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The Importance of Volume Limiting Headphones in the Workplace

Protect Workers’ Hearing Health and Ensure OSHA Compliance

Maintaining a safe and compliant workplace environment is crucial. An important aspect of this is protecting employees’ hearing health.

Volume limiting headphones can play a vital role in protecting the hearing of the millions of workers exposed to harmful noise levels.

Furthermore, they can help employers and employees stay in compliance with OSHA sound level guidelines.

How Do Volume Limiting Headphones Work?

Listening to music in headphones at too loud of a volume for too long exposes you to the risk of noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus.

Volume limiters in headphones, also known as integrated “hearing safeguarding,” limit audio output to a specified level for safe listening.

Volume limiters work through the use of resistors, which create resistance in an electric circuit. Resistors are found either in the cable or headphone circuitry.  They lower the flow of current from the source of the sound to the output, resulting in controlled sound levels.

Volume limiting headphones typically cap the maximum volume output at around 85 decibels (dB) or lower. This means that, even if someone tries to crank up the volume, it won’t exceed the preset limit.

Without a volume limiter, headphones can produce sounds of more than 115dB. That’s about as loud as a rock concert, which is unsafe for extended listening periods.

For all-day listening, a safe volume is 82dB. But even at that volume, you should give your ears regular breaks.

Why Use Volume Limiting Headphones in the Workplace?

Employers have a legal and ethical responsibility to protect their employees from the potential hazards of high noise levels.

Volume limiting headphones play a pivotal role in adhering to OSHA regulations by restricting sound levels to safe limits.

In a work environment, the potential for exposure to high noise levels is a common issue, which can lead to permanent hearing damage if not properly managed.

Volume limiting headphones limits the volume to OSHA-compliant levels, ensuring employees are protected from excessive noise.

Volume limiting headphones are critical because, while wearing headphones, it’s hard to tell whether you’re listening at a safe volume.

Headphones don’t sound as loud as speakers because, even with the same sound pressure reaching your eardrum, you miss physical and spacial cues like bass vibrations and distortion. Since it doesn’t sound as loud, most people naturally turn up the volume on headphones.

Furthermore, in noisy work environments, many workers like to listen to music loud to drown out the noise.

Volume limiting headphones prevent workers from listening to audio at unsafe levels. This also allows them to more easily be aware of loud sounds like reversing vehicles, or active machinery while still being protected.

OSHA Standards for Occupational Noise Exposure

OSHA standard 1910.95 outlines regulations related to occupational noise exposure. It stipulates that employers must supply hearing protection to employees when noise levels exceed an average of 85 dB over an eight-hour period.

Employers should prioritize administrative and engineering controls to reduce noise levels before resorting to personal protective equipment (PPE), such as earplugs and earmuffs.

In workplaces with employees exposed to loud noise, the establishment and implementation of a hearing conservation program, as per standard 1910.95(c), is crucial.

This program includes sound monitoring, notifying employees of monitoring results, and conducting audiometric testing. Audiometric testing involves baseline tests and annual tests to assess employees’ hearing health. It is essential to monitor employees’ hearing and make necessary adjustments to protect them effectively.

Volume limiting headphones can be critical tools in ensuring OSHA standards for noise exposure.

Who Should Wear Hearing Protection in the Workplace?

Any worker exposed to noise levels exceeding 85 dB on average over an eight-hour workday should wear hearing protection. This includes employees with existing hearing loss or impairment.

Unfortunately, factory, construction, and industrial environments are commonly noisier than that threshold. That means individuals that work in these environments risk receiving permanent hearing damage. There’s no question as to whether you should wear hearing protection while on the job.

Employers should offer a variety of hearing protection devices (HPDs) and allow employees to select the one that best suits their needs and comfort. Volume limiting headphones are among the best devices employees can use in noisy environments.

Employers should also provide annual training on the use and care of all HPDs. This training should cover the effects of noise on hearing, the advantages and disadvantages of different HPDs, care and use instructions, and the purpose of audiometric testing.

Volume Limiting earplug headphones protect your hearing and add to your enjoyment on the job

Plugfones: The Best Volume Limiting Headphones

Plugfones offers the best in volume limiting headphones.

