Find The Best Hearing Protection For Lawn Mowing [2019] - Contractors Perspective

Gav Barber

I've put 9 years of my commercial lawn care and gardening experience into helping you find the right hearing protection.
Just so you know, I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated site.

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GOOD LUCK ON YOUR HEARING PROTECTION SEARCH!

For finding the best hearing protection for mowing at home, the Mpow 035 ear muffs are hard to beat for their Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) and price (see comparison chart below).

As a contractor, having the best ear protection for mowing and other equipment is paramount as you are constantly around noise.

I've used my experience from over 16,000 lawn and garden care jobs to track down some options for both budget and varying applications.

Lets face it, gas powered lawn mowers and leaf blowers are noisy.

Most mowers come in at over the 85 decibel range which is regarded as the threshold for ear damage.

Leaf blowers are no better often exceeding 100Db.

Interestingly, a previous article I wrote on the best gas self-propelled mower highlighted the Honda HRX217K5VKA as coming in at 98.2 decibels.

So price or brand doesn't necessarily protect you from noise pollution.

Lawn mower hearing protection is a must if you want to protect your hearing long term.

Mpow ear muffs for hearing protection

Big Gav's Best Overall

Often, recommending a product the best overall can also mean it costs more, but this is not the case when looking at hearing protection for mowing.   earmuffs.

For its modest price the Mpow 035's offer excellent value for money.

It's decibel rating is a solid 28 NRR, which makes them ideal earmuffs for lawn mowing.

Decibel Defense Earmuffs For Hearing Protection

Highest NRR Overall

The Decibel Defense earf muffs come in at nearly twice the cost of the Mpow 35's but they also claim the highest NRR rating at 37.

A high level NRR means better hearing protection.

Good hearing protection is important for equipment that punches out serious noise levels like leaf blowers.

Some leaf blowers will climb to over 100 decibels.

 

3M Bluetooth ear muffs

Best Hearing Protection headphones (Bluetooth)

If you are doing lots of mowing, particularly on a riding mower, time in the saddle can become boring.

A set of Bluetooth earmuffs can remedy this by providing sound protection from the mower and allow integration of your favorite tunes via your phone or connected device.

The 3M Worktunes Wireless ear muffs does one better by  not only having Bluetooth connection available but it also has an AM/FM radio built in.

Ear buds are a cheap and viable alternative to traditional noise protection offering excellent NRR ratings, but I particularly like ear muffs as they also provide a physical barrier to my ears which can be beneficial when using power equipment. It's surprising how much debris a weed eater can throw out.

Comparison Chart

  PRICECustomer
Reviews
NRR
RATING
WEIGHT
(OUNCES)
HEAD BAND
ADJUSTABLE
TARGET
AUDIENCE
WARRANTY
Decibel Defense $21.672,618 Reviews3711.4YESADULT - TEENLIFETIME
(limited)
Mpow 035 $11.994,078 Reviews2811.7YESADULT - TEEN18 MONTHS
Howard Leight 3301105$20.55
200 in a pack
1,551 Reviews320.16N/AADULT - TEENN/A
Husqvarna 531300089 $22.95403 Reviews2510.4YESADULT90 DAYS
Howard Leight (R-01526)$51.8415,941 Reviews2212YESADULT24 MONTHS
(limited)
3M Peltor X-Series $30.972,229 Reviews3115.8YESADULT - TEEN1 YEAR
3M Worktunes Wireless $57.261,620 Reviews2420.8YESADULT1 YEAR

More Product Insight

Mpow ear muffs for hearing protection

The Best Overall - Mpow 035

The Mpow 035 ear muffs offer exceptional value for money. 

Even though the price is an influential element of the purchase decision, this product also has a good level of comfort.

I particularly like the ribbed head band which also assists in reducing heat build up which is good for when you are mowing in the warmer weather.

If you are going to use other power equipment such as a leaf blower, check what sound rating they come in at.

A leaf blower for example can come in at over 100db and in this case I would consider looking at a higher decibel rating.

Decibel Defense earmuffs may be a better option in this regard.

 

  • Double Shell Construction

  • Compact - Fold Up At The Headband

  • Comes With A Carry Bag

Pros

Excellent value for money

A good option for home gardening usage

Up there for the best earmuffs for mowing

Cons

May not provide enough protection if using high volume equipment such as leaf blowers

Size may be limited for larger heads

Decibel Defense ear muffs for highest NRR

Highest NRR Rated Hearing Protection - Decibel Defense

 

After doing considerable research on hearing protection it appears having a high NRR rating is a common marketing ploy to sell products.

