Did you know that anything over 85 dB (decibels) can cause severe damage to your ears when exposed to prolonged duration? In fact, studies suggest that sounds over 85 decibels can harm your ears after 8 hours, sounds over 100 decibels can cause damage after 15 minutes, and anything over 120 decibels can cause immediate damage.
Fascinating and scary, right? So was I when I got to know that a lawnmower can produce sounds ranging anywhere from 80 decibels to 110 decibels.
Whether you use a lawnmower for your beautiful grass lawn or are a professional lawnmower, in both cases, you are always at the risk of damaging your hearing ability, if you use the machine for extended periods. Why take the risk?
As a professional lawnmower, I have always stressed the importance of using the best hearing protection for lawn mowing. This ensures that your ears remain protected, and you can focus on getting a nice and tidy lawn.
But since there are plenty of lawnmower ear muffs available in the market, you might need some guidance in choosing the right product. So, here I have listed 12 best ear protection for mowing, followed by a comprehensive buying guide.
Table of Contents
- Best Hearing Protection for Lawn Mowing Reviews of 2022
- 1. 3M WorkTunes Connect Hearing Protector
- 2. Husqvarna Professional Headband Hearing Protector
- 3. Mpow Noise Reduction Safety Ear Muffs
- 4. 3M WorkTunes AM/FM Hearing Protector
- 5. ZOHAN Noise Reduction Hearing Protector
- 6. ProCase Noise Reduction Headset
- 7. Cyber Acoustic Heavy-Duty Ear Muffs
- 8. DEWALT Industrial Electronic Hearing Muff
- 9. 3M Peltor Over-The-Head Earmuffs
- 10. Vanderfields Hearing Protection for Lawn Mowing
- 11. 3M Peltor Optime 98 Earmuff
- 12. PROTEAR Digital Ear Muffs with AM/FM Radio
- What is a Hearing Protection for Lawn Mowing
- How Does it Work
- Types of Hearing Protection for Lawn Mowing
- Should I Wear Hearing Protection When Mowing
- Buying Guide
- Care and Maintenance
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Hearing Protection for Lawn Mowing Reviews of 2022
1. 3M WorkTunes Connect Hearing Protector
The first on my list is the hearing protector from 3M. It provides hearing protection with Bluetooth functionality. This is an ideal choice for individuals who need to listen out for speech while mowing.
To start with, the hearing protector comes with an NRR (Noise Reduction Rating) of 24 dB. To calculate how much noise is reduced, take the NRR number, subtract 7 from it and then divide it by 2. I have a lawnmower that produces 85 decibels. So, when I wear this hearing protector, sound exposure is significantly decreased to 76.5. [(24-7)/2 = 8.5]. Subtract 8.5 from 85.
NOTE: the calculation for NRR is fixed.
As said, it features Bluetooth wireless technology that allows you to seamlessly stream music from your mobile device. Moreover, you can make and take phone calls using the built-in microphone of this ear protection for lawn mowing. The Hi-Fi 40 mm speakers ensure premium sound quality.
I like the fact that it is completely wireless. The set comes with a USB charging cord. The headset is battery-operated. Also, the rechargeable battery can last up to 8 hours after fully charged, which is quite impressive. The best part is that when the battery is about to go out, it will indicate you.
On the other hand, it also incorporates audio/voice assist technology. Using this, you can program up to 50 AM/FM radio stations. Thanks to the clear instructions, I was able to set up this functionality with ease.
Regarding comfort, its low-profile design with soft and comfortable ear cushions make it easy on your ears. And the fact that it is lightweight adds to the benefit.
2. Husqvarna Professional Headband Hearing Protector
Husqvarna is a reputed brand that offers garden maintenance solutions with quality equipment designed for dependability and unparalleled performance. Its professional headband hearing protectors are an example of that.
This one size fits all ear protector is sleek and is as good as it looks. The headset comes with a Noise Reduction Rating of 25 dB, which ensures a significant reduction in the sound produced by the lawnmower. Most importantly, it also provides hearing protection for leaf blowers, which tend to produce a lot of noise.
