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Father’s Day gift idea: The 3M WorkTunes Connect hearing-protection headphones for $50 – CNET

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$50 is a small price to pay now against pricey hearing aids later.

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This story is part of Father’s Day Gift Guide 2020, featuring our top picks for dads who love tech.

Any dad who works with power tools needs hearing protection. And take it from this dad; age is already taking its toll, so we don’t need belt sanders, lawn mowers and circular saws speeding things along.

There are plenty of safety earmuffs out there, but then how can we listen to our Greatest Hits of the ’70s playlist? Simple: Add Bluetooth to the mix. For a limited time, Amazon has the 3M WorkTunes Connect Wireless Hearing Protector headphones for $49.96. These sell elsewhere for as much as $79.

These headphones look like traditional workshop earmuffs and provide 24 decibels of noise reduction just by wearing them. But of course they’re straight-up Bluetooth headphones as well — and thanks to the passive noise reduction, Dad won’t have to crank the volume to 11 just to hear his tunes.

How do they sound? I found the perfect person to evaluate the WorkTunes Connect: Cheapskate Jr. My 17-year-old is a budding bladesmith, so he’s doing a lot of welding, sanding and pounding — activities that definitely require hearing protection. His verdict after two weeks? Two very enthusiastic thumbs up. In fact, he’s made it clear I’m not getting these back.

Amazon’s price has been a bit lower in the past, so you could roll the dice and see if a Father’s Day sale is imminent. But given the dual-purpose nature of these headphones, I think $50 is reasonable.

Your thoughts?

Read more: CNET’s Father’s Day Gift Guide 2020

Get a 2nd-gen Amazon Echo smart speaker for $45

Speaking of gift ideas, it’s hard to beat a smart speaker — especially when there’s a deal like this. For a limited time, and while supplies last, Daily Steals has the refurbished Amazon Echo 2nd-generation for $44.99 with promo code CNETECHO2. It originally sold for $100, which is the price you’ll see on the current-gen model.

Because this is a refurb, it comes in non-retail packaging and has only a 90-day warranty. (Daily Steals’ product page currently says 30 days, but I’ve been assured the coverage will be extended.) I have no problem with that, but it’s something to consider if you are indeed thinking of this as a gift.

Beyond that, the Echo (available here in your choice of three fabric-wrapped colors) is a good-sounding medium-size smart speaker, one that CNET’s Ry Crist described as “well worth $100” back in 2017. (Read his full Amazon Echo review to learn more.)

To look at this another way, the Echo Dot currently sells for $50. For five buck less, you’re getting much bigger, better sound.

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