Are you a woodworker? Whether you’re a casual hobbyist, a professional carpenter, or somewhere in between, proper hearing protection is necessary for anyone exposed to noise in a workshop environment. On this page, you can learn more about our story, our best ear protection for woodworkers, and why ear protection is crucial for all woodworkers. Plus, we’ll introduce some of the top woodworking pros who have made ISOtunes products their hearing protection of choice.
Why hearing protection is important for woodworking
You might be asking: At what dB level do you need hearing protection? Typically, 85 dB is the magic number to protect against in woodworking. Any exposure to noise over 120 dB can cause immediate damage to your ears.
Noise-induced hearing loss, or NIHL, is defined as damage to the ear due to sound. It often happens over time after repeated exposure to many of the same loud sounds. And while hearing aids can be used for hearing assistance, noise-induced hearing loss cannot be cured. That's why taking the appropriate preventative measures to avoid hearing issues over the long term is important - primarily if you work in a higher-risk profession like woodworking.
As outlined in the above chart, workshops are loud, with all tools and machines meeting or exceeding the 85 dB threshold. Without hearing protection, workers are almost guaranteed to experience hearing loss in a workshop environment. That being said, it’s important for woodworkers to find comfortable hearing protection with adequate battery life, so they don’t feel the need to remove them during their time in the shop.
Simply put, Bluetooth can increase a worker's productivity. Bluetooth hearing protection allows woodworkers to follow along with Youtube tutorials, listen to podcasts, and jam out to their favorite music to get in the zone. Bluetooth also allows workers to connect and speak to someone on the phone wirelessly, without removing their ISOtunes to take the call. Learn more about the benefits of Bluetooth here.
The ISOtunes Difference for Woodworking Safety
When it comes to a combination of hearing protection, comfortability, and practicality, ISOtunes offers work earbuds and earmuffs so woodworkers can do their job while staying connected and entertained. When used as directed, ISOtunes products offer a noise reduction of up to 29 dB, which is more than adequate to carry out day-to-day woodworking tasks safely. What's more, ISOtunes Bluetooth hearing protection allows workers to listen to music and seamlessly take phone calls, offering a level of convenience which you often don't get in conventional headphones.
Read on to learn more about the benefits of ISOtunes hearing protection and why we’re the leading hearing protection choice for woodworkers today.
Common Woodworking Noises
As you can see, many everyday woodworking tasks are over the 85 dB mark. That said, these noises have the potential to cause long-term hearing problems and undoubtedly require hearing protection when encountering them. Even the sound of a hammer on a nail is around the 120 dB mark, where hearing loss can be immediate.
Why don't many woodworkers wear hearing protection?
So with all of this in mind, why aren't many woodworkers wearing hearing protection? There are a few key reasons:
Hearing protection is often restrictive and uncomfortable. Many woodworkers find hearing protection uncomfortable, distracting them from their job and affecting their performance. In many cases, they're not wrong. Conventional hearing protection tends to be large and bulky, and it can get in the way of doing work. If hearing protection fails to fit the user properly, it can require frequent readjustment, influencing job performance and productivity.
Workshops are hot. Speaking of comfortability, woodworking tends to take place in a shop environment - and these environments tend to get hot, especially when you consider the tools that most professionals use in said environments. As a result, even workers who always wear hearing protection may remove them throughout the day when they become too hot or uncomfortable. Unfortunately, doing so will leave them subjected to hearing damage based on the workplace activities mentioned above.
Woodworkers want the freedom to listen to music and other entertainment. Some woodworkers refuse appropriate ear protection on the job because they wear headphones to listen to music, podcasts, audiobooks, or other entertainment. Conventional headphones, however, shouldn't be confused with hearing protection. While noise-canceling headphones can dampen sound to a certain extent, many standard, non-safety certified headphone models barely dampen sound at all. Wearing headphones on the job often does more harm than good, as workers are likely to crank up the volume to hear it over the noise of their tools. Most conditional headphones allow users to exceed 85 dB, damaging hearing and making workers unaware of their surroundings.
ISOtunes: A Perfect Combination of Hearing Protection and Bluetooth
Hearing protection and Bluetooth technology don't have to be mutually exclusive. In fact, with ISOtunes, you can get the best of both worlds in a comfortable product that offers the best ear protection for woodworkers. This section will discuss the key ISOtunes technologies that help make these headphones ideal for woodshop environments.
Often, woodworkers crank up the tunes on their headphones to hear it over the sound of their equipment. When they do this, any potential protection from the headphones is wasted, as hearing damage will inevitably occur from the music. ISOtunes avoids this issue with its SafeMax™ hearing conservation technology, which comes built into its products. Specifically, SafeMax™ ensures that any ISOtunes work earbuds and muffs don't exceed 85 dB in volume. The volume limiter makes all ISOtunes products compliant with OSHA standards and gives woodworkers the peace of mind that they are not at risk of hearing loss - regardless of whatever they're doing or listening to.
There's no question that woodworkers do their jobs in dusty environments. After all, the most common byproduct of wood is sawdust. Many workshops have professional-quality dust collection systems that capture this errant dust, so it's not circulating throughout the shop. Still, no system is perfect - and with that said, most woodworkers want to know that dust isn't going to infiltrate their Bluetooth devices. Certain ISOtunes products come equipped with dust-tight durability, so you can rest assured that your product won’t get damaged. In addition to dust resistance, most ISOtunes models also feature water and sweat resistance.
The workshop can heat up quickly, and bulky earmuffs certainly don’t help. That’s why we’ve designed ISOtunes earmuffs to be lightweight with a ventilated foam headband for increased airflow. Our muffs are also equipped with memory foam ear cushions, so they feel snug and comfortable on your ears as you move about the shop. As for our in-ear models, each product includes a starter eartip pack of four different sizes so you can find your best fit and ensure maximum comfort. Learn more about ISOtunes eartips here.
Brad Rodriguez is a woodworking personality that has been in the industry since 2002 after taking an introductory class at a local Woodcraft store. His woodworking prowess includes major renovations on two early 1900s homes and becoming an Instagram woodworking influencer to educate the woodworking community worldwide. You can learn more about Brad at FixThisBuildThat.com or his Instagram.
April Wilkerson is a DIY woodworking YouTube personality. You can find her work on display at her website, wilkerdos.com, or on her Instagram. Her mission is simple: If there's something that she wants for her home, she does her best to make it herself before going out and buying it. She picked up her first power tool in the winter of 2013 and hasn't looked back.
Paul Jackman has nearly 400k subscribers to his YouTube channel, Jackman Works, and is also seen on the Netflix series "Making Fun." A lifelong woodworking hobbyist, Jackman studied woodworking and carpentry in vocational school and earned an engineering degree from Syracuse University. He's best known for high-end projects from reclaimed wood. Learn more about Paul and his work at jackmanworks.com.
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