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Top 9 Best Safety Ear muffs (2020 Review)

Best Safety EarmuffsHaving the best safety ear muffs is a vital PPE (personal protection equipment) to have on you if you are always in an environment with lots of noise. People working especially in factories or construction industries will find it very useful. According to the CDC, prolonged exposure to repeated sound at or above 70 dB can lead to hearing loss. Exposure to noise above 120 dB can cause immediate hearing loss. In this article, we would be talking about all you need to know about earmuffs. We would discuss things like what are safety ear muffs, buying guides, and everything in-between. Without wasting any more time, let’s get right into it.

#1 Safety Ear muffs

Peltor Sport Ultimate Hearing Protector

Peltor Sport Ultimate Hearing Protector

Peltor Sport Ultimate Hearing Protector is one of the best safety ear muffs in the industry suitable for woodworking, construction, automotive, and even mining. Made with wire headband, which makes it comfortable to wear for a prolonged period. Peltor Sport Ultimate Hearing Protector belongs to the X Series of earmuffs, which has electrical insulation properties referred to as dielectric.

The metal components in the X Series of earmuffs are coated with non-conductive materials. In other words, the X5A can protect wearers from electric hazards less than 440 V A.C. Also, the X5A belongs to the NRR31 dB CSA Class AL, which is a very high attenuation, making it suitable for high noise exposure application. The ABS plastic cups are durable. Peltor Sport Ultimate Hearing Protector comes with replaceable cushions, which helps keep them clean at all times.

Features

  • Ergonomic design
  • NRR 30 dB
  • Wire headband offers comfort
  • Tilting cup for comfort
  • Electrically insulated (dielectric)

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Capable of protecting against an electric hazard
  • Durable earmuff
  • Comes with replaceable cushions or HYX5 Hygiene Kit

Cons

  • May not be suitable for everyone
  • Weighing about 12 ounces which is a bit heavier than most earmuff in its class

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Types of safety ear muffs?

Earmuffs are not only used in achieving noise cancellation. Some earmuffs are useful in keeping us warm in a cold-weather condition. There are two basic kinds of earmuffs, namely:

Thermal safety ear muffs

Thermal earmuff is a type of earmuffs worn to protect the body against cold. In cold environments, an ergonomically well-fit earmuff will help keep the body warm. These safety ear muffs work in keeping your ears warm as it has either a pad of furs or cloths.

Acoustic safety ear muffs

The acoustic earmuffs are safety works ear muffs mainly aimed at noise cancellation. Ear defenders, or acoustic earmuffs, deadens sound with a cup-lined material. Acoustic earmuffs may be in the form of a headband or clipped on to the sides of a hard hat. Some manufacturers of earmuffs add audio devices to the earmuffs, making it easier for workers to communicate. There are two main types of acoustic earmuffs, namely:

  • Passive ear muffs: This type of earmuff attenuates the sound that gets into the ear canal based on the material used in making the earmuff. Passive earmuffs are made out of materials like hard plastic cups coated with foam. This device will block sound because of its dampening and thick properties, thereby decreasing the level of noise.
  • Active ear muffs: Active earmuffs come with an electronic component like microphones and earphones. An active earmuff blocks out sound from the outside, but with the microphones and earphones, workers can still hear the sound of the surrounding. The main difference is that the sound is lower.

The Best Safety Ear muffs

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Peltor Sport Ultimate Safety Ear muffs


Peltor Sport Ultimate Safety Ear muffs
Peltor Sport Ultimate Hearing Protector is a highly flexible earmuff suitable for a wide variety of uses. Its durable headband, designed with twin-wire, allows for even pressure around the ears. You can also adjust the height of the ear cup to fit comfortably and tightly. The position of the earcups cushions provides a tight seal against the head, which can stifle high noise situations, and belongs to the class NRR 30 dB. If you're after a completely lightweight safety earmuff, then the Peltor Sport Ultimate Hearing Protector is a perfect choice. Earmuff safety is important, and the dielectric insulation of Peltor Sport Ultimate Hearing Protector can protect up to 440 V A.C. This earmuff also comes with a replaceable HYX5 hygiene kit.
Pros
Cons

