Best Bluetooth Hearing Protection Headphones For Lawn Mowing

If you want to listen to music, podcasts, audiobooks or the radio when mowing the lawn…

…You will need one of these headphone setups:

  • Hearing protection with Bluetooth speakers built in (earbud of earmuff style)
  • Active noise cancelling headphones, or
  • Earbud headphones with earmuff hearing protection over the top.

So which is the best?

We mowed lawns for 11 hours last week using the different headphone setups.

Below you can find the pros and cons of each style – and the best headphones for mowing on the market today.

Our Picks: The 2 Best Bluetooth Hearing Protection Headphones For Lawn Mowing 

Best Earbud

ISOtunes Pro best hearing protection headphones

ISOTunes PRO 2.0

  • Stay cooler in warm weather compared to earmuff style
  • Easily hear music, audiobook or podcast over lawn mower noise
  • 16 hour battery life
  • Bluetooth 5.0 enabled for use with phones, TVs and computers

See on Amazon →

Best Earmuff

3M worktunes best earmuff headphones mowing lawn

3M WorkTunes Connect

  • Very sturdy and durable for long lasting use in tough environments
  • Built in rechargeable battery lasts 30+ hours per charge
  • 1 button interface easy to use with gloves

See on Amazon →

5 Key Features of The Best Lawn Mowing Headphones

Mowing lawn with 3M hearing protection headphones

1. Easily hear sound over lawn mower noise

The best lawn mowing headphones will properly block the lawn mower noise so you can hear your audiobook, radio or music.

There are 3 ways to achieve this:

  • Having earmuff hearing protection with Bluetooth speakers in the earmuff
  • Active noise isolation (noise cancelling) headphones which have a microphone to pick up outside noise and “cancel” the noise with an opposite noise into your ears
  • Wearing your normal ear pods/earbuds inside your earmuff hearing protection.

2. Affordable

Since you are using these headphones for mowing the lawn – and other yard work – you want them to be under $150. These aren’t going to be your main headphones so less money is better.

3. Durable

Mowing the lawn can be dirty and the headphones you are buying may experience a ton of wear and tear. So they need to be tough to handle different weather conditions and environments.

4. Great battery life

Sometimes mowing the lawn combined with yard work takes several hours. So the bare minimum battery life is 4 hours. However, it would suck to forget to charge them before your next mow and they don’t work. So we will go with bare min of 8 hours battery life.

5. Comfort

When testing all these headphones when mowing last week we found comfort to be very different amongst the headphones.

For example:

  • Even in 68 Fahrenheit (20 C) weather the over ear earmuff style hearing protection headphones caused my ears and the area around to sweat like crazy
  • The earbud (in-ear) hearing protection Bluetooth headphones never felt properly secured when mowing. It felt like they wear going to fall out at any moment.

There is tradeoffs in comfort and so the best mowing headphones will be a jack of all trades when it comes to the features listed above.

Safety Concerns: Is Mowing The Lawn While Listening To Music Safe?

The main safety concern is:

When you are listening to podcasts or music when mowing the lawn you are not aware of your surroundings.

Let’s talk about that some more.

It is recommended you wear hearing protection when mowing the lawn. So aren’t we already blocking all the surrounding noise out?

Not exactly.

Here’s why:

Passive hearing protection uses soundproofing material to block the external sounds from entering your eardrum.

The two main styles are:

  • Ear plugs: Made from a memory foam like material you roll them down and put them in your ear. After a few seconds they expand out blocking sound entering your ear drum.
  • Ear muffs: These go overtop your ears and block sound.

Hearing protection (without Bluetooth speakers playing sound) will only block out the dangerous frequencies and pitches of common sounds. So you will still hear the lawn mower but the hearing protection will muffle the sound enough so it doesn’t damage your ear drums.

Hazards:

When you add in music the music is now blocking your ability to hear outside speech and passing cars etc.

  • If you are mowing at the edge of the curb and a car is approaching you may not hear it and walk into the road.
  • Your neighbor may be trying to tell you of a danger but you don’t hear them.
  • Your mower blade may hit a rock damaging the blade and you might not hear it.

