Excellent sound, a high noise reduction ratio, noise-cancelling microphone, comfortable to wear, and less bulky than earmuff-style protectors.
If you work with power tools and machinery – whether in a workshop or on a jobsite – protecting your hearing should be top-of-mind. Health care professionals tell us that exposure to noise over the 70 dB level increases your risk of hearing impairment, hypertension and even heart disease. There are a variety of hearing protection options available in a range of price points, including earmuff (over-ear) headphones, on-ear headphones and earbuds (in-ear) hearing protectors.
Wireless in-ear models are increasing popular because they’re light, unobtrusive, generally comfortable to wear for prolonged periods of time, provide good noise reduction and enable you to respond quickly and effortlessly to important phone calls.
ISOtunes is a relative newcomer in hearing technology who have been garnering a lot of attention. They recently announced an upgrade – FREE 2.0 – to their popular FREE hearing protection earbuds.
Model: Free 2.0
Made in: China
Warranty: 1 year
The ISOtunes FREE 2.0 feature Bluetooth 5.2 and a 25 dB noise reduction. With Bluetooth 5.2 you’ll get faster pairing (between your mobile device and the earbuds), a longer battery life and multiple synchronous connection support (enabling you to connect to multiple devices). The 25dB rating is fairly common. Many table saws run at around 100 dB, so these earbuds will reduce the noise level to around 75 dB. I like that they also come with SafeMax technology that caps the output volume to 85 dB.
I take calls throughout the workday, so really appreciate the dual omnidirectional microphones, which have CVC (clear voice capture). Though not as effective as ANC (active noise cancelling) technology CVC does a good job of filtering out background noise while you’re carrying on a conversation.
The FREE 2.0 have an IP45 rating, which means they’re dust, sweat and water resistant – so, safe in a light drizzle.
When fully charged, the earbuds store 7 hours of runtime while the carry case stores an additonal 14 hours, for a total of 22 hours. Whatever way you cut the cake this is pretty substantial. When you store the earbuds in the carry case they begin to charge right away. A nice feature is that you can charge the case and earbuds simultaneously. Charging is via a USB-C cable.
I’m not an audiophile – but I find the sound quality that comes out of the FREE 2.0 to be very good for the type of music I typically listen to – jazz and classical. The music is clear, clean, and undistorted. The touch-button for volume, track and phone control works fine.
Overall I’m impressed with these earbuds – they’re a pleasure to wear, easy to use, sound quality is great, phone communication is clear and crisp, and battery life is excellent. Available in black/green or all-black.
Carl Duguay - [email protected]
Carl is a Victoria-based furniture maker and the web editor at Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement.
Where is the $159 price available?
Atlas Machinery sells them. Search the web for other dealers.
Engineering Supply also sells ISOtunes FREE 2.0 Earbuds.