6 Best Hard Hat Earmuffs for Noise Cancellation

Best Hard Hat Earmuffs

Any type of activity that involves noise that exceeds 85 decibels will place your hearing in danger.

This means, that for professionals on the job at construction sites or industrial sites, a need for ear protection or earmuffs will be of primary importance.

This work accessory is part of your personal protective equipment. Ear defenders or muffs can be found in the standard or electronic form.

Comparison of Top Hard Hat Attachable Earmuffs

EarmuffsStyledB protectionWeightExtras
3M Helmet Attachable Earmuff H10P3E Peltor Optime 105Hard hat mount27 dB15 ouncesDouble shell technology design
Weifan Hearing Protection Safety Helmet EarmuffsHard hat mount or can be used with electrically insulated headband 32dB286 gr.Slim line design
Retevis EHN002 Protection EarmuffsBehind the head design32 dB330 gramsSoft leather ear pads
3M WorkTunes Connect Hearing Protector with Bluetooth TechnologyFlexible headband with cutouts for wearing with hard hats23 dB1.7 poundsBluetooth technology, rechargeable battery, Gel cushions, microphone for telephone calls
MSA SoundControl HPE Earmuffs 10061272Hard hat mount27 dB6.3 ouncesVery light weight
3M Peltor Optime 105 Behind the Head Earmuffs H10BBehind the head design29 dB11.4 ouncesFoam filled cushions

Our Top Pick

1. 3M Helmet Attachable Earmuff H10P3E Peltor Optime 105

We really like these Cap-Mount earmuffs from 3M. They use a double-shell technology for hearing protection.

With an NNR of 27 dB, these offer substantial acoustic protection for work environments with a lot of noise. These plastic earmuffs weigh in at 15 ounces and are attachable to hard hats.

Pros

      • Attachable
      • Loud noise protection
      • Sturdy
      • Comfortable

Cons

      • Some complaints about durability
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Quality Alternatives

2. Weifan Hearing Protection Safety Helmet Earmuffs

These Weifan earmuffs are high quality and high performance for use in industrial settings, or construction site drilling.

They feature soft cushioning on ABS molded cups that are easily cleaned or replaced.  The Noise reduction SNR is listed at 32dB offering lots of protection.

They can be used with an electrically insulated headband or be mounted on a helmet. Weight of 286 gr.

Pros

      • Strong Noise protection
      • Soft cushions for comfort
      • Slim-line design for compatibility with hard hats

Cons

      • Expensive 
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

3. Retevis EHN002 Protection Earmuffs

These earmuffs are “behind the head” earmuffs designed for hard hats and are easily adjustable to fit your head size.

They feature soft leather earpads and boast noise reduction of 32dB, eliminating noise but still allowing some hearing.

They can be worn together with most hard hats without problems and are suitable for industrial and construction sites. Weight 330 gr.

Pros

      • Adjustable sizing
      • 32dB noise reduction within 105dB maximum
      • Affordable

Cons

      • Some complaints about comfort if worn for long periods
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

4. 3M WorkTunes Connect Hearing Protector with Bluetooth Technology

This is from the new generations of earmuffs available for hearing protection. Featuring gel cushions that conform to the shape of your ears for exceptional comfort.

The integrated Bluetooth technology allows you to listen to music or podcasts from your cell phone or other device thanks to high-quality speakers. 

You can also make or receive phone calls without removing your protection while on the job, thanks to audio technology. The flexible headband has cutouts to facilitate wearing them with a hard hat.

The built-in rechargeable battery features an automatic shut-off device as well as an indicator if the battery is low. The noise protection is listed at 24dB.

Pros

      • Hi-fi sound
      • Wireless Bluetooth technology
      • Microphone for calls
      • Built-in rechargeable battery
      • Weather-resistant

Cons

      • Expensive
      • Some connectivity complaints
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

5. MSA SoundControl HPE Earmuffs 10061272

Weighing in at 6.3 ounces, these MSA earmuffs are easily mounted on hard hats. They offer 27dB of noise reduction protection and even appear in the Top 100 in Safety Earmuffs.

A metal spring will hold the protection to your ear or away from it. Lightweight, they are efficient in muffling environmental noise while still allowing you to hear the conversation. 

Pros

      • Durable
      • Good hearing protection
      • Comfortable and lightweight
      • Affordable

Cons

      • They may not fit all helmets
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

6. 3M Peltor Optime 105 Behind the Head Earmuffs H10B

These 3M Pelter earmuffs have a cup design that is patented featuring cushions that are filled with foam for comfort.

The Noise Reduction Rating protection is listed at 29 dB. Weighing in at 11.4 ounces, they are compatible with most hard hats thanks to the “behind-the-head” design.

These earmuffs are recommended for use in worksites for construction, mining, industrial manufacturing, transportation, or oil and gas. Adjustable for fit.

Pros

      • Comfortable
      • Affordable
      • Efficient noise reduction

Cons

      • Velcro straps for connecting to the mask are weak
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Standard Earmuffs

Standard earmuffs usually take the form of two earpieces connected by a headband. Usually, both the headbands and the coverings of the earpieces will be manufactured in a hard thermoplastic or perhaps in metal. 

The protection included may take the form of acoustic foam that will absorb any sound waves. There are also earmuffs available that can be attached or clipped to the side of your hard hat.

Some may come with ear cushions that snap in making replacement easy. Headbands will also vary so you may need to evaluate how long you will be wearing your earmuffs.

Also, you must keep in mind the level of noise reduction if you need to be able to speak with coworkers or hear acoustic buzzers or alarms. There are also models with neckbands in the place of headbands.

