BEST HEADPHONES FOR MOWING (RADIO & NOISE-CANCELLING)
The best headphones for mowing the lawn can be chosen in two ways. You can use noise-canceling headphones or electronic earmuffs. Active noise-canceling headphones typically come with all the bells and whistles, including Bluetooth and voice control. A pair of earmuffs, on the other hand, is more affordable and offers passive noise cancellation with a listed NRR.
The higher the NRR, the stronger the hearing protection. We share the top active noise-canceling (ANC) headphones and electronic earmuffs for mowing in this guide. Even when mowing acres of lawn, all of the options in our guide provide adequate ear protection to prevent damage to your ears.
Our overview of the headphones follows before we jump to the individual reviews of each model where you’ll find all the details you need to make the most informed decision.
Best Headphones for Mowing Reviews
Now that you’ve seen what’s available and what the key specs are, let’s take a closer look at each of the models in our Top 5 review section below. You’ll find each model’s highlights and pros and cons in each review.
As far as active noise-canceling headphones are concerned, Bose was the clear leader before Sony announced the WH1000XM3. Sony WH1000XM3 headphones are now offering a better value for money with noise-canceling technology that’s comparable to Bose and to some people’s ears even better.
WH1000XM3 headphones are able to cancel noise without the use of noise-canceling technology, so you won’t have to worry about running out of battery life as frequently as comparable Bose headphones about the headphones dying on ya while you’re mowing the lawn, even if the battery isn’t full when you start. Another reason we like Sony more than Bose is its sound quality. Sony headphones sound better out of the box than Bose, and with the Sony companion app, you can customize the sound levels and ambient sound settings.
Additionally, Sony’s latest WH1000XM3 model comes with Alexa built-in for a completely hands-free experience. In terms of comfort, Sony shines, however, you may find that Bose QuietComfort 35 II are the most comfortable headphones on the market. Last but not least are the slim carrying case, crystal-clear voice calls, and a quick-charge battery that provides five hours of playback from just 10 minutes of charging.
- Howard Leight’s and 3M’s WorkTunes headphones weigh about half as much
- The best active noise-canceling headphones available
- When you mow, you have the best chance of hearing your music clearly without interference
- Suitable for mowers with loud diesel engines
- Noise reduction of mower engines with more than 30 horsepower
- The battery life is impressively long and the charger is quick-charging
- The mower will likely barely be audible, if at all
- When worn for a long period of time, it is very comfortable
- As with all over-the-ear headphones, they can make you sweat when it’s hot
- Pricey compared to Howard Leight and 3M headphones
- You might prefer the fit of Bose QuietComfort
Perhaps you’re wondering why we didn’t include the latest Bose 700 headphones? Well, the QC 35 II model is more affordable and better than the QC 35. Most people that have tried both models agree that Bose missed with its 700 model and hit a homerun with its QuietComfort 35 II model. Compared to the QC35, there aren’t any noticeable differences in noise-canceling tech between the 700 and QC35 models, except the 700 has more ANC levels to choose from.
QC35 headphones are less expensive than Sony WH1000XM3 at the time of writing, and the QC35 also comes with Alexa voice control. The main benefits of QC35 headphones are the amazing level of comfort, the white-noise-free noise-canceling experience, and the intuitive controls that are easier to operate for less tech-savvy people.
Furthermore, while the battery life isn’t quite as impressive as Sony’s, it will mow almost any lawn for up to twenty hours on a single charge. Bose also offers a phone app similar to what Sony offers, which lets you customize your listening experience, monitor your headphones, and update the firmware when necessary.
- Bose ANC headphones deliver crystal-clear voice calls
- You may find that Bose’s noise-canceling technology is better for you than Sony’s
- Highly recommended for lawn mowing
- Noise-canceling headphones from Bose are no match for engine noise
- Extremely comfortable headband and earcups
- Great for all loud yard work including blowing and weed whacking
- You don’t need to blast your music to drown out the mower
- On hot days, leather can become warm
- You might like the Sony app more than Bose Connect
- Sony’s music sound quality may be better than Bose’s
The price of electronic earmuffs drops dramatically once you enter the market. As a result, you won’t feel as bad about destroying a pair of electronic earmuffs as you would an expensive pair of ANC headphones. However, there is the other train of thought that says if you’re going to buy something, why not go all-in?
Of Among the electronic earmuffs currently available, we recommend the WorkTunes Connect Bluetooth version as the best headphones for mowing. You get the most bang for your buck with these headphones since they are powered by a rechargeable lithium-Ion battery rather than AA batteries.
