Review of Electronic ear protector

I received a pair of these for Father's day. They are sold by PSI Woodworking. They resemble the standard "Mickey Mouse" ear protectors but have a microphone and speakers inside so you can hear normal sounds but when the sound level reaches a certain decibel level the circuit shuts off and they become standard ear protectors.
This sounds good on paper, but I was disappointed. The sounds you hear are tinny and distant, bringing to mind the little button "speakers" that used to be soldered onto the motherboard of computers. I tried them while using my gas powered chipper/shredder. They would occasionally shut down, but mostly it tried to reproduce the shredder noise in it's own tinny way. I just turned the sound off, but they still did not attenuate the noise as well as my old North Gun Mufflers.
Cons: Expensive     Heavier than regular mufflers     Failed to shut down with loud (to me) noise.     Less noise attenuation than my old El Cheapos.     Faithless sound reproduction. The microphone is on the right, so         conversation on the left side not picked up.
Pros: Nice looking orange and black motif.
--

Gerald Ross, Cochran, GA
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I got a pair of Radians from Woodcraft for Christmas. I gotta say that these work better than expected. There is a separate microphone and volume control for each ear and the LOUD noises are properly filtered. Clapping hands sound like you are wearing leather gloves. Sound quality is excellent as I often forget that I have them on. IIRC they were about $100.
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I use a pair of Peltor Worktunes earmuffs I purchased from Amazon for about $60. These have the sound reduction capability of standards earmuffs but come with a built in AM/FM radio. I use them in the shop but they are especially good (i.e. having the radio) when I am mowing the lawn.

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mine cost me about 160.00 I can hear my cell phone or a dropped nut while tools are running. they knock sound down to 85db's
--
Knight-Toolworks & Custom Planes
Custom made wooden planes at reasonable prices
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On Wed, 07 Jul 2004 03:07:27 GMT, Steve Knight

How tough is that when you're running hand planes??? But seriously, what brand of headphones and from what store? TIA -- Igor
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I'll enthusiastically second the vote for Peltor Work Tunes. These are one of the best shop purchases I've ever made.
The radio makes them so transparant as to use that I wind up wearing them all day, then into the house where the wife slaps me on the ear and tells me that I can take them off now.
The only problems with them are that the tuner knob isn't labeled, so finding your station can be a trick, and the dial will get bumped out of station when you set them down.
Here's my solution:
Have your regular shop radio tuned to the station you want. Put one ear in the work tunes and leave the other ear uncovered. It is amazing how quickly your ear can detect when the two sounds come into synch.
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FWIW, I'll third the vote for Peltor Work Tunes. I not only use them in the shop, but I use them when riding the tractor, using my chainsaw, running the chipper/shredder, etc.
You are right about the tuner knob as well.
--
Al Reid

"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know
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are they stereo or mono?
Al Reid wrote:

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wrote:

FM stereo, AM monaural.
Barry
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On Tue, 13 Jul 2004 10:37:30 -0400, "Al Reid"

Make it four.

Fourth ditto!
Barry
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I wonder how easy it is to try them and perhaps return them. I have a difficult time getting the station I want to listen to as we get crappy radio reception in my town. The local AM is OK for getting the local news. Other stations are about 70 miles. Ed
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Good question. Also, both reviews on Amazon said the sound is muted from the radio, do owners of them find that to be the case? There are only 2 reviews there, so it's hard to go by that.
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What does "sound is muted from the radio" mean?
To me, "mute" means quiet. These things aren't exactly audiophile quality, but to this musician / sound mixer, it's plenty passable for listening when working, and voices are clear and intelligible on AM talk stations. The volume is plenty loud to be heard clearly over my Harley-like wide-cut walk behind mower, the DJ-20 and a DC within 4 feet, and my Shop Vac. The volume IS limited to about 85 db inside the headphones.
If by "muted", they mean a lack of high end, I don't agree. Maybe the folks saying that have already blown out the high end of their hearing, and are only now buying protection? <G>
I've always been extremely protective of my own hearing.
Barry
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wrote:

How about "muffled"? Lack of high frequencies. Crappy sound quality?

OK, so not painfully bad by any means, is the idea I'm getting here from you then?

Could be.

As have I, including on the rifle range and when doing sound work.
Sounds like a good way to spend that $50 dollar Amazon certificate I have (with a bit more).
Dave Hinz
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I would buy them again.
They're $49 @ Coastal Tool if Amazon dosen't work out.
Barry
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