Electronic Earmuffs

Electronic earmuffs or ear defenders will contain a microphone inside the earpieces that absorbs environmental noise, treats it, and then sends it back at a relatively lower volume level through a speaker.

Some may even have radios or music systems built into the muff, and some may provide for two-way communicating between you and a colleague during work.

Decibels are used to measure the intensity of sound. Devices for hearing protection will normally offer protection of approximately 20 to 36 decibels.

Your working environment and the noise level you will encounter will decide the type of ear protection that you’ll need to choose.

For prolonged use during an entire work shift, earplugs may be more comfortable. If your exposure to high levels of noise is limited or intermittent during your workday, a good pair of earmuffs will be more than satisfactory.

Top 10 Best Ear Protection Earmuffs/Earplugs for Construction Workers

Noise on the Job and in the Workplace

Employers are required by law to assess noise pollution and reduce or eliminate any potential risks as a result. Protection should be selected in relation to the level of risk present.

If an employer can reduce noise through the use of quieter machinery or tools, or the use of silencers, this is ideal.

An employer can also attempt to move the sources of noise as far away from workers as possible. When these options are not plausible or do not sufficiently reduce the amount of noise to protect workers’ hearing, protective devices become necessary.

As per NIOSH, if noise reaches 85 decibels, employers must provide hearing protection. Consideration is given to average levels of noise exposure on any one day or during a workweek as well as the maximum level of noise reached.

Consider some approximate noise levels such as a chain saw that will produce anywhere from 80 to 120 decibels when in operation.

A jackhammer, which can easily be found at construction sites and is similar to the engine of a jet will produce noise from 120 to 160 decibels, while a gunshot in your vicinity can emit more than 160 decibels.

Some hard hats may come directly with a system for noise cancellation together with a transparent visor for face protection. Also, some professionals that have constant exposure to extreme noise may opt to wear both earplugs and earmuffs together.

See also: Best hard hats for construction worker

Attenuation

Attenuation is the process by which noise energy is lost. When you select your earmuffs, this information should be considered.

To understand the level of protection that earmuffs offer, you will need to examine the attenuation data for the models you consider purchasing.

In order to select the correct pair, you will need to consider the SNR or Single Number Rating also known as NNR.

This number will indicate exactly how much protection the earmuffs will offer you. The protection is measured in terms of decibels (dB) and should be clearly indicated on the product in consideration.

To understand the amount of protection a pair of earmuffs offer, you will need to subtract the SNR number from the measured noise level in your workplace. This will provide you with the level of acoustic pressure on your hearing while wearing the muffs.

If the noise level at work is 100dB and the earmuffs you wish to purchase have an SNR/NNR number for ear protection of 26, the acoustic pressure on your hearing will average 74dB while wearing the protection.

HML is also a method of estimating the attenuation of acoustic pressure on the basis of three parameters:

      • High
      • Medium
      • Low

This refers to the amount of noise reduction for earmuffs at the high, medium, and low frequencies.

As the human ear has the potential to perceive many sounds within a wide range of varying intensities, a linear scale of measuring is not appropriate for measuring acoustic pressure.

The scale for decibel measurement indicates that sound intensity doubles approximately for every increase of three decibels.

This signifies that if the noise at your work site increases by twenty decibels, the sound intensity would increase approximately one hundred times! That’s a lot of acoustic pressure!

Eighty decibels would be one hundred times louder than sixty decibels! Here are some examples of acoustic stress:

Decibels (dB) How long it is safe to listen without any ear protection Type or source of the Noise
130 0 Jet lift off
120 0 Amplified musical event
115 Under one minute Sporting event
109 Under two minutes Use of auto horn
106 Under four minutes Personal music source set at the maximum volume
100 Fifteen minutes Industrial machinery
97 Half hour Motorcycle noise
94 One hour Electric drill
91 Two hours Lawnmower noise
85 Eight hours Vacuum cleaner noise
55 Always safe Normal conversation without shouting

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Earmuffs for Hard Hats

When you decide to purchase your earmuffs, you’ll need to find the correct fit and the correct amount of hearing protection. 

You may want to select on the basis of a particular acoustic hazard or select earmuffs manufactured specifically for the industry you work in. 

If you work for large events with amplification, your needs will be different than airport workers or professional tradesmen at construction sites.

Specific earmuffs are made for musicians just as another type of earmuffs is made for firing range practices. You should consider your:

      • Work activity
      • Work environment
      • Exposure time 

as well as

      • Pertinent health and work protection laws
      • International standards

You will also want to consider comfort. If you need to wear your earmuffs for extended periods of time, consider:

      • Weight. The heavier the earmuffs, the more discomfort you may experience during prolonged use.
      • Padding. Padding will be important during use for longer periods. A fabric lining comprehensive of cushioning or a pad for the forehead may be features to look for.
      • Chinstraps. You may prefer a good adjustable chin strap, so your earmuffs aren’t moving too much, causing chafing or less noise protection.

Finally, the cost may be a consideration, especially if you are on a budget. If you are exposed to considerable risk, you will need more protection.

This may translate into a higher cost, but protecting your hearing is worth every penny you are able to invest.

Final Thoughts

When choosing a pair of hard hat earmuffs, make sure you know the amount of risk you need protection for, and remember that you don’t want to overprotect yourself so that you can’t hear alarms or colleagues.

Make sure that the earmuffs are comfortable for the length of time you need to wear them and be sure to do maintenance to ensure that they last.

We hope this article will help you find the best hard hat earmuffs for your professional activities.