instantaneously (what, speed of light?) in response to loud noises, then off again when the loud noise abates.

They are custom fit - molded in the ear things (I think he said the battery/electronics sits outside as with 'normal' aides.

For the record, I got the THREE M headset ($23.50) and they work great. It got so quiet immediately. Road the tractor down to yank out a 20' 20" caliper walnut log and, save for the bumpy ride, it was like driving a Cadillac. Can't hear the Husqvarna 24" saw at all!

Oh, forgot to add I was wearing eyeglasses (well, kinda hafta!) and the 3M Ear Muff things didn't impair my vision at all!

3M Pro-Grade Noise-Reducing Earmuff, NRR 30 dB, Lightweight and Adjustable Hearing Protector, Black


Senior User
How often do you replace over ear muffs? I have a pair of Pelitor N98 which are several years old.
Pelitor - now 'by 3M' appear indistinguishable from the 3Ms I got. On Amazon, they are all over teh place in different colors and such - but "they all look alike to me!" Maybe 3M bought them out to eliminate the competition?

By the way, I invented Hear Muffs a few years back - before I got my aids. They work with or without hearing aids.


I mainly use my Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Premium Noise Canceling headset, prime day is $248 > https://www.amazon.com/Sony-WH-1000XM4-Canceling-Headphones-Phone-Call/dp/B08MVGF24M/ref=sr_1_4?crid=31MOB7SXTZRNL&keywords=sony+noise+canceling+wireless+headphones&qid=1689206172&sprefix=sony+noise,aps,123&sr=8-4&th=1

I LOVE them!!! Sometimes I will listen to music or an audiobook or with no audiobook or music (just as you would with a headset without noise canceling.

I purchased mine when this model first came out. I liked them so much that I got a pair for my wife. She is now in a long-term home and did not take her headset with her. I managed to put mine somewhere safe. They are sooooo safe I have not found them, therefore I'm now using my wife's. I'm going to get a tracker to put on them. I'm constantly putting my phone down and via my watch, I can say "Where is my phone" and it will ring the phone until I shut it off.

Sometimes I remove my hearing aids and othertimes I leave them in. I prefer to remove the hearing aids if using the headset.


Senior User
Pelitor - now 'by 3M' appear indistinguishable from the 3Ms I got. On Amazon, they are all over teh place in different colors and such - but "they all look alike to me!" Maybe 3M bought them out to eliminate the competition?

Peltor was a brand of Aearo who was later bought by 3M (in 2008).

I have an original made in Sweden set of Peltors circa 2003. I buy replacement parts for it from 3Ms Optime line - clearly the design hasn’t changed much in ~20 years.

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Senior User
I will add another vote for Peltor. I started using them shooting powder burners and now have a pair that the wire goes behind my neck in the shop. I wear glasses and having the muffs coupled around the back of my neck is more comfortable than over the top of my head. I wore one set of muffs out, probably lasted over 10 years. They are inexpensive and they work.

It may also be important to realize or remember that guns are a lot louder than our power tools. Even the lowly 22lr can be 140db. 100 db would be a very loud power tool. Pistols and rifles with muzzle brakes can be 175db. So hearing protection that is reasonably effective for guns will be very effective for the shop. If you really want to protect your ears on the range, plugs and muffs is probably not overkill. But muffs seem to be plenty for the shop. Even ear plugs might be enough depending on the tool you are using.


Update on the WH1000XM5. They are MUCH better than the WH1000XM4, especially in the active noise reduction. I have both the WH1000XM4 and WH1000XM5. I picked up a returned pair through Amazon and got a great price about $225. I highly recommend them. Most often I'm listening to music or an audiobook while woodworking.


Senior User
I would caution you all that too much noise protection is not a good thing in a WW’ing shop.

If you forget to turn a machine off you can’t hear it. I can relate two hair raising testimonials, but I’ll spare you the details. No digits were lost but it was damn close.


New User
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.
I agree also. I avoid using hearing protection with music while working with a machine that could hurt me. So easy to loose focus. Hearing even if it’s is muffled helps.


Staff member
Corporate Member
I find the best hearing protection brands are the ones made for the firearms industry. Like Smith & Wesson and such. These can be found an gun shops or even the big box stores sometimes.


Corporate Member
I only use shooters muffs which provide the best protection and most are designed to fit with glasses available at any sporting goods store. ISO Tunes makes very good muffs as well and I use them when on my tractor or lawn mower only because I can connect to my phone and know when calls are coming in.

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