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If you work in noisy environments on a regular basis, it’s important that you protect your hearing. Whether you’re doing DIY at home, or you’re on the clock, you can’t afford to risk your precious hearing.
Ear protection comes in two main forms, ear plugs and ear muffs.
Ear plugs are used internal to the ear whereas ear muffs are larger and sit on the outside of the ear. Ear muffs are great because they’re far easier to fit and offer a far greater consistency of attenuation between users.
If you’re in charge of a team of workers, and thus are responsible for providing hearing protection, ear muffs are far easier to monitor as they can be clearly seen from a distance.
If you’re after an easy-to-fit and reliable answer to your hearing protection needs, ear muffs might be the way to go. To help you find the right pair for you, we’ve gathered a few ear muffs on the market.
3M Peltor Optime III Ear Muffs
It’s hard to ignore 3M’s reputation for their hearing protection products. Their Peltor Optime range are very impressive.
Specifically, the Peltor Optime III ear muffs are a very good product. They check all the boxes, offering comfort as well as protection. They’re rated as having a SNR of 35 dB, more than suitable for use in extremely noisy environments.
The manufacturer says that they’re suitable for protection against noises of up to 110 dBA. To put that into perspective, they’re suitable for protection from sounds about as loud as an operating jackhammer at close range.
For comfort, the Optime III ear muffs use thick plastic foam padding. Whilst it’s hardly revolutionary, they have a great seal against the ear with minimal pressure.
Most users find them more than comfortable enough to wear for a full work-day. For additional comfort, 3M decided to make them a bit bigger to offer a lot more internal room in the cups. This allows your ears to “breathe” a lot easier, preventing these ear muffs from becoming uncomfortable on warm or humid days.
Like a great deal of 3M’s products, these ear muffs are extremely well-built. Provided they’re not treated too roughly, you should expect an excellent service life out of them.
They’re constructed from metals and a variety of strong polymers. Unlike cheap ear muffs, this product can survive a few knocks.
Overall, the Peltor Optime III Ear Muffs are a great option if you do heavy DIY or lots of construction work. They’re comfortable and offer protection that you can’t afford to skip out on if your hearing is at risk.
Mpow Ear Defenders
At a slightly lower price point, we have these ear defenders from Mpow. For their price, they’re very good.
In terms of pure protection, they’ve got a SNR of 34dB which is only 1dB lower than the Optime III ear muffs. To achieve this level of protection, they use two layers of noise-dampening foam in each ear cup. This helps to provide a great reduction of noise at a vast range of frequencies.
The manufacturer states that these ear muffs are suitable for shooting, so you can be certain that they’re more than enough to protect you from loud noises when you’re doing DIY at home.
To provide a comfortable wearing experience, these ear muffs use thick padding, capped with imitation leather. The thick padding helps to give a good seal, meaning that these ear muffs can offer the same protection as other products, without the need to put so much pressure on the ears.
Minimal pressure on the ears is crucial for ear muffs that you’re going to wear for extended periods of time.
In addition to being comfortable and effective, these ear muffs are very compact and easy to transport. Their design allows the ear cups to fold up into the head band, minimising their profile when off your head. This allows them to be inserted into their included drawstring bag and easily transported from site to site.
All-in-all, it’s hard to discredit these ear defenders. If you’re doing a lot of DIY at home, or a bit of construction work, these ear muffs have the protection you need at a price that’s hard to pass up.
Silverline 633816 Folding Ear Defenders
If you’re looking for a cost-effective solution to annoying ambient noises, then these budget ear defenders by Silverline are a great option.
Whilst they’re really not suitable for protecting your hearing from the extremely loud noises of DIY or construction, they’re a lightweight and cost-effective way to reduce the uncomfortable noise of vacuuming.
If you often find yourself in an area where the ambient noise makes it difficult to concentrate, these ear muffs are worth looking at.
Despite the fact that they’re clearly not intended as heavy-duty hearing protection, they still offer a very respectable SNR noise reduction of 30dB. This makes them ideal for dealing with loud household noises such as vacuuming or even the odd bit of DIY.
These ear muffs are mainly designed for reduction of domestic noises. If you find yourself struggling to focus on work due to ambient sounds and find music too distracting, then a set of lightweight and portable ear defenders like these are an ideal solution.
Since they’re lightweight and not designed to offer substantial hearing protection, they can afford to be a lot more comfortable without the need for advanced and expensive technology.
They deliver a sufficient seal against the head using minimal pressure. The headband is flexible and adjustable, capable of fitting all head sizes. This means these ear defenders can be used for children who don’t enjoy loud noises as well as adults who want some quiet to enjoy a book.
In short, if you want a lightweight and cost-effective solution to excessive noise in your day-to-day life, these might be the ear muffs for you. They’re effective enough at reducing noise that you’ll be able to forget about noisy neighbours or nearby construction workers.
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