Our built-in WorkSafe Volume Limiting is a unique, work-compliant technology that keeps Plugfones at a safe volume. This means you never have to worry about hearing damage, even after long days of using them constantly.

Plugfones volume limiting headphones limit the volume to an OSHA standard of 82dB. That makes them ideal for OSHA-controlled work environments.

Thanks to the noise-blocking earplug design of Plugfones, this volume level is perfect. A worker won’t have to worry about trying to compete with external noise to hear their music. The noise blocking keeps outside sounds out so they won’t have any need to turn the volume up.

One of the other advantages to our volume limiting headphones is that they make the environment safer for everyone. Employees are not able to increase their volume past 82db, so they retain awareness of the environment around them. This ensures they can enjoy their job while still being fully aware of potential dangers as they arise.

All of our volume limiting headphones are clearly marked with a red body color, which you can see between the tip and the cord. The highly-visible red color allows you to easily look for compliance standards quickly.

Volume limiting is not available on all Plugfones models. It can however be found on certain FreeReignProtector Plus, and Protector models.

Noise Reduction Ratings

When you look at a product that is meant to protect your hearing, you will often be presented with a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR).

NRR is a measurement that is used to determine the effectiveness of hearing protection devices to decrease sound exposure in a specific environment. The rating is meant to help consumers decide between multiple hearing protection products to find the best one to protect them from hearing loss.

For workers who are in a noisy environment above 85 dB for 8+ hours per day, OSHA highly suggests that equipment to protect hearing be worn. Plugfones have an industry leading NRR rating of up to 29 dB.

To put this into context, a worker might be standing next to a jackhammer with a 93 dB noise level. Wearing a pair of Plugfones volume limiting headphones would help to bring that level down into the safe hearing range well below 85 dB.

Are Plugfones Volume Limiting Headphones Right For You?

Plugfones volume limiting headphones help to provide both safety and fun in hazardous work environments.

All Plugfones, including those with volume limiting capabilities, come complete with SoundSeal Technology. SoundSeal allows you to have a completely immersive listening experience while you work.

Different models come with different types of plugs including ComforTiered Foam Plugs and ComforTiered Silicone Plugs. These plugs are interchangeable as well, allowing you to switch between them according to your preference.

Plugfones volume limiting headphones come complete with tear-resistant TuffCords™ that are safe and durable. Wireless versions include Never Out 12-hour batteries to keep music going for the entire day or long work shifts.

Thanks to Plugfones volume limiting technology, you can easily stay safe on the job while listening to music or audiobooks.

Grab a pair of Volume limiting headphones from Plugfones and listen to some music, or your favorite podcast while you work. It will give you a pick-up throughout the day increase your enjoyment and work productivity!

With OSHA-compliant noise limitation, you never have to compromise your safety in the work environment ever again!


Left us a 5 star review


5.0 out of 5 stars Perfecto

I got these for work because they don’t allow headphones but they do allow ear plugs. These are absolutely perfect and way better then expected 👍


5.0 out of 5 stars I use it in the Amazon warehouse.

The best $50 ever spent. Works well to use at Amazon. Discreet as can be. Had direct encounters with managers and they didn’t say crap. Get the orange ones for most discreet.

Twel Ter Maung

5.0 out of 5 stars Not the best but still great at work.

The battery life is good and the cable is long enough to put under the safety helmet. Performance may be differ from which khind of music you listen. For me I love rock and this thing did a pretty amazing job. Only downside is when not listening to music you mught hear some outside noise than normal safety earplug.

Toni Carney

5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite headphones

I've used these headphones for over 5 years now. I work in a factory and they help save my hearing. I wear them at work, at home (mowing the lawn or using machinery), even on hikes. I use them every day for hours. The battery is great. The sound is great. I mostly listen to books, but sometimes music. I can wear them and have a conversation with people without issues. They come with 2 tip options. I use the silicone ones and I never have any problems with ear aches or headaches. I wear them for 5-8 hours a day, at least 5 days a week. I used to leave them in my car to charge and so I wouldn't forget them, but the heat and cold caused the wire to come apart by the earpiece after like a year. These are so worth the money. I love that they have a cord connecting them so I can take them out of my ear whenever I need to and not have to worry about losing one. Excellent customer service too. Fantastic product.

