One of our favourite inquiries to receive are from small and medium sized businesses, looking for work safe hearing protection for their staff. Typically, they’re looking for five to ten sets of reliable, hardwearing and safe ear muffs. We love receiving these questions because we know how dangerous industrial settings can be when it comes to hearing. Whether it’s residential, mixed, or commercial, whether you’re working with engines or lawn equipment, there are a variety of great options at all price points. 

A few things you want to keep in mind:

  1. For a work safe site, your hearing protection MUST conform to the AU/NZ standard, the SLC 80. For more information, see the SafeWork guide here. As a general rule Class 5 hearing protection provides the highest protection, with Class 4 close behind. (Classes 3 and below should not be considered where in moderate or high noise environments). 
  2. Not every enterprise needs the latest technology. If radio connections are not necessary, then a simple set of Bluetooth ear muffs with strong hearing protection can be more than enough. These usually come with built in microphones, letting you call using your phone without taking off your muffs. 
  3. Wholesale pricing can begin at 5 units. To get in touch with one of our sales reps, get a no obligation quote at support@earjobs.com.au

With that in mind, we’re going to count down a few of the most popular hearing protection solutions rated under the AU/NZ standard. They’re suitable for construction, engine work, or any professional environment where things are expected to get loud. 

Armourwear Bluetooth Ear Muffs 

($99.95 list price, discount for 5+ units)

(Best Budget Bluetooth Earmuff)

Starting off, the Armourwear is a high level of passive hearing protection, with built in Bluetooth (and a 3.5mm aux cord, for the oldies with the iPhone 3!) This is a great bare bones piece of tech, it blocks a huge amount of sound — Class 5 under the AU/NZ standard — while being affordable and hard wearing. Great for use on site or out in the garden. 

Rated to block approximately 27.8dB of noise when properly fitted, these are great for moderate-to-high noise environments. Residential gardening, some construction, engine noise would all be suitably dampened by this set. Don’t be fooled by the price point – it’s a competitively priced unit that goes toe to toe with more expensive units. Microphones are integrated into the ear cups for hands free calls, with approximately 8 hours of battery provided on a single charge. It’s charged via an included Micro USB cable. 

The unit is operated with a set of controls on the side of the muff. They’re simple, allowing for volume adjustment, track skipping, and answering calls. The headset is adjustable in terms of size, allowing you to find the most appropriate fit for the size and shape of your head. It fits (almost) every one! 

Armourwear Bluetooth Ear Muffs (Class 5 - 27.8dB)

3M Peltor X Series - X4A Premium Headband Earmuff

($59.95 list price, discount for 5+ units)

(Best Lightweight Earmuff)

Not all work sites need comms and Bluetooth. Particularly when you’re out in the sun all day, the best solution is something that’s light wearing, ventilated, with strong noise blocking. The X4A is a ‘light and agile’ solution here. 

Compared to electronic — and many passive — muffs, the X4A is a ‘slim line’ solution that’s thinner and lighter than its competitors. The ear cups tilt to ensure consistent comfort and efficiency, ensuring strong protection no matter what kind of movements you’re making. It doesn’t skimp on protection either. Rated to 31dB under the SLC 80, it’s a strong Class 5 — suitable for prolonged exposure to power tools and other loud equipment. 

The headband is ventilated, with a twin headband design minimising heat build up, without compromising on fit and safety. Neon green/yellow highlights on the body of the muff make these suitable as well for situations where high visibility is important. 

3M™ Peltor™ X Series X4A Premium Headband Earmuff (SLC80 31dB | Class 5)

3M Peltor WS Alert XPI Headset

($539.95 list price, discount for 5+ units)

(Best Premium Bluetooth Earmuff)

While our first two solutions are strong introductory sets, if you’re looking for the highest quality with all the bells and whistles, the Alert XPI is a great solution — and still quite affordable. 

The best way of introducing the Alert XPI is to say that it does what everything else does: just more and better. Like the X4A, the Alert XPI is a Class 5 under the AU/NZ standard, expected to block out about 30dB when properly fitted. Bluetooth ‘Multipoint technology’ allows connecting to two separate devices at once, allowing for hands-free communication through your phone or connecting to bluetooth enabled radios. 

The optimisations extend to every part of the unit. The boom microphone has a noise cancelling function, allowing for clear calls even in noisy environments. A level-dependent function allows the wearer to ‘pass through’ external noise at a lower safer volume. This allows for maximum awareness and safety, without compromising your hearing health. A built in FM radio with digital station search makes this a best of both worlds unit, suitable for both bluetooth and FM. 

Replaceable cushions and foam liners make this a long term kit, hardy enough to survive work environments, with hygiene refreshment possible. 

3M™ PELTOR™ WS™ ALERT™ XPI Headset

Conclusion

In this article, we’ve run through a few popular choices for small and medium sized enterprises, looking to fit out their staff with some strong, comfortable hearing protection. Ear muffs, and the ear muffs listed, are not the only options, however. Earjobs stocks Australia and New Zealand’s widest range of ear plugs, passive and electronic ear muff hearing protection. If you’re looking for inspiration, get in touch at support@earjobs.com.au. All quotes and advice carry no obligation. 

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