3M - WorkTunes Wireless Hearing Protector (Rating: 4)

I've been wearing plane jane, relatively cheap hearing protection for a long time. I have several different pairs, including a pretty comfortable 3M pair that I like. However, I had always wanted some way to play music while working in the shop. The wireless headphone + hearing protectors were always too much money (> $100) for me.

Until I saw that Amazon had a lightning deal in December for this 3M Worktunes Wireless. I jumped on it for $65. The very same pair costs $85 at Home Depot or other sources. $65 was just enough cheaper to where I thought it was worth it.

So far, about six months in, I am very pleased with the Worktunes. They are comfortable and actually sound decent. They have an aggressive volume-limiting system which I completely understand, but which occasionally annoys me when I can't turn a song up loud enough. I understand that it is mean to protect our hearing, and using hearing protection and blasting music are sort of counterproductive, but I wish I could crank just a few more dB out of them.

There are two other niggles that prevent this unit from being five stars. One is the antenna. It is there because the set has an AM/FM radio built in. That's nice, but I don't listen to the radio on it. I'd love to be able to remove the antenna. My shop is in my basement with steam heating pipes up overhead, and I often hit the antenna on them. It's a minor annoyance, but an annoyance nonetheless.

The other problem is that the unit always turns on in FM radio mode. I have to turn it in then press the function button a couple of times to get it to bluetooth mode. Another minor annoyance, but it happens enough that I'm mentioning it.

All in all, I'm very pleased with the Worktunes. It does a superb job filtering out even high pitch noises like a router and a superb one with low frequency noise like my dust collector. Often I'll pull the headset off and realize I'd left the dust collector on, which is a statement about how quiet it is inside the unit.

The three minor issues outlined above bring it from five to four stars, but it's still a quality product that I'd buy again at the price I paid. Being able to listen to music (or podcasts, or whatever) while working in the shop is a huge quality of life improvement.