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Top 7 Best Radio Headphones For Your Consideration In 2021 Review

If you work in an industrial environment with the kind of noise levels that could potentially damage your hearing, you will be required to wear noise cancelling headphones or ear muffs for your own protection. With this in mind, why not add some entertainment into the mix.

Yes, radio is still alive and kicking, with millions of enthusiasts around the globe still tuning in to their favorite stations. So why not give your ear protection another dimension by purchasing headphones with a built-in radio receiver?

Therefore, we decided to compile a list of the best radio headphones on the market to make your decision a lot easier. Before we jump into the reviews, our handy buyer’s guide will run you through what to look out for before you buy the perfect radio headphones for your needs…

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Best Radio Headphones Buying Guide

Best Radio Headphones Review

These are the main features you need to consider when shopping for the right pair of radio headphones…

Comfort

Probably the most important factor when making your decision is comfort. You will likely be wearing your radio headphones for long periods of time, so you’ll want to make sure they cause as little fatigue as possible. Make sure your radio headphones have well-padded ear-cups and headband. The headband should also have a wide range of adjustability to accommodate any head size.

The lighter the headphones, the more comfortable they’ll be to wear over long periods. The level of clamping force they exert will also determine the overall comfort of the headphones.

Connectivity

Whilst the main point of the headphones on this list is their radio connectivity, it’s also handy to be able to connect to an external device if you so desire. Whether this is via Bluetooth or through a traditional 3.5mm audio cable, you’ll have a far more versatile set of cans if you make sure this feature is part of the package.

Sound Quality

Even the best audio quality radio headphones don’t measure up to traditional audiophile cans, but that doesn’t mean they all sound equally bad. There’s quite a difference between the best and worst on the market, so make sure you don’t compromise on this aspect. Look out for models that have the ability to adjust the sound to your tastes through equalizer settings or bass adjusters.

Noise cancellation

All the models in our review are designed to be used in noisy working environments and offer a certain amount of noise reduction indicated by the NRR Number (noise reduction rating). The higher the number, the more protection they will provide.

Battery Life

Especially if you’ll be using your headphones on a daily basis for long periods, you’ll want a set of headphones with the longest possible battery life. Most of the headphones on this list use either AA or AAA batteries whilst others come with a rechargeable only option.

The headphones that use AA/AAA batteries will have a longer life, sometimes in excess of 100 hours. Rechargeable batteries will generally give you between 10-15 hours of playback per charge.

Controls

Conveniently placed controls make the practical use of your radio headphones much easier. Most models have easily reachable volume and tuning controls located on one of the ear-cups. Some models have digital tuners whilst others have old school analog knobs.

While digital is the norm these days, analog tuning often enables more control with the ability to fine-tune weaker radio signals.

Durability

Make sure you purchase a well built and sturdy set of radio headphones. Obviously, no model is going to be indestructible, but the longer it lasts, the better. Look for models offering the longest warranty possible as a sign the manufacturer has confidence in the longevity of their product.

Now you know what to look for when buying a quality pair of radio headphones, let’s turn our attention to the models themselves, starting with our…

Best Radio Headphones
Top 7 Best Radio Headphones On The Market In 2021 Reviews

ProductComfortAudio qualityNoise reduction (decibels)PriceRating
4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)
Noise reduction (decibels)
24
3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)
2 out of 5 stars (2 / 5)3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)
Noise reduction (decibels)
24
4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)
4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)2 out of 5 stars (2 / 5)
Noise reduction (decibels)
25
4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)
Noise reduction (decibels)
25
4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)
5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)
Noise reduction (decibels)
24
4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)
Noise reduction (decibels)
22
4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)
2 out of 5 stars (2 / 5)2 out of 5 stars (2 / 5)
Noise reduction (decibels)
31
4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)3.9 out of 5 stars (3.9 / 5)

1 3M – WorkTunes AM/FM Hearing Protector – Best Battery Life Radio Headphones

Our first model comes from 3M, a company that seemingly make almost everything you could conceivably need in the workplace.

The 3M WorkTunes hearing protector headphones have a pretty basic and functional look, which is pretty standard for protective radio headphones. Their main focus is to protect your hearing, after all. Build quality seems to be reasonably high for such a cheap product. They feel and look sturdy enough to handle the odd knock without any issues.