The headset can be effortlessly adjusted to suit a wide range of users. I find that the manufacturer has incorporated a pressure adjustment feature in this headset, allowing people to customize the set until it is perfect. Furthermore, the lawn mower ear muffs are also lightweight, allowing me to wear it for prolonged hours.
Since it is a generic model, this headset is easy on the pockets. You don’t have to deal with features like Bluetooth and batteries. It is purposely engineered for noise cancellation and professional use, and it does this job to a great extent.
Best of all, the headband is padded, and the earmuffs are intelligently cushioned to provide utmost comfort.
3. Mpow Noise Reduction Safety Ear Muffs
When I used the lawn mower ear muffs from Mpow for one of my lawn mowing projects, I was completely unaware of its features and capabilities. To my surprise, this headset was way better than my expectations.
The headset uses NRR sound technology with two layers of noise-dampening foam. This substantially reduces the sound produced from the lawnmower, leaf blower, drill machine, etc. The noise reduction rating of 28 dB allows you to use this headset on the majority of the heavy noise-producing equipment.
Moreover, the product is lab tested and ANSI S3. 19 & CE en352-1 certified to US and European standards. This confirms the headset’s quality and safety standards. What I really like is the comfort it offers. The big, 360° rotatable ear cups comfortably snuggle your ears, preventing any noise from entering. Therefore, I will also recommend this headset for those who love hunting as it allows them to concentrate.
Regarding its design, there is an adjustable headband made using retractable stainless steel. Also, the headband can be adjusted to fit the majority of the head sizes. And its foldable style makes it incredibly compact and portable. It can easily fit inside my duffle bag, where I also keep other safety gears.
Most importantly, as premium as it looks, this headset is a budget-friendly product. So, you don’t have to worry about breaking your bank to get quality hearing protection.
4. 3M WorkTunes AM/FM Hearing Protector
The WorkTunes AM/FM Hearing Protector is another premium product from 3M that you would want to check out. While it is not Bluetooth-enabled like the previous model, you get a hands-free experience that’s certainly worthy.
To start with, it doesn’t just provide lawn mower hearing protection, but you can listen to your favorite music from any source or enjoy different radio stations while doing your job. In short, it keeps you engaged and entertained during the tedious chore.
Coming to its main functionality, this hearing protection for mowing supports a Noise Reduction Rating NRR of 24dB. That means you cannot hear the outer sounds and loud noises while wearing the headphone.
I really appreciate its built-in Audio Assist Technology, as with this, I can program up to 50 AM and FM radio stations. Moreover, this feature also allows you to set up and operate the headset while it’s on your head.
The best part is that, when the battery gets low, the headset will alert you. The controls are easy to use, even when you are wearing gloves.
The headset comes with an auxiliary cord. Therefore, you can connect this ear protector with your smartphone or any other compatible device to make or take calls, listen to music, and watch videos. The auto-scanning feature of the headset enables you to save your favorite stations so that you can quickly find it whenever you need.
When I look into the comfort aspect, this hearing protector performs well. Its rugged lightweight design, adjustable headbands, well-padded ear cups with great ear protection makes it one of my top recommendations.
5. ZOHAN Noise Reduction Hearing Protector
If you are looking for a hearing protector that does more than just protecting your ears, then check out this ear protector from ZOHAN. This is an ideal headset for landscaping and mowing jobs because of its functionalities.
This headset is a comfortable option for professionals and DIYers alike. What makes it unique from the previous models discussed is the LCD display that shows the AM/FM frequencies you are playing. The LCD display is a great help because you will know on what station you are when fine-tuning.
Moreover, the headset features an auto-scanning feature that allows you to search and store up to 10 AM and 10 FM radio stations. This means you don’t have to search your preferred radio stations every time you use it.
Most importantly, this lawn mower ear protection with radio has a Noise Reduction Rating of 24 dB. So, you will not hear the outer sounds while using a lawn mower. Plus, the manufacturer has included a carrying pouch as well, which makes it easy to carry.
What I like the most is that it comes with a 3.5mm audio jack with cable. As whenever I feel bored or if my landscaping task is tedious, I simply plug the headset into my smartphone and listen to my favorite tunes while working.
