Review: 3M Worktunes – A Reliable Hearing Protector

3M Worktunes
3M Worktunes

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The Bluetooth hearing protection combines good sound quality and even better noise reduction ability. But is it the perfect hearing protection?

A traditional ear muff has one job and it does it really well. It protects your ears from harmful excessive noises.

However, that’s all it does. No music, no phone calls. Strictly business. Noise blocking only.

So if you are looking for a bit more fun, that’s where the 3M Worktunes comes in. With integrated Bluetooth and mic support, you can listen to music wirelessly and even make phone calls without removing the headset (You still have to get to a quiet environment, of course).

Bottom Line

Overall, I think the 3M Worktunes is a good pair of hearing protection that excels in noise reduction and sound quality. Its mic quality is good in a quiet environment and reasonably decent in a noisy environment.

What We Like 😍
  • Good overall sound quality
  • Great Noise Reduction
  • Decent Mic
  • Ability to connect via Bluetooth and 3.5mm headphone port
What We Don't Like 🤢
  • Heavy
  • Not portable
  • Comfort issues

Where to Buy

3M Worktunes and its box packaging
3M Worktunes and its box packaging

You can purchase the 3M Worktunes from:

Technical Specification

  • NRR: 24 dB
  • Derated NRR (dBC): 12 dB
  • Derated NRR (dBA): 7.5 dB
  • Weight: 343g
  • Connection: Supports wireless and 3.5mm wired
  • Types of wireless connection: Bluetooth
  • Battery life: 30hrs
  • Microphone: Yes
  • Driver: 40mm dynamic driver


Items in package:

  • 3M Worktunes
  • Manual
  • A USB cable for charging

3M provides the bare minimum to get started on the Worktunes. I’m disappointed to find that they did not provide a 3.5mm cable for wired connection.

Comfort and Fit

Unlike traditional headphones, this hearing protector does not use pleathered material for the ear pads. It uses a soft malleable plastic and foam memory to provide cushioning for the ears.

I’m assuming pleathered leather will result in more sound leaking into your ears.

Surprisingly, it doesn’t generate much heat on my ears while I’m wearing it.

The plastic earpads of the 3M Worktunes
The plastic earpads of the 3M Worktunes

Strong clamping force

The 3M Worktunes has a clamping force that is above average. This is important for hearing protection as you want to isolate as much external noise as possible.

However, due to the strong clamp, I can only wear the hearing protector for a maximum of 15 mins before I need to take it off to relieve the pressure.

Plastic headband with no cushion

The headband is made from hard plastic with no cushion on the underside. Due to the short wearing time, I don’t find any pressure building up on the top of my head.

The headband of the 3M Worktunes
The headband of the 3M Worktunes

Adjustable hinge with good holding power

Another good ergonomic factor is the adjustable hinges. This allows us to fit the hearing protector snugly on our head. The hinges hold well in place but it is still easily adjustable.

Not lightweight

At 343g, the 3M Worktunes weighs on the heavier side of things. You can feel the weight when you wear it on your head.

Not portable

BJKing Bluetooth Hearing Protection vs 3M Worktunes
BJKing Bluetooth Hearing Protection vs 3M Worktunes

The earcups of the 3M Worktunes can’t be folded up like the BJKing Bluetooth Hearing Protector you see above. This decreases the portability of the headphones.

Noise Reduction

With a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 24dB, the derated NRR comes up to around 12dB. This means that it should reduce ~12dB of noise.

I tested the 3M Worktunes under an average volume of 96 dB.
I tested the 3M Worktunes under an average volume of 96 dB.

I tested the hearing protector with a loudspeaker blasting sound at an average of 96.9 dB.

With a derated NRR of 12 dB, the amount of volume that I’m hearing theoretically should hover around 84 dB with the Worktunes worn. This is within the recommended safe volume level (85 dB) by the WHO. This means that the 3M Worktunes can also be a good companion for lawn mowing, where you’d get exposed to around the same decibels.

Subjectively, I felt way more comfortable in terms of hearing after I wear the Worktunes.

It noticeably cut away a good portion of the loudness and the noise faded quickly into the background.

Different perspectives of the wearing profile
Different perspectives of the wearing profile

The noise became even more invisible to me after I started playing music via Bluetooth. The passive noise reduction is good enough that I do not have to turn up the music volume to hear them clearly. This is great because loud volume from your music can cause hearing loss too. All this makes the 3M Worktunes a good option if you’re looking for a wireless hearing protection device.

Sound Quality

The sub-bass reproduction is mild and has a gentle rumble. Its bass has a decent amount of impact and aggressiveness but nothing at a thumping level. It still brings out some head-nodding from me, especially in bass-heavy songs.

The mids sounded rich on the Worktunes. Vocals are clear without coloration. It is not recessed behind the bass and treble. Falsetto doesn’t sound pitchy or too sharp for my likings.

As for the treble, I prefer the lower treble range to the upper treble range. The upper treble sounded too restrained and dark. The lower treble can bring out the details of the songs but if it reaches into the upper treble, it quickly turns dull.

Overall, I think the 3M Worktunes is leaning towards a darker sound signature. The lows and mids are present and decent but the upper treble is too rolled-off for my taste.