Nice and comfy…

Comfort levels are good with a well-padded and adjustable headband. The ear-cups provide ample cushioning and also swivel, allowing for finer adjustments on different head shapes. You can wear these cans for hours with no discomfort.

The right ear-cup is home to the radio receiver and the controls. There is a button that switches between AM/FM radio and another that controls radio or AUX mode. A tuning knob controls the analog radio frequency and on the bottom of the cup is a volume knob, which also turns the unit off.

Long battery life…

A 3.5mm jack input allows you to plug the headphones into your phone or MP3 player. The left ear-cup is home to the battery housing. Two AA batteries are required that will give you up to an impressive 140 hours of playtime.

The stated Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) is 24 decibels, which, whilst being less than others, is still good enough for most working environments. Sound quality is impressive enough. Clear vocals and good treble are complemented by a solid bass that can be boosted if you so desire.

Plenty of stations…

Lastly, Audio Assistant Technology allows you to save up to 50 different radio presets. It will also notify you when the batteries are running low.

At a mid-low price point, the 3M WorkTunes radio headphones tick all the boxes whilst not breaking the bank.

3M - WorkTunes AM/FM Hearing Protector
Our rating:4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Pros

  • Excellent value for money.
  • 50 preset station slots.
  • Bass boost feature.
  • Up to 140 hours on two AA batteries.

Cons

  • No Bluetooth connectivity.

2 Safety Works MP3/AM/FM Digital Radio Headphones

The Safety Works Digital Radio Ear Muffs are next in our review. They are a black and gray affair with a functional rather than aesthetically pleasing look. They are relatively lightweight and appear to be made well enough to last a while.

A bit stiff…

If there’s one complaint we have with the Safety Works headphones, it would be in the comfort department. The ear-cups and headband are nicely padded enough; it’s just that the clamping force they exert on your head is on the strong side. I’m guessing that after a few weeks of use, they would relax a little, but they initially feel a bit too stiff.

The AM/FM button, tuning controls, and volume knob are all housed on the right ear-cup, which is where you’ll also find the 3.5mm AUX input. An LED display displays the frequency or preset you are on. Talking of presets, eight preset stations can be stored on both AM and FM bandwidths.

Good quality ear protection…

Two AA batteries provide the juice and are housed in the left ear-cup. Up to 80 hours of playback time is on offer. Batteries come provided, which is always a nice bonus.

Sound quality is ok although we did notice a little distortion when it comes to deeper bass at higher volumes. There are definitely better sounding cans on this list. The NRR rating comes in at a solid 24 decibels of attenuation. Your ears should be well protected even if they don’t sound the best.

Safety Works MP3/AM/FM Digital Radio Headphones
Our rating:4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Pros

  • Good digital radio reception.
  • Lightweight and sturdy.
  • Good noise reduction rating.

Cons

  • Excessive clamping force.
  • Bass distortion.

3 Honeywell Howard Leight Digital AM/FM Radio Headphones – Best Premium Radio Headphones

The Honeywell Howard Leight digital radio headphones are a well made set of headphones constructed mostly from a durable plastic. However, the hinges and the headband are made from steel. The high visibility neon green color scheme and reflective headband really help them stand out, especially if working around heavy machinery or in low light workplaces.

Nicely balanced…

Comfort is well catered for. They are quite bulky, but the ear-cups and headband are pleasantly padded with a good weight distribution over the head. The adjustable headband will fit all head sizes comfortably.

Controls are very simple, with an intuitive button layout that is very easy to get used to. An LED frequency display above the buttons lets you know which station you are tuned into. Signal strength and clarity is a real highlight; being superior to almost all the competition. Ten preset radio stations can be saved to make life easier.

Days of enjoyable audio…

Two AA batteries provide up to 140 hours of playback time, up there with the highest on our list of longest battery life radio headphones. And a noise reduction rating of 25dB is achieved thanks to Honeywell’s unique Airflow technology present in the ear-cups.

Sound quality doesn’t blow you away, but if sound quality was your main consideration, you wouldn’t be looking at headphones of this nature in the first place. The treble is on the bright side, and the bass is weak. Vocals, though, are clear and articulate, which is important for radio listening.

