A couple of weeks ago, in my post about mowing a giant life sized maze into my lawn for my kids, I showed you a picture of myself on the mower wearing some very fancy head gear.
I think I referred to that headset as “my new best friend”. I suppose that might be a little bit of an exaggeration.
But not much.
Do you think it’s strange that I love to mow my lawn? It doesn’t seem at all odd to me. But now that I’m here asking the question, I guess I have to admit that I don’t know anyone else that enjoys this chore the way that I do. And mowing the lawn seems to be one of those “manly” chores, right?
Well. Not here.
For a long time I’ve struggled to combine this enjoyable chore with another of my favorite pastimes. I’m completely addicted to audiobooks. Have been for years. I love to listen to long involved novels while I clean up around the house late at night, or while I work on projects – also late at night. . . It’s difficult though, to mow and listen at the same time. The mower is VERY loud. I used to wear a pair of noise canceling ear muffs meant for use with a chainsaw (at least, they are made by a chainsaw company) but they somehow pressed on the tops of my jaw bones and caused me excruciating pain after about 30 minutes. Also, it was nearly impossible to thread my earbuds inside of them so that I could listen to my books. Because my noise canceling muffs caused me pain, I have also used disposable foam earplugs, which are fairly effective at ear protection – but preclude using any kind of listening device.
Enter my new best friend!
The 3M tekk Digital Work Tunes makes it possible to listen to the radio OR use an MP3 player while doing super noisy chores – like mowing the lawn. And they protect your hearing as well.
3M tekk was one of the fantastic sponsors at the Haven Conference that I attended in June. They had a great booth and were giving away some very snazzy safety glasses. . . They were not giving away the Digital Work Tunes. . .
(i almost begged)
They only had one pair of the Work Tunes in the booth and as soon as I tried them on I could tell that they were SO much more comfortable than my other pair. I could see that they had a radio in them but when I realized that I could use my iPod? I really, really , wanted a pair!!
Now, aside from the Work Tunes being fun to wear they are also very useful for ear protection.
Many homeowners don’t know that a number of common DIY tools, such as lawn mowers and power tools, emit high decibels – and proper hearing protection is recommended for continual exposure to anything over 85 decibels. And, further, many people don’t know that hearing loss is cumulative, meaning it doesn’t happen right away, but over a long period of time. I’ve included below an infographic, showcasing common DIY tools that require proper hearing protection.
When I was about 4 years old I remember being in a doctor’s office with my mother (and a doctor, of course) and I remember the doctor asking me a bunch of questions. When he asked me if I ever had ringing in my ears, I had to ask my mother what that meant. As soon as she explained it to me, I was able to report that, yes, I did have ringing in my ears. How often? Always. All the time. Constantly.
I had the ringing in my ears then and I still have it now. Constantly.
I’ve told you before that there was a lot of DIY in my house when I was little. I’m pretty sure that some of my constant ear ringing can be attributed to the noise of power tools being used inside the house. I was not at all surprised when I saw the circular saw on the top of the list for LOUDNESS!! I can clearly remember wincing and flinching as a circular saw was fired up. Ugh. It’s an awful noise.
The rep from the 3M tekk booth at the Haven conference contacted me a couple of months ago and offered to send me a pair of the Work Tunes to review. I JUMPED at the chance!! And I’m so glad I did. I can honestly suggest them as a great DIY tool. I’d have to say though, that I can’t see myself wearing them when I’m out in the wood shop (unless I’m using the circular saw!). The noise cancellation is so effective that someone could sneak up on you – and my shop is out across the yard – and near the road. I do find them PERFECT for mowing though. I’ve been using them now for most of the summer and I’m still happy with them. I did find them to be just a little bit too tight on my head and it says right in the paperwork that you SHOULD NOT make them any looser because it decreases the noise cancellation. I did have to make them just a tiny bit looser and I do not have a big head. I think my minor adjustment did decrease the effectiveness just a little but I’m still able to listen to music or a book at a completely reasonable sound level. The Work Tunes also prevent you from turning up your music to a level that would be dangerous to your hearing.
What are your favorite shop safety tools? I’ll bet some of you protect your eyes. Do you protect your ears?
tell me about it.