Furthermore, in-built speakers deliver optimum sound quality. You will not be interrupted by the annoying sound of the lawn mower when listening to music. Also, the earmuffs provide superior comfort, allowing you to wear the headset for prolonged hours.
6. ProCase Noise Reduction Headset
If you are not into high-end noise reduction ear muffs and want to just get the job done without any hassle, this ProCase headset could be a good solution. It is a straightforward product doing a great job of preventing the outer sounds from entering your ears.
The primary reason I include this headset on my list is that it has a Noise Reduction Rating of 28 dB, which is excellent for the price. You will not see a rating this high in high-end models. It has a no-nonsense design that stays true to its features.
The ergonomic headband boasts soft padding, providing superior comfort. The padding ensures to reduce any pinching sensation on your head when worn for prolonged hours. On the other hand, the ear cups are intelligently designed with extra spacing inside. This establishes breathability, keeping your ears away from discomfort like excessive sweating and pinching sensation.
The ear cups are made using soft imitation leather. This material helps to a great extent because it not only provides a sound-proof seal but is also soft on the ears. The thickened noise-dampening foam adds to the benefit. The best part is that the headset is ANSI S3.19 certified to the US standards. So it maintains the quality the manufacturer advertises.
When it comes to design and functionality, the ear cups are 360° rotatable and the headband is adjustable according to the user. Moreover, you can further fold the headset for easy storage.
7. Cyber Acoustic Heavy-Duty Ear Muffs
It may surprise you that this set of hearing protection earmuffs is in this list, despite its low price. This is a heavy-duty hearing protector used by professionals for tedious lawn mowing, landscaping, hunting, and gardening tasks. From hearing protection to a comfortable fit, this is one best-buy option you have.
To start with, this ear protector from Cyber Acoustic comes with a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 26dB and a Signal-to-Noise Ratio of 32 dB. You can expect it to deliver superior noise protection when you are handling heavy machinery and equipment.
What I like is that the headset is adjustable and comfortable. The headband is padded, and you can adjust accordingly. Moreover, the ear cups are rotatable, providing it with a universal fit. So, it doesn’t matter whether your head and ears are big; this headset will easily fit you.
According to the manufacturer, the headset is ideal for different professions and jobs such as enhanced quiet study, band practices, sporting events and concerts, racing venues, construction, target practice and hunting, landscaping, and air traffic ground support.
It provides incredible noise suppression. You can even use it with ear plugs for minimum noise reduction. Thanks to its ergonomic design, the ear cups have extra spacing inside. So, ear plugs can easily fit in without causing any discomfort.
8. DEWALT Industrial Electronic Hearing Muff
The DEWALT industrial digital hearing muff is another premium model that you would want to look into. It has everything you need in a hearing protection headset.
As a high-quality and expensive ear muff, the headset features an LCD display for AM and FM radio tuning. You can switch to your favorite radio station while working to make the process more efficient and fun.
The best part is that it comes with a 3.5mm audio jack and an auxiliary cable. This allows me to connect the headset with my phone or any other audio device and switch to my playlist. Many don’t realize but this is a handy feature because you never know how long it will take to complete a landscaping project, especially if the area is large.
The ear cups are foam-filled. Therefore, you will not experience any sort of discomfort, particularly when you have to wear it for prolonged hours. The cushiony foam conforms to your ears, thus, reducing pressure.
On the other hand, there is an adjustable headband designed to suit the majority of the users with different head sizes. I also like that the headband is padded. This prevents any tingling and pinching sensation on the head.
Also, I find that the product compiled with CSA Z94.2 Class A Standard that signifies the headset offers optimum performance. On top of that, it has an NRR of 25 dB, which is great as it prevents outer noise from entering your ears.
9. 3M Peltor Over-The-Head Earmuffs
If you are looking for hearing protection for DIY use, the over-the-head ear muffs from 3M might be a good option for you.
The main reason why I like this headset is that it comes in five different color variants, namely black, green, yellow, red, and chartreuse. You will not get such a variety of options when it comes to color in other models.
