Author Topic: Most comfortable Hearing Protection?  (Read 33684 times)

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Offline 3PedalMINI

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Most comfortable Hearing Protection?
« on: January 26, 2014, 07:12 PM »
Guys, My tinnitus is getting worse and it now hurts to use any power tool like my saws and RO150  [sad]

Can anyone recommend a good pair of hearing protection that is also comfortable?

TIA!
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Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Most comfortable Hearing Protection?
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2014, 07:14 PM »
What have you tried - if any - in the past?  Would help to know what you don't like.

Peter

Offline leer

  • Posts: 262
Re: Most comfortable Hearing Protection?
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2014, 07:22 PM »
Guys, My tinnitus is getting worse and it now hurts to use any power tool like my saws and RO150  [sad]

Can anyone recommend a good pair of hearing protection that is also comfortable?

TIA!

It is so personal, I am not sure what I like would mean anything, other than an option to check out.  I use the same ear plugs in the shop as I do on the gun range.  I like the earplugs that are on a cord, so I can pull them and not lose them.  The specs on some are as good or better than the "headset" style.  I'd suggest maybe going to a gun shop and seeing what they have.  
Lee

Offline NYC Tiny Shop

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Re: Most comfortable Hearing Protection?
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2014, 07:28 PM »
A lot of guys use the Sensgard. I think that the top piece would be annoying for me, since I am bald.  Some like the Uvex headphones, etc.  Headphones get too sweaty on me. I just use the blue Hearos 33 db from the local Duane Reade and keep them in the entire time that I work, if I'm using power tools that day.  I go through a box of 14 pairs every two months...I also sleep with them in...helps muffle the city's backround noise.

http://www.amazon.com/Hearos-Plugs-Xtreme-Protection-14-Pair/dp/B001EPQ86A/ref=sr_1_43?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1390783133&sr=1-43&keywords=Hearing+protection
« Last Edit: January 26, 2014, 07:43 PM by NYC Tiny Shop »

Offline PaulMarcel

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Re: Most comfortable Hearing Protection?
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2014, 07:32 PM »
I always use Sens-Gard. By always I mean sometimes even when I'm not running power tools... they seem to attenuate loud noises. When the DC/Vac/Saw is off, I can clearly hear the music in the shop and have often bugged my neighbor when he walks up to ask some questions and I still have it on... I can hear him just fine and forget to take it off.  To me, that's a big plus.  But you do hear the tools, just nowhere near as loudly.  I consider that a plus since something that totally blocks all noises to me isn't as safe... with these, I can hear if the DC starts whining cuz it got plugged.  Others prefer totally blocking noises.

I generally use the -26db set all the time except when routing, then use the -31db.  The -26 are more comfortable.

They are available at Woodcraft and Rockler besides the usual online culprits.
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Offline P2P

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Re: Most comfortable Hearing Protection?
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2014, 07:39 PM »
3Ped,  Take care of this ASAP!  You need your hearing for your real job!

Offline Tim Raleigh

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Re: Most comfortable Hearing Protection?
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2014, 07:46 PM »
I always use Sens-Gard. By always I mean sometimes even when I'm not running power tools... they seem to attenuate loud noises.

Yes, completely agree. The best hearing protection is the one you use and you will use this one. Very good hearing protection.  I hate the big ear muffs, they drown out all the sound and I can't hear the machine. You can hear what the machine is actually doing while you have the sensgards' on.
This is a big plus for me, that and like Paul said you don't even notice they are on.
Great product.
Tim

Offline Sal LiVecchi

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Re: Most comfortable Hearing Protection?
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2014, 07:53 PM »
Have to agree with Tim, if the hearing protection is not comfortable you won't be using it long.
Paul  I have been using Sens-Gard since your review and I can honestly say they never come off in the shop as I work.
I highly recommend them for their comfort and noise suppression
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Offline PaulMarcel

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Re: Most comfortable Hearing Protection?
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2014, 08:29 PM »
Hmm, guess I could have posted the review :)  Here's a video review where I put the microphone in the Sens-Gard with music and DC noise.  I was used to doing shop stuff without hearing protection.  Then thought, okay, this is more than a passing hobby, so I got the Sens-Gards and now if I ever do a cut without them on "cuz it's just one cut", I really notice the difference.

