Some of the tools on a job site are particularly loud. Enough so that sustained exposure can result in hearing loss. Most of these tools are only used in short bursts, and thus your exposure is somewhat limited, but protection is still recommended.
We tried 4 different types of hearing protection to see which were most effective, comfortable, and easy to use. We figured if the solution isn’t comfortable or easy, then it may not get used, in which case it doesn’t matter how effective it is.
Our pick for the best hearing protection is the 3M Black Professional Ear Muff . They were comfortable, easy to take on and off, and significantly reduced the noise level of the tools we tested. They didn’t block out all the sound, which we actually liked since we could still talk to and hear others around us. Although they did have to yell.
We also tried the 3M 1100 Foam Ear plugs . These had the benefit of not making our ears hot if we left them on for an extended period of time, unlike the over-the-ears design of the 3M Peltor’s. But we also found them to be very easy to lose, or they would blow or roll away after we put them down. So while these were effective and comfortable, we didn’t consider them to be as easy, and thus aren’t certain they would be used as much. They are however, a good and economical solution if you need to provide hearing protection to a group of people. We use these when we host our workshops.