Surefire Sonic Defenders


June 12, 2013, 03:13 PM
I noticed it says on Surefire's website these should be replaced every six months. Why is this so?

For those that have used them, would you recommend them?


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June 12, 2013, 03:27 PM
I love mine. I use them for shooting trap outdoors and inside I wear them under muffs. I also wear them under my motorcycle helmet when riding. They are comfortable cheap and quiet.

June 12, 2013, 11:41 PM
Why is this so?

You should probably ask Surefire.

For those that have used them, would you recommend them?

I use mine and have sets for my daughter as well and have given them as gifts to beginning shooters. Great under electronic muffs.

June 13, 2013, 07:07 AM
Great under electronic muffs.

This is how I often use mine as well. They are fine by themselves in some situations (shooting .22 or .223 outdoors from a 16" barrel), but they really work great under good muffs.


June 13, 2013, 07:16 AM
I bought a pair each of the EP3 and EP4 a couple months back (less than 6 months.) They worked fantastic... for a while. the rubber the ear canal pieces are made of lost their strength for me after about 3 months, rendering them useless. granted I wore them alot (not just for shooting, but yard work attempts to drown out the snoring wife, yes I could sleep comfortably with them in, any time I was doing anything remotely loud, etc.) but they went "bad" awefully fast for the price paid. That said I just ordered a couple sets of EP7's to try. I like they have replaceable tips. We'll see how that goes.

oh and I concur, they work great under even a cheap set of earmuffs at the range. I shoot at an indoor range that REALLY needs to think about a minimal investment in sound control (bare concrete and steel makes a heck of an echo chamber) and the combo of the EP3s and earmuffs rendered all noises muted fantastically. Nicest part was, I could take my earmuffs off and have a conversation with someone on the line even with other people shooting... the EP3s muted the noises enough to be loud, but not painfully loud.

all of the above is the reason i'm giving the EP7's a try.

Ohen Cepel
June 13, 2013, 08:07 AM
I like them a lot, didn't know about the 6mn "life".

Wore them a lot in OEF since they worked very well and were a lot more comfortable than the combat plugs.

Since being home I wear them a lot at the range. Like to leave them open under my electronic muffs so I can still hear well.

Double Naught Spy
June 13, 2013, 08:36 AM
I didn't like mine and thought they were a waste of money.

The advertising is a bit misleading, but the specifics are clarified in the specifications somewhat...

EP4 Sonic Defenders® Plus protect your hearing without interfering with your ability to hear routine sounds or conversations. Their triple-flanged stem design fits larger ear canals and provides a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 24dB. Sounds, at safe levels, are allowed to pass through into the ear canal, while potentially harmful noises (above 85dB) are reduced via a proprietary design that incorporates a special noise-reducing filter. EP4s include attached filter caps, which can be inserted for additional protection and blocking out lower-level noise, like that heard on a plane, where hearing ambient sounds or conversations isn't critical.

So you have a nrr 24 and you get even more when you close the caps, you know, when talking and stuff isn't important, right? Nope. This isn't really true. The nrr of 24 is ONLY when the caps are closed. So at that point, you have fancy ear plugs that cost a lot of money with cute little inserts (inserts for the inserts, LOL) and have to be replaced every 6 months (other silicon ones do as well, and still others, that cost, say 50 cents a pair when purchased in bulk, even more often).

From the specifications...
•24dB Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) with filter caps inserted•Lowers potentially dangerous noise levels above 85dB
•Hear safe sound levels (with filter caps out) as if you weren't wearing ear plugs

If you can hear safe sounds with the caps out, you certainly hear the report of the gunshot with them out as well and it isn't reduced by very much. I don't know how much it is reduced, but Surefire doesn't provide a nrr for the caps being off.

Now, they may be very comfortable for folks and I don't disagree with that, but they are expensive comfortable plugs. Without the inserts inserted (sort of like if you don't insert regular plugs), they aren't good for shooting.

For my money, I have gone back to plugs like these (but mine are orange).

You get 100 pairs with a higher nrr of 32, on lanyards, for under $25.

Outlaw Man
June 13, 2013, 09:07 AM
I've had the exact results Double Naught speaks of. Granted, I got them when they were first released, so maybe the technology improved. The ones I had seemed to do very little without the caps.

I went the opposite direction, though, and got custom molded plugs.

June 13, 2013, 11:51 PM
I use Surefire EP3 and I never remove the small plastic canal plugs. I can hear a range shout or loud conversation well enough with them in and don't have to worry about hearing damage from gunfire.

I have been using the same pair for several years. My guess is Surefire recommends replacing them 6 months for ear wax build up in the plug. But to get the official answer, hso got it right, ask Surefire. They work fine for handguns and standard deer rifle calibers. But you would probably want muffs for anything louder ie magnums.

June 14, 2013, 07:47 AM
"24dB Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) with filter caps inserted"

24dB isn't all that much protection either. Remember that the dB scale is not linear, it's logarithmic. The difference in 24 and, say, 29 or 30 is huge...

"On the decibel scale, the smallest audible sound (near total silence) is 0 dB. A sound 10 times more powerful is 10 dB. A sound 100 times more powerful than near total silence is 20 dB. A sound 1,000 times more powerful than near total silence is 30 dB."

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