All You Need to Know About Hearing Protection for Yardwork – From High NRR to Double Hearing Protection

What is the Purpose of Hearing Protection? How Does Hearing Protection Work?

If you are doing constant yard work and do not want to end up losing your hearing, you might want to look into hearing protection.

What is the purpose of hearing protection and does hearing protection actually work are just two of the common questions that might pop up in your head when you find out that your lawnmower or leaf blower could damage your hearing and that you need some type of hearing protection for yard work that involves loud equipment.

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In A Hurry?

If require the Best Hearing Protection for this item, and do not want to read the entire article, below are my recommended ear protection.

Which are the best Earplugs for Yardwork?

For Yardwork, the best ear plugs are Sordin Supreme Pro - Noise Reduction Safety Ear Muffs.

However, this will depend on several things. If you use them a lot, for example, if it is your principal job, or perhaps just minor use. Also, if you want to use these ear plugs for other things, like listen to music, or Answer Your Phone.

There are earplug options available, for example: Convenient Fitting, Noise Reduction Rating (NRR), Long-Lasting, Flexibility, and if you want earplugs or headphones. As you can see, there is a lot in picking the best fit.

Excessive exposure to noise causes irreversible hearing impairment, leading to issues such as tinnitus (that annoying and persistent ringing in the ears), hearing loss and, as a result, communication difficulties, especially in environments with loud background noise.

Often the damage to your auditory system gets progressively worse with each repeated exposure, so using loud equipment for yardwork requires hearing protection to avoid the damage from long-term exposure to a noisy environment. You should consider purchasing a quality hearing protection item, such as earmuffs, earplugs or Bluetooth headphones because in time, the receptors that provide the signal from the ear to the brain get damaged by excessive noise and you might lose your hearing altogether.

Noise Reduction Rating – How Many Decibels is Too loud? Is a Higher dB Rating Better for Yard Work?

Before purchasing any type of hearing protection for yard work, learn how hearing protection is rated and what does NRR mean. Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) is the unit of measurement that allows you to determine how effective hearing protection devices are when it comes to decreasing noise exposure. The classification of their potential to reduce noise is made using decibels (dB), which is the expression of how powerful or dense a sound is. If you are wondering if a higher dB rating is better, you should know that a higher the NRR number specified on a hearing protector means that the product has a superior capacity for noise reduction.

Wondering what dB level is considered safe, how many decibels is too loud and at what dB level is hearing protection required? Usually, the limit is of 85 dBA, so you will probably not need more than 10dB of noise reduction to reach a safe noise level while doing yard work. Bringing noise exposure down to 75-85 dBA is usually enough noise reduction for yard work.

But how do you determine how many decibels is too loud so you can figure out if you need a hearing protector? Exposure to 85 dB or higher, over an extended period, is usually considered excessive noise. A lawnmower, for example, is considered to be extremely loud, at around 90 dB, so using it for yard work certainly requires some kind of noise reduction earmuffs, earplugs or Bluetooth headphones.

How Do You Know That You Are Getting Enough Hearing Protection?

Many people also wonder what the best noise reduction rating is. To find out how much hearing protection you actually need while doing yard work, you can either measure the noise levels while using the lawnmower or other yard work equipment and then check the specifications on your hearing protection earmuffs or earplugs to see if they can ensure the right level of noise reduction, or use a sound level meter.

There are apps for this on your smartphone, or you can try a simpler way of doing this, which requires counting out loud and listening to how it sounds when you cup and uncup your ears. If the noise reduction equipment is the right one for your needs, your voice should sound as it does when you are cupping your ears. Also, to ensure that you get the best out of the product, you should choose a hearing protector that is both comfortable and convenient, especially if you plan on using it for a long period.

Regarding the best Noise Reduction Rating (NRR), it is good to know that the highest noise reduction rating that you can find is around 33 dB for earplugs and 31 dB for earmuffs. If you choose double hearing protection, wearing earmuffs over earplugs, you can get a higher NRR of 36.

What Are the Types of Hearing Protection for Yard Work?

Since hearing protection comes in so many shapes, materials, shades, and dimensions, it is sometimes difficult to figure out which type will suit your needs.

If you are wondering what types of hearing protection, you can find on the market, there are multiple options available, but you should keep in mind that a good hearing protector will always bear the CE certification mark. This lets you know it complies with the requirements of the European regulation on personal protective equipment.

You can choose between earmuffs, helmet-mounted earmuffs, earplugs, custom moulded earplugs, canal caps, Bluetooth headphones, or even combine two of them to obtain dual protection.

Noises When Doing Yardwork

The following infographic shows a list of the various noises when you are out and about. Any noise over 70-80db over a long period of time may cause damage to your hearing. A noise of over 120dB may cuase immediate harm to your ears

Does Double Hearing Protection Work?

This is recommended when earmuffs or earplugs alone do not attenuate the noise as much as you need them to. Keep in mind that when you use earplugs and earmuffs for double hearing protection, you should make sure they do not put too much pressure on your ears.

Why You Should Always Wear Hearing Protection When Mowing

Naturally, you might wonder how many decibels does a gas lawn mower emit, or what the general level of noise generated by a lawnmower is, and if a lawnmower can cause hearing damage, and if so if noise-cancelling headphones are any good for lawn mowing.

If mowing the lawn and trimming the hedges is something that you do often, you should, you should take into account that equipment such as lawnmowers, chainsaws or weed trimmers usually register a noise level around 95-100 dB. Safe noise levels don’t exceed 85 dB, so working with this type of loud equipment can cause hearing loss.