Joseph Haas

5.0 out of 5 stars great a little pricey!


Gina F.

5.0 out of 5 stars These are great. Easy to sleep in and I can listen to music to go to sleep.

These are the best ear phones and also pretty great as ear plugs. Many earbuds don't stay in my ears and they're hard and uncomfortable. These are the only ones that really work for me. I can sleep in them too. It's important to clean them with alcohol after using.


If i could give this product 6 stars I would. The volume can go so high it HURTS, far louder than any of my other earbuds. They do work as normal ear plugs without music playing. But, MOST IMPORTANTLY, the buttons and battery are far enough down the wire i can easily hide them in my T-shirt! My supervisor can suck a ****!

Peggy L.

5.0 out of 5 stars Comfortable

Works like a charm. Great sound. Use around loud noises.

angie oler

4.0 out of 5 stars Works great in loud places

Awesome product I work in manufacturing and can hear Awesome and still blocks out noise from my job can still hear someone if they need to talk to me do need to have your phone with you because if you get to far away it will break up

LJ Anderson

4.0 out of 5 stars Works well

These are great at work and no one knew I was using them. One downfall was I can't get orange replacement foam pieces except through the company. I did so but the mail person delivered them at the wrong address somi never received them. I'd rather go through amazon as I know they will get it to me.

5.0 out of 5 stars Great for Raceciever

Ear buds that are actually ear plugs to block outside noise.

5.0 out of 5 stars MUST BUY !!

I work in a warehouse and I have to wear safety earplugs. There work perfectly for listening to music Or audio books and podcasts wile bring low key. I even had a full conversation with my supervisor and he didn’t notice .. that’s the best part


5.0 out of 5 stars Worked Well

This product did as advertised. Works well to subside heavy noises and allow for easy music listening. Used during my time working construction.

4.0 out of 5 stars They are easy to sleep in

They aren't as good as some other earphones, but they have a long battery life.

Kyra Sue

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent sound!

I use this product for work; & they work well for what I need them to provide in my work environment!


4.0 out of 5 stars Better than most!

Work pretty good. Volume is decent. They could throw in a clip but other than that no complaints. Definitely buying again.

Halle Peacock

5.0 out of 5 stars Nice

My husband loves these!

Phynis hall

5.0 out of 5 stars Quality

I love them lasted me about two years but I work in a pretty rough job and they finally gave out

5.0 out of 5 stars Block outside sound really well

I wear them in a factory and they cancel the noise really well. I can take a call and be able to hear what someone is saying on the phone.

Emily Fought

5.0 out of 5 stars Husband LOVES

My husband has to wear ear plugs at work, we found these and he absolutely LOVES them. Said the quality of the speakers are great, while also being totally noise canceling.

otto schneider

4.0 out of 5 stars Good for Work.. 😉😉😉

Use them everyday at Work.. Usually last at least 6 months..

Big mac

5.0 out of 5 stars Good price

Good product

Hunter Dunn

5.0 out of 5 stars Quality product

Silences the sound around you very well so you can hear your tunes. Able to be heard at 160mph on motorcycle.

5.0 out of 5 stars Nice idea

I’m not sure if I am just to hard on these but the sound on the one side is like a whisper. Plugs are hard to keep in. I just ordered the plugfone that is one step better. Hopefully they will last longer.

harley man

5.0 out of 5 stars Sooooooooo nice!

I use these as ear plugs for noise reduction and as ear buds. They seal out a lot of noise as well as push the music/voice directly into my hear. Since I suffer hearing loss from years of industrial noise these make it possible to use my SENA Bluetooth headset to communicate with my girlfriend when we ride. BTW, i wear a half-helmet and I purchased an extra pair to have on hand.

Leslie Newburn

5.0 out of 5 stars Great

Employer doesn’t allow employees to wear headphones these are great for people who need music and need to wear earplugs last about 8 hours. Ordered 2 pair. Kinda hard to clean but other then that absolutely awesome

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent

These are great wired ear buds. Only thing be nice heavier wire to the buds. Good clear sound. Look just like ear plugs.


