If you’re a glasses wearer, finding comfortable and effective hearing protection can be a challenge.
There are two main issues with combining ear defenders/ear muffs with glasses:
- Reduced protection – The arms of the glasses can interfere with the ear cups’ seal, reducing the amount of ear protection offered by the ear defenders. However, if the arms of your glasses are thin and your ear defenders fit tightly, they shouldn’t reduce the noise attenuation too much
- Uncomfortable – It can be uncomfortable to combine ear defenders with glasses.
While it can be hard to find good ear defenders to wear over glasses, there are several hearing protection good options out there for spectacle wearers that will offer a tight seal over your ears without being uncomfortable.
We’ve reviewed the top products currently available in the UK below.
Best Ear Defenders for Wearing with Glasses
1. 3M Peltor Optime III Ear Muffs
The 3M Peltor Optime III Ear Muffs offer the highest level of ear protection of the three products in 3M’s Peltor Optime range. They have an SNR of 35 dB, which means they can reduce the loudest sounds by roughly 35 decibels. If you don’t need such a high level of protection you could go for the 3M Peltor Optime II Ear Muffs instead, which have an SNR of 31 dB.
The headband can be adjusted and the cups are soft and well padded, making them comfy even when wearing glasses. If you’ve found other ear defenders to be too uncomfortable with glasses in the past, you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised with the 3M Peltor Optime III Ear Muffs.
These ear defenders are designed for the workplace and can protect your hearing in noisy industrial environments. They’re also good for wearing around the home to block out distracting noises from traffic or neighbours.
2. 3M Peltor X5A Ear Defenders
These high-quality ear defenders, also in the 3M Peltor range, could be a good alternative to the Optime III Ear Muffs reviewed above. They are designed for heavy-duty use in industrial environments, but are equally suited to home DIY work.
The 3M Peltor X5A Ear Defenders have an SNR of 37 dB, so they offer a lot of protection and make a big difference in reducing noise.
Importantly if you’re a glasses wearer, these ear muffs have a soft and comfortable cushion over the ears which doesn’t cause discomfort when wearing glasses. The seal over your ears won’t be quite as effective when wearing glasses, so you probably won’t get the maximum amount of noise reduction possible, but they still work very well.
One interesting thing about these ear defenders is that they can be combined with the 3M PELTOR Wireless Communication Accessory, an optional extra that converts them into Bluetooth ear defenders with a built-in microphone for hands-free calls.
3. Mpow Ear Defenders
The Mpow Ear Defenders offer a good budget-priced alternative to the 3M Peltor Optime III Ear Muffs. They have an SNR of 34 dB so they offer a high enough level of protection for noisy work environments such as factories.
These ear defenders have an adjustable headband and can be folded up to save space when you’re not using them. They also come with a drawstring storage bag to keep them safe.
The Mpow Ear Defenders have a padded headband and soft foam ear cups, and are quite comfy even with spectacles on. You should be able to wear them for several hours before they start to feel uncomfortable, making them a good choice for wearing at work.
Electronic Ear Defenders for Wearing With Glasses
If you wear glasses and need some electronic ear defenders for shooting, the two models below could be good choices.
1. Honeywell 1013530 Howard Leight Impact Sport Earmuff
These electronic ear defenders amplify quiet sounds such as people speaking while reducing the loud and harmful noise of gunshot. They feature a slim cup design to make them more comfortable and less bulky when shooting. Most glasses will fit comfortable under the ear cups with minimal loss of seal.
These ear defenders have an SNR of 25 dB, so they don’t offer the same level of passive noise reduction as the other ear defenders reviewed above. However, this is common with electronic ear defenders.
One useful feature is that you can connect the Howard Leight Impact Sport Earmuffs to an MP3 player or other audio device to use them as headphones.
These electronic ear defenders are very affordable compared to some of the alternatives, making them a good choice if you’re on a budget.
2. MSA Sordin Supreme PRO X
MSA Sordins are some of the best respected electronic shooting ear defenders on the market. Most people find them very comfy even when wearing glasses.
These ear defenders are constructed to a very high standard and feature waterproof microphones, a waterproof battery compartment and an aux input for connecting an external audio source. They reduce loud gunshot sounds down to a safe level of 82 dB.
As you’d expect from a product in this price range, the microphones are very sensitive and the audio quality is very good.
One downside is that these ear defenders have a relatively low NRR rating of 18 dB, so you might want to combine them with ear plugs to give you ears more protection.
If you’re worried about glasses interfering with the seal on your ear defenders, you could combine them with ear plugs instead to make up for any loss in protection. You could also consider just wearing ear plugs instead of ear defenders, or wearing contact lenses instead of glasses.
If we had to pick just one pair of ear defenders to recommend to glasses wearers, it would be the 3M Peltor Optime III Ear Muffs as not only are they one of the most comfortable pairs of ear defenders to wear with glasses, they’re also one of the most popular and highly rated hearing protection products on the market overall.