How to control the risks:

The way to control the risks when lawn mowing while listening to music, audiobooks or podcasts is to prevent swiss cheese moments.

Swiss cheese events are ones where 3 or 4 things have to go wrong at the same time (the holes in the cheese all lining up) for a safety event to occur.

Look:

Most people go their entire life without experiencing a lawn mower accident. But lawn mower injuries are no joke so be sure to read on how to control the risks.

Take 5 minutes before you start mowing to ask yourself some questions:

  • Do I feel up to the task?
  • Do I know how to use my lawnmower?
  • Have I looked at the state of my lawn (kids toys, rocks)?
  • What is the weather like (rain, heat, wind)?
  • Are my kids/neighbor kids out playing?

With each risk create a control:

  • Risk: I feel like crap and didn’t get much sleep. Control: Take a nap. Drink and eat something before mowing.
  • Risk: It’s going to be a warm and sunny day. Control: Mow in the early morning or evening when it is cooler.

Once you take 5 to think over the job you will be 5x more safe than if you jump straight in. There is no point risking injury when you are at home or work if it can be avoided with a simple 5 minute task to prepare.

Earmuff vs. Earbud Bluetooth Headphones – Pros and Cons

50% of people prefer the secure feeling of the earmuff over ear style.

While the other 50% prefer the lightweight and portable earbud in ear style.

Let’s look deeper at the pros and cons of each as it relates to mowing the lawn.

Earmuff (over ear)

Earmuff Hearing protection headphones

Pros: 

  • Sturdy and robust
  • People can easily see you are wearing hearing protection
  • Better battery life with the ample space for a bigger battery
  • Fit snug on head and are easily adjustable

Cons:

  • Make your ears sweat
  • Less portable
  • Harder to wear a hat for sun protection
  • Can interfere with sunglasses/eye protection

Earbud (in ear)

Earbud hearing protection headphones

Pros:

  • We found the main good thing about in ear hearing protection with speakers built in was the ears didn’t sweat. So these type are much better for warm weather use
  • Small and portable to just chuck in your pocket and go
  • Easy to wear in combo with a hat or hard hat.

Cons:

  • It takes a few tries to get good at rolling up the earbud earplug part to fit in your ear.
  • When you need to readjust the earplug you will have to stop the mower and use both hands to get everything sorted. With the earmuff it takes 2 seconds to adjust their position on your head.
  • They don’t feel as secure (even with the added over ear wrap cord).

All boiled down it comes to preference. Do you prefer the lightweight feel of the earbud or the secure feel of the earmuff.

Active vs. Passive Noise Isolation 

Active noise cancelling headphones use an external microphone to learn/hear the noises and then use internal speakers to cancel out the noises with a negative/opposite noise into your ear drums.

Have you ever tried noise cancelling headphones on an airplane? They will pick up the ambient plane engine noise along with the random people noises and cancel it all out calculated with the built in software so you only hear a slight humming type noise with the headphones on.

Passive noise isolation is simply using soundproofing materials to block noise out. So most active noise cancelling headphones will also have passive noise cancelling materials built in.

Wired vs Wireless Headphones When Using a Lawn Mower – Pros and Cons

To connect with a cable from a phone in your pocket to the headphones is not as horrible as most people make it. You simply run the wire under your shirt and it is out of the way. However, there is no need for it when you have Bluetooth to do the work of the wire without the fuss. We definitely recommend the wireless options.

Can You Connect Bluetooth Hearing Protection To Your TV or Computer?

If it is Bluetooth compatible then it can be connected.

We tried using the lawn mowing headphones to watch TV and it works beautiful – no issues at all.

The Best Headphones of Each Style

Best Earbud Hearing Protection Headphones

ISOTunes Pro

ISOtunes Pro best hearing protection headphonesThe best earbud headphones for mowing the lawn are hands down the ISOTunes PRO.

ISOTunes is a brand of Haven Technologies, a family owned business based in Indiana… And all they do is Bluetooth enabled hearing protection. They have several products under the ISOTunes brand. We tested the Pro and Lite earbud style and the Air Defender ear muff style.

