5 Best Hearing Protection Earmuffs for Lawn Mowing

Lawnmowers are just plain loud! But anyone who has a lawn knows that it needs to be mowed regularly. So, while some may look at mowing as another chore to get done, there are people who actually enjoy mowing their lawn and then there are the professionals dedicated to the lawn care maintenance and gardening as a career.

Best Hearing Protection Earmuffs for Lawn MowingRegardless of which category you fall into, if you mow the lawn, you know that the noise can be deafening. This can cause permanent damage to your hearing, so protection becomes vital.

We asked several lawncare maintenance professionals to test ear protectors for us and we came up with a list of great options for your consideration.

Our top choice is Decibel Defense Professional Safety Earmuffs because of their NRR of 37dB, and the comfort they offer for long hot days spent in the company of sun and sound. They also boast a compact fold-up design for easy storage and transport.

Check out the comparison of best hearing protectors for lawn care

EarmuffsNRRHeadbandEarcupsExtras
Decibel Defense37dBAdjustablePadded cell designFoldable, compact, many colors options
MPOW 03528dBAdjustableDouble shell, High sealFold up, compact
3M Worktunes24dBFlexible with ventilationControls on earcupsBluetooth, AM/FM radio, Phone calls
Honeywell Howard Leight30dBAdjustable with cushioningElectronic microphones, audio jack
3M Peltor X5A Safety Earmuffs31dBCut out design adjustableABS, Foam cushioning

Top Ear Protectors for Lawn Work

1. Decibel Defense Professional Safety Earmuffs

These protective earmuffs are our favorite overall choice thanks to an amazing NRR of 37 dB. They boast a cushioned headband that is adjustable and a foldable design. The lightweight makes them ideal for long work shifts. Good comfort with top-notch hearing protection.

If your lawnmower is particularly loud or you use other high-powered tools in your garden that are noisy like a leaf blower, these ear defenders are ideal. Great customer feedback supports their excellent reputation.

Pros

        • Very high NRR 37
        • Maximum protection
        • Attractive design
        • Affordable
        • Comfortable for long work shifts
        • Lifetime limited warranty

Cons

        • Difficulty in blocking low-frequency noise
        • Perhaps not comfortable for larger-sized heads
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

2. MPOW 035

Our top overall choice is the Mpow 035 protective earmuff defenders because these protectors offer noteworthy comfort for a good price. These muffs feature a headband that is ribbed which helps to reduce heat buildup when you’re busy mowing during the summer heat or in direct sunlight. 

Pros

        • Double Shell design
        • NRR 28 dB
        • Fold up compact design
        • Carry pouch included
        • Affordable

Cons

        • Don’t offer great protection for high dB noise
        • May not be ideal in size for larger heads
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

3. 3M Worktunes

If you prefer a great pair of ear protectors with Bluetooth connectivity, these are the earmuffs for you! Once upon a time, earbuds for music had to be worn underneath earmuffs.

No longer!  The 3M Worktunes have Bluetooth technology that allows you to connect to any device with Bluetooth connectivity. You can listen to your favorite playlist or podcast while you’re mowing away, making the chore more enjoyable and the time passes quicker.

They also feature an AM/FM radio meaning you can opt for your favorite radio program or broadcasted sporting event. They also boast a safe volume control allowing you to listen without overdoing it. The only drawback for some may be the weight.

This is one of the heavier earmuffs on the market weighing in at 20 ounces. If you don’t like heavy muffs, do avoid these and opt for one of the other choices.

Pros

        • Two options for listening
        • Great easy connectivity
        • Easy-to-use control dials
        • Great for listening to music or programs while mowing
        • Wireless
        • Safe volume management

Cons

        • Somewhat expensive
        • Heavier than most
        • NRR is not among the highest at 24dB
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

4. Honeywell Howard Leight Ear Protectors

Originally designed for the shooting range, these ear protectors boast a very solid construction and fantastic electronic microphones that will amplify environmental sounds to just 82 dB. This allows you to hear conversations or any alarms around you immediately.

For professionals that work in teams, this is an added plus making conversation audible and understandable. Microphones cancel noises louder than 82 dB and automatically block 30 dB of environmental noise if you switch off the electronic ear protection. The NRR is a solid 30 dB.

There are several pressure points in rubber and these muffs have an adjustable comfortable headband. These muffs also boast an audio jack connector that measures 3.5mm so you can listen to your favorite music while working. 

Pros

        • Solid NRR 30
        • 3.5 mm audio jack for listening to music
        • Adjustable cushioned headband
        • Dual hearing protection thanks to electronic technology

Cons

        • Amplification of environmental sounds is a bit weak
        • Not necessarily comfortable for long work shifts
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

5. 3M Peltor X5A Safety Earmuffs

We’ve included these protective earmuffs because of their high NRR of 31 dB offering great noise attenuation. These protectors boast spacers with a new design together with nicely designed ear cups and innovative foam cushioning.

They provide a nice effective acoustic seal while maximizing comfort also thanks to a cut-out headband design for those hot days. Ear cups are in durable ABS, and no wiring is exposed or visible. Ear cushions are replaceable.

Pros

        • NRR of 31 dB
        • Replaceable foam ear cushions
        • Comfortable
        • Headband design for hot days

Cons

        • Tight fit reported
        • Heavy for some buyers
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Why Lawnmowers make so much Noise?