Coming back to its main functionalities, the headset offers decibel defense of up to 22 dB. In fact, its NRR rating of 22 dB is enough for DIY lawn mowing and carpentry projects.
The headset is engineered using innovative technologies like foam ear cup inserts and spacers. This allows for optimal comfort while ensuring heavy noise doesn’t enter your ears. The foam ear cup provides an effective acoustic seal, offering reliable protection.
Moreover, there is a tilting pivot on the ear cups that allows it to perfectly snuggle your ears. For extended comfort, the manufacturer has incorporated a stainless steel wire in the headband. Regarding the headband, it boasts a unique twin design that is strategically developed to reduce heat buildup.
I am thrilled to know that the cushions are replaceable. You can order more cushions from the brand once the older ones wear out. It allows you to maintain hygiene.
10. Vanderfields Hearing Protection for Lawn Mowing
The Vanderfields model is an excellent noise-canceling headset that comes with a Noise Reduction Rating of 26 dB. This brand guarantees that the headset can reduce up to 125 dB noise. No wonder why it is popular amongst lawn mowers and hunters alike.
I purchased this headset just because of its quality workmanship. It has a premium-looking design that will surely make you want one. The hearing protection is available in nine different color options – black, violet, brown, green, pink, red, iron grey, marine blue, and turquoise. Yet, I am more amazed by its quality features.
The ear protector is designed for multi-purpose use. That is, you can use it to block noises caused by household tools, fireworks, gardening, landscaping, construction, large crowds, shootings, airports, and woodworking, among others.
It offers quality comfort, thanks to the premium parts and workmanship. I am able to fit it inside my backpack with ease. Its foldable design enables you to carry it anywhere and store it without any hassle.
And the large, padded cushions perfectly snuggle your ears, offering an enjoyable fit. The headband is padded to relieve any pressure put on your head when used for prolonged hours.
The brand maintains high production standards. This is the reason why Elite Military Forces also use this headset for various purposes.
11. 3M Peltor Optime 98 Earmuff
By this time, you may have realized that 3M is an industry leader providing lawn mower ear muffs. Its Peltor Optime 98 is a standard model that qualifies for both professional and DIY use. The model comes in two different variants – over the head and helmet attachable. While there is nothing much difference between except for its usability.
The Over the Head variant is like your standard hearing protector for lawn mowing where you simply wear it like a headphone. On the other hand, the Helmet Attachable variant is designed particularly for professionals to clamp the headset to your safety helmet. I like that 3M provides this option because these two variants cater to the specific needs of the users.
When it comes to noise safety and reduction, Peltor Optime offers a 25-decibel defense. For optimum seal and hearing protection, it uses liquid and foam-filled cushions. This cushioning not just seals your ears from the external noise but also provides superior comfort, enabling you to wear it for prolonged hours.
In the Over the Head variant, the headband has a stainless steel construction. It allows the headset to distribute the weight evenly so that you don’t feel any pressure. Moreover, both the variants boast adjustable pivots that tilt and are meant to conform to your comfort.
12. PROTEAR Digital Ear Muffs with AM/FM Radio
The last in my list of the best lawn mower earmuffs is this headset from PROTEAR that boasts some unique features, which you will definitely love. I came across this headset when I was looking for digital headsets for my lawn mowing projects.
It comes with an LCD display that allows you to tune AM and FM radio stations accordingly. What you will like is that you get to pre-set it and save your favorite AM and FM radio stations. Also, the headset has great radio reception.
There is a volume control knob to simply twist to adjust your preferred volume while working. And most importantly, there is an MP3 cord included with a 3.5mm jack, which you can connect the headset to your audio devices, including your smartphone. That means you can control the volume with ease.
It has a decent noise reduction rate of 25 decibels that ensures to cut out approximately 55 dB when working. Now, if your lawn mower generates 110 decibels, after wearing this headset, you will only hear 55 dB, which is healthy.
This hearing protector has sufficient cushioning and padding to provide the utmost protection and comfort. Its strategically designed full-size ear cup seals the noise to a great extent.
