Right, we’re approaching June 30 and you’re rummaging through the receipts drawer for a tax write-off. Why not upgrade your hearing protection while you’re at it? If you’re someone who listens to music or podcasts while on the tools at work, there are a variety of great, work safe bluetooth hearing solutions that will keep your ears safe while letting you enjoy your tunes. Below are our four most popular bluetooth hearing protection solutions for 2021.
For years, there was demand for an entry-level bluetooth earmuff solution that protects your ears without compromising on sound quality. In 2021, ISOtunes answered the call with the LINK, a hardy set of bluetooth enabled earmuffs that provide 24 NRR sound protection and a high quality listening experience.
With soft memory foam cushions and a light plastic body, they’re a comfortable wear with strong sound performance. It’s compatible with Siri and Google Voice for hands free usage, or can be operated with the hard wearing buttons on the right ear of the unit. Sound performance is strong: they’re clear and crisp listening at an affordable price tag.
A noise isolating solid-state microphone works to isolate and filter out external noise, allowing you to be heard even in noisy circumstances. With Bluetooth 4.2, it’s got strong performance and connectivity with old and new devices. One thing to note, this ISOtunes item does have a SafeMax listening limit of 85dB. This means it can qualify for the sound limits required by WHS. The rechargeable lithium-ion battery runs for fourteen plus hours on a single charge, great for long shifts without having to worry about keeping your chargers handy. For true endurance workers, you can replace the lithium-ion battery with three AAAs, giving a 28+ hour run-time in the field.
They come in an eye-catching orange-and-black colour scheme, great for attracting attention and remaining worksafe in your hi-vis.
By contrast, if you’ve already got a set of muffs, or are looking for ear phone hearing protection that can also be used at the gym, on your motorcycle, or just lazing around at home, the Plugfones Freereign is your answer. Designed for work on site, it has a number of optimisations that make it hardy: a tear resistant “TuffCord” protects the unit from pressure on the joints of the cabling, allowing it to last in hectic conditions. Like the ISOtunes, it doesn’t trade strength for sound quality: with Bluetooth 5.0 for the best wireless connection and newly optimised audio, it’s a great listening device with excellent isolation thanks to the noise blocking tips.
It’s a discrete unit, with a single cord that stretches over the back of the neck. It’s low profile too, so can fit beneath your existing set of ear muffs for maximum protection, or beneath a motorcycling helmet, shooting muff, or any other over-ear device. It’s controlled by a series of buttons on the cord, all of which are reinforced for maximum performance under pressure.
Important to note with the Plugfones is that the hearing protection is passive and non-electronic, it’s provided through powerful soundblocking foam (NRR 29) and silicone (NRR 27) ear tips. This is great for WHS as you don’t have to prove your hearing protection requires a battery, they’ll protect your ears even when switched off!
The Freereign comes in two versions: normal, and the yellow and blue volume limiting (that limits output to 85dB). The latter is great for compliance in a WHS context.
In some contexts, however, even a short cord can be dangerous. In these cases, for a truly wireless experience, you can’t look past the IsoTunes Free. These are the smallest worksafe bluetooth devices available in the Australian market, and provide a great solution particularly for ride on lawnmowers, tools in the backyard, mechanics, or any situation where you need a medium strength noise blocking solution.
Similar to other true wireless hearing protection solutions, the Free are two discrete buds that connect via bluetooth to your listening device, allowing for totally hands free listening that’s light and comfortable too. They’re controlled through a single button on one ear bud, allowing you to adjust volume, cycle through tracks, pause and play. Music is clear and high quality, with surprisingly strong performing microphones for phone calls on the move.
They come with a charging case, allowing you to re-charge the unit on the move. The case holds about two extra charges in it, allowing you to get the equivalent of 21 hours wear between the ear phones and the case.
They’re the lowest sound blocking unit of those listed, with 22 NRR sound rating. This means you shouldn’t use them in the loudest industrial contexts (for example, those with Class 5 levels of sound) but they make a great option for those in landscaping, gardening, and other situations with medium-high exposure. As with the other units, it does have an 85dB safe max listening limit, which keeps your ears safe by limiting how loud you can listen to music on the unit. There is also an Industrial version of the unit, with a lower 82dB output limit, appropriate for WHS compliance.
The highest grade, most heavy duty hearing protection solution listed, the Alert XPI is a premium hearing protection solution that’s appropriate for the loudest industrial contexts. A Class 5 Earmuff, it’s going to take care of you on the building site or in any situation where loud sounds reign.
Featuring Bluetooth Multipoint Technology, this can connect to two devices at once, allowing you to connect to your phone or listening device, along with any radio or working bluetooth device necessary for your job. It features a high performing noise cancelling boom mic, for clear communication in even the noisiest of contexts, and an 82dB limited level dependent function that allows for immediate spatial awareness without risking damage to your ears.
While it’s a heavier muff than the LINK, this is a product of superior electronics and protection: the cushions and foam liners are replaceable, allowing you to keep it clean and comfortable day-in, day-out. As an added bonus, the XPI also includes an integrated FM-radio, with a voice guided menu system that allows for navigation while your hands are full. It stores your four favourite stations, with a digital station search designed to allow you to seek out other signals when necessary.
In terms of other optimisations, it includes an automated power off to preserve the battery between use, a low battery warning, and also comes in a helmet-attach model.
Note: discounts available for wholesale orders of five or more.