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Earmuff opinions

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by monotonous_iterancy, Sep 9, 2012.

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  1. btg3

    btg3 Member

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    ^^^This.
    Improper use or fit will result in significantly diminshed "effective NRR".

    Both muffs and plugs must create a "seal" or noise will "leak" past the protection.

    I also wear glasses... Thin wire frame that fits close the head. Muffs have enough cushion and tension to seal rather well around the wire frame.

    Plugs... rollups do not work for me. They creep out. I have tried various types and have been trained in their use. (Not mentioned above is that when inserting, you should reach over your grasp and pull up/back on the opposite ear to straighten the ear canal thus aiding insertion fully into the ear). What works great for me is the push-in plugs which stay put with a super seal assuring the full benefit of the 28 NRR rating. They have grab stems which I had to trim to avoid interference with my cheap muffs, but are not a problem with my Peltor Tactical Pro muffs. I buy a box of plugs and keep them in the garage for use with mower, blower, saw, etc.
     
  2. monotonous_iterancy

    monotonous_iterancy Member

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    Do you mean the stick kind or the flanged kind? I bought a pair of these last year for metal shop, so I wouldn't have to keep buying disposable ear plugs, and because it seemed so difficult to use them wrong. Needless to say, they do very little for me, maybe I did't use them right, but they don't do much at all. Just to test them out, I fired my .22 with them in, thinking the 28db promise had me covered. I fired 3 rounds and regretted it. They're not very comfortable, and they hardly seem to do anything.
     
  3. btg3

    btg3 Member

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    Here's a link. I get the corded version, as the cord can be yanked out when not wanted. As to comfort, these are much easier to take in and out, which used to make my ear tender, but not so much anymore. I discovered these at a large construction project which had about a dozen different types of ear plugs available to compare. I noticed that personal preference varied widely... and concluded that all ears are not alike. Some people may have universal ear canals, others require custom fitting??? Like fitting shoes to feet perhaps.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2012
  4. monotonous_iterancy

    monotonous_iterancy Member

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    Oh, I like those kind a lot. Not for shooting, but for other loud environments, they're very easy to use, and they work pretty much all the time.
     
  5. monotonous_iterancy

    monotonous_iterancy Member

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    I took the ones I bought back to the store after the second time my ears were ringing from firing a gun. That shouldn't happen when I'm doubled up, and I think it was because of the gaps in the foam that were there out of the box.

    So I'm in the market for new muffs. This time I will go with a reputable and trusted brand. Money isn't such an issue this time. I figure that my hearing is worth more than trying to be frugal. So I'll say I'm willing to spend up to $60. Suggestions are welcome.
     
  6. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Howard Leight Impact Sports.
    Low profile helps with shouldering a long arm.
    Electronic allows you to hear range commands.
    Quality industrial hearing protection manufacturer.
    Great product in my experience.
     
  7. monotonous_iterancy

    monotonous_iterancy Member

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    Electronic muffs do seem attractive, but those are only 22db. I know NRR is not cumulative after a point, but does it make a difference wether you have two 33NRR items as opposed to a 33 and a 22?
     
  8. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Not in the calculation of cumulative NRR.

    Plugs are more critical and the high NRR with them is what you are looking for.
     
  9. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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    Except when shooting indoors, I just use the tapered foamie plugs, and push them in 'til they're touching.
     
  10. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Big ear canals!:evil:
     
  11. Drail

    Drail Member

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    Peltor makes very good affordable protection.
     
  12. monotonous_iterancy

    monotonous_iterancy Member

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    So, to get this correct, it doesn't matter whether I use muffs that are 20 somethings, or 30 somethings, it's about protecting the bones around the ear, and most muffs do that job adequately? I like the idea of the Howard Leight ones, but the rating seems a little skimpy at first glance. Could I safely shoot things like magnum handguns, and loud rifles such as M44s if I used those, and was doubled up with good plugs?
     
  13. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    The higher the NRR or SNR the better, but you have to understand that plugs and muffs have different attenuating efficiencies at different frequencies because of that bone conduction so you don't just add them directly. Since the target for protection is in the area around 2,000-Hz frequency for preserving hearing of the human voice the additional protection of adding muffs to plugs isn't directly additive.