The Worktunes brand emblazoned on the headband
The Worktunes brand emblazoned on the headband

Mic Quality

In a quiet environment, the voice pick-up is great. From the recording, you can hear that the voice is clear with little noise floor.

In a noisy environment, the voice pick-up starts to suffer. You can still make up what I’m saying but it is muffled. The mic also picks up plenty of the background noise too.

Hence, if you have to pick up a phone call, you will need to step away from the noisy environment to pick up the call.

The BJKing standing beside the 3M Worktunes, propped up by my portable charger.
The BJKing standing beside the 3M Worktunes, propped up by my portable charger.


Overall, I think the 3M Worktunes is a good pair of hearing protection that excels in noise reduction and sound quality. Its mic quality is good in a quiet environment and reasonably decent in a noisy environment.

Is this the perfect hearing protection though?

Nope. There are certainly still room for improvements such as:

  • Increase comfort and wearing duration
  • Make it lighter
  • Reduce clamping force without compromising the seal

Did we miss out anything on the 3M Worktunes? Let us know in the comments below.

Alternatively, if you wish to read our reviews on other products, check out our comprehensive buyer’s guide on the best hearing protection devices in the market today. It has all the most recommended hearing protection devices for different groups of people like hunters and musicians.

💬 Conversation: 13 comments

  1. JUst bought a pair today at Menards, 06-15,2021. I’m taking them back tomorrow. Bluetooth podcast was too low to hear on the tractor or on the mower. Bluetooth music was okay. AM would barely pickup a station less than 10 miles away. FM worked great but if I only wanted FM I could use the worktunes I bought 5 – 6 years ago w/o the bluetooth. Voice prompts were hard to understand while standing in my shop and virtually impossible on the tractor or mower. Really disappointed in 3M for these, especially their nanny restriction on the volume.

  2. Update;
    I returned the original worktunes and bought another and this one picks up radio stations better. I found a webage that gave some better settings for both my iPhone and the worktunes. The worktunes limits the volume in different ways and when I changed that it helped so I can actually hear the lady giving prompts like AM, FM Bluetooth, etc. The iphone change is supposedly to also change some kinds of limits. I think I found the page while searching DDG for “My earmuffs aren’t loud enough.” I was at work so didn’t have time to save the link. Don’t know if the improvements will help for loud environments yet.

  3. There is a major for with these headsets that usually reveals itself after a year or so. Browse the reviews on the 3m website and Amazon and you will see that many people have encountered the same issue. To put it simply: the Micro USB port is poorly attached to the board and eventually it comes loose and rattles around inside the cup, leaving you unable to charge.

    1. This happened to a pair I have. I purchased them on eBay as a “New/Open-Box” item in October 2021. They appeared to be new as they were clean in their original plastic packaging and everything was included with the box. However I noticed almost immediately that charging was bit erratic at times. I often had to jiggle the cable to get them to start charging. Eventually though, the microUSB port came off the circuit board and rattled around inside. I did not see a warranty repair being possible due to being an eBay purchase plus they were relatively inexpensive and shipping back to 3M, paid by me, would have almost doubled what I paid for them. Since I have electronics experience, I opened them up and was able to successfully repair them as soldering the microUSB port back on to the circuit board is not terribly difficult. Plus, after soldering the port back on, I was able to firmly attach it with a little clear JB Weld epoxy applied to just the sides of the socket. It is now firmly attached and I cannot see it ever becoming dislodged now.

      I would definitely suggest to anyone who has an out-of-warranty pair that is still working, and is comfortable with simple repairs, to apply some epoxy to the sides of the microUSB port to keep it from popping off the circuit board. It is a lot easier than having to solder it later on.

      1. Thanks for your reply, I actually couldn’t find a better alternative and ended up buying a second pair.

        I was wondering if there was something I could do to this one in advance of it breaking. I am very interested in what you said; I wouldn’t know how to solder and this would be something I wish I could learn to do in the future. However this epoxy thing I would like to try.

        Can you give me advice on exactly where and how much to apply? After I open the cup up, I just dab some epoxy on all around the little metal port, or does it have to be very precise? Thanks

        1. Just dab a tiny amount of epoxy between the sides of the microUSB connector and circuit board, not on the back of the connector. I used a toothpick to dab it on and not much is required. You just want the connector to be held in place so the four little connector mounting posts are not taking all of the mechanical strain. If, in the future, some repair work needs to be done on the connector tabs that are located on the rear and soldered to the circuit board, you do not want any epoxy there to interfere with a soldering job. I used the clear JB Weld so that nothing on the circuit board was hidden from view.

  4. It says upu can make/receive calls. I can’t find instructions on how to make calls hands-free.

    1. Usually you have to pair it via through blue tooth to your devices (phone) at times it has audio toggled on but not calls. So make sure you check within your phone, device bluetooth settings to see if it’s ticked on.

  5. I love mine…I’ve had a few pair and all there versions . I do however modify mine by adding a Peltor Optime headband, Prohear/ alpha academy gel seals and sheepskinin the earcups for comfort ( those I wear inside while I sleep) They are the best.

  6. The headband is made to fit over the smartie on a hat perfectly, an amazing design incorporated into it that I feel you missed.

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