Best Headphones for Mowing the Lawn

SoundGearLab-Team | Last Updated On November 25th, 2021 | This post may contain affiliate links.

So, how do you pick out the best headphones for mowing the lawn? I’ve dug high and low and rooted out what I am convinced are the best models out there on the market. Your yard work routine will never be more entertaining!

I’ll admit it – I love mowing my lawn. There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing a fresh-cut yard, trimmed to perfection. It’s a lot like a clean shave with a new razor – baby smooth!

Unfortunately, I only get to do this one household chore I actually enjoy on the weekends, and if I’ve spent Saturday fishing or with the family, that means I have to mow during Sunday evening football. That’s okay – I throw on a good pair of headphones, tune into the game, and now I get to do two things I love at the same time!

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How to choose the right headphones for yard work

Yard work is a noisy business. If you don’t want to ruin your hearing early (or maybe you want to tune out the world), then a quality set of headphones is essential. Yet, with so many different makes and models out there, picking out the best set of headphones for you can be overwhelming.

How do you choose a pair of headphones that will cut out the hazardous noise while holding up to the wear and tear – and possibly keep you entertained as well? Below are a few key points to look for.

Comfort

If you have a big yard, or are big on working outdoors, you’re going to be at it for a while. It takes on average two hours to mow a ¼ acre plot, if done right. Since grass loves to grow during the hot months, you’ll also be dealing with bright sun and hot, humid weather.

If you’re going to be at yard work for long periods of time, you can’t ignore comfort. It’s important to have a pair of headphones that are cushioned and lightweight.

Do you wear a ball cap, a sunglasses or safety glasses (see headsets for glasses wearers here) while mowing? Look for headphones that offer openings in the headband and ones that adjust so your glasses aren’t smashed into the side of your skull.

If you can’t stand the heat on your head, you can consider earbuds. Earbuds also need to be lightweight, especially if they are the style that hooks over your ear. Those that double as ear plugs should be of a soft material fit for the size of the opening in your ear.

If the ear buds have a cord to go around your neck, you’ll want to check that the cord is also made of a comfortable material, and that there’s some way to keep it out of your way while you work. There’s nothing worse than a cord chafing on your already sweaty, sun-burned neck!

A gardner with a weed wacker.

Durability

When you’re out there working half the day, a cheap, flimsy pair of everyday headphones isn’t going to last you very long, not when you’re weed-eating and something goes flying at your head at the speed of a bullet!

Look for headphones specifically designed for working. When I find a pair of work headphones I like, I want them to last through whatever I put them through.

I wind up storing my headphones near my tools, which usually means they’re left in my unheated tool shed, exposed to varying temperatures and humidity levels. I’ve had cheap plastic ear pad coverings crack and split in less than one winter, and trust me when I say that is no fun to wear!

After owning a pair of headphones that had a radio antenna snap on me, I tend to avoid those and look for headphones with bluetooth or built-in antennas.

Personally, I avoid ear buds for work, but I also don’t mind my head getting a little warm with headphones. I also tend to destroy earbuds, which are a bit more fragile – mostly, I wind up snagging or ripping the cords in some bizarre way.

If you’re an earbuds person, look specifically at the design of the cords. Is it made of good, durable material that can withstand twisting, tangling, and accidental yanking? Is the cord reinforced at the earbud? Does it come with clips to keep the cord out of the way?

Silicone or braided fiber cords often perform best when it comes to durability. When looking at the earbud itself, I recommend styles that incorporate plastic and steel or aluminum.

Materials

The materials the headset or earbuds are made from go hand in hand with their durability and how reliable they are. Better brands use fiberglass, steel, or rigid plastics in their design. Braided cords help resist coiling and twisting.

The materials also determine how comfortable they are. I personally enjoy the cooling effects of gel earpads. If the headset you want doesn’t have gel pads (or some other type of padding you prefer), it’s possible with several brands to get replacements.

Cushioned headbands are a huge plus if you plan on wearing your headset for just about everything outdoors or work related. You might pay more for headsets whose headbands consist of fiberglass or metal, but they’ll last you far longer, and many conform to the unique shape of your head with enough use.

If you are wanting a headset that has an AM/FM radio in it, like I mentioned before, take a close look at the material encasing the antenna, if it has one. Ideally, look for a stiff, shorter antenna. Longer ones covered with corrugated plastic run the risk of snapping off long before the headset has hit the end of its lifespan.

