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).
- Good overall sound quality
- Great Noise Reduction
- Decent Mic
- Ability to connect via Bluetooth and 3.5mm headphone port
- Not portable
- Comfort issues
Where to Buy
You can purchase the 3M Worktunes from:
- 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
- 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.
Surprisingly, it doesn’t generate much heat on my ears while I’m wearing it.
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.
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.
At 343g, the 3M Worktunes weighs on the heavier side of things. You can feel the weight when you wear it on your head.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.