Friend to a Welder: Bluetooth Headset

I decided to start a new section of the blog devoted to things, as a welder, I’ve found useful. If you’re a weldor too and want to contribute, let me know and I’ll get you set up.

To get things rolling, I’ll introduce you to a product that has made a huge difference in my life. I know… that sounds dramatic, but it’s mostly true.

It’s the Sony DR-BT160As. I wish we had part numbers like that. I know it says they’re discontinued on the Sony site, but you can always find them on eBay.
The deal with these in particular is the way they “mount” to your head… they’re tucked in tight behind your ears, and there is no strap to interfere with your welding helmet! I connect them to my iPhone with Bluetooth (no wires), slide the phone into an old welding glove to protect it from sparks, and I can walk around my shop listening to whatever I want! I also like the “in-ear” design because they act as ear plugs too. If I get a call on my cell phone while I’m welding, I can press a little button on the headset and talk – there’s a microphone built in too. You can adjust the volume, change tracks, pause, make phone calls… all without touching your phone.

While I’m at it, I might as well mention some good podcasts I listen to while I’m welding. It’s a good chunk of time to just sit and learn.

For listening, I just use the Podcasts app that comes on the iPhone.

If you listen to any good podcasts, let me know!

My old pals.

Update (March 2017)!
Half of the Sony earphones stopped working, so I had to go on the hunt for a new set. I landed on the Monster iSport Super Slim… these were the first ear buds I’ve used with the little rubber boomerang thingy that snuggles into one of the weird little folds of your ear. I always thought I would have an issue with rubber boomerangs snuggling into my ear- kind of like those toe socks that I use to gauge how much I’ll value the opinion of someone wearing them regarding anything aesthetic, ever, in their whole life. But they’re actually quite comfortable and sturdy!
99% of my listening is devoted to the human voice (unless the podcast has intro music, which I generally dislike – if I wanted to listen to 20 seconds of music, I’d play music), so I can’t really say much about the limits of the speakers.
They are really great as ear plugs, too. Battery life is pretty good, and they charge quickly too. I think the only reason I’d buy something else when these die is to try something else – I don’t feel as though I’ve arrived at the top of the bluetooth ear bud pile yet. I’d rank these above the Sony pair though.

Update (September 2019)!
I’m still using the Monster iSport Super Slim, but they’re becoming less super. The rubber boomerangs often release from the main body, which lets them twist around so the speakers aren’t oriented properly. Speaking of the speakers, I can’t count how many times I’ve answered the phone barely able to hear the caller due to the rubber “earhole adapter” (my term) being lodged deep in my ear hole instead of attached to the speaker. One time, I had to enlist the tweezer skills of my mom to delicately extricate it. I knew I could trust her – she’s removed innumerable splinters from my body.

All that to say I think I’ll be in the market for a new set of earphones shortly. Do you have any recommendations?


  1. Xam Takorian says:

    I’ve been looking for a way to Weld and listen to stuff. Does welding interfere with the bluetooth signal?

    • DW says:

      Thanks for your comment. I’ve found that tig welding can interfere if the phone is in my pocket, but if I leave my phone on the bench with a clear view to the headset, there is no interference.


  2. Steve says:


    Plantronics Backboard Go 2 work great as well. Find a a place with 2 year warranty you can buy. A few replacements later I’m still rocking.

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