$75 to protect your hearing while listening to podcasts (this one's for you, fellow geek-mowers!)

Posted by Paul Braren on Jul 17 2012 in
  • Productivity
  • Wishing you could protect your hearing while in noisy environments? I mean really noisy, where you wish to not just reduce outside noises, but pretty much eliminate them?

    For years, I've wished a company made something rugged and affordable, with serious noise reduction and Bluetooth stereo connectivity. But they don't. At least not for any sort of reasonable price (here's $350 25db reduction Peltor MT53H7AWS2). So I sort of made my own for $74.90 total, a sound investment in hearing protection. Without the tangle of cords, which can be very annoying when doing yard-work.

    Your safe judgement is up to you. But if you don't need to hear ambient noise (such as leaf blowing in a backyard with nobody else around), then consider this marriage of the the 3M TEKK 90541-80025T WorkTunes Headset with 22 decibel passive noise reduction, and a small Bluetooth dongle stuck on. Simple, problem solved. Well, dorky looking, but quite functional. If you don't listen to FM, you can always cut off the antenna and not bother with batteries in the headphones themselves if you prefer, since it's a passive noise reduction design, where the batteries are just for the FM radio.

    So if you already have a suitably small Bluetooth dongle, just head to your local Sears, and pick up the headphones, hopefully on sale, do the sears.com look-up here. Or you can go online and order all 3 of these 3 pieces. Convenient links are also at the end of this article.

    3M WorkTunes Hearing Protector
    Currently on Amazon with 22db reduction, with hundreds of user reviews.

    GOgroove BlueGate Wireless A2DP Bluetooth
    This Bluetooth dongle adds wireless connectivity to your headphones input jack, for wirelessly using any Bluetooth enabled device, such as your iPhone, thus avoiding dangerous neck tangles while doing yard work.

    Industrial Strength Velcro circles
    Just in case you don't already have some lying around already, fastens the lightweight bluetooth dongle to the headset, securely.

    No need to power-on the radio, and no need to insert AAA batteries into the headphones, since the Bluetooth dongle puts sound into your ears without touching the volume knob on the headset. You will need to recharge the dongle once in while, and you control the volume with your Bluetooth device. I won't claim you'll experience amazing bass here, this is really best just for casual listening to podcasts and such. Works great for just that, and the volume of the music you pipe in is limited, to further protect you from your bad judgement.