A good way to choose the best ear protection for Monster Jam is to consider the safety rules construction workers follow. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), workers must wear hearing protection when exposed to certain decibel levels for a set number of hours. In this guide, we share tips on how to select the best hearing protection for Monster Jam according to safety rules and Monster Jam recommendations. Along with the tips, we also share the top 5 hearing protection devices to consider before your next big trip to Monster Jam.
Before we check out an overview of the earmuffs, earplugs, and noise-canceling headsets, let’s first consider the monster truck decibel level.
How loud are monster trucks?
According to several news outlets, The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health conducted a study in Cincinnati in 1998 to record the decibel levels at a monster truck show. The results were no joke.
If one thing is for sure, hearing protection is required for everyone in attendance at a monster truck show, especially for children and young adults who may get scared of the loudest truck sounds.
According to OSHA Standard 1910.95 for Occupational Noise Exposure, workers must wear hearing protection when exposed to a time-weighted average sound level (TWA) of 85dB or higher for 8 hours or more.
|#1) Decibel Defense Professional Safety Ear Muffs|
|#2) 3M Peltor Optime 105 Over-the-Head Earmuffs|
|#3) 3M Peltor ProTac III Headset|
|#4) Howard Leight by Honeywell Laser Lite Earplugs|
|#5) 3M Peltor Electronic Earplug|
Best Earmuffs for Monster Jam Reviews
Let’s get started with reviews of our top earmuff picks to give you a clear understanding of why these are the best earmuffs for a monster truck show.
#1) Decibel Defense Professional Safety Ear Muffs
Decibel Defense earmuffs provide powerful hearing protection at an affordable price. According to Decibel Defense, its muffs boast the highest NRR of all earmuffs with an impressive 37dB NRR. NRR stands for Noise Reduction Rating to give you an idea of how many decibels the earmuffs can reduce incoming noise by. For example, if the max decibel level at a monster truck show is 125dB, theoretically, the Decibel Defense earmuffs have the ability to reduce 125db to 88dB (125 – 37 = 88).
The keyword here is “theoretically” because there are other factors in play that determine actual noise reduction for each user. For this reason, OSHA requires additional instruments and/or a reduction factor when using NRR to determine actual sound attenuation. However, considering we’re choosing earmuffs for Monser Jam and not a construction site, the Decibel Defense earmuffs are more than good enough to get the job done.
Other highlights of these muffs outside of the high NRR are the level of comfort. Adults and kids will have no trouble wearing these without discomfort for the duration of the show with the heavily padded headband. Also, Decibel Defense offers an extra-large size for people with large heads. All in all, these are excellent value for the money and an easy top choice for a monster truck show.
- Comfortable for both adults and children
- Multiple colors to choose from for guys and girls
- They fold up nicely
- Highest NRR earmuffs available for the price
- Recommended by Monster Jam fans for use at the show
- Even toddlers can wear them
- Good customer service marks
- Not as reliable as the 3M Peltor brand
- Some people may prefer Peltor for comfort
- No ambient listening function
#2) 3M Peltor Optime 105 Over-the-Head Earmuffs
The best earmuff brand is certainly Peltor by 3M, hence why we included two versions of Peltor muffs in our guide. For about the same price – at the time of this writing – you may want to choose the Peltor Optime 105 over the Decibel Defense brand. While children may prefer the cool colors offered by Decibel Defense, adults may want to stick with the more reliable Peltor brand for the same price.
The double-shell technology in these earmuffs delivers a trustworthy 30db NRR, and 3M recommends them for use in areas with up to 105dB noise exposure. Considering the average dB rating at a monster truck show is 90-100dB, the Optime 105 muffs are built for use at Monster Jam. Additionally, the stainless steel headband in the Optime 105 is both bend and warp-resistant for a longer life than the Decibel Defense muffs.
If you plan to use your earmuffs for lawn mowing or during other loud activities, these are the better choice. The two advantages of the Decibel Defense muffs over the Optime 105 are the higher NRR and additional padding in the headband, though, we trust the 3M Peltor stated NRR before Decibel Defense. In reality, both of these muffs provide about the same level of hearing protection.
- 3M Peltor is the most reliable and best earmuff brand
- A powerful 30db NRR
- You’re more likely to get an effective noise-blocking seal with Peltor
- Approved by previous Monster Jam attendees
- Very comfortable to wear for long hours
- Great for the whole family to wear
- Comfortable for younger children ~5-yr-olds
- No cool colors to choose from for kids
- Less padding in the headband than Decibel Defense
- People with large heads may want to opt for the Decibel Defense extra-large size
#3) 3M Peltor ProTac III Headset
The final headset we like for Monster Jam is the ProTac III model. You may be wondering what makes this set of earmuffs different from the Optime 105 model other than the higher price and lower NRR? Well, the key difference here is the ambient listening capability, and the ProTac III headset runs on battery power. The reason we chose this model for Monster Jam is that it’s a good choice for parents who still want to be able to hear their kids or friends without removing the earmuffs.
