Peltor X5A Ear Muffs Review

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3M’s Peltor X5A Ear Muffs are a popular pair of professional ear defenders that offer sound attenuation of up to 37 dB. They offer the highest level of protection in the Peltor X range, making them potentially a good choice for people who are exposed to very loud noises such as those at airports, paper mills and quarries.

Find out how the Peltor X5A Ear Muffs perform in this review…


SNR rating: 35-37 dB

Performance and comfort

As with all ear muffs, the Peltor X5As won’t totally eliminate noise, but they do a very good job at muffling and reducing it. These defenders don’t eliminate all noise, and the 37 dB SNR rating refers to reducing the sound of the loudest noises only, not all noises. If you’re looking to block out quieter noises completely you might want to look into active sound cancelling headphones instead.

Despite being quite large and bulky, these ear defenders are surprisingly comfortable. Unlike some of the cheaper ear defenders on the market, the Peltor X5As are comfy enough to wear all day.

While these ear defenders are designed for use in industrial settings, you can also wear them at home to reducing the volume of irritating background noises such as a TV in the next room or the sound of a vacuum cleaner.

Some things you could use these ear defenders for include:

  • Driving a tractor
  • Drilling and DIY work
  • Working with aircraft
  • Playing the drums
  • Trimming hedges
  • Blocking out the sound of noisy neighbours
  • Wearing in a noisy open-plan office

One good thing about these ear defenders is that they are compatible with lots of other pieces of 3M PPE equipment such as eye protection and respirators.

  • High SNR rating
  • Comfier than the average pair of ear defenders
  • Compatible with other 3M PPE products
  • Large and bulky
  • Don’t block out quiet noises much


The Peltor X5A Ear Muffs are a dependable pair of ear defenders that outclass some of the cheaper alternatives. They’re a bit on the bulky side, but are surprisingly comfortable, and offer a significant amount of protection from loud noises.

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Another good pair of ear defenders from 3M is the Optime 3 Headband Ear Defenders, which have an SNR rating of 35 dB. The Optime 3s might be cheaper than the Peltor X5As, so they could be a good choice if you’re on a budget.

For some other high-quality ear defenders to consider, see our roundups of the best industrial ear defenders and the best ear defenders for construction.

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