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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have seen a number of adverts for these ear buds relative to hearing protection while allowing for Bluetooth audio reception. On the surface an interesting concept. As hearing protection is a major concern for me as well as a prominent point of discussion on this forum I would appreciate any comments relative to these “buds” and/or alternatives.

Thanks in advance.
Jon
 

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Ear buds for hearing protection, definitely...but, IMO, working with wirly things (routers,saws) is a bit dangerous if music was playing right into my ears.

I would suggest a good pair of ear protection buds but not with music...just my take, Jon...

When I need ear protection I use shooting ear muffs...reduces the noise but let's me hear blade/cutter progress. Yes, they are a bit clumsy...I just let them hang around my neck when they're not on.

The beauty of the ear buds is muffling the sharp noises before hitting the ear drum...I used to use cotton balls but found them hard to find when I wanted to remove them. They weren't as effective as dedicated ear buds. I've tried the ear bud types but they don't seem to want to stay in my ear as they are meant to.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
@Nickp

Thanks Nick. I agree hazards of music when working. In the shop I use ear muffs as well. I was looking at the buds as a source of protection that could also be used outside the shop to enjoy a few sounds, on a commercial flight for example.
 

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Ear buds for hearing protection, definitely...but, IMO, working with wirly things (routers,saws) is a bit dangerous if music was playing right into my ears.

I would suggest a good pair of ear protection buds but not with music...just my take, Jon...
Yep, I do not want any music distracting me while working with machinery. I have a radio, not turned up fantastically loud, but can easily hear my classical music when the machines are off. Use muffs when operating machines, and cannot hear the music at all then. Which is exactly the way I want it.
 
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Maybe it's just me but, I can't seem to find buds that are comfortable. I visit sawmills on a daily basis and some equipment is quite loud. I've tried several different styles and makes of buds and they always seem to get loose or even fall out. I see many shop/plant workers have the ear muff style protection attached to their helmets. I asked my boss for some and he said to buy them and put the bill on my expense account. Any comments on these types of protection, obviously if I find them comfortable I could also use them in my shop, but then again, I don't feel like wearing a hard hat in my home shop. Some people spend $$$ on frequency control head sets ? are they worth the expense ?
 

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The other day I was going to rip a piece of 1 1/4 maple to use as a jewelry box lid. It was too high to fit my band saw so I raised the blade on my table saw, set the guard for center of the board inserted my ear plugs and my goggles. I ran the piece though the saw on all 4 sides to cut as much as I could. Then removed it and placed it in my vice. I then hand sawed it through the middle until I had two pieces. I then turned around and noticed my table saw was still running with the blade all the way up.
I could not hear it with the ear plugs in. Scared me a little bit.
I may just use my shooting ear muffs as some one else said .

David
 

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A while back I was out in the shop and could not find my regular ear plugs so I opened a package of those throw away orange ones. They just did not want to fit properly in my ears. Since they are some what pliable , I did manage to get them in a bit.
But when I turned the saw on it was very loud. As if the ear plugs did nothing to block the sound.
About that time, I realized that I already had my hearing aides in my ears and was attempting to stuff these plugs in with them.
Plus my regular ear plus were hanging around my neck where the usually are.
What do you suppose I am suffering with.
I strongly suspect that I have finally arrived at the point of my life where I am plagued with T.M.B.D.
I have always known this was going to come one day but I always hoped to hold it off longer.
Have any of you guys been diagnosed with this. I realize that this is a very touchy subject among men of all ages and that you may not want to admit to having it also.
I am sure that the majority of you guys have the same thing or are suffering the first symptoms of this terrible malady.

David
 

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Doug
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I use worktunes over the ear Bluetooth muffs. I did a review on them a while back.

While I enjoy listening to the talk radio shows on them, I really rely on them to help me hear when the phone rings. They have great call clarity when used as a phone headset.

They are volume limited for music, so you can't blow your ear drums out with them.


My opinion on music in the shop is like everything, it can be good or bad. Music helps me focus, but it's got to be the right kind and volume. There is a reason surgeons play music in the operating rooms.

If the volume is under control, I can still hear the sounds of machines. If I was afraid of not being able to hear a machine I probably would worry about wearing anything that would get in the way.... AKA hearing protection in general.

We do put indicating lamps on the stationary machines at work so you can "see" if a grinder is left running if you can't hear it. That is something I have pondered doing with the table saw at home.
 

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Let's see- we want to block out noise but use earbuds to put noise into ears? I wear earplugs with a high EER when using any power tools. I usually leave them the whole time I'm in the shop so I don't forget to put them back in due to a senior moment.
 