As for earbuds, I advise not going too chincy on the material quality. Silicone earbuds sit snug in the ear and are less likely to slip out. Braided cords are less likely to snag and tear.

Honestly, I would recommend getting earbuds specifically made for working at noisy jobs. They offer sound protection and superior comfort materials, and a good pair comes with a hard case for safe storage.

Battery Life

It’s not likely you have a long enough cord to keep your headphones charged in while you mow. If you’re anything like me, and you frequently forget to put your headphones on the charger after mowing the lawn, a long battery life is essential!

Even if you don’t wear them for more than an hour at a time, look for a battery life around 7-8 hours at least. You can find several models that will last longer than that if you need it. In my personal experience, the ideal headphones only need to be charged perhaps once a week.

The good news is, as technology progresses, the battery life for wireless devices has greatly improved – including models that still use classic batteries. Some headsets out there will run 100+ hours on a couple of AA batteries!

Entertainment Features

What kind of entertainment features do you want to come with your headphones? I prefer listening to the ballgame on classic AM/FM radio, so that’s really all I need in a pair of headphones.

But, if you want more options, bluetooth is becoming more popular in modern ear protection. There are quite a few earbuds out there equipped with it, too.

Some models offer bluetooth connection to more than one device, switching easily from one to the other, so you can take phone calls if you need to. Personally, mowing the lawn is my zen time, but if you need that option in your life, it’s there!

While a lot of headphones and earbuds have a 3.5mm jack for plugging into the playlist on your phone or MP3 player, bluetooth does have the advantage of greater range and zero cords. The disadvantage is bluetooth headphones tend to eat up more battery life, whereas radio-only seems to last virtually forever on one set of AAs.

Style

Unless you’re planning on going on a hot date at a busy lumber mill, honestly, there’s not a whole lot of importance to style when it comes to work headphones. They tend to look a bit odd wearing them in public.

How you choose your headphone style really boils down to how visible you need or want to be. If you tend to work late into the evening, or use headphones for on-the-job, a bright color will help you stay safe (and make the headphones easier to find when you put them down for a break).

If you really want some style – say you don’t want to have to remove your head gear for a quick lunch break or beer run – you’ll have better luck with a sleek pair of earbuds. After all, simplicity is divine.

Microphone

Believe it or not, work headphones and earbuds are coming out with built-in microphones (compare gaming headsets and headphones and mic here). Yes, they are noise-cancelling, so whoever is listening to you speak will hear your melodious voice and not the roar of mower blades.

This means you and all of your buddies can listen to the game, AND talk about it at halftime, AND mow all your lawns at the same time! Thanks to bone conduction technology (a.k.a. witchcraft), the built-in mic picks up the vibrations rattling around inside your skull, and not the ones rattling you from outside.

One major advantage to a mic (which usually uses bluetooth to connect) is that if there is some kind of an emergency, you can take the call immediately – or call for help if the emergency is you!

Gardener with weedwacker cutting the grass

Noise Cancellation

Noise cancellation is the most important factor in headphones used for lawn mowing – or working any kind of noisy job, really. If you disagree, try thinking about how hard it’ll be to hear the score if you can’t hear.

OSHA sets some pretty strict standards when it comes to noise-cancelling head gear, so it’s a good bet that if the headphones are OSHA compliant, they’re certainly what you’re looking for. A proper set of noise-cancelling headphones or earbuds will help you focus on your job while enjoying whatever playlist, podcast, phone call, or ballgame you’re listening to.

Control Accessibility

Where your controls for volume, power, and media are on the headphones could make or break the deal for you. Consider how you’re going to use the headphones and what you prefer when it comes to placement.

For example, if you wear gloves most of the time, you might find on-ear controls that are small and placed close together difficult to manipulate. A single or larger push-button control might be a better option.

If you don’t mind a cord – say you like earbuds better – wheel controls on the cord will make it easy for you to quickly access the controls. This is a feature I feel is often overlooked until after the purchase is made, which is downright frustrating.

When it comes to earbuds, there are sometimes sensors on them instead of physical buttons. Make double sure to check what kind of controls it has and that they fit with your work style – it’ll make living with your headphones that much more enjoyable.

