questionswhat's the cheapest way to listen to music while…

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Sit in your favorite easy chair with the stereo cranked while the kids do it. Worked for me!

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This is just about the perfect case for noise-cancelling earphones. You would combine that with your hearing protection. They are good for removing constant droning sounds. It won't do 100% since it's so probably still loud under the earmuffs, but it should be enough you can listen to your music or podcasts without damaging your hearing.

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@bsmith1: That is absolutely the best gif I've seen in weeks. I'm sort of mesmerized by it, actually.

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I also live in Georgia, and after trying several things, I ended up doing what you do. Noise cancelling aren't going to be good enough, unless you buy a very expensive pair, in which case you wouldn't want to be out in the yard with them.

I bought a couple of pairs of noise blocking earbuds from woot (really they were triple flange earplugs stuck on the end of a cheap pair of earbuds). They worked well (I always wore muffs over them anyway), but both pairs broke. One gave out, and the other I think I accidentally cut when I was trimming bushes.

3M makes a similar product, but it's 50 bucks at the mothership, with "meh" reviews.

http://www.amazon.com/3M-Peltor-Isolating-Headphones-Plastic/dp/B00AEY4QP2

The NRR here is 20 or 29 (depending upon what tips you use). Standard derating of the NRR would mean about a 6-10 or 8.7-14.5 noise reduction. Given lawn mower noise at about 90dB, these would take it down to below the 8 hr time weighted average, used alone.

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Pay some kid to mow your lawn, go inside and CRANK IT UP!

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Seems to me like you're already using the best method. I normally cut the grass without any hearing protection (with or without earbuds), so you're already a step ahead of me. If you listen to music only, as opposed to spoken word podcasts, you won't need the volume up as much because you won't miss anything if you don't catch every word. Low music plus hearing protection will keep your ears safe as well as minimize boredom.

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I enjoy music and I enjoy alcohol, but not while I'm operating dangerous machinery.

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I probably should also mention that I'm very strict when it comes to safety equipment. I always wear hearing protection (usually double) when I'm using power equipment. I always wear safety glasses (sometimes tinted, sometimes not), always wear long pants (even when it is very hot) and steel toed boots.

I urge you all to go and get a cheap pair of steel toed boots from WalMart or where ever to use power equipment in. I've been saved several times: most recently from a bit of a kick back from a chain saw. A co-worker (his day job is a firefighter) was cutting his lawn in flip flops. Something happened, and he ran over his foot. Lost about half of it. This is cheap insurance. Keep them outside in the garage and nobody will yell at you for tracking mud in the house.

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Check out worktunes on AMZ. Headphones made for a noisy work environment.

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Sing to yourself. Everyone sounds good to themselves with enough background noise. :-)

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Got these this year they work great by themselves as protection or plugged into mp3 or phone with a jack to add music. Not incredible sound quality or anything but perfect for outside work.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004U4A5RU/ref=oh_details_o07_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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@rayray8822: Are you welcome? And was I impolite in making the point that it is in fact dangerous to further isolate your senses when operating dangerous noisy machinery?

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You could go old-school and blast a boombox from a second floor window. ;-)

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@omnichad: They had a nice little set of noise-cancelling headphones on sale at Tech.Wood back the 14th of last month. $18.00 + shipping. Nice little phones and it helps quiet the house back down after my wife comes home from work.

My wife and I are both getting along in years (she - 60, me- 62) plus I have heart issues so we have ours done. For $38.00/month I get 2 visits from one of their crews. Takes 'em about 15 minutes to get the grass mowed, sidewalk edged and perimeter trimmed with line trimmer. Plus I can get someone back out for free if my wife isn't satisfied.

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@mtw1057: If you can't mow while listening to music, be careful walking while chewing gum! We're not talking heavy equipment here.

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@bsmith1: Yeah, really! And who doesn't enjoy a frosty one (or two) in between cutting the front and back yards on a sizzling July day?

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I've got a 4yr old pair of Shure earbuds that I use for lawn-mowing with no other protection or covering. It works so well that I keep my volume at about 6-7 out of 20 on my Zune while the mower is on--and my normal city walking volume level is usually 5. They're the general kind with the interchangeable tips on the ends of the buds that create a seal when fitted properly. I think I paid about $70-90 for them originally and Shure even replaced them with a better model when one of the ear connections went bad just out of warranty. I recently tried a nice pair of Philips headphones and the seal on them is just not as good as the earbuds. I had to play the volume at 10-11, instead. I'm pretty sure I'll only ever be wearing earbuds for lawn-mowing. The earbuds aren't cheap, but when you factor that they've worked for more than 4yrs and are still going strong, plus that I use them for everyday, too? I believe I'm getting a pretty good return.

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Get your lazy 13 year off his a** and turn off the PS3. Get him outside mowing, throw on your Led Zeppelin IV, turn the dial to the right.... a little more..... a little more (until you can't here the lawn mower or the wife anymore. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh that's it, now where's my beer?

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@ruif: Same here-perfectly fine for cutting grass-a little "Leight" on the NRR for grinders/skilsaws.