    You still want high NRR/SNR with each, but your protection in the critical voice range is where the calculation isn't simply adding the two together.

    Great article here with a lot of information, but shows especially well why proper fit and application of hearing protection devices is so critically important to protecting hearing.
    http://www.ilo.org/safework_bookshelf/english?content&nd=857170368
     
  14. josephbw

    josephbw Member

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    For those of you worried about the price of ear muffs, price a pair of hearing aids. You will quickly see that quality muffs are very inexpensive.
     
  15. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Very good point, but loosing your hearing "on the installment plan" is far too common. Like making payments you don't notice as much until you've paid the price.
     
  16. monotonous_iterancy

    monotonous_iterancy Member

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    That was interesting. I think I'll get the Impact Sports. That article did say that with good earplugs, the combination you use doesn't matter much at the frequency of the human voice, or something like that. So is there any advantage to having higher NRR rated muffs over earplugs then?
     
  17. monotonous_iterancy

    monotonous_iterancy Member

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    Great news! I told my dad I was going to Wal-Mart to see if they had a lower price than Amazon. He showed me the Howard Leight Impact Pro he got for me today. He said we'd split the price half and half. So that's great.

    They work fine, amplify noise, when you turn them all the way up, it's like you don't have them on, which to someone like me who's never used electronic muffs, is cool.

    I tested them by going outside and firing a round out of a .22. They work fine. I can hear the boom, but for a blink and miss-it moment, the damaging part is cut out. Didn't hurt my ears at all.

    My only complaint is that I can't hear anything doubled up even when I turn them to the loudest setting. That's a little disappointing. Still, I'm grateful.
     
  18. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    I can clearly hear conversations when I'm using plugs under them.
    It is odd that you can't, but it might be that my 55-yr old ears with tinnitus may be better than yours.;)
     
  19. dirtengineer

    dirtengineer Member

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    I am a double guy.

    These things are awesome for the price: http://www.midwayusa.com/product/671923/howard-leight-impact-sport-electronic-earmuffs-nrr-22-db-green I also wear these while small game hunting. Also keeps my ears warm in the cold.

    I wear these under the electronic muffs. http://www.midwayusa.com/product/690766/sportear-sport-plugz-xp3-medium-ear-plugs-nrr-19db-tan I can still hear others at the range and they are comfortable. I leave the plugs open and it allows pressure equalization.
     
  20. monotonous_iterancy

    monotonous_iterancy Member

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    Weird. When I turn mine all the way up, it feels normal, but not much louder. When I put earplugs in, I can't hear anything. Could it be that the earplugs I'm using are too good? Or maybe the batteries the muffs came with are weak?
     
  21. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    It is unlikely that you're using a better earplug than I am. Replace the batteries and determine if that allows the volume to be increased where you can carry out a normal conversation.
     
  22. mdauben

    mdauben Member

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    This. Like several others, I wear a pair of Howard Leight electronic ear muffs with a set of custom molded ear plugs underneath. With the electronics on, you can easily hear conversations or range instructions, while still maintaining good hearing protection.
     
  23. highlander 5

    highlander 5 Member

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    I've 2 set of electronic headphones from Peltor,1 is the Pro 7 model not sure what the other is. For me they work fine for handguns but I find that I can't wear them shooting rifles so I use plugs. Just got a pair of custom earplugs hope to try them soon.
     
  24. monotonous_iterancy

    monotonous_iterancy Member

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    I replaced the batteries. Strangely, I still can't hear amplification when doubled up. Without plugs, the amplification works, but not much until you turn it up quite a bit. When turned on all the way, it's just above what I feel is "normal".

    Just in case people might be confused, we're talking about the new Impact Pro model, not the Impact Sport one.
     
  25. Jorg Nysgerrig

    Jorg Nysgerrig Member

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    I can't speak to the Impact Pro model, but I wear the 33 nrr plugs under a pair of Impact Sport and I can hear just fine. If you can't hear anything until you turn it up quite a bit, you might have a defective set.
     
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