Wise Buys: Muff-Style Hearing Protectors
Why buy? Power tools and machines make noise ranging from mildly annoying to downright harmful. Muff-style hearing protectors reduce the sound reaching your ears, effectively preventing hearing damage. You'll find muffs are easy to put on and take off, fit over safety glasses and hats, and they form tight seals around the ears. They can--and should--be used when using almost every power tool. For this article, we chose four different styles, from simple, passive muffs to high-tech noise-canceling models. The manufacturer's Noise-Reduction Rating (NRR) for each model is shown, and our testing with a professional audiologist confirmed the accuracy of those figures.
Peltor Optime 105 #H10A
NRR 29 dB
One of the noisiest spots in my basement workshop is the area near a screaming shop vacuum connected to the bandsaw. Without hearing protection, my ears start ringing before I can make the first cut! The Peltor Optime muffs deaden that noise so effectively, it's barely detectable. As if that were not great by itself, these muffs also fit so nicely I wore them for hours at a time without discomfort. The thick, wide cushioning creates a tight seal without crushing safety glasses into my temples. And the adjustable wire bands allow me to extend the cups farther apart and bend them slightly outward to adjust the pressure for a perfect fit.
- Tested by Bob Wilson, Techniques Editor
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