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A while back I was out in the shop and could not find my regular ear plugs so I opened a package of those throw away orange ones. They just did not want to fit properly in my ears. Since they are some what pliable , I did manage to get them in a bit.


I strongly suspect that I have finally arrived at the point of my life where I am plagued with T.M.B.D.

David
David: I'm not sure what T.M.B.D. stands for. I was told that in a room full of bald guys it meant Too Many Bald Domes. Can you clarify ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
@kp91

Doug: Based on your comments I researched the WORKtunes and Decided to buy a pair, 60$ at Loews. They were cheaper at Walmart but I couldn’t justify the trip.

I used them today and found them to be comfortable and the noise abatement reasonable against a background of DC, a 735 and a Jet ceiling air filter. Not a combination I would care to be around without muffs. My previous set was a rather uncomfortable, plastic muff that I bought 10 or more years ago. No comparison, the new ones were far superior. The Bluetooth feature is a positive but not a necessity.

Appreciate the recommendation.
 

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I'll keep my Work Tunes with Blue Tooth. Actually, Ken took them over for the summer months; They're about to become mine again (soon as he goes on unenjoyment for the Winter.)
 

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Wearing hearing aids, I learned that you need to clip out the hairs in your ears. Easiest way is with a nose hair clipper. Little rotary blade inside, grid outside so you can't cut yourself. Some guys have more ear hair than on their scalp. Trimming the hairs out helps the buds stay in.
 

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Wearing hearing aids, I learned that you need to clip out the hairs in your ears. Easiest way is with a nose hair clipper. Little rotary blade inside, grid outside so you can't cut yourself. Some guys have more ear hair than on their scalp. Trimming the hairs out helps the buds stay in.
Tweezers and a mirror or an understanding wife. Wife keeps saying she is going to get the weed trimmer. :sarcastic:
 

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I don't listen to music much anymore, mostly news radio, and Christian radio. I have never found any of these to be distracting while operating tools, not even slightly. Typically I don't wear ear protection unless it's something really bad like cutting metal roofing with a circular saw, etc.
But I am trying to be better and have been considering some of these Bluetooth head sets, I also spend a lot of time on the tractor.
The main thing I have seen is needing it to be good enough protection that you don't have to turn the radio up to the point of defeating the purpose of the ear protection.

I know of to many with dementia, I wouldn't call it a pour subject, but a rather sad one and dreaded circumstance.
 

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I have used the throw away foam ear plugs for years (Spark Plugs to be exact). I have found they block out the most noise of any of the other methods. If I roll/squish them and pull slightly down on my ear lobe when inserting, they go in easily and block out almost all the loud shop noise in the shop, but I don't hear other noises like someone walking into the shop and talking to me. Therefore, I usually only wear them when I have the machines on.

Listening to music is great but doesn't work for me in the shop. I feel I nened to concentrate when I'm using saws and routers and jointers/planers. However, the ISO Tunes may work well for mowing outside on a lawn and garden tractor, making mowing more enjoyable.

I noticed that the ISO buds discussed here don't seem to block quite as much noise as the foam plugs I use so I don't know if they are effective enough.
 

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I have seen the ISOTUNES advertised in various places, and several online woodworkers say they are a good thing. They are outside my budget right now but they are on my Amazon wish list

I currently use a cheaper Bluetooth headset, but equipped with foam ear tips made by Comply (https://www.complyfoam.com/). They make their foam noise reduction tips for most in-ear headphones and Bluetooth headsets. Some years ago I had used a set of ear buds with Comply tips that I got for air travel.

I don't use the Bluetooth things for music - I use them for my phone. The phone stays in the office area of my shop. I can't hear it there but I do need to answer if my wife (or any other important person) calls. So it is mostly silent, but (with the Comply tips) also provides some ear protection.

And they are MUCH more comfortable than what I had to use decades ago when working on jet aircraft.
 

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An Unusual Alternative

You may find these odd but I use them when hunting, some power tools or cutting grass for three reasons.
1. They have a 23 NRR for loud noises, above 85 DB, like a saw, mower or a gunshot.
2. They amplify quieter sounds, like a deer walking or my wife asking a question (they are like hearing aids).
3. They have a standard 3.5 mm phone jack and a cord and I can plug in my phone or listen to the radio on my old Walkman.

They have an on/off/volume control for 2 and 3 above.

Caldwell E-Max Low Profile Electronic 20-23 NRR Hearing Protection with Sound Amplification and Adjustable Earmuffs for Shooting, Hunting and Range
 
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