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We’ve covered earmuff-style hearing protection here, here, and here, but now AO Safety has built an AM/FM digital stereo tuner into its Digital WorkTunes hearing protectors. Sure, you could just wear earphones under normal muffs, but you probably wouldn’t put up with the hassle for long. With this self-contained system, you just put it on and go.

The WorkTunes earmuffs attenuate workshop noise by 22dB. Soft, foam ear cushions and an adjustable, stainless-steel headband make these lightweight hearing protectors comfortable to wear for extended periods.

The AM/FM radio features digital tuning and an LCD display complete with low battery readout. The built-in jack allows you to connect your mp3 player or, if you’re at the race track, your scanner. The earmuffs will run for approximately 140 hours on a pair of AA batteries.

You’ll pay about $60 for a pair of Digital WorkTunes, but if you like to listen to the game while working in the shop, you’ll always be wearing your hearing protection.

A word of warning: If you have a home shop, be sure to train your family not to interrupt you while you’re wearing hearing protection. While cutting on the table saw, the last thing you need is to be startled because you didn’t hear somebody approach you. Now if only I could train my dog to stop sneaking up on me.

Digital WorkTunes [AO Safety]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]


3 Responses to Groove To WorkTunes

  1. Brian says:

    I’m sure there are situations where these are prefectly ok, but listening to music on your earmuffs just screams “get run over by a fork truck” to me.

  2. Chris says:

    I’ve said this before on hearing-related posts here, but things like this are a really bad idea unless you have the self-discipline to set the volume level *before* you enter the noisy environment.

    If you turn up your music so you can hear over the background noise, you’re totally defeating the purpose of hearing protection in the first place. (No, it won’t be as bad as if you weren’t wearing anything at all, but it can still do damage.)


  3. BrianD says:

    I bought a pair of these a few weeks ago – ~$50 at Lowes. They work well and are very comfortable to wear. Chris’ concern about music volume levels causing damage is not likely to be a problem – the max volume on these is not very loud at all, my wife’s iPod is much, much louder. Listening for several hours was not fatiguing at all. The only problem I have is that they make me sweat around the ears where they touch, and I am sure that is normal… for me.

    I was considering taking them along on my next commercial flight since they seem to work as well as the Bose noise-canceling headphones and are much less tragic to lose. (I might look a little goofy, but what’s new.)

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