5.0 out of 5 stars good listening headset

this is my second plugfones - i use them during the night as i listen to books or watch movies, i have also used when doing yard work. My first set lasted about 8 years


5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome

matches my companies color scheme for ear pro. Very happy. We will see if they hold up to the abuse of a steel yard. Good clear sound low or high. It's nice to be able to listen to a podcast or a song and still be able to communicate clearly with coworkers and management. Breaks up the dull monotonous drone work of manual labor.

Sarah Parrish

5.0 out of 5 stars Love

These are great

Bman 1b

5.0 out of 5 stars Nice

They work really well they are loud so you don't have to turn your music or what ever you listen too I like them very much


4.0 out of 5 stars Great

Sound great , perfect to secretly listen music at job


5.0 out of 5 stars Head phones

Very good

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect fit!!!

This item is exactly what I was expecting!! I can jam or listen to podcast all through my shift confident that no one will bother me about headphones

Valerie S.

4.0 out of 5 stars Cool!

I work in a warehouse where headphones aren’t allowed but I need music to get me through an entire shift. So I searched for some earphones that looked like the ear plugs at work “which I thought I’d have no luck with” but I found these and read a good amount of reviews and decided to try them out for myself. I was skeptical about the sound quality but they sound very good quality to me. It comes with a case that includes different size heads which I love! As well as a comfort neck support that can come off.

Anomyous gamer

5.0 out of 5 stars Great

Great product! Fast delivery

Carl boman

4.0 out of 5 stars Worked great

Worked great right out of the box as they were already charged recharge them for work later that night, they worked great was able to get almost 8 hours of listening to music out of them before the battery died box says up to 10hrs so will see but overall so far great product I do know others with the same product that have an experienced any issues


4.0 out of 5 stars Mala promo

No hay necesidad de hacer mala promoción dice que puede durar hasta 10 horas de batería y se me descargó en 7 horas mi primer día de uso ni siquiera mis 8 horas de trabajo


5.0 out of 5 stars Works amazing!!!

The noise cancellation is amazing and the sound is very good quality!! I recommend this item!

Billy Anders

5.0 out of 5 stars Good Sound, Battery Life.

Just Like it, love the wireless, also, due to ear protection with music. Use for mowing, outside entertainment.

nancy swain

5.0 out of 5 stars Nice

Sounds good cord is long enough to hide it so your boss won’t see it

Jeff Frazier

5.0 out of 5 stars Best Wireless Earbuds for the Cost

PROS: Build quality, sound quality, comfort, battery life, ease of use, price. CONS: None OPPORTUNITIES: An app to manage the device with battery-remaining info, sound/equalizer settings, etc. would be a nice addition.


4.0 out of 5 stars Hear safe

I can hear people talking and shoot guns without damaging my hearing tooth works well

Kim Hill

4.0 out of 5 stars Connectivity

Doesn’t last 8 hours listening to music.

Ana Diaz

5.0 out of 5 stars They work great

Good quality, great sound, a little big for my ears but you can change the foam tips so I will be doing that with smaller ones. Overall great purchase. Battery life is enough for a regular 8hr shift.

Isabelle Esch

5.0 out of 5 stars My husband's favorite

Husband works in a factory and uses these daily! It's been a year now and they still work great 👍

rhonda sellers

4.0 out of 5 stars They do the job

I bought these for when I mow. My other earbuds just can't cut it. I hesitated because everybody said that they were not good for small ears. I found that if you work with him a little bit you can get them in tight. Are they as good as earmuffs No, but they are earbuds.... I am now I happily able to ride around on my mower and not miss any podcasts! I'm a happy camper


5.0 out of 5 stars Excelente sonido

Me parece que el sonido es excelente y el precio no es tan caro para la buena calidad que son

It was awesome

5.0 out of 5 stars Mmbbgg

I'm to lazy but it's good


5.0 out of 5 stars Overall GREAT headphones for work

They get loud. If you insert them correctly, they get really loud. Good battery life per charge, good noise cancellation( they're OSHA certified), good range, good bass, good durability, actually has a good microphone too. I used these for years at my last job without anyone noticing. Don't put these in a washing machine, I've had mixed outcomes. Sometimes they still work, sometimes they don't. As long as you're not using these to swim with, I think you'll be okay.