Stats AfterShokz Aeropex Gardtech  Bose QuietComfort 35 II  3M WorkTunes Connect Howard Leight by Honeywell  TOZO NC2  Elgin Ruckus Discord 
Type Earbuds Headphones Headphones Headphones Headphones Earbuds Earbuds
NRR N/A 29 dB N/A 24 dB 25d N/A 25 dB
Battery

Life (hours)

8 8+ 20 30+ 140 8-32 14
Power Source Magnetic Charging Cables Bluetooth, USB Bluetooth, USB port Charge Cable 2 AA batteries Bluetooth. Wireless charging/usb USB charging cable
Entertainment 

Features

Bluetooth Bluetooth, Radio FM Bluetooth, Bose App. Bluetooth, 3.5-mm jack FM/AM radio, 3.5-mm for mobile devices Bluetooth Bluetooth
Weight 

(grams)

26 N/A 235 439 428g 47 20
Power and Media Controls Multifunctional button on left earbud. Volume knob, LCD screen, and select buttons on left ear. Left ear button for Alexa activation. All other controls are on the Bose App of your device. Single button activation on the left ear muff. Four buttons on left ear muff for volume, power, and presets. Touch controls on earbuds. On-cord volume controls, etc.
Microphone yes yes yes yes no yes no
Price (1-5) $$$$ $$$ $$$$$ $$ $$$ $$ $$

Products Review

Lightweight headphones perfect for those looking for a sport-inspired style.The AfterShokz Aeropex are ideal for light yard work or going on a jog.

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With a simplistic, open-ear design, the AfterShokz Aeropex delivers premium audio while letting you remain aware of your surroundings. These are suitable for light yard work, jogging, or even reading a book.

Connecting to your devices via bluetooth, these headphones keep your hands free to do what you need to do. The AfterShokz comes with a sport belt for extra support on the back of your neck, adding more comfort.

If you are outside and sweating, AfterShokz are waterproof for protection against the elements. AfterShokz will provide you 8 hours of music playing or holding a conversation on the phone.

The AfterShokz Aeropex comes with a case, 2 magnetic charging cables, and earplugs. If you need noise cancellation, the earplugs provided will do the job.

What We Like
Bone Conduction - Conducts sounds through the bones in the skull. (a.k.a. witchcraft)
Quick Reconnection - Reconnects to choice of device after shutting off the first connected device.
Magnetic Charge Cables - Easy connection for charging. Comes with a total of two cables.
Know Before Buying
Tight Fit - Made for small heads in mind.
Earplugs - Plugs are needed for noise cancellation.
Hard To Hear The Media - Recommend use with an electric lawn mower or quieter yard tools.
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Made by professionals for professionals. The Gardtech Safety Ear Muffs are ideal for those who need top-of-the-line protection from hazardous sounds.

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Between the digital storage and bluetooth connectivity, you can’t go wrong with the Gardtech Safety Ear Muffs. With a Noise Reduction Rating of 29dB, your hearing is protected whether you’re mowing the lawn or working with heavy machinery.

Gardtechs come complete with a FM digital radio and an advanced LCD display. They have a Channel memory function which allows up to 8 different presets for all your favorite FM stations.

Included with the headphones are rechargeable lithium batteries. Work safer and longer with the Gardtech Safety Ear Muffs while listening to your favorite music or sports.

It also features a convenient, on-ear control knob for easy access – with or without gloves. If that is not enough, the muffs have a built-in SD card with 4Gb of digital storage that can store up to a thousand of your favorite media files.

These headphones have the works for those that want the best of the best in lawn-mowing head gear!

What We Like
Unisex-Adult - Excellent choice for Him or Her.
Multifunctional Button - Seamlessly switch between taking a phone call or streaming from your mobile device.
Know Before Buying
Limited Radio - There is no AM for those who enjoy listening on the AM channels.
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Would you like fancy chic, or black and sleek? The Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones are perfect for those who like to mow their lawns in luxury.

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Whether you are mowing the lawn, or working on your laptop, the Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones provide three levels of noise cancellation for a superb listening experience. It boasts a whopping 20 hour battery to get you through the longest days.

When it comes to luxury sound equipment, it’s hard to beat a Bose, and these headphones are no different. The QuietComfort 35s feature state-of-the-art augmented audio reality and balanced audio performance no matter the volume.

