Product Review: ISOtunes Pro

If you’re going to be around tools, you’ve GOT TO use hearing protection. If you don’t want to have to choose between music, phone calls, and hearing protection, you should have a look at ISOtunes Pro. Learn more about them with this product review.

I have my share (or more) of electronic devices, and I know I’ve tried more than my share of Bluetooth gizmos that connect to the devices. One lets me talk on the phone, hands free. Another gives me stereo sound while I’m working, or working out. But when it’s time to run tools I have to dump ‘em all and get my hearing protection on. When I’m looking at a long day of running tools, I hate that I’m no longer able to listen to music. Say goodbye to those days. ISOtunes Pro, $89.99, provides one stop shopping for my music, phone conversations, AND hearing protection. Plus there’s a crazy cool feature I’ll talk more about later.

What are ISOtunes Pro?

Here’s the complete ISOtunes Pro kit; a great hard shell case, headset, three sizes of foam ear pieces, and a charging cord. Similar to using ear plugs, you’ll roll or squeeze the ear pieces between your fingers before inserting them in your ear. Once in, they’ll expand for a great fit, providing 27 decibels of noise reduction. To get a relative perspective on 27 dB of noise reduction… OSHA figures if you’re below 85 dB, you’re safe. Most woodworking tools run around 105 dB. Do the math. IT Pro gets you below the safe hearing level.

Hearing protection, check.

Phone use

This part’s simple. Pair IT Pro to your phone, and you can talk on the phone through the headset. When the phone rings, I hear the ringer through the ear pieces. Answer the call by hitting the answer/end button. (Guess how you end a call.) Increase or decrease volume with the volume up/volume down buttons.

I use an iPhone 6, and have had no connectivity problems. In fact, IT Pro has outshone many other Bluetooth devices I’ve tried. My shop is a steel building, which has a funky effect on wireless stuff (including the wireless mics we use for videos). I’ve tried a lot of Bluetooth headsets with my iPhone, with lousy luck at maintaining the connection. This hasn’t been an issue with IT Pro. I’ve queried LOTS of people I talk to, and they’ve all told me audio quality on their end is great when I’m on IT Pro.

Want to talk to Siri? Not a problem. I can communicate with her (it?) through the headset, just as I do when I talk directly to the phone. But I’ve talked to other users, and they have no problems with this, so it may just be my voice.

I can also use the buttons to reject a call, transfer the call back to my phone, mute calls, and redial the last number. If I could choose one more feature to add, I’d like IT Pro to access my contact list and announce the caller. I’ve had this feature on other headsets, and love it.

Full functionality with my phone, check.

Music

When it comes to music I’m primarily a Pandora guy. And it’s ALWAYS on. (So I was very bummed when noisy tools displaced my tunes.) Pause, there’s a button for that. Skip a track, there’s a button for that. Previous track, (on a playlist, not Pandora) there’s a button for that. And, of course, volume up and volume down.

Music to my ears, check

Noise cancelling

I saved the best for last. I’m a busy guy. If I’m on the phone, I want to multi-task. In the shop that could mean running a vac or sander while I’m chatting, if I can get away with it. With previous headsets, no way. I’d get all sorts of complaints from the person on the other end about background noise. IT Pro has a noise cancelling feature that is, simply, amazing. Here’s the deal. You’re on the phone, you kick on a shop vacuum, the person on the other end hears it for a second, and then the mic cancels out the vac, but leaves your voice alone. It’s like magic! Now all they hear is my melodic voice, and I can hear them perfectly.

I’ve successfully used IT Pro with random orbit sanders, shop vacuums, and a belt sander. It worked great. Does it work with routers, table saws, bandsaws? I don’t know. When I’m running those tools, I’m not going to talk on the phone at the same time.

The noise cancelling feature works best on continuous noise. You turn on a shop vac and keep it running, you’re golden. You turn something on, then off, then on, then off. Not so much. The best way to take advantage of the noise cancelling feature is to stop talking, turn on the noisy thing, give IT Pro a sec to catch up, and then resume the conversation. Watch the video and you’ll see what I mean.

Work AND talk on the phone, check.

Working out

I run or bike nearly every day. I was concerned about the ear pieces staying in place on a run, but it hasn’t been a problem. IT Pro is water resistant so can get damp (but don’t go swimming with them in) and survive. A great feature when I’m sweating to the oldies.