Sens-Gard review with video
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Offline Wooden Skye

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Re: Most comfortable Hearing Protection?
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2014, 08:32 PM »
I got a pair of ryobi tek4 headphones, which I like.  I have trouble with the kinds that go in the ear, so I didn't wear.  My ear doctor says I have small ear canals, might explain why I don't listen to people or can tune them out.  The ryobis work well with the battery and without.  I can also hook my iPod to them if I am sanding or tinkering at night.  
Bryan

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Offline Tom Gensmer

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Re: Most comfortable Hearing Protection?
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2014, 08:46 PM »
Since I work alone 95%+ of the time, I've been wearing the silicone in-ear Apple earphones. I have no idea what the dB rating on them is, but with the appropriate sized silicone buds, they very nearly completely isolate me from outside sounds, plus they allow me to listen to podcasts and audiobooks while I work. I find them to be very comfortable for all-day (10+ hours) use. My only main gripe is, it forces you to keep up with your ear hygiene, otherwise there can be an accumulation of ear wax.  [eek]

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Offline Andy B

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Re: Most comfortable Hearing Protection?
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2014, 08:57 PM »
I've used Howard Leight Max earplugs for years. With a NRR rating of 33 and the comfortable fit and feel they can't be beat.

Offline RobBob

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Re: Most comfortable Hearing Protection?
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2014, 09:31 PM »
I bought the SensGard after watching Paul's review.  They are the best hearing protection I've tried for the shop.  For shooting, I double up and wear earplugs and muffs.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2014, 09:34 PM by rljatl »

Offline panelchat

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Re: Most comfortable Hearing Protection?
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2014, 10:10 PM »
3M Peltor Optime 105 is what i switched to ages ago.
very soft/comfortable, seems to be some of the best protection out there.
i perch them on my head with the cups at my temples, then move them down over my ears when the noise comes.
i look like mickey mouse/an idiot but this works great.
ear plugs take me about 45 seconds to compress,  stick in the ear and then wait for them to expand. plus they get dirty.
i can flip the headset from my temples to my ears in two seconds.
i keep earplugs around for occasional use- they are handy, work well, fit in the watch pocket of my jeans.
i have tinitus too, it sucks, be careful!

it seems that a benefit of some festools is that they are not too noisy. i wonder if anyone knows if this is by design...?
i know the vacs are quiet by design, and using a ts55 and vac is way quieter than using a table saw with dust collector...

Offline panelchat

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Re: Most comfortable Hearing Protection?
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2014, 10:14 PM »
that sens gard looks nice too, i might try it out for work where im talking to people all day on site..

Offline SittingElf

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Re: Most comfortable Hearing Protection?
« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2014, 11:25 PM »
In response to the original question.......










<<<----------  Look over there! [big grin]
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Offline Alex

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Re: Most comfortable Hearing Protection?
« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2014, 03:34 AM »
I use a pair of 3M 1435 Ear Defender Muffs, they're very basic but very light and comfortable. They don't filter out all the noise, but reduce it to a bearable level. They fit so well, I often forget I'm wearing them and sometimes I find I still have them on long after I've finished using the tool.

Offline packratpop

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Re: Most comfortable Hearing Protection?
« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2014, 06:03 AM »
Sittingelf
Hard to make out which brand you are wearing. Preferences? Thanks

Offline SittingElf

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Re: Most comfortable Hearing Protection?
« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2014, 07:26 AM »
Heh heh!  David Clark Helicopter Headset. Gel ear pads, and ultimate volume control!  [thumbs up] [big grin]
Woodworking is 3% talent and 97% paying attention to the FOG! 

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Offline Saskataper

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Re: Most comfortable Hearing Protection?
« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2014, 07:32 AM »
In a previous life I drove a concrete mixer for a living and wore sure fire earplugs, they are made for shooting and the louder the sound the more they block out. I wore them everyday for 10-12 hrs a day and found them very comfortable.
My dad has some custom moulded earplugs that he really likes for in the shop, I think he got them from an audiologist.
Now if I'm doing something noisy I just wear my shure noise isolating in ear earphones and rock out while I work.

Offline NYC Tiny Shop

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Re: Most comfortable Hearing Protection?
« Reply #20 on: January 27, 2014, 07:43 AM »

Offline Phred

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Re: Most comfortable Hearing Protection?
« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2014, 09:14 AM »
3M Peltor Optime 105

+1

Very comfortable and effective.  If you live in a hot and humid area, the cups around the ears may bother you.  I have never tried the Sensgard but notice they get somewhat mixed reviews on Amazon.

Phred

Offline RL

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Re: Most comfortable Hearing Protection?
« Reply #22 on: January 27, 2014, 10:51 AM »
I had a pair of the Sensguard a long time ago soon after they came out.

