My MP3 player just died. I am under deadline and due for a flogging from the ‘Fixated editors, and now I have no tunes to listen to while sequestered in my office. Fortunately, I have a cure–in the form of hearing protection. Hearing protection is lame. It really is. Foam plugs can be uncomfortable and turn into a science experiment. The soft plastic bands just don’t fit some people—and see above. That $@#& was in my ear? For any (sane) DIYer it is necessary and important to protect your hearing. The Digital WorkTunes from AO Safety should be standard in anyone’s shop or tool bag.
I have used these extensively on the job and can attest to their awesomeness. For safety purposes I don’t recommend using them in situations where communication is a must—as you won’t be hearing much but what is coming out of your built in AM/FM receiver, or your MP3 player. For lawn-mowing or other such activities, due diligence should be used. Just like listening to the radio in your car, be aware of your surroundings.
The db (decibel) limiter ensures you don’t play your jams too loud, and the plastic and foam ensure your tools and hammering don’t hurt your hearing. The sound quality was as good as any pair of headphones I’ve used for the express purpose of listening to music or watching uh…home improvement videos on the Web.
Most situations I used these in were when I was working on a finish job—so solo carpentering. They functioned great upstairs or down, and I rarely if ever, found the antennae getting in my way.
My biggest complaint with these hearing protectors was that the soft plastic lining around your ears can get a bit hot and sweaty (I was working alone, I swear) making them tend to stick a bit—and be a bit uncomfortable. Small price to pay for the ability to safely listen to whatever it is you want, and protect your ears at the same time.
Who has two thumbs and loves that his hearing protection plays tunes as well? Thiiiiis guy! You can find the AO Safety WorkTunes AM/FM Hearing Protector with Digital Tuning and MP3 Input for about $47.