In addition to Bluetooth, this set of muffs has another clear advantage over the two others. With this model, you can wirelessly connect your phone to listen to music, the radio, Spotify, audible books, or anything else you like. You can also take calls on these using Bluetooth, which isn’t possible with Honeywell muffs or AM/FM WorkTunes models.
Finally, it’s important to remember that this type of hearing protection does not provide active noise-canceling. These muffs are designed to reduce noise through passive noise cancellation. The WorkTunes and Honeywell muffs are also heavier than Sony and Bose ANC headphones.
- Affordably priced compared to Sony and Bose ANC headphones
- WorkTunes earmuffs with Bluetooth from 3M
- Most lawnmowers can be protected by an NRR of 24
- Compared to 3M Peltor muffs, these are low-profile
- Instead of AA batteries, use a rechargeable battery
- You don’t have to worry about cables or antennas
- Bluetooth connections that are reliable and voice calls that are clear
- Battery life is excellent
- AM/FM radio fans would be better off choosing another pair of muffs
- There’s no comparison to Sony or Bose when it comes to music quality
- The earcups do not have volume controls
We prefer the Howard Leight Sync radio earmuff for mowing the lawn to the 3M WorkTunes AM/FM headset if you’re looking for a reliable old-school radio earmuff. Howard Leight’s model weighs a few ounces less, and its profile is a little lower, and it still delivers slightly better noise reduction at 25dB NRR.
Howard Leight’s model has another advantage: battery life. This is a whole lot more than the 140 hours of use offered by 3M’s AM/FM WorkTunes muffs. Let’s look at the controls now. Instead of having to rely on your phone to control the volume, you may prefer to use the controls on the earcups.
You can set up to 10 preset radio stations with the Howard Leight cups, which have an LCD display for quickly finding your favorite radio stations. Also, the Sync headset can be connected to any device that has an AUX input jack included cable. Plus, there’s the convenience of a volume control knob on the earcup. In conclusion, these are a bit old school compared to the latest technology, however, they do offer a unique set of benefits.
- WorkTunes AM/FM headset has a longer battery life per set of AA batteries
- An excellent choice for people who enjoy listening to audiobooks while mowing the lawn
- Fits all head sizes, including large heads
- You can clearly hear your music and podcasts when the volume is raised
- They do an excellent job of reducing engine noise
- Great hearing protection for mowing, weed whacking, and when using power tools
- The radio holds stations well with no static on the AM stations
- The sound quality of the music is not the best (you may wish there was more bass)
- Not as comfortable as Sony or Bose ANC headphones
- The max volume might not be high enough for you
3M’s WorkTunes Connect headset has a non-Bluetooth version as well. The Howard Leight model above also has Bluetooth, but at the time of this writing, the 3M AM/FM headset is more affordable than Honeywell’s Sync. AM/FM WorkTunes earphones allow you to program up to 50 of your favorite AM/FM stations, as opposed to Honeywell’s 10 stations.
Another feature you might like is 3M Audio Assist Technology that uses voice prompts to walk you through the setup process, program your stations, and alert you A low battery will cause the computer to shut down. One feature we really like is the controls. Compared to the Howard Leight earmuff, the 3M headset has a more user-friendly volume knob and a designated tuning dial.
The battery life of this headset is its biggest drawback. Buying bulk batteries or a set of rechargeable AA batteries is a good idea if you decide to go with this model since each set of batteries only provides up to 20 hours of power.
- With extra padding in the headband, this headset may be more comfortable than Honeywell’s
- Mowing on a tractor with adequate ear protection
- Good for use at a shooting range, weed whacking, and in a woodshop
- Well-built with durable materials
- Long-lasting comfort when worn
- Confirmation by voice that you are on the right station
- The tuner functions smoothly and accurately
- On hot days, there is no ventilation
- Replacement foam muffs are hard to find
- Reception in more rural areas can get finicky
By now, you have a clear understanding of what makes the best headphones for mowing, as well as the top models currently available. What made Bose and Sony our top picks among ANC headphones for mowing the lawn? In this article, we omitted budget noise-canceling headphone brands such as Cowin, Taotronics, and others since they are simply not appropriate for mowing. The best choice for mowing the lawn with Sony or Bose ANC headphones is astronomically better than what a budget ANC headphone offers.
Despite being good in lower-decibel environments, budget brands won’t protect your ears as well as premium brands or minimize engine noise. 3M and Howard Leight by Honeywell are the gold standards for electronic earmuffs, and they’re a lot more affordable than Sony and Bose headphones. You may find that electronic earmuffs offer more value depending on how much you value the sound quality of your music.