Customize your sound anyway you need, and do everything you need to accomplish. An easily accessible button, activates Amazon’s Alexa, who assists you with changing the music, adding something to your shopping list, or even finding out if it will rain while you do the yard work.

These headphones are worth every little penny you will spend on them. Perfect for every occasion.

What We Like
Bose Connect App - Used for setup up, pairing, and to select Amazon’s Alexa as a virtual assistant. Making everything easier and convenient.
USB Cable - Bose provides a 12 inch cord with their product.
Know Before Buying
Price Tag - As amazing as the Bose QuitComfort 35 is, the price tag is a little rich for those on a budget.
Firmware - It is recommended to make sure your mobile device is updated through the Bose connect app.
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Sleek and neat, they can’t be beat. No matter your age or what you are doing, 3m WorkTunes provides you the flexibility.

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Everyone has been in that moment where you have been working outside on your lawn, and the headphones you are wearing either die or start to hurt. A classic work headphones brand, the 3M WorkTunes Connects are built with your comfort in mind.

The 3M WorkTunes Connect has a built-in rechargeable battery that lasts over 8 hours. It connects via bluetooth to your mobile device. The 3Ms boast an impeccable Noise Reduction Rating of 24Db for the utmost in hearing protection.

As for comfort, these headphones are built with a flexible headband with cutouts for improved comfort and airflow – and for use with a baseball cap. They also come with a pair of cooling gel cushions to replace the pads that come on the headphones, if gel is your thing.

The 3M WorkTunes Connect headphones have a built-in tell for when the battery is low, or when you are powering on and off. No need for obnoxious blinking lights to distract you.

What We Like
Headband Holes - Perfect for hat-wearers.
Built-in Mic - Ability to take phone calls if you are in the middle of working.
Single-button Interface - Easy to manipulate while wearing gloves.
Know Before Buying
Compatibility With 3.5-mm Jack - Even though it is compatible with this jack, the cord is not included.
Radio - This particular model is not built with a radio.
Situational Awareness - With it’s high NRR, may not be the best option for the shooting range or holding a conversation. Take extra caution in your surroundings when wearing these.
No On-ear Volume Control - These lack a volume control on the actual headphones.
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Professional safety gear alert! With their bright green color, the Howard Leight by Honeywell headphones are perfect for those who want high visibility.

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Equipped with an extremely long battery life and high-visibility color, the Howard Leight by Honeywell headphones are made with workers in mind. The Honeywell company has done extensive research to create the perfect noise protection while still being able to listen to your favorite radio stations or mobile media devices.

It features an LCD display, and buttons for controls to preset up to 10 stations. The Howard Leight headphones are designed with air flow control to reduce the sound coming from your surroundings without increasing weight or ear cup size.

The Howard Leight is highly recommended for construction, lumber, military, lawn care, and so much more. Their noise cancellation technology is more than top of the line, and these headphones are extremely durable.

What We Like
Noise Reduction Rating - The Howard Leight has an NRR of 25 - far above OSHA standards.
Reinforced Fork Slides - The reinforced headband slides give added strength, making them more durable.
Padded Headband - Provides long-wearing comfort.
Easy Battery Access - The battery door, on the ear, snaps in and out for quick and easy changes.
3.5-mm Jack - Connect to an MP3 player or another mobile device with the included AUX input jack.
Know Before Buying
Holds Heat - Due to the near perfect seal, these headphones tend to run a bit warm.
Digital Antenna - Used to improve reception and volume management, but can be a bit in the way.
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Small and sleek becomes the new chic with these lightweight earbuds. The TOZO NC2 headphones are ideal for those looking for the little things in life.

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Created by TOZO’s acoustic experts, the TOZO NC2 headphones offer precise acoustic tuning to pinpoint the perfect sound for your ears. The NC2s are created with Hybrid 3 layer Active Noise Cancellation to cut out unwanted background noises.

They also feature a transparency mode, which allows you to hear exactly what you want to hear. That way, if you have children playing outside while you are mowing the lawn, you can keep an ear out for them for safety.

The TOZO NC2s give you a hefty 32 hours of use between charges. Recharging is quick – It only takes about 1.5 hours, and they are ready to go again.

The earbuds are protected from splashes of raindrops and sweat with built-in IPX6 Waterproofing, making these perfect for worry-free running, exercising, and outdoor work.

