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most comfortable hearing protection?

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Forum topic by JeffP posted 03-23-2015 02:29 AM 1188 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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JeffP

573 posts in 857 days


03-23-2015 02:29 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I dislike pretty much all kinds of hearing protectors, from the foam things you roll between your fingers and stick in your ears to the full over the ear headsets.

Have any of you found a practical and comfortable type of hearing protection?

Do some of you just use some sort of music earplugs for dual purpose listening enjoyment and external noise abatement? Does that work well? Wireless so as not to be a snag hazard?

I know there are LOTS of choices out there…just can’t seem to find anything I actually like.

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.


14 replies so far

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InstantSiv

259 posts in 1060 days


#1 posted 03-23-2015 02:47 AM

:)

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TheFridge

5765 posts in 951 days


#2 posted 03-23-2015 02:58 AM

None?

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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firefighterontheside

13499 posts in 1322 days


#3 posted 03-23-2015 03:09 AM

Jeff, my wife is an audiologist so needless to say hearing protection is a must. I wear headphones with a radio in them that she got for me. I also have custom ear plugs that she got too. She injects stuff in your ear that then hardens and she sends it off to somewhere. Then they make a custom earplug shaped to your ear canal. When they fit right they are quite comfortable and there are numerous kinds. They make some that have a valve that closes with the noise impulse so that with normal sound it’s not so muffled. You can go to a local audiologist to have some made. Probably around $125.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

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Rob

704 posts in 2536 days


#4 posted 03-23-2015 03:23 AM

Earmuffs are the most convenient by far—you can put them on or drop them down around your neck in 1 second. Earplugs take a few seconds per ear, and if you don’t have the kind that come on a string they’re a pain to keep track of. Don’t even mess with anything else like the earplugs that come on a headband—they practically don’t do anything at all.

My go-to set of earmuffs is a cheap set from Harbor Freight. I also bought the yellow collapsible ones but don’t recommend them because they seem to be sized for a child’s head.

I’ve also used Peltor President earmuffs and although they’re rated better, they’re less comfortable than the HF ones.

My Howard Leight squishy foam earplugs do the best job at reducing noise, but I don’t like wearing them for long periods of time and putting them in and taking them out requires more effort than putting on or taking off my earmuffs..

I always try to carry my Etymotic Research earplugs in my pocket as backups—I think they’re really intended for evenly attenuating music across the audio spectrum (e.g., at a loud concert) but they work great in a pinch. The only thing I don’t like about rubber & plastic earplugs is that they always seem to work themselves loose as I turn my head, open and close my jaw, etc.

When mowing the lawn I’ve also tried in-ear headphones but I have to turn them up to dangerous hearing levels to be able to hear the music or podcasts. The only way I’ve gotten them to work somewhat ok is by wearing earmuffs outside the in-ear headphones. I’ve also worn earplugs along with closed-back noise-isolating headphones that played music. Neither one of these solutions works very well for mowing the lawn but I haven’t tried them in the shop. Mostly I’m concerned about the cord snagging on something, which happens all the time when I’m mowing.

-- Ask an expert or be the expert - http://woodworking.stackexchange.com

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MrUnix

4233 posts in 1664 days


#5 posted 03-23-2015 03:40 AM

I got some of those little orange things you roll up and stick in… only use them when I’m riding the motorcycle for long trips though (as in greater than 500 miles :)

Cheers,
Brad

PS: Oh, I do have some of those bulbous earmuffs that I use when on the tractor just cause they look so cool!

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

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TheFridge

5765 posts in 951 days


#6 posted 03-23-2015 04:52 AM

I lie. Just the simple ones with the hard plastic head band. Or whatever is free.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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Picklehead

1017 posts in 1395 days


#7 posted 03-23-2015 11:06 AM

Peltor 30 decibel “ear muffins” (as my daughter used to call them).

-- You've got to be smarter than the tree.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3945 posts in 1959 days


#8 posted 03-23-2015 11:07 AM

When I had a day job, we were required to wear hearing protection on the plant floor all the time. The storeroom bought these because so many folks complained about all the other insert types being uncomfortable. I wound up trying them and wore them for the last 10 years on the job, and had enough laying around the shop to last me since I retired 13 years ago. So I’ve been wearing these for 23 years and they are my favorites…I also use them outdoors when I’m mowing and running other stuff (string trimmerss, chainsaws, on the tractor, etc.) About out of them now, time to buy some I guess. You can also get them with a neck string, which is both good and bad depending on what you’re doing.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Adam's profile

Adam

37 posts in 1694 days


#9 posted 03-23-2015 02:34 PM

When I was in the army, we wore something like this on the range: http://www.amazon.com/Multiple-Microban-Silicone-Earplugs-Inserter/dp/B004OPFIFO

they’re comfortable and easier to install than the foam ones. The trick is finding the right size for your ear.

View RobS888's profile

RobS888

1986 posts in 1310 days


#10 posted 03-23-2015 02:46 PM

I use the foam ones a lot!

I found that they worked perfectly after I read the instructions. Reach over your head ( opposite hand) and pull the top of your ear up and away from your head and the rolled up foam slips right in. Drounds out most noise except voices.

-- I always suspected many gun nuts were afraid of something, just never thought popcorn was on the list.

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JeffP

573 posts in 857 days


#11 posted 03-23-2015 08:52 PM

I guess I will just have to try some more things and see what works for me.

Might be some over the ear wireless headphones.

I like the looks of the various “ear plug on a stick” ones suggested here. Unfortunately, Amazon wants to sell me enough for a whole factory instead of just 3 or 4 pair.

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.

View firefighterontheside's profile (online now)

firefighterontheside

13499 posts in 1322 days


#12 posted 03-23-2015 08:58 PM

I don’t like to wear anything, but the over the war radio ones suit me best because I can’t keep them on all the time. I can’t seem to concentrate on what I’m doing. Anything that goes in my ear would be a pain to put in and take out constantly.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

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Picklehead

1017 posts in 1395 days


#13 posted 03-23-2015 11:28 PM



... the over the war radio ones suit me best…

- firefighterontheside

Another “Good Morning Vietnam” reference?

-- You've got to be smarter than the tree.

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

1953 posts in 1454 days


#14 posted 03-24-2015 01:48 AM

I got use to the yellow foam ones that we had to wear at work where levels where above 110 db. They had 29 db of noise reduction and worked well.

I would look at the decibel levels of your equipment to determine what you need.

I think you can find either ear plugs or muffs which will do the job.

I love me 735 planer but it is the loudest of anything in my shop. I read that it is 102 db and really too loud…they made a good planer but could have done better with noise.

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