According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, continuous exposure to at least 70 dB level of noise can start hearing problems. On the other hand, loud noise above 120 dB can result in rapid harm to your ears. Unfortunately, there are professionals in the various fields who are always subject to such harmful levels of noise. This includes musicians, construction workers, airport ground staff, gardeners, farmers, and even hairdressers. They have, nonetheless, one solution to protect themselves: Bluetooth earmuffs.
Continuous exposure to at least 70 dB level of noise can start hearing problems. On the other hand, loud noise above 120 dB can result in rapid harm to your ears.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Earmuffs are known not only as accessories that provide protection from noise, but so as a great defense against cold weather. If you are in the middle of a noisy New York during the winter season, you know what we’re talking about.
Earmuffs usually feature a metal headband that should sit comfortably on top of your head to secure the two cups covering your external ears. These cups are commonly cushioned not just for protection, but so as to follow the natural curve of your ears. This would allow the accessory to assure that there is little chance of noise penetrating into your hearing. This also promotes heat to prevent you from getting cold around the said area.
Nowadays, to add more functionality, earmuffs now integrate Bluetooth capability and other features which turn them into multifunctional accessories. They can work as headphones to make calls, listen to music, and so on. The performance of Bluetooth earmuffs, nonetheless, varies from one set to another. Of all the ones we tried, we are confident that Peltor Sport Tactical 500 is the best. Besides being compact and handy, it has a gunshot suppression feature that decreases the echo and noise around you. Also, it has a noise filtering issue, making it extra special since it is rare among earmuffs.
If comfort is your concern, the LC-dolida Bluetooth Winter Earmuffs is something you should try. Besides being capable of supporting a Bluetooth feature for MP3 and phone calls, it has the best material that can give you the best comfort in the midst of cold weather. Truly recommended for those who love to ski and hunt.
There are other options to consider besides the ones mentioned above. That is why we personally tested some of the best Bluetooth earmuffs on the market in order to give you the best insights possible. With the help of our experts, we highlighted their best features to make your search easier and faster. Here are things you should know about them:
Best Bluetooth Earmuffs Comparison & Rating
1. Peltor Sport Tactical 500 Smart Electronic Earmuffs
2 AA batteries
If you need earmuffs that can effectively deal with noise, this smart model is the best recommendation we have for you. Famous among individuals in shooting ranges and professionals working in airports, it comes with 26 dB NRR and an automatic gunshot suppression feature. With this, when there is an increase in noise, it will decrease the overall sound signature and the echo which can be really helpful in protecting your hearing.
Moreover, the Peltor 500 has a noise filtering capability with clear voice tracking which helps you get the best call experience. The microphones are recessed to reduce the effects of wind in case you use it and the sound is crystal clear. The same goes for its MP3 function when connected to any Bluetooth-capable device. When you receive a call, the volume of the music being played will be reduced.
On the other hand, it also sports one of the best build and ergonomics available in earmuffs. Besides the soft pads, the headband envelopes your head perfectly and not as bulky as the ones you can find in 3M Safety models. Also, it can be folded which is truly helpful to save space in your bag.
2. WULFPOWERPRO Safety Earmuffs
Built-in rechargeable battery
These earmuffs from WULFPOWERPRO are the true winner when it comes to the best set of functions. It is complete from MP3 to radio to receiving calls!
If its relatively bulky body won’t be a problem to you (which, by the way, has a pretty great reason), this should make the best and enjoyable ear protection accessory for you. Its muffs house padded cups that are truly durable. Though they are not as soft as what you’ll find in the 3M safety models, you can be sure that the pads can last years.
One of the earmuffs also caters to the controls of the unit which are extremely great. Compared to the single button of the 3M Safety 90543-4DC, this one offers separate buttons for power, call pickup, mode shift, volume, song forward, and backward controls. This might seem intimidating to get used to but with all the controls you can get from this feature, it is truly worth it! You’ll also love that it has a small display screen that shows time, Bluetooth, FM frequency, and battery status. Sweet!