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3M Peltor Optime 101 Behind-the-Head Safety Ear muffs


3M Peltor Optime 101 Behind-the-Head Safety Ear muffs
The 3M Peltor Optime 101 is also another over the head earmuff with ergonomic design. Designed to provide superior comfort and a noise reduction rating of 30 dB. The patented twin cup design with the inner foam layer can reduce noise in a full range of low and high frequencies. The durable stainless steel wire headband can resist warping and also evenly distribute pressure. The headband, in conjunction with the tilting earcup, provides optimum comfort for prolonged wearing. The Optime's 101 soft, liquid, and foam-filled cushions help to create a perfect seal between the earmuffs and your head, which effectively blocks out noise.
Pros
Cons

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3M Peltor Optime 98 Safety Ear muffs


3M Peltor Optime 98 Safety Ear muffs
The 3M Peltor Optime 98 is versatile over the head earmuffs with lots of optimum features to excite you. The Optime 98 features a stainless steel headband, which makes it durable, making it highly resistant to warping and bending. These dual low-pressure headbands improve users' comfort. Besides, Optime 98 also comes with pivoting earcups, which tilts for maximum efficiency and comfort. The ultra-light liquid foam-filled earmuffs provide a cushion that lets the Optime 98 form a perfect seal against your head. In summary, the Optime 98 can muffle the noise of up to 95 dB, with a noise reduction rating of 25 dB or CSA Class A.
Pros
Cons

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Howard Leight by Honeywell Thunder Series T2


Howard Leight by Honeywell Thunder Series T2
The T2 safety earmuffs from Honeywell is an over the head earmuffs suitable for aviation, military, construction, limber, and more. This earmuff features impressive noise reduction earcups for excellent hearing protection. The Honeywell T2 comes with a patented airflow control technology that controls how you hear sounds by delivering optimal attenuation and ear protection. The headband with steel construction is durable and can withstand the harsh working environment.

Furthermore, the soft padded foam cushion on the ear cups provide comfort for long-wearing. The snap-in design of the T2 earmuff makes it easy and quick to replace the earcups cushion. This tough Honeywell T2 earmuff comes with an NRR of 28 dB, making it suitable for even the toughest job sites.
Pros
Cons

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Mpow Noise Reduction Safety Ear Muffs


Mpow Noise Reduction Safety Ear Muffs
Mpow Noise Reduction Safety Ear Muffs is another over the head earmuff very similar to the 3M Peltor X5A. The major difference between Mpow Noise Reduction Safety Ear Muffs and X5A is that Mpow Noise Reduction Safety Ear Muffs is more affordable and comes with an NRR of 36 dB. Miners, engineers, woodworkers, constructors, and manufacturers, amongst others, will find Mpow Noise Reduction Safety Ear Muffs very helpful. This earmuff is also a one size fit for most, as the size of the ear cups and headbands have an ergonomic design.

The earcups pivot can tilt, coupled with the wire headbands helps provide consistent pressure for prolonged wearing. You can also easily and quickly replace the earcups cushions of Mpow Noise Reduction Safety Ear Muffs. It can also protect against electric hazard less than 440 V A.C.
Pros
Cons

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ClearArmor 141001 Safety Ear muffs


ClearArmor 141001 Safety Ear muffs
The ClearArmor 141001 is an industrial-grade premium quality earmuffs suitable for protecting against loud sounds. It is a foldable earmuff for efficient storage with a compact design. Its earcups can swivel and rotate, making it fit perfectly for each individual. This safety earmuff comes with a leather padded headband that is not only durable but doesn’t warp. And the super-soft cushion on the earcups provides a better seal against the head and more comfort.

