Not all wireless noise-isolating earphones are created equal, and the Wood Whisperer's review from earlier this year does an excellent job of exploring how the ISOtunes Pro stacks up against three other big competitors. Four popular bluetooth earbuds - ISOtunes Pro, Shure SE215, Soundpeats Q30, and Jaybird X3 - were graded on fit and comfort, noise reduction, sound quality, and other miscellaneous factors.
The Wood Whisperer immediately points out that, for any earphones, it's always important to roll down your foam ear tips before you insert them. This is the same thing you would do with foam ear plugs. The Whisperer's demo of how to compress the ear tips and hold them in place in the ear canal while they expand is very helpful. Foam tips almost always provide the most protection from outside noise, but they only work right if they're inserted correctly. This is true of all in-ear earphones and earbuds. Kudos for teaching people this, Whisperer!
Now to the ratings. In terms of fit and comfort, the ISOtunes Pro had a fair performance; the foam tips fit well, but the bendable wires that help keep the earphones in place perplexed the reviewer a bit. In the audio quality category, the reviewer was looking for good sound quality with a present but balanced bass; here, ISOtunes Pro took an unimpressive 3rd place. Still, in a competition against audio industry giants like Shure, that isn't half bad.
When it came to blocking ambient sound, the reviewer gave ISOtunes Pro a 3rd-place spot again. However, the Wood Whisperer also purchased some additional third-party Comply foam eartips (which are outstanding, by the way) to improve the fit and sound isolation of some of the other earphones before assigning the ratings. If we're going to be sticklers here, the ISOtunes Pro deserves credit for already coming with high-quality foam ear tips right out of the box.
But regardless, ISOtunes Pro is the only OSHA-compliant earphone in the lineup.
This is important: just because earphones are described as "sound isolating," that doesn't mean they can actually protect your hearing. Only earphones/ear tips with an official NRR (Noise Reduction Rating) can be safely relied on to protect your ears from dangerously loud noise. (With European products, also look for an SNR.) This explains why the other noise-isolating earphones on the list aren't approved for OSHA work environments. So for workers in high-noise environments, ISOtunes Pro is the clear winner.
Watch the wireless earphone review and decide for yourself!
Note: We are not affiliated with the Wood Whisperer, we just really liked this helpful review and wanted to share it with you.
Until next time, be safe and do the right thing.
Tom Bergman, Vice President
Ear Plug Superstore