The true champ detail about this, on the other hand, is that it can pick up calls with just a single push of a button. The reception is great and although it only offers a passive noise-canceling feature, its ability to deliver quality sound is still great. Moreover, it has an NRR of 29 dB.
3. 3M Safety 90543-4DC Hearing Protector
Built-in rechargeable battery
3M Safety 90543-4DC is pretty much like its sibling, the 90542-3DC, but with few improvements that make it more suitable and convenient for use.
The fitting of the pads and the hairband are truly notable and it is also a good thing that its pads are also replaceable. The default pads that come with the accessory promise great quality and are soft. They don’t hurt on the ears and the adjustment capability of the headband is a good option to make it more comfortable. The quality of the sound is still the same as what the other model provides which is great. On the other side of the coin, its ability to block outside noises is truly awesome that you have to remove it to properly have a conversation with someone near you.
The headphones also come with a 24 dB NRR. Comparing the two models, you’ll get almost the same comfort in terms of noise protection. However, as said, the 90543-4DC comes with better designs which make it generally more referable. For instance, it is an antenna-free unit which means it is more compact compared to the 90542-3DC. The unit also comes with a built-in rechargeable battery. What makes it a good add-on? The quality. The battery promises the best performance there is, especially when it comes to life longevity. Upon our test, we have to admit that it took us more than the indicated “30-minute” suggested time by the brand. We actually had to charge it for more than 4 hours to reach the full capacity (It has an LED indicator, BTW!), but the performance of the battery - oh, boy- lasts more than 2 days of non-stop use. Of course, this is just for Bluetooth music connectivity. But considering how long its battery can give you service, this is a truly reliable product. It also even comes with a voice prompt for low-battery notification.
Also, while the unit doesn’t offer the AM/FM features found in the 90542-3DC, its capability to answer calls with just a push of the button stays. The other controls using the single button are a piece of cake: long press for turning it on and off, double press for initial pairing, double press to advance forward a track, three consecutive presses to rewind the song. Easy. However, keep in mind that the volume can only be worked on the device it is paired with.
4. LC-dolida Bluetooth Winter Earmuffs
Built-in rechargeable battery
Sometimes, what we really are looking for earmuffs is not the noise protection but the warmth they can provide during the winter. This LC-dolida is a good example of such earmuffs. It won’t equate to the performance of WULFPOWERPRO and 3M safety models and it could only do very, very little in reducing the noise around you, but the comfort it can offer is truly UNBEATABLE.
It comes with a very soft material that makes up its outside surface. As for the inner lining, you’ll have a faux fur texture that will embrace both your ears. The size of the pads is oversized to ensure that they give wide coverage and protection. The texture is truly comfortable that without any other feature, it is worth considering. Fortunately, the material is washable. Just remove the Bluetooth module installed on the left side of the earmuff and it can be machine washed.
The earmuffs can also work as an MP3 player using its Bluetooth connectivity feature with a 10-meter range. Pairing it is truly easy and the controls are great. The model sports three buttons that can be used to play, pause, and move the songs. The same buttons are also used to adjust the volume and to redial, answer, and drop calls. The sound is also amazingly clear despite not having a noise-canceling feature!
5. 3M Safety 90542-3DC Hearing Protector
2 AA batteries
These 3M Safety 90542-3DC earmuffs are some of the best heavy-duty ear protection accessories you could ever find on the market. Best for household works where loud noises are always an issue including lawn mowing and leaf mulching. Also works great for workshops when dealing with ear-piercing noises from grinders, miter saws, and other power tools. It has a noise reduction rating (NRR) of 24 dB.
The earmuff pads are incredibly thick and comfortable around the ears, allowing you to wear them for more than 6 hours. They left no marks on the skin and pretty much comfortable even during the hot weather. The good thing about these pads is that they are replaceable. Nonetheless, with their quality, each pad will certainly last years before you see any sign of deterioration.