Additionally, these muffs are a good choice for people who still want to hear some of the truck sounds while protecting their hearing. The beauty of these earmuffs is that they automatically muffle sounds above 82dB with an integrated electronic circuit. Basically, you hear all the sounds you want to hear without having to worry about the loud sounds damaging your ears.
A couple of final highlights are the 3.5mm stereo input to connect your phone or other external devices, the auto power-off function after 4 hours, the long 100-hour battery life, high 26dB NRR, and the voice-guided menu system with a low-battery warning. Overall, this headset is best for adults who want to be able to hear their friends and children while still safely enjoying the sounds of the show.
- The ability to hear your friends and family talk without removing the headset
- Automatic noise muffling for sounds above 82dB
- 3.5mm input
- Long 100-hour battery life per set of AA batteries
- Easy to tune
- Crystal-clear incoming sounds
- There’s a slim version available (Click Here #ad to check it out at Amazon)
- Higher cost than the Optime 105 model
- No Bluetooth connectivity
- The battery is not rechargeable
Best Earplugs for Monster Jam
Now, let’s check out some good earplugs for a monster truck show. Of the types of earplugs available, we like foam plugs the most for Monster Jam because they’re easy for the whole family to use. Compared to using silicone plugs, you’ll have an easier time inserting them into your kids’ ears and reinserting them in case they need to take them out.
#4) Howard Leight by Honeywell Laser Lite Earplugs
Our favorite earplugs overall are Honeywell Laser Lite plugs. The advantages of Laser Lite plugs are they come individually packaged in easy-open bags, they’re incredibly soft, easy to insert, cheap, and they do an excellent job of reducing noise. Currently, there are 25 and 200-packs available of the cordless plugs and a 100-pack of corded plugs. For monster truck shows, the cordless version is the better choice unless you have a preference for the corded plugs.
The plugs themselves sport a 32db NRR, which is comparable to the sound protection provided by the 3M Optime 105 earmuffs and right on par with Decibel Defense. One thing you’ll notice when you use these plugs is they rebound slowly, which makes them easier to insert into your child’s ears and your own ears. Plus, the super-soft foam is good for all ear canal sizes. We’ve never experienced any discomfort due to pressure from these plugs.
The contoured shape of the plugs makes it easier to insert and remove them. The bright colors are easy to see to ensure everyone in your family is properly wearing their plugs. Lastly, the closed-cell foam skin is soil-resistant to prevent dirt buildup when using them multiple times.
- One of the highest NRR earplugs at 32dB
- Comfortable for children and adults
- Very reasonably priced
- Each set of earplugs is individually sealed, making them easy to tuck away in your bag or pocket
- Slow rebound speed makes them easy to insert and remove
- Bright colors are easy to see
- They stay in place well
- The pink color might bleed a bit
- You might prefer silicone plugs
#5) 3M Peltor Electronic Earplug
Another type of earplug for Monster Jam that adults may want to consider is the Peltor EEP-100 model. This earplug is essentially the Peltor ProTac III Headset in the form of an earplug, however, it does cost a good bit more. Similar to the ProTrac III, the Peltor electronic earplug allows ambient sounds to enter the ear while muffling loud monster truck sounds higher than 82dB.
When you wear these plugs, you get ear protection on autopilot when the sounds are loud and the ability to hear ambient sounds 82dB or lower without interruption. One of the obvious drawbacks to standard earplugs is that they muffle all incoming sounds, which makes it hard to talk with your friends and family during the show. With these electronic earplugs, you don’t have to worry about that problem.
Another cool feature is the ability to switch up tips for different levels of hearing protection. Choose between the UltraFit™ Communication Tip (23dB), Triple C Communication Tip (27dB), and Skull Screw Communication Tip (30dB). Lastly, the base package includes a nice carrying case, and the built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery provides up to 16 hours per charge.
- The best choice for adults who want to be able to hear ambient noise e.g. voices without removing their earplugs or earmuffs
- Three tips to choose from with up to 30dB NRR
- The charging case is pretty awesome
- Long 16-hour battery life per charge
- Compatible with Walker’s memory foam tips for additional comfort when worn for long hours
- Good value for the money compared to more expensive electronic earplugs
- The most costly option in our guide
- The included tips may not be as comfortable as Laser Lite earplugs
If you’re not a fan of foam earplugs and prefer silicone instead, we like Mack’s earplugs a lot. They’re super affordable and work quite well. The only drawback is that you’ll probably have more trouble keeping them in your children’s ears than the foam plugs, and they’re better for adult-size ears overall.
Mack’s Pillow Soft Silicone Putty Earplugs
When shopping for the best ear protection for Monster Jam, earmuffs and earplugs are your best choices. The options we provided in this guide are good for the whole family, and we’re sure you’ve already decided which type of protection is best for you and your family since you made it this far.
Be sure to consider electronic earmuffs and earplugs with ambient listening if you want to avoid having to remove your hearing protection to speak with your group. The convenience of not having to fiddle around with the muffs or plugs during the show might be worth the extra coin for you. Have a blast!