Where can I find good headphones for the shop?!

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Forum topic by Blake posted 08-12-2010 12:50 AM 18619 views 0 times favorited 38 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 4925 days

08-12-2010 12:50 AM

I have a pair of shooting ear muffs that I bought for $15 that keep out almost ALL the noise, but they don’t play my music.

I bought three different noise-cancelling “studio” headphones that totally cover the ear. I RETURNED each because they don’t block enough outside noise and the noise-cancelling feature only adds a hissing sound.

I bought a pair of WorkTunes despite the mixed reviews… they block out all the noise but the music quality with my ipod was TERRIBLE! So I returned them too.

The best solution I’ve found so far are the ear buds from my ipod under my shooting ear muffs… this blocks out the noise and gives me great audio quality… but its very uncomfortable for long periods of time.

What am I supposed to do??!!

Why hasn’t someone made headphones that block out the nose but also have decent speakers inside them? It doesn’t seem that difficult. I don’t even need a radio, I just use my ipod.

-- Happy woodworking!

38 replies so far

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 4035 days

#1 posted 08-12-2010 02:20 AM

Have you thought of just sticking your ear buds in your ears since you plan to use your I Pod? Just a thought.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View Ripthorn's profile


1459 posts in 4036 days

#2 posted 08-12-2010 02:28 AM

There are a whole line of earbuds called canalphones that are more like earplugs with small acoustic chambers inside that play the music. I own a pair made by ultimate ears, but shure, klipsch, bose, skull candy, etc. all make pairs. Mine are rated at 26 dB passive attenuation, which is about the same as a pair of foam earplugs. I work with my planer going and my mp3 player at about 10% of max volume with no problems. They are not cheap, however. Probably at least $70 to get in to the less expensive ones.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View JerrySats's profile


237 posts in 4661 days

#3 posted 08-12-2010 02:33 AM

I have a pair of the Ryobi battery powered Noise Canceling HeadPhones , they work great at cutting the noise down . Mostly use them with out the battery which runs the microphone part of the headphones . That lets you have a conversation with someone with out removing the HPs . As for the music part , the sound doesn’t get very loud , so if that’s what you’re looking for , these aren’t the HPs for you . I doubt very much you’ll find a NC HP that lets you listen to music loudly . I think that kinda goes against the whole NCing thing .

View bfaubion's profile


21 posts in 4025 days

#4 posted 08-12-2010 03:10 AM

I have a pair of noise isolating (fit in the ear) ear buds I got from Costco for $20. They are comfortable
enough that I wear them all day long and the sound is great. I still use ear muffs over them when
running my planer and other loud machines.
The ones Costco has on their website right now look very similar to mine but it are a different brand.


View gfolley's profile


14 posts in 4408 days

#5 posted 08-12-2010 03:12 AM

Ramsey Electronics has a low power FM transmitter that I use with my “Work Tunes”. This will also do away with the wire between your earbuds and MP3 player. The kit is easy to build and has a range of about 250’ depending on the structure. I have mine hooked to my computer and play Itunes or any internet music source. This also lets anyone with a radio or other “Work Tunes” listen to the same music.

Hope this helps.

-- When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water. Gfolley, Ohio

View Mark Colan's profile

Mark Colan

211 posts in 3897 days

#6 posted 08-12-2010 03:27 AM

I bought a pair of Koss “The Plug” ear buds for about $5 some years ago, then several spares since they were good. They are a bit like ear plugs – roll the foam to compress, then it expands to fill your ear. And pretty good sound, perhaps a touch heavy on bass for my taste. Good enough for blocking sound on an airplane, but not good enough to block shop sounds.

So start with these for the music, then get comfortable sound-deadening muffs to go over them. DON’T expect muffs with speakers to sound good. Instead, get some buds you like, and some muffs that are comfortable and kill sound, and you’re golden.

-- Mark, hack amateur woodworker, Medford (greater Boston) MA

View devnull's profile


30 posts in 4077 days

#7 posted 08-12-2010 03:40 AM

I use Motorola T820 Bluetooth Stereo Headset. They cut most of the noise out, I have it paired with my PC but you can also use it with your mobile phone.

-- __A Clean Desk is a sign of a sick mind.__

View Moron's profile


5048 posts in 4945 days

#8 posted 08-12-2010 04:00 AM

I find it impossible to focus on my work and listen to music at the same time…..........everytime some ass seems to think that he/she can multitask….................I wind up paying for it

ear protection that plays music is nothing more then stupid when trying to focus on router bits, kick backs, measurements, grain direction, joinery…..................those who beg to differ…........thier work is most often more expensive then it should have been.

music should always be a mild distraction, never the focus.

in the end, inherint background noise is always going to be the “partner”, the wife, the nag, the MIL, the FIL, the SIL, the DIL, the cousin, the aunt, so if up to me, I save the ear phones and music for the hammock and pretend they all dont exist ?

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View davidroberts's profile


1027 posts in 4537 days

#9 posted 08-12-2010 04:21 AM

Oh Man, the worktunes was coming up fast on my “Tools I Want” list. I was that close to buying a pair off amazon. Thanks for the heads up.

Actually, I had read some negative reviews and settled on the Bilsom. They have a good reputation, especially from former worktunes owners- slightly pricey but doable.

-- Better woodworking through old hand tools.

View 's profile

593 posts in 5023 days

#10 posted 08-12-2010 05:22 AM


Have you tried the very same setup you are using now but substituting the Apple In-Ear Headphones for the standard ones?

They are very comfortable for long periods of time (They are the only ones I use and I often do listen do audiobooks and podcasts for hours a day.) and you have the inline remote on the wire.


View Stephen's profile


44 posts in 3897 days

#11 posted 08-12-2010 05:59 AM

I wear hearing aids so ear buds are out for me. I had some muffs from work and a few head sets that were broken. I took the speakers off one of the old headsets and put them behind the stuffing in the muffs. That gave them a more mellow sound and work well for mowing the lawn, shop work and I can still listen to Rush on the radio.

-- Loving it in Tucson .... Stephen

View ocwoodworker's profile


209 posts in 4055 days

#12 posted 08-12-2010 06:10 AM

Why can’t someone invent a blue tooth MP3 and WiFi enabled gizzmo for us simple minded folks. I listen to Pandora radio on my Iphone on a docking station in my shop. I hear ya. I was just looking at a pair you so eloquently gave the thumbs down on. Thanx for the frustration saver.

-- I'd like to believe Murphy's Law haunts my woodshop, because if it's Karma it would mean I had something to do with it. - K.R.

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1117 posts in 4111 days

#13 posted 08-12-2010 06:42 AM

View rhett's profile


743 posts in 4718 days

#14 posted 08-12-2010 02:01 PM

IMHO fancy ear muffs fall into the gadget section.

Buy a $2 set of earplugs on a string, put them in when you need them and pull them out when you’re done.

I’m with moron, the slighest distraction in a shop can turn into the biggest accident. Besides, if your busy listening to a song, how are you supposed to think through the problems of the world.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1526 posts in 5176 days

#15 posted 08-12-2010 04:25 PM

I got two sets of AO Safety Blockade earbuds (reviewed here on LumberJocks) on a special at, and I’m mostly overjoyed with them. They’re in-ear, so not everyone can wear them, but they do a great job at blocking out the sound, and are good enough for listening to podcasts.

Unfortunately, that blowout on Woot was probably the last of the inventory, as every search for them shows them as “out of stock”.

I’ve heard good things about the Etymotic ear buds, but don’t have personal experience, and they are pricey.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

showing 1 through 15 of 38 replies

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