AO Safety - Blockade Ear Buds (Rating: 4)

I love my Worktunes earmuffs, and use them with my iPhone in the shop to listen to my music and podcasts. But this time of year, they get mighty warm! So when I saw that AO Safety had come out with earplugs that could be used with my MP3, I had to try them out.

As expected, these are much cooler to wear in the heat than the big earmuffs, but they are not an exact replacement. The Blockades are rated at 24 Db instead of the 29Db that the Worktunes are rated. 5Db may not seem like much, but there is a noticable difference in noise reduction. The 24Db Blockades are fine for most shop tasks, but really loud equipment like a screaming lunchbox planer send me back to my Worktunes.

I have used the Blockades while mowing my lawn, and they certainly make that task more pleasant.

The Blockades also feature a volume switch on the cord. This is handy when working, since I can turn my tunes up and down without digging out my phone.

The Blockades come with two extra pairs of replaceable ear plugs, and a small storage bag that helps keep them neat while traveling in box or pocket.

All in all, I am quite happy with my Blockade Ear Protectors. They are a good alternative to keep me cool while protecting my hearing.

Ralph W. Bagnall
www.consultingwoodworker.com