Since buying a quieter mower is not an option most of the times and working to reduce the noise levels of your lawnmower can be quite a hassle, you should definitely wear hearing protection when mowing.

Are Noise Cancelling Headphones Good for Lawn Mowing and Yard Work?

You can use Bluetooth hearing protection and noise-cancelling headphones while mowing the lawn, and when you are working with shrub trimmers, leaf blowers and pressure washers. This is your best bet if you also want to listen to music, a podcast or just learn something while you do yard work. You can either opt for wireless noise-cancelling headphones, earbud headphones doubled by regular earmuff hearing protection (double hearing protection), or just go for hearing protection earmuffs or earplugs with built-in Bluetooth speakers.

Please Note: Just because an ear defender is marked, for example, "Gunshot" - it will still cover other things, like "explosions"

Best Ear Plugs

The following are the best earplugs  (They go from low price to high price.)

Other Questions

Should I wear hearing protection when mowing?

Yes, you should! A normal human conversation is around 55dB and the tolerable level for human ears is 70 dB. A lawnmower is 90dB and anything above 85dB is considered too loud and dangerous which is why it is important to wear hearing protection while mowing your lawn especially if it is something you do regularly because prolonged exposure to loud noise can result in hearing loss.

There are many hearing protection devices available in the market such as earplugs, earbuds, earmuffs and headphones. You can choose the best one depending upon your need and requirement.

What are three warning signs of hearing loss?

There are three kinds of hearing loss that can be caused by noisy sounds due to either ageing or prolonged exposure. However, in some situations, people are likely to prevent this if the danger sign is identified early and adequate care is offered. If you work somewhere where you are subject to excessive noise on a daily basis, then you should look for these three warning signs.

The first warning is that when you are in a busy environment, you won't be able to hear the conversation as all the sounds get jumbled up. Second, certain voices can get muffled for you because cells that sense high-pitched sounds tend to disappear. Finally, you can begin to experience a noise in your ears that could suggest hearing loss.

How can I restore my hearing naturally?

Depending upon the cause of your hearing damage, it is possible to restore it naturally. First, you should avoid going to places with loud noise such as clubs or concerts, etc. Second, whenever you are listening to music or watching tv try to use ear protection such as earplugs, earbuds or headphones.

Using ear protection is important because it will suppress the noise in your surrounding making sure not to cause any further damage to your hearing. You should also get your vitamin levels tested and start taking a multivitamin because vitamins improve hearing. Last, clean your ears regularly because sometimes hearing issues can arise due to wax build-up, which causes a blockage in the ears.

3M WorkTunes Connect Hearing Protector with Bluetooth Technology, 24...
  • NRR of 24 dB (Noise Reduction Rating)
  • BLUETOOTH TECHNOLOGY lets you seamlessly stream entertainment from your mobile phone and any other Bluetooth enabled device
  • HIGH-FIDELITY SPEAKERS provide premium sound quality
  • INTEGRATED MICROPHONE lets you make and take phone calls without removing the hearing protection
  • CORD AND ANTENNA-FREE design lets you move easily on the job
3M WorkTunes Connect + Gel Ear Cushions Hearing Protector with...
  • PREMIUM GEL CUSHIONS are super-soft and conformable for enhanced comfort
  • BLUETOOTH wireless technology lets you seamlessly stream entertainment from your mobile phone and any other Bluetooth enabled device
  • IDEAL FOR LAWN MOWING, construction, woodworking, landscaping, loud enviroments, concentration, and listening to music - cord and antenna free lets you move easily on the job
  • HIGH-FIDELITY SPEAKERS provide premium sound quality
  • MAKE AND TAKE CALLS Integrated microphone lets you make and take phone calls without removing the hearing protection
Sordin Supreme Pro - Noise Reduction Safety Ear Muffs - Hearing...
  • All Sordin military hearing protectors have been updated with a new advanced natural sound reproduction system. They now feature improved noise amplification of their surroundings compared to previous MSA Sordin models.
  • The PRO from Sordin comes with 4 levels (1:4) levels of sound amplification. Integrated speakers in the head set amplify quiet sounds and reproduce surrounding noise crystal clear.
  • The sound reduction rating of the headset is rated at SNR: 25dB, a mean value. This means that noise around you can be reduced by up to 25dB.
  • The battery compartment has been water proofed, making the earmuffs perfect for outdoor use in the woods or field. It can also be used indoors at shooting ranges or noisy workplaces.
  • Two microphones in the ear muff recreate excellent 3D audio. You will not have to worry about losing your orientation in any noisy situation.

Last update on 2021-05-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


If you require more information, please check these references

Association of NIDDM and Hearing Loss , article, "care.diabetesjournals.org", retrieved on, Fri 30-October-2020

Occupational hearing loss , article, "onlinelibrary.wiley.com", retrieved on, Fri 30-October-2020

Smoking as a Risk Factor in Sensory Neural Hearing Loss among Workers Exposed to Occupational Noise , article, "www.tandfonline.com", retrieved on, Fri 30-October-2020

Author: Nick

Hi, I am Nick, and I have suffered with ear problems my whole life, mainly tinnitus. I have tried a lot of products to help protect my ears over this period, and several devices to block out the constant ringing

“Are you having problems hearing? If so, those around you already know it. Hearing loss is no laughing matter, so don’t be a punchline.”

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