A number of manufacturers claim to have the highest NRR ratings on their products so it gets a little confusing.

I'm giving Decibel Defense the benefit of the doubt and awarding this product my best overall rating.

Consumer feed back also supports the product with over 90% of user feed back providing a 4 or 5 star score.

If you are using ear muffs a lot, or doing commercial work, the 3M Peltor gets my tick as I have used this brand many times, and they make a solid product.

 

  • Multi-fit design

  • High Level Of Noise Protection

  • Over 85% 4-5 star customer feed back rating

Pros

Maximum hearing protection from an ear muff

A good price for the protection you get

Lifetime limited warranty

Cons

Some consumers have expressed doubt over the 37db rating

May not be as comfortable on larger heads

 

3M Bluetooth ear muffs for hearing protection

Best Bluetooth Hearing Protection For Mowing - 3M Worktunes

In my day, getting some tunes on my riding mower was about fitting some wired earbuds under my ear muffs.

This was a cumbersome process as the ear muffs would often pull on the buds, and I was forever adjusting.

The 3M Worktunes does away with this issue by allowing Bluetooth connectivity with any device with the feature.

Listening to tunes whilst riding your mower or whatever other work you are doing is as simple as linking your phone to the ear muffs and away you go.

The big bonus is that you also get an AM/FM Radio built in so this provides two options for listening.

I also like the addition of the safe volume control which ensures you are listening to the radio at a safe volume level.

One side note is that this product is also the heaviest of all my recommendations so check that the 20 ounce (0.76 kg) weight won't impact you.

 

  • Two listening options

  • Seamless Integration Between Device And Headphones

  • Easy Use Dials For Easy Adjustment

Pros

Great option for listening to music whilst working outdoors

No wires to deal with

Safe volume control management

Cons

Expensive option for getting music

Relatively heavy compared to standard ear muffs

NRR rating might not be enough for noisy equipment

Howard Leight By Honeywell hearing protection

Best Social Interaction Hearing Protection - Howard Leight By Honeywell

These ear muffs are a little left field for lawn care and gardening environments.

The Howard Leight by Honeywell ear muffs are designed for the shooting-range.

They use electronic technology that amplifies low level sounds so you can hear someone talking to you.

They start blocking sounds over 82db. This means in a shooting-range they block sounds over 82db but allow conversations or lower sounds.

From a gardening point of view these could be a good option if you work with someone or need to communicate verbally.

From my perspective the NRR rating is a little low at 22 so you would need to consider the noise ratings of the equipment you are using.

Another advantage of this product is you can plug a phone or music player into a head phone jack on the side.

  • Electronic Technology Manages Sound In And Out

  • Ideal If Needing To Listen To Voices Whilst Wearing

  • Imput For An Phone Etc For Listening To Music

Pros

Massive uptake of this product for shooting and outdoors

Low profile design

Flexible option if working in a team or a need to listen to commands

Cons

The NRR rating might not be high enough for noisy equipment

Product longevity has been flagged by some users

Considerations When Purchasing Hearing Protection

Understanding The Noise Reduction Rating (NRR)

Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) is a unit of measurement used to determine the effectiveness of hearing protection devices to decrease sound exposure within a given working environment.

The higher the NRR number associated with a hearing protector, the greater the potential for noise reduction

 

Usage

For minimal usage, a cheaper pair of ear muffs will do the job. 

There are some excellent options that have good protection without spending a lot.

If you need regular hearing protection then paying a little more for a well-built product will serve you better

 

Comfort

Getting the wrong fit hearing protection can be a painful experience

Ear plugs are cheap and effective but not for everyone as they are inserted inside your ear.

Ensure you earmuffs have good padding and fit well for long periods.

 

Noise Levels Around You

Ensuring you get the right hearing protection is dependent on understanding the noise levels around you.

Lawn mowers decibell range tends to be between 70-100.

Leaf blowers can be over 100 decibells.

Ensure you get a product that will provide the right protection you need for the equipment you are using.

More Information.

Answers to some frequently asked questions.


The Final Word On Hearing Protection

Deciding on what hearing protection to get for mowing and gardening work depends on a number of factors.

Comfort is important as you may spend many hours using the protection.

Ear buds work well but may not be ideal for everyone.

Ensure you understand the noise levels of what you are working with so you get the right product.

Consider an electronic product if you need to communicate easily with people around while still getting protection from high level noise.

Ok, thats it I hope I have been able to assist you in making your hearing protection purchase.