Work out buddies, check.

Other stuff

  • IsoTunes says the range from your phone to the ear buds is 30-feet. I’ve set my phone down and been 60-feet away without losing touch.
  • Battery life is stated as 10 hours talk time, 240 hours on standby. I work a lot of really long days, and have never run out of battery. Well, I’ve run out of battery, but IT Pro hasn’t. But I’m careful about charging every night. The headset beeps when the battery is running low, and a “fuel gauge” shows up next to the headset symbol on my phone, showing me how much juice is left.
  • Are you a two phone kind of person? You can connect to both, and toggle back and forth between them when calls come in.
  • There’s another model you should know about, simply called ISOtunes, $59.99. You still get hearing protection, noise cancelling, tunes… but battery life is shorter, hearing protection is 26 instead of 27 dB, background noise suppression is (according the manufacturer) not quite as affective as on the Pro.

I love listening to music. I spend a boatload of time on the phone. I’m almost always surrounded by noisy stuff. ISOtunes Pro has changed that dynamic significantly for me, for the better. Everything I need is in one product, and I honestly feel I’m more productive as a result. And probably less cranky, since I don’t have to go without my music.

Source

ISOtune Pro
$89.99
www.isotunesaudio.com
Available on Amazon.com

Discussion
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11 Responses to “Product Review: ISOtunes Pro”
    • George Vondriska

      I checked with the manufacturer. There are currently no retail stores in Canada carrying ISOtunes.

      Reply
    • Jeff Blake

      If you are still looking for these, I just came across the product today and I discovered that Lee Valley now sells them in Canada. I am going to pick up a pair next week. I am excited because I use a bobcat for snow clearing and my previous ear protection that had bluetooth/radio in it was not very comfortable for long periods of time. It seems like the added noise cancellation will work great for this.

      Reply
  1. Jerame Brown

    Not a bad price. I bought a pair of the big, over-the-ear muffs with AM/FM and bluetooth at a big box store for $60. I’d prefer these, the big ones are good for blocking noise, but are annoying with the sweat buildup after a couple of hours of use.

    Reply
  2. Don

    Good Day George,
    I am a newbie to your site – about a month, but been in the trade since the early 1970’s. Lots of experience, but there is always something new to learn. New ways of working with old material and new ways of working with new material.
    But I digress… I wanted to offer you a different view of the blue tooth ear buds you are promoting. Wireless is the rage for sure. However the downside is potentially devastating to users. The EMF – Electro Magnetic Fields given off by bluetooth, cell phones, computers are proven carcinogens. Phones are bad enough and science shows increase in various cancers when used for relatively short times per day. Wearing a bluetooth device for 8 hours/day or more seems to be incredibly dangerous for yourself and presenting such to your viewers may not be in their best interests. I could send you some links – but you can do a quick google search yourself – look for Dangers of EMF or some such. Manufacturers themselves publish danger warnings for phones, but these tend to be hidden away in the small print.
    Seems to be a serious issue my friend…
    regards
    Don Dixon

    Reply
    • Harold Robinson

      Actually you are incorrect. Radioactivity and radiation are often used interchangeably, but they describe different (yet related) processes.

      Radiation is the term given to a travelling particle or wave and can be split into three main types:

      non-ionising radiation: essentially the low-energy parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. This includes all the light you see, radio waves (also known as microwaves – as in the oven) and infrared (“heat” radiation). Ultra violet falls into the high energy end of this category.
      ionising radiation: radiation that can remove an electron from its orbital
      neutrons: free neutron particles that can collide with other atoms.

      I am not going to get into this more as it is highly scientific. You can go here if you want to read the entire article (of which I have quoted above)
      http://theconversation.com/explainer-the-difference-between-radiation-and-radioactivity-20014

      Needless to say you can’t get cancer from Bluetooth headphones, or talking on a cell phone, they are a different type of radiation from Ionizing radiation like X-rays.

      Reply
    • George Vondriska

      It relies on the foam ear piece being inserted into your ear. If that’s compatible with your hearing aid, you’d be OK.

      Reply
    • Gordon Clkarke

      Here is my solution. My hearing aids are in soft plastic ear molds so the ones in this article just have no place to go. I double up on protection by leaving them in my ears but turned off. On top of that, I use ear muffs.

      Reply