3M WorkTunes Headphones Make Yardwork More Tolerable

Originally published at: https://tidbits.com/2019/04/12/3m-worktunes-headphones-make-yardwork-more-tolerable/

Yardwork season is here, and loud gas-powered mowers and trimmers can both damage your hearing and make it impossible to enjoy audio. The 3M WorkTunes headphones can solve both problems.

Another choice.

Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2 - Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

I bought these a while back to allow me to listen to my iPhone/iPad while flying on MD80 planes. Especially in the back. All planes really but the MD80 back seats are the worst for a constant drone.

They have been great. And don’t have the bluetooth or mic issues mentioned about the Motorolla. The noise cancelling is great. On a plane someone can talk to me and I hear them. A bit muffled but at that point I can turn off the noise cancelling or remove them. Many times I’ve done the DFW hike between gates a mile or so away with them on either listening to music, podcasts, or making phone calls. Controls are nice.

And yes I also use them to mow the yard and do other things outdoors. I’ve answered calls while mowing. (I turn the mower off at that point.) I don’t know the DB reduction but it is a LOT.

They DO cost more but given the drawbacks mentioned for the Motorolla unit I’d still pay the extra. Amazon has them just now for $140.

And yes, the battery seems to last forever. I’ve never started with them fully charged and come off a flight or gotten to the end of the day with the battery dead.

I’ve been using LG Tone bluetooth canal style headphones for years to do light construction and other similar noisy tasks (no lawn - hurray) and answer rare phone calls. My son uses them now too, and he works in heavy construction. They have the advantage of being light, not pinching my head, or hurting the top of it. The cord is so fine that I could put muffs over them if I need too.

Do the headphones block out the noise you need to hear in order to be safe - either working or playing?

With the Tone canal phones, you can hear people talking or cars on the street if nothing is playing. Podcasts are usually quiet enough so you can hear the necessary sounds to be safe. Loud music usually makes it hard to hear regular outside sounds so I limit that to “safe” situations.

Yep. The Plantronics I mentioned have the dual mics on all the time if noise cancelling is on. I find that monotonous sounds vanish, sudden sounds like someone yelling at me or even talking if nearby get through. Diminished a bit but I
hear them.

Not so much about the article, but rather a link in the article. Has anyone decoded the mysterious Amazon pricing matrix?

Josh says these headphones are about USD45. Clicking the link shows USD55. I see this in other places like the WireCutter too…never match the price quoted in Articles.

Am I some sort of Amazon (prime) noob, or do Amazon play with pricing according some heuristics?



Amazon prices change dynamically all the time. I periodically save items into my cart as I’m deciding on something. Come back a day later and it’s up $.03 or maybe $10 or maybe down $.58. You never know.

Plus you have them pricing according to the type of account you have and your typical purchases.

It is all based on maximizing their profits.

Yeah, in this case, I see the price change too and have updated the article accordingly. With Amazon pricing in articles, we just try to get a ballpark because of the constant changes.

As others have said, Amazon pricing is dynamic. I recommend CamelCamelCamel for tracking Amazon prices. https://camelcamelcamel.com/3M-WorkTunes-Protector-Bluetooth-Technology/product/B0723CYHPZ?context=search

I bought the 3M Worktunes headphones last fall and used them while blowing leaves. I still have an iPod and it worked perfectly with my nano.

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Seems like a nice idea, but I can only imagine how sweaty those things would be by the time I finished mowing the lawn.

You can get inexpensive noise cancelling headphones for a few bucks less than these. Why not go that direction vs these more limited ones?

Disclaimer: slighty off-topic:
Instead of noise-cancelling headphones, lawn owners should consider less noisy options in the first place. Leaf blowers, for instance, are not just a freaking nuisance, they are completely unnecessary in most cases. A wide broom removes your leaves equally well from your sidewalk or street. Similarly, if your lawn is not humongous, you may want to consider a mechanical (and thus essentially quiet) lawn mower. Both have the nice side effect that they give some exercise too – and on top have a smaller environmental footprint:)

Can devices like Bose noise-canceling earbuds significantly reduce the decibels presented to one’s eardrums? Of course I realize the user can turn up the volume of the audio output of the earbuds, and this could defeat the purpose of canceling external noise. But assuming one listens to the programmed sound at a low decibel level…??

Yes, no, maybe.

Depends. Any sound reaching your outer ear will transmit some sound into your hearing system. As someone who flies a LOT I gave up on ear bud type things and got over the ear headphones. Huge difference. As I mentioned up thread the noise
cancelling on my Plantronics made it even better.

More to your point, for me to understand movies on the plane, (seat back, iPhone, or iPad), I typically had to crank the volume up so much to cover outside noise with earbuds that it worried me about what it was doing to my hearing.

Not sure how you define humongous, but on my 1/3 acre lawn with about a 1500sf house plus driveway a reel type push mower would be a lot more than a decent workout. Add in my 20+ rise from front to back and that I’m 65, and no way.

But I do use a gas-powered push power that is self-propelled.[1] I use that as my excuse to not join a gym like my doc keeps telling me to do. Plus the 2 to 4 cans of yard waste, leaves, and acorns I get to rake, sweep, shovel up every
fall into spring helps when not mowing.

Anyway, my over the ear units make this great for me and my mower is nowhere near as loud as my neighbors leaf blowers.

[1] And if you think “self-propelled” makes it easy, stop by this summer and I’ll let you get a workout going up the hill while dodging trees and such.

Currently they are $59.97 with free shipping on amazon USA. On Amazon UK they are £81.79 + £8 delivery within the UK = $117.10. That’s pretty much double the price! To get them to Ireland, add another few spondulicks…

Do you have any recommendations?

I actually own a reel lawnmower and used one the first year I lived at this house. It worked well enough, but it was easily jammed by twigs, so mowing took twice as long as it does with my gas mower, and the results were messy because if I had weeds that grew too high (like wild onions, which grow much faster than grass), they wouldn’t get cut at all. After a year of using a reel mower, a scythe, and a grass hook, I bought a self-propelled zero-turn pushmower and a high-quality string trimmer. I also got a leaf blower, but I’d just as soon use a broom most of the time.

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