I wore them for a while, but never found them very comfortable. However, they worked well. The problem is that unlike in-ear earphones which usually come with a variety of bud sizes, the Sensguard foam buds are one size only (which seem to be too small for my ears). So if you have the right ear holes for them they can be excellent.

For a while now I have used the Peltor 105 ear protectors which I like very much...so much so that I considered getting another pair for home use for the unwanted ear-bashing from wife and kids.

Offline danjames

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Re: Most comfortable Hearing Protection?
« Reply #23 on: January 27, 2014, 01:12 PM »
+1 for Peltor ear muffs.

Most definitely the most comfortable ear muffs I have ever worn, for me muffs are better than plugs.

Dan.

Offline Texas357

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Re: Most comfortable Hearing Protection?
« Reply #24 on: January 27, 2014, 01:43 PM »
I use the Peltor Tactical 6s Ear muffs and they are incomparable, I use them In my Tactical rifle training and can say that when your carbine partners are simultaneously firing consecutive shots right next to your head along with the firing of your own rifle its a life saver...But surprisingly I've never used them in the shop
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Offline David Werkheiser

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Re: Most comfortable Hearing Protection?
« Reply #26 on: January 27, 2014, 02:26 PM »
I've been using Peltor's for years, what I like is that you can rebuild a set for about $ 6.00 which includes new inside foam and ear cups. After 3-4 years the cups start to get hard and crack.
David

Offline RobBob

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Re: Most comfortable Hearing Protection?
« Reply #27 on: January 27, 2014, 03:29 PM »
3M Peltor Optime 105

+1

Very comfortable and effective.  If you live in a hot and humid area, the cups around the ears may bother you.  I have never tried the Sensgard but notice they get somewhat mixed reviews on Amazon.

Phred

I think they get mixed reviews because people don't follow the directions.  There is a particular way they must be put on and if you don't do it that way, they do not seal properly.

Offline GarryMartin

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Re: Most comfortable Hearing Protection?
« Reply #28 on: January 28, 2014, 08:04 AM »
I generally use the -26db set all the time except when routing, then use the -31db.  The -26 are more comfortable.

DISCLAIMER: I'm aware that Paul-Marcel works on his own in his garage, and that his hearing protection allows ambient noise to travel through, but I thought I'd use his SNR values to illustrate that there is such a thing as "over-protection" when it comes to hearing protection. [wink]

In the UK, the Health & Safety Executive recommend that you should aim for between 80 dB and 75 dB at the ear and should avoid protectors resulting in less than 70 dB at the ear as this can lead to unsafe working environments and isolation. (see http://www.hse.gov.uk/noise/goodpractice/hearingoverprotect.htm)

Of all the tools I own, the TS75 has the highest Sound Pressure Level dB(A) which equates to the noise level measured at the operators ears (of 95 dB). The lowest are my T15 and CXS (a mere 65 dB).

Using more than one tool at once should add no more than about 3 dB to the overall number. TS75 (95 dB) and CTL 26 E (71 dB) works out at 95.01 dB whilst the ETS 150 (72 dB) and CTL Midi (72 dB)work out at 75.01 dB.

So using the "loudest" machine, the TS75 (95 dB) with the CTL 26 E (71 dB) whilst wearing 31 SNR protectors, results in 68 dB at the ear which is slightly below recommendations. At 26 SNR, it's 73 dB at the ear which gives adequate protection and does not "over-protect". But the 26 SNR protectors would result in "over-protection" with some of the quieter tools and a lower SNR may be advisable.

Now obviously "over-protecting" won't damage your hearing, but outside of the home workshop, it could cause the safety and isolation problems mentioned by the HSE.

Of course, the designs like those that Paul-Marcel uses, that allow sound at safe levels to pass through to the ear canal while reducing potentially harmful noises (above 85dB) change the equation slightly, but not everyone is using those.

Personally, given I work on my own in a small garage and my woodworking is part-time in nature (as the length of time of exposure is also a variable), I like to use different protection depending on the nature of the work. When using tools that can inflict severe physical damage to me in milliseconds (saws, routers etc.) I like to know the tool is on and in use!  [scared]

When sanding for longer periods, I like to listen to music instead of the sounds of the tool and extractor. When drilling, I hardly ever have earing protection on unless it's already in place from other operations.

I guess what I'm saying is that one size doesn't always fit all (with regard to SNR level as well as type of protection) and as mentioned earlier in the thread, the best hearing protection is the one you actually wear.

Offline RL

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Re: Most comfortable Hearing Protection?
« Reply #29 on: January 28, 2014, 10:49 AM »
Excellent post, Garry.