Best of all, it has a snap-in design that allows me to remove, clean, or replace the ear cups when needed. This is a great feature that I think can come in handy in the future. The headset is lightweight but boasts a sturdy construction.
What is a Hearing Protection for Lawn Mowing
A human ear has more than 18,000 tiny hair cells that are activated when exposed to sound waves. Their function is to convert vibration into electrical impulses, which are sent to the brain for processing. This is how we hear and respond to different sounds.
If the sound is louder, the more the vibration. There is a particular limit to how much vibration your tiny hair cells can handle. Lawnmowers can produce sound ranging anywhere from 80 decibels to 110 decibels. Anything above 80 decibels is harmful to your ears.
This is where hearing protection for lawn mowing comes into the picture. These headsets are designed to reduce the noise produced by the machine to a great extent. They look like your regular headphones, with some of them even featuring Bluetooth and radio functionalities. However, you will find the majority of them with no digital features.
They have intelligently designed padding and ear cups that seal your ears from hearing any external noise. All hearing protection headsets have a particular Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) that tells how efficient it is in blocking unwanted noise. In general, the NRR lies between 22 decibels and 28 decibels. The NRR is calculated according to the industry standards, which is fixed.
These headsets have multiple use cases apart from using for lawn mowing. You will find a plethora of designs and models from different brands at varied price tags.
How Does it Work
Please note that a hearing protection headset will reduce the level of sound entering your ear but cannot eliminate it.
They look like your usual headphones and can be worn over the head. However, I have seen some variants that are helmet attachable.
Nevertheless, hearing protectors have intelligently designed ear cups that entirely cover your ears. They have foam cushioning that provides comfort and acts as a seal that prevents external noise from entering the ear.
The ear cups are generally larger than your headphones and have extra spacing inside. This extra spacing keeps your ears free of sweat and any pinching sensation. Moreover, in non-digital hearing protectors, this extra spacing allows you to wear ear plugs underneath to double the protection. In short, the ear cups comfortably snuggles your ears to cut down the excess noise level.
If you go for high-end models, they are Bluetooth and radio-enabled. This allows you to connect the headset with your smartphone or any audio device. You can take and make calls, listen to your favorite music from your playlist or save your preferred AM and FM radio stations and play them whenever you are working with heavy machinery.
All hearing protectors come with noise reduction ratings that tell how efficient it is in reducing the noise.
To calculate how much noise is reduced, take the NRR number, subtract 7 from it and then divide it by 2. For example, suppose you have a lawnmower or a machine that produces 85 decibels. So, when you wear a hearing protector with a Noise Reduction Rating of 28 dB, the noise levels are exponentially decreased in the following manner.
To calculate the NRR –[(28-7)/2 = 10.5]. Subtract 10.5 from 85, which equals to 74.5. This means you will get somewhere around 74.5 decibels instead of 85 decibels. So, this isn’t a harmful noise level. And, if you want to decrease the noise levels further, you can choose to wear earplugs underneath your herding protector.
Types of Hearing Protection for Lawn Mowing
In the market, you will find three different types of hearing protection. They are:
- In-ear protection
- Over the ear protection
- Helmet attachable hearing protection
As the name suggests, in-ear protection is a device that you have to insert into your ears like earphones. They come in different shapes, styles, and sizes. There are two benefits of using this type of hearing protection – it cuts down the sound from entering the ear, and it also prevents sweat dripping into your ears, which can cause infection if you work for prolonged hours. You will find different types of in-ear hearing protection, such as:
- Custom made in-ear protectors that are designed as per your unique ear canal structure
- Flanged plugs that have a webbed ring to protect the inside of your ear canal
- Silicon plugs that conform to the shape of your ear canal
- Foam plugs that work similarly to silicon plug but are a cheaper alternative
On the other hand, Over the Head hearing protection looks like headphones and covers your entire ear. They have generous space inside the ear cups that ensure breathability. The reviewed products above are all over the head ear protectors.
Lastly, the helmet attachable hearing protection is somewhat similar to over the head models, but they don’t have a headband. They have clips installed that can be easily clamped to the safety helmet.