As for the functionality of the earmuffs, 3M Safety integrated AM/FM radio capabilities in them to allow you to enjoy even without any additional preparations. The buttons are within your reach and are pretty intuitive. It requires 2 AA alkaline batteries which can work for more than 24 hours of use. We also appreciate that it has a voice prompt that will inform you if the batteries are already running low. It will also ask you after hours of continuous use if you are still using it and would ask you to touch the volume button for a response. If not, it will automatically shut down.
The Bluetooth capability is seamless. The connection works really great and pairs with any Bluetooth-capable devices we tried. It has a distance range of 10 meters which is pretty great. You can also use it with an audio input jack. This is the caveat here. Though the description of the product advertisement says that you “make and take” phone calls using the accessory, it is not indicated that it only notifies you of a phone call in Bluetooth mode. In order to hear, it should be using a wired connection using a jack. It is also important to note that it has a very noticeable antenna. It is very functional for the radio and if its presence doesn’t bother you, it will be a great choice to have.
Best Bluetooth Earmuffs - Buyer's Guide
Earmuff models vary from one another, especially in terms of the main functions. Some are made to focus on reducing the noise around you and others are designed for comfort in the cold seasons. With this, it is important to assess what you really need.
Commonly, earmuff models that are meant to eliminate sounds come in bulky forms. The pads they have are also often well-padded to the point that they feel quite uncomfortable to the ears after an extended period of time. Nonetheless, this is important to assure that the accessory can effectively seal your ears and prevent the penetration of sounds.
On the other hand, those that are intended to give warmth are often soft. In this type, you can be sure that regardless of the number of hours you wear the earmuffs, you’ll still feel comfortable.
Just like the designs of the earmuffs, the capabilities of the earmuffs vary a lot. While all the products listed above supports Bluetooth, their abilities on how they use the said technology differ.
For instance, all models can notify you of an incoming call. However, not all of them allow you to pick up the call using the headset. For instance, the 3M Safety 90542-3DC can’t answer calls. It also doesn’t have a built-in mic, though it can be used with a cable to hear the voice of the caller. On the other hand, there are much more capable models like Peltor Sport Tactical 500, WULFPOWERPRO Safety Earmuffs, and more that can do the said functions.
Also, there are earmuffs that come with a radio function (though not all offer AM options). This is a good add-on since it means that you can use the earmuff without your phone. However, be informed that such models often come with long antennas that you might find unappealing.
It is undeniable that Bluetooth earmuffs that have built-in batteries are the best. They are cost-efficient and very convenient. Depending on the battery capacity, the earmuff unit can take one or more hours to charge. Moreover, the higher the battery capacity, the better.
On the other hand, battery-powered earmuffs are also great. They usually require 2 AA batteries that can last 24 hours, depending on your usage. Though they are not as convenient as those that are rechargeable, replaceable batteries can come in handy when you are traveling and there is no power outlet available.
The higher the specs of a model, the pricier it could be. This is somehow true. For instance, the Peltor Sport Tactical 500 is much expensive than others. However, given its ability to effectively reduce noise and the integration of other impressive technology like the Dynamic Suppression Time and Clear Voice Tracking, it is really worth it. If you need such features, it is okay to spend at such a price rate. However, if it is too much, you can always opt for modes with lower specs. After all, there is no need to spend on something you don’t even need.
Best Bluetooth Earmuffs - FAQs
The noise reduction ratings of earmuffs vary a lot depending on the model. It can range from 15 to 30 NRR or above.
No, it depends on the model of the earmuffs. Most Bluetooth-supported earmuffs can’t be washed, though their pads can be removed and be replaced. There are also earmuffs that allow you to remove the Bluetooth modules in order for the cloth material to be washed.
The Bluetooth of earmuffs usually reaches a 10-meter distance. Nonetheless, this still depends on the model of the earmuffs.
You can also combine the use of earmuffs and earplugs to achieve the 36 NRR. This will help you better block out the noise around you.