Peltor Optime III Ear Muffs Review

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The 3M Peltor Optime III Ear Defenders are designed to protect your hearing in noisy environments such as construction sites and factories. They can reduce the volume of the sound hitting your ear drums by up to 35 dB, which is a substantial amount that offers a good level of protection.

While they’re primarily aimed at professionals who are exposed to loud noises on a daily basis, they could also be a good option for people looking for an effective way to block out sound at home or for hobbies such as shooting.

Find out how the Peltor Optime III Ear Defenders perform in this review…


Model number: OPT3HB

SNR rating: 35 dB

Weight: 285 g

Performance and comfort

These ear defenders are very effective at reducing the sound of both high and low frequencies. Low frequencies are particularly difficult for ear defenders to handle, but the Peltor Optime IIIs perform relatively well in this regard.

With an SNR rating of 35 dB, these ear defenders offer one of the highest levels of hearing protection available. They’re certified to EN 352-1:1993 safety standards, which means you can rely on them to protect your hearing from high levels of noise.

Some high-noise places where these ear defenders would be useful include:

  • Airports
  • Mines
  • Factories
  • Power stations

These ear defenders are also great for wearing around the house if you want to block out the sound of neighbours, traffic or other irritating background noise. You could sleep in these ear defenders, but they are bulky and would be uncomfortable to sleep in unless you normally sleep on your back.

If you’ve never used ear defenders before, you shouldn’t expect them to completely block out all noise. You will still be aware of your surroundings, which is important if you work in an industrial setting or when you need to know when somebody is talking to you. If you want to block out noise as much as possible, you can combine these ear defenders with ear plugs.

These ear defenders are quite bulky, but are fairly light. They have a double cup design which helps reduce the effect of resonance and contribute to this product’s high level of sound attenuation.  They also have a low-profile headband which helps maintain a constant level of pressure.

These ear defenders’ sealing rings feature a hygienic foil that is filled with a mixture of foam and liquid that helps seal them over your ears without feeling too tight.

The 3M Peltor Optime III Ear Defenders are quite comfy if you’re wearing them for short periods of time, but can become hot and uncomfortable if you’re wearing them all day. This depends a bit on the size of your head; if your head is larger than average you might find them too tight to wear for long periods. On the whole though, they’re comfier than the average pair of ear defenders.

  • Good value for money
  • High SNR rating (35 dB)
  • Feel tough and well made
  • Relatively comfortable
  • Depending on the size and shape of your head, you might find that one or both of the ear cups slips down
  • Can be uncomfortable when used for more than a few hours
  • No carrying case or bag included


Overall, the 3M Peltor Optime III Ear Muffs are some of the best ear defenders currently available in the UK. They’re great for industrial work, and will also suit those who just want to block out traffic noises or other distracting sounds while relaxing at home.

These ear defenders are a good choice if you want something that will meet hearing protection regulations and will be comfortable and durable. They are made to a high standard by a reputable brand, and will offer your ears real protection from long-term damage. These ear defenders aren’t the cheapest on the market, but they are well made for the price.

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3M produce several other ear defenders in the Peltor range. The Peltor Optime II Earmuffs are quite similar to the Peltor Optime III Earmuffs. They have an SNR rating of 31 dB, which is lower than the Optime IIIs’ rating of 35 dB, which means they’re better for activities like construction and farming rather than extremely loud environments like airports.

For some other good ear defenders to consider, see these recommended industrial ear defenders and these top ear defenders for construction.

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