Should I Wear Hearing Protection When Mowing
I always wear hearing protection when I mow as I know that the machine’s sound can cause severe ear damage. Hearing protection is a must when operating heavy machinery that produces a loud noise.
If you listen to anything above 80 decibels for straight 8 hours, you can experience severe ear damage, leading to hearing loss. In short, the noisier your lawnmower, the more obvious it becomes to wear hearing protection.
The ultimate goal of wearing hearing protection is to protect the tiny hair cells inside your ears responsible for processing vibration and converting them into electrical signals.
You should wear an ear protector if you are already suffering from hearing issues or any other ear problem. Well, you will not need hearing protection if you are using a manual push mower. Electric mowers tend to produce high-pitch noise that can damage your ears if exposed to prolonged hours. For landscaping projects or covering a larger area, you would want to keep your ears safe.
Now that you have understood the functioning and importance of hearing protection, let’s jump to the buying guide for factors you need to keep in mind when purchasing a hearing protector.
Noise Reduction Rating (NRR)
The first thing you look for in a hearing protection headset is its NRR. I have already discussed NRR in detail. So, I won’t put much stress into explaining what it is. The NRR you prefer should be based on the noise level your lawn mowing machine produces. The general rule of thumb is to choose a headset with an NRR above 22 decibels.
Ease of Use
Wearing a hearing protection headset doesn’t mean that it will completely block out the outer noise. If you are a professional, you should be able to communicate with your co-workers at sight without requiring you to remove the headset. With features like radio and Bluetooth connectivity, you don’t have to remove the headset to converse with someone.
This is where you have to be vigilant. Only choose a product that enables you to wear it for a prolonged duration without causing any discomfort. If the comfort level is compromised, you may experience a pinching sensation followed by excessive sweating. So, make sure that your headset is adequately padded, and the ear cups have soft cushioning.
Finally, since a high-end headset can be expensive, you would want a highly durable model and can withstand the test of time. Quality manufacturers use stainless steel construction to make the headset durable and lightweight. But there are headsets made using ABS plastic as well. The framework ensures that the cushioning and padding are of the highest quality for prolonged usage.
Care and Maintenance
Hearing protectors are easy to care for and maintain. I have both digital and non-digital ear muffs that require pretty much the same cleaning techniques. For instance, I simply use paper towels and wipe the headband and the ear cups, including their insides, thoroughly. This prevents bacteria buildup due to sweat. The foam needs extra care, so I spray some rubbing alcohol on a paper towel and gently wipe the surface. There is nothing much required.
However, for digital ones, you may have to check on the battery. They run on AA batteries, which are notorious for releasing a discharge that can ruin the internal circuitry. So, make sure you replace the batteries timely to prevent any trouble.
Frequently Asked Questions
The following are some of the most frequently asked questions by the netizens, which I have tried to answer.
What are the most popular hearing protection for lawn mowing brands?
There are plenty of brands offering some quality ear muffs for mowing. While the competition is tough, I managed to shortlist some of the popular and trustworthy brands in the industry right now:
- Cyber Acoustic
Can lawn mowers damage hearing?
Yes, electric or fuel-based lawn mowers can damage hearing because they produce a noise level between 80 decibels and 110 decibels. Anything over 80 decibels is hazardous for humans. Therefore, precautionary measures should be taken.
How to use it?
These headsets work similarly to your headphones. Simply wear it over your head and ensure that your ears are packed adequately before you start the mowing job. In case you have a digital headset, you can turn on the radio or connect with your smartphone and listen to your favorite tunes. It is simple and easy.
This is our comprehensive review of the best hearing protection for lawn mowing. I encourage you to do your research and find out what suits you best. These products will guide in understanding what exactly you should be looking for.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the products discussed, feel free to leave comments.
Having worked in the field of personal protective equipment for over two decades, Andrew Carnegie is a specialist in the field.
At EDC, he strives to improve performance efficiency and promote workplace safety for EDC’s readers and customers. He also researches the most up-to-date equipment that has earned relevant accreditation for use in a wide range of industries and specialties.