Protecting your ears is very important if you work in a noisy environment, but it can be boring just to listen to the sounds of machinery and power tools all day long.
One solution to this is to wear Bluetooth ear defenders that let you listen to music from your phone or other Bluetooth device while you work.
Bluetooth ear defenders can also be a good option if you want to block out the noise of construction or noisy neighbours while listening to music, podcasts or internet radio.
Some ear defenders also have a built-in microphone so you can take calls on your phone via Bluetooth.
Many also feature an AM/FM or FM/DAB radio so you don’t need to use the Bluetooth feature to listen to music all the time.
A few years ago, there were only a handful of Bluetooth ear defenders available on the market in the UK. Today, there are lots of options to choose from.
We’ve picked out some of the best Bluetooth ear defenders below.
Best Bluetooth Ear Defenders
1. 3M Bluetooth Only WorkTunes
Unlike some of the other products in the 3M WorkTunes range, these ear defenders don’t feature a radio tuner, hence the ‘Bluetooth Only’ name.
If you’re planning to listen to music or podcasts from your phone, the lack of a radio tuner shouldn’t be a problem.
These ear defenders have a noise reduction rating (NRR) of 24 dB, which means that they can reduce the volume of loud sounds around you by roughly 24 decibels.
This should be enough for protecting your hearing from noises up to about 90 dB, but above that you will want to look for something with a higher NRR or SNR number.
This headset pairs easily with Bluetooth devices, and has a good range of about 9 metres. There’s also a built-in microphone for hands-free calls.
The built-in rechargeable battery can be charged via USB and lasts a long time (12-20 hours).
A few of the downsides of this product are that it can’t be used with a headset, and that you can only control the volume on your phone (or other Bluetooth device), not the headset.
2. Protear Rechargeable Ear Defenders with Bluetooth
These ear defenders are available in two different models, one with AM/FM and one with FM/DAB/DAB+. The version with DAB radio is more expensive, but could be worth it if you want to listen to digital-only stations.
You can save 20 preset stations on each radio band, and access them easily using the controls on the earcup.
There’s also a built-in microphone so you can answer phone calls via Bluetooth.
These ear defenders have an SNR of 30 dB, which means it should offer enough protection for noises of up to 95 dB.
They offer good noise reduction, but you’ll still be able to hear things going on around you, especially if you’re not listening to anything through the built-in speakers.
The headset uses a built-in rechargeable battery which you can charge using a USB cable or USB phone charger.
The battery life can vary greatly, from around 10 hours up to 20 hours depending on how you use it.
3. Clas Ohlson Bluetooth FM/DAB+ Radio Ear Defenders
These ear defenders are quite similar in terms of features to the Protear ear defenders reviewed above. However, the SNR is quite a bit lower (23 dB).
They feature FM, DAB and DAB+ radio, and also have a built-in microphone for taking calls.
There’s also a 3.5 mm aux-in port that you can use to connect a non-Bluetooth device via a cable.
The Clas Ohlson Bluetooth FM/DAB+ Radio Ear Defenders use a rechargeable lithium battery that charges via a USB cable. You can use a regular USB phone charger to charge it.
The controls are on one of the earcups, which also has an LCD screen showing the radio station frequency (if you’re listening to the radio). You can save 60 preset radio stations.
These ear defenders are quite reasonably priced compared to other DAB radio ear defenders.
Alternative: Non-Bluetooth Ear Defenders + Bluetooth Receiver
One alternative to buying Bluetooth ear defenders is to connect a Bluetooth receiver such as the TaoTronics Portable Wireless Audio Adapter (see on Amazon) to the aux-in port on a pair of radio ear defenders or electronic ear defenders, thereby converting them into Bluetooth ear defenders.
This could be cheaper than buying Bluetooth ear defenders. Here are a few good options to consider.
Honeywell 1030111 Howard Leight Noise Blocking Stereo Earmuff
These ear defenders from Honeywell have a single number rating (SNR) of 31 dB, which is higher than is offered by either of the Bluetooth ear defenders reviewed above.
Lots of people use these ear defenders in combination with a Bluetooth receiver as they are affordable and offer good ear protection.
The Honeywell 1030111 Howard Leight have an aux-in port which would normally be used for connecting an MP3 player or phone via a cable, but you can instead attach a small Bluetooth receiver to it.
Unlike the other ear defenders reviewed above, these earmuffs don’t have a built-in AM/FM radio, but this isn’t a problem if you’re planning to use Bluetooth instead.
To say they’re primarily designed to be ear defenders rather than headphones the sound quality is quite good. The noise reduction is also effective, as you’d expect from Peltor.
These ear defenders are fairly comfy, but if you have a large head you might find them a bit tight.
As with most ear defenders, they can get hot and uncomfortable if you wear them for long periods of time.
Nordstrand Ear Defenders Protection Muffs Headphones
The Nordstrand Ear Defenders are a popular alternative to the Honeywell 1030111 Howard Leight ear defenders reviewed above.
They’re quite cheap, and come with a built-in AM/FM radio and a built-in AM/FM radio. You can easily attach a Bluetooth receiver to it and use it as a Bluetooth headset.
These ear defenders have an NRR of 25 dB, so they offer a good level of noise reduction. They work as well as most regular ear defenders when it comes to noise reduction.
They’re not the comfiest ear defenders on the market, and could benefit from some more padding.
If we had to pick just one pair of Bluetooth ear defenders to recommend, it would be the 3M Bluetooth Only WorkTunes. The Bluetooth function works very well and has a good range. They also have a good battery life, are made to a high standard and are reasonably priced compared to some of the alternatives that feature a built-in radio.