Made with high-quality material like a two-layer soundproofing foam and solid earcup approximately 0.64 inches thick. This certified ANSI S3.19 CE EN 352-1 earmuff comes with the NRR sound technology (SoundBlocker shell, Acoustic foam, and SoundRing).
Pros
Cons

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Decibel Defense Safety Ear muffs


Decibel Defense Safety Ear muffs
The Decibel Defense is a professional grade ear defender suitable for sporting events, construction work, shooting range, or even personal quiet time. This Decibel Defense earmuff is CE EN 352-1, and ANSI S3.19 certified. It is also one of the most comfortable earmuffs with extra padding. The Decibel Defense also comes with an NRR as high as 37 dB and 34dB in OSHA. Its headband is foldable and durable. Considering the nature of the headband and the design of the earcups, you can wear the Decibel for a longer period and still feel very comfortable. The Decibel Defense also comes with a Double D guarantee, which ensures you get the best value for your money.
Pros
Cons

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Protear Ear Defense Safety Ear muffs


Protear Ear Defense Safety Ear muffs
The Protear Ear Defense is an advanced earmuff that comes with Bluetooth, DAB+, and F.M. radio. This earmuff is perfect for workers working in a boisterous environment but would still need some kind of communication. It features 20 preset AM/FM stations, making it easy to tune between your favorite stations. It operates on a 1200 mAh rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery, which can last you for a very long shift.

This earmuff comes with Bluetooth version 4.3 and a microphone for communication. Thanks to it's Bluetooth compatibility, you can listen to your favorite music without the restriction of cords and also make phone calls while your phone is still in your pocket. The Protear Ear Defense is a CE SNR 30 dB certified earmuff.
Pros
Cons

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Safety Ear muffs Zohan 054


Safety Ear muffs Zohan 054
The Zohan 054 is a combination of an active noise reduction and sound amplification earmuff. It can reduce noises like scream, explosion, and gunshot, amongst other sounds over 82 dB. These earmuffs come with an NRR of 22 dB and SNR of 27 dB. The built-in Omni-directional microphone can enhance sounds from a distance, making it possible to hear ambient sound normally without removing the earmuff. Saves more power than you think as two AAA alkaline batteries can last for 200-350 hours depending on the type of battery. It's lightweight and ergonomic design makes it very comfortable to wear and work with it. You can also use the Zohan 054 with a 3.4 mm AUX jack for use with an MP3 player.
Pros
Cons

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Safety Ear Muffs – Buying guide

Before you purchase one safety ear muffs you like, here are some few things you need to understand:

Weight

Safety ear muffs are all about weight. When the weight is right, the earmuffs will be more comfortable to wear. No one wants to carry an extra load while working. So, when choosing what safety works, earmuffs will best work for you, always target lightweight. As much as you might want to get the lightest earmuff you can lay your hands on, do not compromise on quality. There are so many lightweight earmuffs on the market you can get, and we would review some of the best later in this article.

Another interesting information about the weight of an earmuff you choose to get is that when it is light, you would be able to wear it for a more extended time. Working who find themselves working in a noisy environment will especially find lightweight earmuffs more appealing. Bluetooth safety ear muffs are mainly the best for workers who spend most of the day with an earmuff on, enabling them to at least have some entertainment or communication while they work. In summary, when you step into a tools store to get an earmuff, the first thing you ought to check is the weight. If you must, try it on, just to have a feel of it on your head.

Ease of cleaning

Another essential critical guide that will help you get the best value out of an earmuff you purchase is how easy it is to clean. Because most times, people who use earmuffs are workers, sweating is part of the job. So, safety ear muffs that are difficult to clean are not necessarily the best hygiene-wise earmuffs you can get. Some earmuffs come with a replacement kit, giving you the freedom to change it when it’s dirty. For others, you may have to disassemble the earmuffs for cleaning. Whatever the case may be, it should be relatively easy or at least possible, giving you more value for your money.

