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.