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June 08, 2010

Ryobi Tek4 Audio Plus Headphones - Product Review

If I'm cutting the lawn or doing something repetitive I love working to music.  It's a powerful energizing force that inspires you to create stylin' dance moves on the job.

So I figured out a way to load Sennheiser clip-on earbuds under my hearing protection headphones so that I could work to iPod tunes. 

Sadly, the earbuds pressed uncomfortably against the cartilage in my ears under the pressure of the headphones.  And if someone wanted to talk to me, it was a big hairy ritual to remove both the headphones and the earbuds and then put it all back on again to go back to work.

So I was pretty excited when Ryobi recently introduced Audio Plus headphones with a bevy of helpful features:

  • an iPod/MP3 input
  • electronic noise-suppression
  • a conversation monitor that enhances close range conversations without you having to tear off the headphones to hear what someone is saying 

Ryobi Tek 4 Audio Plus Noise Suppression headphones are lightweight and extremely comfortable.  The padding is supple and the spring steel in the headset is generously shaped so it doesn't give you a compression headache after 15 minutes of wear.

The headphones come with a cable that runs from your MP3 player to an input on one of the ear casings.  The cord, in my opinion, is way longer than it needs to be unless you carry your MP3 player in your boot.  I'm only mentioning this because I'm the kind of girl who tangles stray cables in my work leading to disastrous tool malfunctions.  So you might want to customize your cable length by winding up the excess cord and throwing an elastic band around it.

Sound quality is decent and the noise cancellation in these headphones is fantastic. The electronic circuitry suppresses damaging impulse and background noise before it gets anywhere near your eardrums. 

And when someone needs to talk to you, you don't have to rip off the headphones.  You just activate the conversation monitor (a small knob on the right side of the headphones, adjustable to a high degree of sensitivity). 

And here's a cool feature; Once you've enabled the conversation monitor, the noise suppression still functions, so if someone shoots off a nail gun or drops an armload of lumber while you're talking, you're not shocked into apoplexy.

Tek 4 headphones run on one Tek4 rechargeable lithium-ion battery.  According to the literature, "One Tek4 battery outlasts up to 6,000 AA Alkaline batteries, for a savings of about $8000" - egad!  Who knew we spend that much on AAs?  Tek4 batteries power 9 other compact Ryobi tools - you can see the whole collection here.  

Ryobi tools are available only at The Home Depot - retail price in Canada is $69



Wow.. mag I thought you said that you can even hear a mouse fart!.. boy someone please wash my ear wax!! haha!


just thought id let you know I did rewatch the video and yes thats exactly what you said..boyyy im so not going crazy afterall!!!


You know you're getting old when you are trying to buy audio equipment for the job site and ask if it has AM and all you get back is a look of abject confusion.

Abi, mice don't fart, they expel ecologically important molecules that bring harmony and balance to the greater biosphere.


Thanks for clearing up the lingo on gas-expelling rodent bums, Michael.

And some companies are still catering to us old farts. (Avert your eyes, Abi, I just said 'fart' again!) I actually just got sent a new headphone model from 3M that has AM/FM (digital no less) as well as an MP3 input. I'll post about it soon.


With technology, you can just pretend the problem doesn't exists.



Hey, you might want to check out my Facebook page - you would have found out about the Better Marriage Blanket weeks ago!



sweet, thanks mag for telling me.. and i look forward to seeing your next post.. Haha. xoxox!


That's probably where I saw it. I knew there was a good reason not to Fackbook.


its alot of fun.. check it out and if you dont have one make a facebook account.. so you can also chat with mag there. completley fun!


Regarding the cable length, you could always do what I learned to do as a gigging musician -- run the cable under your shirt. It won't ever get tangled and you can even get clips to attach it to the collar of your shirt so that you always have some amount of slack above the neck so you don't turn your head and rip the things off.

Thanks for the review -- I'll have to check these out for myself now!


are you still into the whole um double AA batteries.. or even if you still used it.. do you favor other batteries more than ya do with double AA ONES?

writing jobs

You are so cool! And a little bit crazy, I have to say. I want to be like you one day...

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Mag's Books

  • : We're All In This Together

    We're All In This Together
    Based on four years of interviews with Steve Smith, Mag's unconventional biography reveals the personal stories, sorrows and joys that continue to inspire the man behind the Red Green legacy.

  • : How Hard Can It Be?

    How Hard Can It Be?
    Mag's quirky and entertaining book of home improvement projects for beginners.

Nota Bene

  • It’s never too late to be who you might have been. - George Eliot (1819-1880)
  • Simplicity of character is the natural result of profound thought. - My fortune cookie