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

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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.

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.

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.

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 consequence, 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 purposes 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, you should 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 that it is compliant 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, as well as 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, as well as 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.

Best Ear Plugs

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

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 and Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 23 dB
  • BLUETOOTH wireless technology lets you seamlessly stream entertainment and music from your mobile phone and any other Bluetooth enabled device and Auto Shut-Off Feature with low-battery indicator
  • IDEAL FOR LAWN MOWING, construction, woodworking, landscaping, loud environments, concentration, and listening to music cord and antenna free lets you move easily on the job
  • HIGH FIDELITY SPEAKERS provide premium sound quality and LIGHTWEIGHT, LOW-PROFILE DESIGN is great for extended wear and flexible headband with cutouts to improve comfort when worn with hats
  • 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...
  • Sordin military hearing protectors have the same technical specifications as the MSA Sordin series and are produced in the same factory in Sweden. In 2020 MSA Sordin ear defenders will be replaced by Sordin ear muffs.
  • 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 2020-11-24 / 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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