A few years ago, I noticed that some of the folks running the heavy equipment on our manufacturing floor at work were wearing what looked like a cross between company-issued earplugs and earbuds. Fast forward to a few weeks ago. I was talking to a buddy of mine who was wearing some of these things. He said, “Plugfones! They’re great! I can wear them out on the shop floor and they work as hearing protection, AND I can listed to music, podcasts—whatever I want—at the same time!” I investigated and found that Plugfones do indeed make several types of hybrid hearing protection/earbuds that have been independently tested and certified to meet various US, EU and Australian safety standards. Their Liberate 2.0 model (pictured) is priced at $99.99 and is a fully Bluetooth wireless system that is rechargeable and includes an in-line remote, different types of tips for best ear canal fit, a charge cable and case. Plugfones also has some wired models that are lower in price. I think these could work well not only for folks who work in areas where hearing protection is required, but for anyone who wants to block out ambient sound and just focus on whatever it is they want to listen to. Visit Plugfones.com for more info or to order.