Every once in a while a new product comes along that’s a real game-changer in the workshop, and the new ISOtunes PRO Aware headphones is one of those tools. Many of you are familiar now with the ISOtunes family of OSHA-compliant hearing protectors with music streaming capabilities. What makes the PRO Aware (and its sibling the LINK Aware) stand out is the new Aware situational awareness technology. Basically, the headphone feature a built-in microphone that allows the user to listen to what’s going on around them while simultaneously filtering out noise louder than 85db. Once a loud sound is detected- say, a miter saw turning on – the headphones will deactivate the Aware feature in less than two milliseconds to prevent hearing damage. After a brief period, the Aware feature reactivates so you can continue to hear the world around you.
While I’ve only been using the PRO Aware for a week now, I can’t imagine going back to standard hearing protection for any extended period of time. Being able to have a normal conversation in the workshop was always a game of hearing protection on/off and good luck hearing your spouse calling you in for dinner if you had them on. The uses go beyond just the shop though- the PRO Aware would be perfect for jogging, biking, or any other activity where standard headphones would be potentially dangerous. If I had one complaint it would be that the headphones use a micro USB charger, when most phones and other technology have moved on to USB-C type chargers.
The in-ear volume of the Aware Technology is adjustable, and ISOtunes recommends turning off the Aware feature if your environment is consistently above 85db.
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