Expensive, but probably not worth it…

The Honeywell Howard Leight headphones are the most expensive on our list of best quality radio headphones without bringing a whole lot more to the party than the cheaper 3M Work Tunes model.

They include a user manual, two AA batteries, an AUX cable, and a 1-year warranty as part of the package.

Honeywell Howard Leight Digital AM/FM Radio Headphones
Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Pros

  • High vis color scheme.
  • Effective noise reduction.
  • Long battery life.
  • Signal clarity/strength.

Cons

  • Audio quality is not the best.
  • Better value to be had.

4 DeWalt DPG15 Industrial Safety Radio Headphones – Best High End Radio Headphones

DeWalt is another industry leader when it comes to making personal protective products for the work environment. They position themselves at the more premium end of the market, and the DPG15 radio headphones are priced accordingly at the higher end of the range.

Bulky but practical…

The first thing you notice is that the DeWalt’s sport probably the bulkiest of all the designs on our list. The ear-cups are exceptionally deep. This isn’t a negative, though, as a large amount of the extra bulk is down to extra padding, which can’t be a bad thing. The cups are also noticeably wider too due to the larger drivers inside. Again, this isn’t a problem, especially for those with larger ears.

Controls are found on the right ear-cup and feature the standard AM/FM toggle and tuning search buttons that also double up as track selection when using the headphones with a plugged-in device. A 3.5mm jack and volume control knob along with a standard LED display round off the controls.

A little lacking in signal strength…

Comfort is on a par with some of the most comfortable radio headphones in this review. But unfortunately, they don’t seem to have quite the level of signal strength consistency as a lot of competing headphones. This is especially noticeable when using them indoors.

The color scheme is black with DeWalt’s patented dark yellow finish on the ear-cups. To be honest, for a safety product, we would like to see a more visible coloring used to add extra protection on top of the 25dB of noise reduction achieved.

DeWalt DPG15 Industrial Safety Radio Headphones
Our rating:4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

Pros

  • Very comfortable padding.
  • Easy to use controls.
  • High NRR rating.
  • High material quality.

Cons

  • Better value elsewhere.
  • Inconsistent signal.
  • Not high visibility.

5 ZOHAN EM042 AM/FM Radio Headphone – Best Sounding Radio Headphones

These mid-priced offerings from Zohan, on first impression, look like an upgraded version of the 3M WorkTunes headphones featured earlier on our review. The primary material used in construction is a plastic with a metal headband and swivels.

Good for all-day use…

Comfort levels are impressive. The ear-cup padding, whilst not overly thick, is very soft. The headband padding, on the other hand, is exceptionally thick and also very comfortable to wear for long periods.

The standout feature of these headphones is the sound quality. It’s head and shoulders above the other models on this list. The nicely balanced sound profile, deep bass tones being the highlight, are something you usually find in premium headphones, not cans that are specifically designed for noisy work environments.

We see no reason why you can’t have both, and neither do Zohan seemingly. These could potentially double up as something you might even use at home.

Plus quality ear protection…

A noise reduction rating of 24dB’s and NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety) certification fulfill the protective side of things well.

Controls are very similar to most of the other models mentioned, with nothing that makes them stand out in that department. As with other models, a 3.5mm jack and accompanying cable can be used to listen direct from your phone or MP3 player. Ten preset stations can be saved to the headphones. Once again, the whole show is powered by two AA batteries.

Old-school technology…

There’s only one downside we can find, and that’s the use of analog technology instead of the infinitely better and newer digital radio. Still, for a brand that will be unfamiliar to many, the Zohan EM042 is a real contender for the best sound quality radio headphones you can buy.

ZOHAN EM042 AM/FM Radio Headphone
Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Pros

  • Best audio quality.
  • Exceptionally comfortable.
  • Quality material construction
  • One Year warranty.

Cons

  • Analog receiver.

6 Elvex – WELCOM660 Radio Headphones

Our next model is the Elvex Welcom660 radio headphone. This is another one that chooses to go with an analog tuner.

When it comes to the design, there’s nothing that really stands out from the crowd going on here. They have the same bulky look as most of the other headphones on this list. We suppose the burgundy color scheme and the simple knob controls differentiate them somewhat from the competition.

