Hearing protection is an important safety accessory for any woodworker who uses noisy tools. Our best hearing protection for woodworking, easy to fit and comfortable to wear, blocks out up to 21 decibels of noise while delivering excellent sound quality.
Choosing the best hearing protection for woodworking can be a daunting task, especially if you are unsure of where to start. Luckily, we’re here to help you make the right choice with our honest reviews and ratings based on the top hearing protectors on the market today.
List of the best hearing protection for woodworking
In this list of the best hearing protection for woodworking, we share our favorite earplugs and muffs from manufacturers like 3M Peltor, SureFire and V-MODA. With acoustic filters to block out dangerous noise levels and long term protection, these top rated products help protect your ears from hearing damage caused by power tools and other loud sound sources.
1. Best Reusable Ear Plugs—Rips Quality Reusable Earplugs
With 100 pairs of reusable and washable plugs in the pack, with the Rips Quality plugs, you’ll never have to buy hearing protectors again. One customer boasted, “They are very rugged and can handle abuse. Bar none, these are the best ear plugs for ear protection and repeated use.”
With an NRR rating of 28 decibels, these can block sound from any wood work and construction. Another user confirmed that these plugs were “comfortable and reduces noise levels from planers, routers, and other woodworking tools.”
Not only are they safe, but these protectors are also extremely comfortable compared to other in-ear styles thanks to the soft silicone design. Another happy shopper wrote, “This has to be the most comfortable set of silicone plugs I have used yet.”
BUY NOW: US$23.95, Amazon
2. Best Ear Muffs—ProCase Safety Ear Muffs
Although earmuffs typically have a lower NRR than plugs, for over-the-head protection options, these ones from ProCase are adjustable and very comfortable as they provide all-around padding on the head and ears and allow users to adjust them to their head size too.
Being ANSI certified and with a 28 dB NRR rating, users can feel safe knowing that these earmuffs will provide adequate protection from any harmful noise. This is due to their quality, multilayer construction.
One buyer commented, “I love them and use them every day in my wood shop. Great protection, comfortable fit, and easy adjustments.” Another customer wrote, “I bought them to silence the noise from a wood chipper and they definitely did that.”
BUY NOW: US$16.99, Amazon
3. Best Disposable Foam Earplugs—3M 1100 Foam Ear Plugs
These disposable 3M foam plugs bring a hygienic approach to hearing protection. With 200 pairs, users don’t have to worry about ear infections or losing their only pair of plugs. These plugs are also made out of polyurethane, allowing them to be both hypoallergenic and resistant to dirt.
What is notable about these particular plugs is the malleable design that makes them “very easy to put in,” according to one user. The material also makes for a very snug fit to further increase hearing protection.
One shopper confirmed that “when twisted, smushed, and inserted, these earplugs expand to fit your ear canal perfectly.” This, plus the 29 dB NRR, makes this pack perfect for use around loud machines.
BUY NOW: US$21.99, Amazon
4. Best Noise-Canceling Headphones—JBL Live 460NC Wireless On-Ear Headphones
Unlike other over-the-head hearing protection that utilizes noise isolation, the JBL live headphones use adaptive noise-canceling technology that adjusts to the surrounding environment, blocking out unwanted noises but still letting clear sound through when necessary.
Users can listen to music or their favorite podcast while working, with what one customer described as “the best quality audio I have heard.” With a battery life of 50 hours, anyone can wear these headphones all day.
Although these headphones are constituted as hearing protectors and don’t provide an NRR, they can still be used in the shop to reduce annoying noises that are not at damaging levels.
BUY NOW: US$79.95, Amazon
5. Best Ear Protection with Highest Noise Reduction Rating—Mack’s Ultra Soft Foam Ear Plugs
With an NRR of 33 decibels, Mack’s Ultra Soft foam plugs provide the highest hearing protection on the market. They prevent hearing damage caused by prolonged exposure to damaging noises from table saws, power tools, a circular saw, and any other woodworking machines.
One user confirmed this by commenting, “I cut a lot of stone with loud power tools and work around other contractors with industrial machines and these help protect my hearing so much.” Each of the 50 pairs in this set is extremely comfortable and forms to the shape of the ears to increase protection.
One customer found that “they’re much softer than other brands/hardware store foam plugs, but still have good push back for a secure fit.” Another reviewer added, “These roll up well and fit into my ear nice and snug.”