Best headphones for hearing protection

We need to start this post by clearly stating that if you work in the kind of job that requires you to be able to hear the ambient noise around you clearly, like one around heavy machinery, trucks, moving parts etc then this post might not be for you and we advise that you follow full health and safety precautions. Let’s define what we do mean by noisy work environment…

Best earphones for Factories, Production, Manufacturing, Mining environments, Contruction sites

You might work on something like a site in Alberta or the Northern Territories, or in Toronto manufacturing work space where you are surrounded by loud noise that either distracts you, puts you at risk of hearing damage or just needs to be turned down a little for any other reason. IEM earphones provide a benefit in that the cables can travel down the back, inside your clothing making it hard for them to snag or catch on things as you work.

  • If you choose to use the flexible rubber ear tips you will be able to still hear a degree of noise around you.
  • If you use the ear foam tips you will also find that even when the music is not playing you will still notice a significant reduction in noise. They act similar to normal disposable ear foams for use on site to reduce noise.

They are also durable and should you accidentally put a nail through them you can replace the cables without having to replace the whole earphones. Here is our pick in price order for earphones that suit noisy work-sites.

  • Shure SE215
  • Westone W10
  • Westone UM Pro 30
  • Shure SE535Ltd

Best earphones Noisy Office Environment

There is nothing harder than working in an open office space where half the office talks all day and the other half talks on the phone all day. Especially when you are being asked to work on complicated or creative work. Thankfully there are earphones perfect for you. Earphones that shut out the noise, sink you into sweet sounding music (or audio books), and feel comfortable to wear all day.

We list these in price order and they start at $55 which is a great starting investment. Buying affordable earphones doesn’t have to mean they sound like cheap earphones.

Here is our pick of the best earphones for noisy office environments.

  • Shure SE112
  • Westone W30
  • Shure SE315
  • Westone W60

Best earphones for portable offices and travellers

Yes, we think that this is worth a mention. There are road-warriors every where working on trains, planes and in offices all around the country from Vancouver to Toronto and beyond. The benefit with earbud type earphones is that you can leave them in when taking off and landing on all US flights and Canada flights. We used to take our Bose QC15 on every trip but to be honest, we’re now happier with some of the list below for travel on planes and they really do block out the noise. The problem with active noise-cancelling headphones is that they mess with the sound signature a lot more than passive noise-isolation. If you do work in planes and trains a lot then there are some important criteria you want to cover with earphones:

  1. Comfort
  2. Noise Isolation
  3. Portability

So if you are on the road and need some decent headphones to help get some work done while the world spins around you then here our top picks for you:

  • Shure SE215
  • Westone UM Pro 30
  • Westone W60
  • Sennheiser IE800
  • Shure SE846

The Sennheiser IE 800 and Shure SE846 are top of the line earphones for people who have a bit of money, care about their music and want the best of the best. The benefit of the Sennheiser is that they are true earbud types, rather than an over-the-ear design which the other models are. The Sennheiser IE800 and W60 come with a cable that includes a mic and 3 button controls. This makes them good for making calls as you travel also. So if you need to be making and taking phone calls a lot as you travel and need to have free hands then those models will suit you best (and they sound incredible). The Shure SE846 does have a separate cable that can be purchased for making calls (The Shure SE535Ltd come with that cable in the box so check those out also).

We’re here to help if you have questions on any of the models above – we chose each for a reason. There are some small differences with each model such as the type of carry case they comes with e.g. the Westone range have a hard case which might suit rough and tough work sites, where as the Sennheiser IE800 has a nice leather folding case that would look at home in any Airline Lounge.

So there you have it – all the earphones we think will make your work environment a little more enjoyable. Who says your office has to be boring?

If you have questions or comments add them below because we love hearing from other people about what they use in their offices.

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