What We Like
Charging Case - Comes with their very own charging case that is compatible with wireless chargers.
One Step Pairing - Simply connect to “TOZO-NC2” when looking for bluetooth devices on your media device.
Know Before Buying
Sensitive To Touch - With the Smart Touch controls, you’ll need to memorize where to touch the earbuds at.
ANC/Transparency - Both modes are naturally off upon turning on the earbuds.
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Want To have headphones that cancel the mower out, but don't want those big bulky headphones? The Elgin Ruckus Discord Bluetooth Earplug Earbuds are perfect people who prefer their head gear light.

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Built with heavy duty work in mind, the Elgin Ruckus Discord Earplug Earbuds provides top notch quality. Their ergonomic design means you can wear these comfortably for the duration of your lawn care or any other long project.

Complete with the latest Bluetooth technology, you will experience a 50’ range of high quality audio. The volume control is on the cord, for easy access.

Enjoy over 14 hours of media feed with Elgin Ruckus’ built-in rechargeable battery. These headphones were thoroughly tested to make sure they would endure long hours and heavy use.

The Eglin Ruckus comes with two clips that help keep the earbuds around your neck. Honestly, I wish all corded earbuds came with clips! This guarantees the cord stays out of your way while you work.

What We Like
Dust And Water Resistant - The earbuds conform to international standards to block out dust, rain, and sweat.
NRR Of 25 - OSHA will love to see you wear these!
Near Bulletproof - Kevlar strands reinforce the earbud cables in order to withstand the test of time.
Built-in Microphone - Set up for hands-free calling.
Know Before Buying
Soft Silicone Earplugs - If you are allergic to silicone, these may not be for you.
Unlabeled Buttons - Middle button is power/bluetooth. Bottom is for volume down, hit twice to skip back. Top button is for volume up, hit twice to skip forward.
Size Of Earplugs - May be too large for people with smaller ear openings.
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Headphones vs. Earbuds

Maybe you’re not certain if you’d prefer headphones or earbuds while you’re mowing the lawn.  How are earbuds different from headphones?

To help you decide, here is a short list comparing the differences between the two:

Headphones:

  • Over-ear and On-ear to help provide superior noise reduction
  • Extra padding for greater comfort and stability
  • Heavier to wear on the go
  • More styles and colors to choose from

Earbuds:

  • In-ear; blocks the noise where it enters
  • Small and lightweight
  • Many come with a charging case
  • Easier to lose
  • Very simplistic – wear them anywhere without getting funny looks

What is NRR?

While looking at headphones or earbuds to purchase for yard work, you may have noticed the term “NRR” along with a number, listed in the product’s description. What does that mean?

In a nutshell, NRR stands for “Noise Reduction Rating” and is the unit of measurement that is used in determining the effectiveness of products that are made for hearing protection.

Headphones are classified by the potential to reduce noise, which is put into decibels or dB. These devices are tested, then approved by the American National Standards (ANSI) within the accordance with OSHA.

The number after “NRR” stands for how many decibels of sound the product blocks out. The higher the number, the better the noise reduction.

OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, put in place by the government to regulate safety protocol within hazardous industries) requires noise-reducing head gear to meet a minimum NRR for many noisy jobs such as construction, lumber yards, machine shops, military bases, and outdoor work at airports.

If you see that a pair of headphones or earbuds are proven to meet OSHA requirements, it’s a safe bet that you’re getting a product that will protect your hearing during the loudest of yard jobs.

In Summary

Picking out the best headphones for mowing the lawn can seem like a chore. Digging high and low, there are some amazing headphones that will give doing the yard work new life.

When choosing a pair of headphones or earbuds to work with, here is the list of the most important factors to consider:

  • Noise reduction rating (NRR)
  • Durability
  • Battery life
  • Comfort and breathability
  • Easy access to controls

When it comes to the entertainment features offered in today’s models, you’ll find options like:

  • AM/FM radio (with or without presets)
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • 3.5mm jacks to connect to devices
  • Noise-reducing and bone conduction microphones so you can take or make calls (very handy in emergencies)

I’ve selected the best products for you to peruse within this article. They range from the classic 3M workhorse headphones, to a luxurious Bose model, to the lightweight and rugged Elgin Ruckus earbuds. From this selection, I’m confident you’ll find the perfect lawn-mowing listening gear that you will enjoy for many grass-growing seasons to come!

You might also be interested in this article about best headsets for truckers.