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Ear Protection

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by NelsErik, Mar 23, 2010.

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  1. NelsErik

    NelsErik Member

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    I have been using a pair of foam in the ear plugs plus a set of Winchester "muffs" while shooting at our range. Most the guys that come have some sort of electronic muffs that they wear. I have tried a few and some seem to work very well while others not so well. I borrowed a pair from one of the guys shooting that had four microphones on them that actually amplified sound until a gun was fired and then they cut out and blocked the noise. The sound amplification was great and I assume would be great in the field hunting. What brands does everyone recommend? I will be wearing them for about 4 hours a day so comfort and protection is the most important thing. I do however like the sound amplification.

    Thanks!

    Nels Erik!
     
  2. Leafy Cronmer

    Leafy Cronmer Member

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    Well I seem to have been in a similar situation as yourself. I Had to find out what all the buzz was about. But when I started testing and researching the products. I found that almost all the electronic ear protection I tested had a bunch of feed back or buzzing when turned on. Maybe I am being anal but the head sets that I tried had to much fuzz (like a bad FM signal) for me to justify buying. If you find one that works for you then go for it but I just resigned to wearing my gel earplugs.
     
  3. Werewolf

    Werewolf Member

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    That fuzz was probably caused by having the volume turned up too high. You were hearing the sound of the wind/air moving near you.

    Once upon a time I worked as an engineer at a TV station. We hated doing remote shoots outside because if it was windy (which it is most of the time in OK) filtering out the sound of moving air was very, very difficult and we used sound equip way more capable than even the most expensive set of electronic muffs.

    Try turning down the volume and that fuzz will go away - or not - if you were using a cheapo $50 dollar set.

    I've got a set of these made by Peltor: http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=541841

    They work great. Kind of pricey but then sometimes you actually do get what you pay for and when it comes to shooting accessories that is true more often than not in my experience.
     
  4. NelsErik

    NelsErik Member

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    I think Peltor was the name of the brand that I tried. The guy said something about having four versus two microphones but I can't remember what he said.
     
  5. Werewolf

    Werewolf Member

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    The Peltor set I linked has two mics. They are very comfortable. I've worn mine up to a couple of hours. I would imagine that after 4 hours or so they'd start to not feel great on your head. Your tolerance for that may be higher than mine.
     
  6. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Walker's Game Ears is another good brand - buy the more expensive ones - cheap ones don't last and don't do as good a job as even the foam plugs
     
  7. jak67429

    jak67429 Member

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    I have been using the walkers game ears for handgun hunting. get the digital ones and have a hearing aide place do custom fitted ear inserts. they will be comfortable all day. Get the digital ones and you can custom tune then.
     
  8. Stradawhovious

    Stradawhovious Member

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    I know I will probably get flamed for this, but i have a pair of $25 Caldwell stereo muffs. I have never had a feedback issue, even at full volume. Battery life is good and they work great. They easily amplify through the foam plugs and cut out when they should. The only issue I have is that sometimes....... and only sometimes when my smartphone is getting a text or email there is some electronic chatter picked up buy the muffs. This is solved by putting the phone in my range bag.

    YMMV
     
  9. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=510235

    I've never had a buzz in my Peltors nor have any of my buddies with the Howard Leight Impacts ever reported a buzz.

    Wearing electronic muffs over plugs is the best combination for preserving your hearing and being able to hear what's going on around you.
     
  10. Japle

    Japle Member

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    Some electronic ears pick up the signal of a cell phone "shaking hands" with the nearest tower. That produces the buzz/feedback.

    I use a set of the $20 electronic muffs I got on sale from Harbour Freight and a pair of USAF plugs. With the muffs turned up all the way, I can hear range commands, but the muffs cut off loud sounds.
     
  11. Japle

    Japle Member

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    Dupe post.......
     
  12. bleach

    bleach Member

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  13. natman

    natman Member

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    I have hunted for years with a set of Peltor 6s and have hundreds of hours with them. Sound amplification seems like a good idea, but in actual practice it becomes very difficult to place sounds when the volume is turned up. If you set the volume at normal levels you can locate sounds and after a while you forget you have them on. It is great when they turn a shotguns BOOM into a faraway boom. Highly recommended.
     
  14. LRS_Ranger

    LRS_Ranger Member

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    +1 for peltors
     
  15. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    My pair of Howard Leight Impact Sport E-muffs do great. IMO they are better than Peltor and cost significantly less.

    :)
     
  16. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    Another vote for Howard Leigth Impact Sports. Tried 4/5/6 different kinds, those are the best of any electronic I've tried and reasonable in cost.

    Yes, they are OK, about the same as plugs but much handier.
     
  17. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Got a pair of the ZEMs. They were fine, but since you can't put muffs over them they don't provide the protection of plugs and muffs.
     
  18. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    Unless there have been improvements I am not aware of in the last couple of years, electronic muffs have a lower NRR than the very best conventional muffs. This was a consideration when I shot at an indoor range and someone might be shooting an elephant gun or machine gun next to me.
     
  19. bobelk99

    bobelk99 Member

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    I have for years obtained the best protection using non-electronic Clark Straightaways.

    I routinely use Peltor where hearing voice commands is required.
     
  20. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    Must have been one heckof an indoor range. ;)
     
  21. Yosemite Sam

    Yosemite Sam Member

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    As soon as I win the lottery, I've got my sights set on the Pro-Ears Gold. $300 though. 33 db passive NRR, plus microprocessor controlled active amplification.
     
  22. sidibear

    sidibear Member

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    Peltor Sport Tac, nicely shaped to avoid hitting the stock.
     
  23. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    If conversation or voice commands or ambient non-shooting sound isn't needed an inexpensive pair of NRR 30 muffs over NRR 30 plugs (both properly used) is about as good as it gets.

    If you want to hear ambient sound or voice then the best you can do is to use electronic muffs over plugs at this point in time.

    You should always double up regardless if you want to preserve the hearing you have.
     
  24. WoofersInc

    WoofersInc Member

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    Another vote for the Pro-Ears. I use the Dimension 1 model. Most of the other electronic ears mentioned have decibel reduction ratings of 20-24 while the Pro-Ears have a rating of 33 decibels. It is the highest rating that is out there right now for electronic ears. This beats the passive hearing protection also.
     
  25. Werewolf

    Werewolf Member

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    You've really got to know how the spec is generated to know whether it is useful or not.

    For example if the NRR rating is the max noise reduction it is essentially meaningless. Say the time the boom from your gun lasts is 10msecs. Assume that at 5ms the db of the boom is 165db (not uncommon). At 3ms the boom might be at 120db. If the response time of the electronics to achieve that 33db NRR is 7msecs then you really don't get 33db NRR. The max your ears are exposed to is what ever the NRR is at 5msecs which is when the example assumed peak noise level is reached. If it takes the electronics less then the example of 5msecs to reach the 33NRR level then you're good to go but as long as the response time is longer than it takes for the boom to achieve max db level then you're not getting the published NRR. Cheap electronics typically take longer to achieve max NRR than good electronics which quite often is directly correlated to the price you pay for those electronic ears.

    Response time is critical. In my opinion the RMS measure tells the real story. Unfortunately not a lot of muff makers measure that way because the NRR rating would be lower. They measure peak noise reduction and don't tell you how long it takes to achieve that and certainly don't compare the NRR response curve to a typical gun boom noise level curve.

    Not sure how peltor does it or the pro-ears guys but I'd bet if they both used the RMS method there wouldn't be a rat's behind bit of difference between the two.
     
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