In a situation where you are getting an earmuff that uses electronic devices with little or no water resistance capacity, then you should be able to replace the cushions in the cup. If you notice the earmuffs you have eyes on are hard to clean, consider getting another one. Picture it this way; if the earmuff is hard to clean, then it would eventually get so dirty from accumulated sweat mixed with all sorts of particles. And at a point, it would be so dirty it wouldn’t be hygienic for you to use, which means you’d have to dispose of it.

Band material

Just like the weight of the earmuff is essential, the nature of the material used in making the band is also essential. If the band material is too stiff with little elasticity, it will clip too tight to the ear. In other words, prolonged wearing of such ear muffs will cause your ear to hurt. Similarly, if the nature of the band material is too weak, you would find it somewhat challenging to work with the earmuff as it would keep falling off. Since most manufacturers do not indicate any unit of measurement for this vital information, it makes it hard to determine what band material will feel most comfortable for you.

One of the best ways of getting the right band material that will feel comfortable on you is to test the earmuffs before purchasing it. Although earmuffs might not be the most expensive PPE, examining it before making a purchase will save you a lot of hassle later on. When you wear the earmuffs, keep it on for a few minutes so you can accurately assess if it would hurt when you wear it for hours.

The earcups

Last but not least, what you also need to check out is the cup. The cup size, type of material used in making the cup, and design of the cup are all important. The cup of an earmuff is the most critical piece as it is where the real action is happening. The cup needs to have a solid material build and fits ergonomically on your ear.

Safety Ear Muffs FAQ

Which is better: earplugs or earmuffs?

Earplugs are better than earmuffs when you need the highest level of protection from loud sounds. Earplugs fit into the ear canal, which blocks out noise better than earmuffs. Earplugs are also easy to carry and light, giving it another advantage than earmuffs.

What is the highest dB for earplugs?

The highest NRR or noise reduction rating for the most current earplugs is around 33 dB. Decibel or dB level higher than the NRR of an earplug will be heard.

How much noise do earmuffs block?

Earmuffs do an excellent job of blocking out loud sounds and, in turn, protect our ears. But as for how much noise it blocks, that depends on the NRR of the earmuff. An adequately worn earmuff can reduce the noise of up to 15 to 30 dB.

Is there an alternative to earplugs?

Earplugs are effective noise cancelling PPE, but not everyone can tolerate them. If you can't tolerate earplugs in your ear canal, then moldable earplugs are an excellent alternative to try. Moldable silicone and wax earplugs are effective low-frequency noise blockers.

Why is 194 dB the loudest sound possible?

The loudest undistorted sound pressure level possible is 194 dB that can be transmitted on earth at sea level. Any sound wave higher than that will be clipped at the bottom because a vacuum-like absolute pressure would be reached. However, higher levels are achievable even on earth like the Krakatoa volcano eruption, which reached 230 dB, amongst others.

Are silicone or foam earplugs better?

Unlike foam earplugs, silicone earplugs are inserted into the ear canal. Silicone earplugs cover the entrance of the ear without much penetration, making it fairly easy to remove. Silicone earplugs are more expensive than foam earplugs, but silicone earplugs are reusable.

3M Peltor X5A

If you're in a hurry, feel free to choose our pick of the 3M Peltor X5A. It is affordable and built with high-quality materials. We also love the X5A because of its very high attenuation, which makes it suitable for high noise exposure. Its lightweight nature, earcups cushion, earcups pivot points, and wire headband offers excellent comfortable pressure.

The X5A also comes in a combination of new technologies that allow for more room inside the ear cup, providing a snug fit over a wide range of ear sizes. Furthermore, the Peltor X5A has an NRR of 31 dB.

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Verdict

In conclusion, the best safety ear muffs are an essential person protection equipment needed for ear protection. There are many earmuffs in the market. So, this article points you in the right perspective of what to search. We put into consideration all we listed in the buying guide section, plus quality and price, to bring you this list of best earmuffs. If you feel you want something extra, then that’s what our buying guide is for, to guide you to make the right decision. Feel free to leave a comment below; we’d love to hear your thoughts.