Not very practical…

One thing that is missing is a display to indicate the frequency or station you’re tuned into. This becomes especially annoying when you realize there is no ability to save preset stations or any indicator on the tuning knob itself.

Comfort levels are acceptable with plush padding adorning the ear-cups. The padding covering the steel headband has a ribbed design that could be softer on the head if we’re being critical.

Or the highest level of protection…

The Elvex also carries a slightly lower noise reduction rating than most of the headphones on this list, at 22dB’s of attenuation. Two AA batteries power thing up with an impressive 150 hours playback achievable if not played at full volume.

The sensitivity of these headphones is probably the most impressive feature of these headphones. Their fine tuning ability is exceptional. We guess this is the advantage of analog over Digital. This works particularly well if you live in rural areas, a long way from AM or FM radio masts.

On the flip side, in Urban areas, weak and stronger signals don’t have great separation. This can be a problem in areas with loads of radio stations.

It’s not getting much better…

Audio-wise, the Elvex WelCom 660 has a clear yet unexciting sound profile. There is some bass going on, but it lacks any real impact. When switched to AM mode, there was also a noticeable drop in volume level going on.

Generally, you would be better off spending your money on any of the better options we’ve reviewed.

Elvex Welcom 660
Our rating:4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Pros

  • Up to 150-hours battery life.
  • High tuning sensitivity.

Cons

  • Better value elsewhere.
  • No frequency display.
  • No preset saving.

7 Earmuff Ear Defender Digital Radio Headphones – Best Radio Headphones for Ear Protection

The last model in our review are the German-made Earmuff Ear Defender headphones. It’s a mixture of good and bad features on offer here.

Not exactly comfy…

Starting with comfort levels, the Ear Defenders certainly have room for improvement. The headband padding is the thinnest of all the models listed and the ear cup cushioning is on the stiff side. We wouldn’t want to use these headphones for hours on end.

On the plus side, build quality looks to be good, and Earmuff offers a 2-year warranty, which certainly inspires confidence in a long lifespan. They also have the highest noise reduction rating of all the models on this list at 31dB’s attenuation. This would probably be their most standout feature in a market place of very similar products.

Massive battery life…

AA batteries once again provide the juice. Earmuff claims up to 200 hours of playback time, another first place from amongst our chosen headphones. Controls are kept nice and simple, and the usual LED frequency display is thankfully present. Eight preset stations can be saved for your convenience.

AM and FM frequencies are both available with the ability to scan both manually and automatically for stations. Sensitivity levels are good, particularly in FM mode, with reception never being a problem.

Average audio…

The sound quality is pretty average compared to the other models of quality radio headphones reviewed. Acceptable would be the word we’d use. Bass exists in an unimpressive sort of way, and treble is a little sibilant on occasion. Mid-range and vocal delivery is clear enough, though.

Unfortunately, the poor comfort level and average sound quality stop the Ear Defenders from challenging for the best radio headphone title unless the very highest levels of ear protection are your main concern.

Earmuff Ear Defender Digital Radio Headphones
Our rating:3.9 out of 5 stars (3.9 / 5)

Pros

  • Longest battery life – 200 hours.
  • 2-year warranty.
  • 31dB’s noise reduction – Highest.

Cons

  • Least comfortable.
  • Unimpressive audio quality.

Looking for more excellent headphones for various uses?

Then check out our comprehensive reviews of the Best Headphones with Volume Control, the Best Neckband Headphones, the Best Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, the Best Waterproof Headphones, or the Best Running Headphones on the market in 2021.

Or how about our reviews of the Best Travel Headphones, the Best Headphones for Mixing and Mastering, the Most Comfortable Headphones, the Best Studio Headphones for Home Recording, or the Best Headphones for Rock Metal Music you can buy.

Best Radio Headphones – The Verdict

The radio headphones market is stuffed full of products that offer very similar levels of comfort, features, design, and audio performance. In a marketplace of so much averageness, the one set of cans that stood out above the rest were the…

ZOHAN EM042 AM/FM Radio Headphone

As the specs were so similar to a number of others on the list, the main feature that made these headphones jump out from the crowd was their superior audio quality. High comfort levels, a mid-price point, and durable construction materials sealed the deal. Need the best headphones with radio at a very affordable price? Then look no further.

Happy listening.

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