The Pro model was our favorite.

Why are they good for mowing the lawn?

Noise reduction: The ISOTunes Pro have a noise reduction rating (NRR) of 27 dB. The gist is this means the hearing protection makes outside noises half as loud and 10 times less intense. This makes mowing and listening to music an enjoyable experience.

FYI: The NRR calculation is dBA =  (NRR – 7) / (2). So an NRR of 27 dB means the hearing protection has a 10 dBA decibel level reduction. And since decibels is on the logarithmic scale an increase or decrease of 10 doubles or halves the value.

Stay cool: Because the ISOTunes PRO are earbud style they don’t cause your ear to sweat during use. We enjoyed that aspect of them. In addition, the ear hook helped hold up the earbud.

How good are the headphones and sound?

The quality of the audiobooks, radio and music will be on par with any other earbuds. In fact, it could be argued it is better since they have better passive noise isolation than regular earbuds.

What is the battery life?

We found the battery life to be just shy of 15 hours. ISOTunes marketing materials say “up to 16 hour run-time” so on par with what they say.

Any other features?

Microphone for phone calls: You can take phone calls on these headphones, and the microphone even includes some noise isoltion so the other person can actually hear you.

SafeMax: For further hearing protection ISOTunes PRO include a max volume limit of 85 dB, which is the safe limit for extended noise exposure per day.

Who are these best for?

If you mow in the heat you will want these because they don’t make your ears sweat like the earmuff style.

These earbud style hearing protection headphones are affordable, lightweight and protect your hearing when mowing the lawn listening to music or the radio.

Check out the current deals and full specs.

View on Amazon

Best Earmuff Hearing Protection Headphones

3M WorkTunes

3M worktunes best earmuff headphones mowing lawnThe best earmuff headphones for lawn mowing are the 3M WorkTunes Connect.

We have been using these for mowing as well as watching TV late at night for a few years now.

The comfort is great, the price is affordable and the battery life is amazing.

The only downside or complaint we have is they cause your ears to sweat if it is warm outside.

Why are they good for mowing the lawn?

Durable: These things feel secure over your ears and show the people around you you are using hearing protection.

How good are the headphones and sound?

We used these to watch movies after mowing the lawn and the sound was great – no complaints.

What is the battery life?

The #1 best feature of these hearing protection Bluetooth headphones is the battery life. They last 30+ hours before you need to charge. There is also a voice that tells you if the battery is high, medium, low or really low when you first turn them on.

Any other features?

1 button interface: These mowing headphones have 1 button you push or push and hold for different actions. For example, you push the button twice to sync to Bluetooth. You push and hold to turn on or off. This makes things easy to control them with 1 finger even wearing gloves.

Headphone jack if wanted: You can connect these Bluetooth headphones to your phone by cable if you want.

Microphone for phone calls: You can take phone calls and have chats with these on.

Who are these best for?

Both the headphones on our list are great.

These 3M WorkTunes are more affordable.

And they feel more secure on your head.

Get these if your work is in not hot environments.

View on Amazon

What About Apple AirPod Pros?

The main purpose of this article is about hearing protection headphones best for mowing.

Apple AirPods Pro are not hearing protection.

But they do:

  • Have great active noise cancellation so you can music over the lawn mower
  • Are earbud style so you stay cool in summer compared to the earmuff style
  • Come with three ear tip sizes so they won’t fall out of your ear
  • Have wireless charging so when you can’t find the cable you can still charge them
  • Have water resistance so your sweat or rain are no bother for them.
Apple AirPods Good For Mowing Card

So if you already have these AirPods then by all means they will work as lawn mowing headphones.

Don’t own them?

See AirPods on Amazon

Sources:

  1. Choose The Hearing Protection That’s Right For You. Cdc.gov. Info retrieved Sept 2, 2022.

Further Reading

  1. If you rarely mow and would rather rent a lawn mower we did an in-depth article for that.
  2. Did you know mowing the lawn burns heaps of calories. Get some exercise!
  3. Make sure to check out our yearly list of the best lawnmowers for most peoples yards.