Canadian Woodworking

Festool hearing protection GHS 25 I


Protect your hearing while listening to important surrounding noises and connecting with tech devices.

Author: Rob Brown

We know it’s important to protect ourselves from dust and sharp cutting edges when we’re in our shops, but we may forget that loud noises can cause long-term damage, too. Loud noise can also make it harder to concentrate and operate machinery or power tools safely. When noise divides your concentration, mistakes or kick­back (or worse) may happen. Using hearing protection allows me to better concentrate and to safely complete the machining task I’m focusing on.

Once I opened the package and charged the docking base for the earbuds, the GHS 25 I was ready for use. After use, the ear­buds get placed back in the charging dock to recharge. According to Festool, the buds have 13 hours of use in them and the dock can store enough charge to provide another 25 hours of use. Eventually the dock needs to be recharged, which is easy to do. I only used the earbuds sporadically so it’s impossible to tell whether or not these figures are accurate, though I suspect they are.

Festool Hearing Protection GHS 25 I
MSRP: $234

I’ve used over-the-head ear muffs for many years and generally liked them. They do a good job at lowering the decibel levels when I’m working in the shop and are easy to just pop on my head. It wasn’t until I started using these Festool GHS 25 I earplugs that I realized there is a time and a place for both in the shop. Muffs can very easily be put on to protect your hearing, even more so than earbuds. Some people also find muffs more comfortable when worn for long periods of time. However, muffs are hot, especially in the summer, and these Festool earbuds were surprisingly comfort­able, even on hot, humid days. They’re also lightweight and don’t protrude from my head. I’ve mistakenly knocked my ear muffs off before, but that’s not the case when wearing earbuds. It took me a small amount of trial and error to figure out which of the seven supplied removable earplug tip fittings fit me, but once I did the earbuds fit well. The fittings are easily screwed on and off.

Cordless Power
Cordless Power – Once it’s charged up, the docking base will refresh the earbuds with 25 hours of additional use without the need to be plugged into the wall.

Ear muffs are also large, and if you’re using a full-face shield it’s impossible to wear muffs at the same time. Even glasses or a hat can be a pain when wearing muffs.

These cordless Bluetooth earbuds also allow you to listen to music and podcasts while you work. I find the volume to be slightly on the low side, but since I’m focused on working, not listening to audio, that’s fine with me. The earbuds seamlessly allow you to skip songs, pause or start your audio with the tap (or two) of a fin­ger on the outer surface of the buds. It was a feature that took me a few uses to figure out, but once I did, I loved it. You can also take phone calls on the earbuds.

All of these features are great, but the main question remains: do these reduce noise levels and help protect your hearing? Unquestionably, the answer is yes. You can still easily carry on a conversation with someone nearby and hear ambient sounds, but when the decibel level increases, the magic of these earbuds becomes obvious. When a noise gets too loud, you can immedi­ately detect a large reduction in sound. The first few times this happened it took me by surprise. I inserted them into my ears, then went over to my router table to adjust the setup. A minute or so later I turned the router on. Initially, I heard the router very clearly, but immediately the sound diminished greatly. Thinking the router had automatically shut off for some strange reason, I checked the on/off switch. At first, I was confused because it was still on, but then I realized the sound reduction was so good that the noise levels were now at a very comfortable level. I could still hear the router, but it was a lot quieter than I expected. As soon as the router stopped, the earbuds reset and I could again hear virtu­ally every sound around me. This noise-reducing function happens above 85 decibels.

Ear Tip Options
Ear Tip Options – The GHS 25 I comes with a wide selection of tips to fit just about any user’s needs.

All-in-all, this is a great product with enough bells and whis­tles for even the most tech-friendly users. And their robust construc­tion protects them from dust, water and sweat, so they’ll stand up to the weather on the jobsite. Once you have the correct earbud tip selected these are simple to use and will go a long way to protecting your hearing for years to come.

Last modified: January 25, 2024

Rob Brown - [email protected]

Rob is a studio furniture maker and the editor at Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement. Instagram at @RobBrownTeaches

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