Whenever I have to break out the tractor and do some heavy yard work, I always wear noise-canceling headphones. I’ve become more aware of the need to care for my hearing as I’ve aged. As a benefit, I can listen to music or podcasts while I’m working.
But noise-canceling headphones come in a wide range of options, features, and price. You may not want to put $400 into headphones you are going to be working outside with. There’s always a chance that they could get broken.
And so, when I went on the search, I wanted something relatively inexpensive but still effective at blocking out tractor engine noise.
Best Inexpensive Noise Canceling Headphones For Tractor Work: For the price, the TaoTronics Active Noise Canceling Headphones are the best option for reducing tractor engine noise. They connect to your phone wirelessly by Bluetooth, provide solid noise-canceling, and have super-fast charging ability.
Let’s have a look at why these are the headphones to beat when it comes to tractor work.
Wireless Noise-Canceling For Safety When Working On Your Tractor
The idea of having a cord hanging from my head while I’m running a tractor is unsettling. We all know how quickly things can happen when you are working. I prefer to have my phone tucked away in a pocket and no wires connected.
There are some excellent wired noise-canceling headphones on the market but given the potential dangers when working on a tractor, I choose to stick with wireless options.
The TaoTronics Active Noise Canceling Headphones connect wirelessly to your phone using Bluetooth!
After you set up the connection the first time, it’s really an effortless process. Each time I turn on the headphones a female voice says, “Power on – Your phone is connected” and from there I can get right to work.
I like not having to manually connect the headphones to my phone each time I want to use them. Honestly, if that was the case, I wouldn’t bother.
Effective At Blocking Out Tractor Engine Noise
You have to be realistic in your expectations when it comes to using noise canceling headphones for tractor work. They don’t completely eliminate the sound of the engine but they significantly reduce it.
There are headphones with better noise-canceling ability. For example, the Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones are considered the de-facto top-of-the-line wireless option.
But they are quite a bit more pricey. I consider them more of a luxury item for someone who is a frequent flyer and wants nothing but the best.
In fairness, though, they are going to be more effective at blocking out tractor engine noise. Bose is known for their noise canceling technology so you are getting the best when you buy from them.
From personal experience, I can tell you that I use the TaoTronics headphones whenever I do tractor work, mowing the lawn, or working with my Stihl KombiSystem on trimming, brush cutting, or cultivating. I’m able to listen to music or an audio podcast just fine. And they are about 1/5 the cost of Bose.
Still, you do have options.
Do Noise Canceling Headphones Protect Your Hearing During Tractor Work?
I first considered plain old hearing protection but I wanted to be able to listen to music. I did a little studying on this and actually learned that these type of headphones are one of the best solutions for protecting your hearing.
Consumer Reports actually lists noise-canceling headphones in one of their top five ways to prevent hearing loss (source).
I think it is also common sense that canceling out the noise is better than just stuffing plugs in your ear to block out the sound.
It’s actually kind of interesting how this all works. Instead of just blocking out noise with padding, noise-canceling headphones actually take the low-level noises that are coming in and electronically reverse the phasing of the sound (source).
It’s kinda crazy to think about but it really works. It’s a brow-raising experience when you first use them.
What Do The Buttons On The Headphones Do?
When you first see the buttons on the headphones, you may be a little overwhelmed but they are actually pretty easy to understand. And the truth is, you will find that you never have to touch most of them.
Power – This is a slider that you use to turn the power on and off.
Volume Up & Volume Down – You can control the volume to some extent with these but I prefer to turn them all the way up and control the volume with my cellphone’s volume control.
Noise-Canceling – This allows you the option of using the headphones in either passive or active noise-canceling mode. Passive simply means not using the noise-canceling, just muffling the sound around you with the earmuffs.
This is fine for sitting in the house listening to music but when you are working with loud engines you will want to turn this to active.
You Can Even Take Phone Calls!
One more point to these that may or may not be a deal-breaker for you is that the headphones actually include a mic and allow you to conduct phone calls while wearing them. Now, you shouldn’t expect to be able to do this while on a running tractor but it’s still a nice feature. You can turn off the tractor, press a button on the headphones, and take a call without having to fumble for your phone. Kind of a nice extra handy feature to have.
What I Wish Was Better
The one thing that I’m not in love with is the vinyl ear covering that presses around your ears. I understand why it’s necessary. It is a key part of how the soft foam that creates a tight fit around your ears is protected. What I don’t like is that sometimes I notice that I sweat around them.
I’m not sure how this could be improved. If it was just soft foam then you would need to worry about dirt getting all in the foam. They are easy to clean with the vinyl covering so it’s a good thing. And truth be told, I think all headphones that I’ve used have the vinyl covering so there may not be any other options.
Beyond this, I’ve been really pleased with them. I do have a pair of Sony noise-canceling headphones too and though they are a little better at blocking out noise, they are not wireless.
My wife uses them for flights but I never touch them. Not having to worry about a wire getting tangled or caught while I’m working with yard tools is just more important to me.
My son mows my mother-in-law’s yard and he uses the Taotronics wireless headphones to listen to his tunes while cutting grass.
With over a year of heavy use, I’m very satisfied with the TaoTronics Active Noise Canceling Headphones when it comes to tractor work or any loud engine noises. You can certainly spend more and probably get some additional features but these have been more than sufficient.
You can click here to check the latest pricing on Amazon for these headphones.
Whatever route you choose, I encourage you to use some type of hearing protection when working with powered yard tools. Safety first!