Let’s think about why lawnmowers make so much noise. First of all, there’s the engine that will generate sound, however, the blades will also produce noise while cutting grass. Professionals who use high-powered engines with fast-turning blades will have to deal with quite a bit of noise daily.

Having a well-kept lawn is a small recompense if you damage or lose your hearing in the process. Precisely for this reason, many people will hire lawn maintenance companies, and so the professionals will confront this risk.

Should you damage your hearing, there is no medicine or procedure can undo that damage. The logical solution is to procure really good hearing protection.

If you can get some protection that is also entertaining, through music, radio, or podcasts, all the better! There are many types of ear protection available on the market and some are specifically designed to meet certain protection needs.

Several examples include protection for music professionals, protection for shooting ranges and ballistics, or protection for heavy power tools at construction sites. If the protectors are for a specific activity, they will have certain characteristics that cater to protecting your hearing during that activity.

Things to Consider while buying Earmuffs for Lawn Work

There are lots of choices available when considering ear defenders, so understandably that it can seem confusing when trying to choose. The following concepts are important when you begin your search. 

1.) dB or Decibels. This is the unit with which the intensity of a sound is measured. Human ears perceive sounds across a wide scale of differing intensities. Linear measurements are not used.

A dB scale is a type of log scale. Approximate measurement is that sound intensity doubles for every 3dB, of noise registered Increasing noise by only 20dB would increase the sound intensity by 100 times.

2.) Noise Attenuation is the process through which noise energy is lost. When selecting ear protectors, how well they can apply noise attenuation needs to be considered.

NRR signifies the “Noise Reduction Rating” system. The NRR value will indicate the amount of noise attenuation offered by the protectors that you want to purchase.

To understand how much acoustic pressure your ears are receiving you the NRR number should be subtracted from the median noise level measured when using a lawnmower.

If the average noise measures 95 and your ear protection has an NRR of 15, the average acoustic pressure you will experience when wearing the protectors will be 95 – 15 = 80 dB or decibels.

The higher the NRR is, the more noise attenuation you will have with your ear protectors on and thus greater hearing protection.

3.) HML is the procedure for estimating how much attenuation ear protectors offer. It uses three different parameters of High, Medium, and Low. These parameters refer to the amount of noise reduction at these varying frequencies.

Lawn Mowing Hearing Protection Criteria

If you are a lawncare specialist or just happen to use a noisy lawnmower, there are some things you should think about when choosing proper ear protection. These include:

1.) NRR or Noise Reduction Rating. This is probably the one most important characteristic when selecting hearing protection. How much protection? This unit is utilized to determine exactly how much protection the earmuffs provide. The higher the number, the greater potential for the reduction of undesirable noise.

2.) Certification. All PPE, including new ear defenders, must meet international and national standards required by law. Markings including CE, EN ISO, and BS will assist you in determining which equipment meets safety standards for both design and performance.

There are many standards for all kinds of noise. EN60745 markings refer to portable power tools noise emissions while BS EN ISO 4871-2009 refers to machinery.

The USA Noise Reduction Rating – NRR and the British Standards Institution – BSI together with the European Union – CE offer measurement units for determining how effective ear protectors are.

3.) Wireless or wired connectivity. Some ear protectors will provide you with either wired or wireless connectivity and some may offer both options. This can be an important feature for pros who wear ear protection for an entire workday or extended work shift. Some may offer an AM/FM digital radio connection or permit you to make and receive calls while on the job.

4.) Fit and Comfort. Try your ear protectors on if at all possible before purchasing. Trying before you buy is always a good idea so you can evaluate the fit that is an important element in comfort, especially if you are a pro who works all day and needs ear protection for extended periods.

Your ear defenders need to be comfortable. The bottom line is you won’t wear them after a while if your ears start to hurt. An adjustable headband with cushioning that ensures you a good head fit is very important to prolonged comfort during the workday.

Earplugs might be a cheap option, but they are inserted into the ear and are not necessarily comfortable for everyone. Good ear defenders should feature padding of some sort to provide you with extra cushioning.

5.) Brand or Manufacturer. Well-known brands can provide you with confidence when you buy. If you don’t have a favorite brand for PPE, you can read reviews, ask lawn care pros, and read customer feedback before you buy.

6.) Durability. You don’t want to have to replace ear protectors every few weeks or even every couple of months. Reading customer feedback can assist you in understanding the potential durability of a product you are considering if it is properly cared for.

7.) Budget. While you don’t want to empty your wallet, you want to consider quality when buying. Your priority here should be good protection, which may mean having to pay a bit more.

Don’t purchase protectors because they are cheap. Remember that your hearing is priceless and needs to last an entire lifetime.

8.) Usage. If you mow every so often, an inexpensive pair should do the job. If you are a professional that requires daily protection, you will want to invest more in a top-notch pair of hearing protectors.

9.) Environmental Noise. Always consider the environmental noise you will be subject to. The correct hearing protection must be geared to the environmental noise you sustain. Lawnmowers normally produce sounds from 70 to 100 dB, whereas if you use a leaf blower, it will have a noise level of about 100 dB or more.

See also: Best work boots for lawn care

The Bottom Line

Selecting your hearing protection for lawn mowing will depend primarily on comfort and noise reduction.

Extras such as connectivity, built-in radios, or electronic filtering and amplification are features that are not necessary but may be desirable.

Thank you for reading and we hope this article has helped you begin your search for the best hearing protection for lawn mowing.