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View Full Version : Hearing Protection???


kurtiss
June 27, 2008, 02:21 PM
Looking to pick up some hearing protection for me and my dad. We will be using them when shooting pistols, as well as rifles. Are the electronic ear muffs really worth the money? If you like them, what kind would you recommend? Also, do you think it would be viable to wear a set of these while still hunting? We don't mind spending the money for a good quality set, as long as they work well. Thanks for any information or experiences you can provide!

rovingpulse2
June 27, 2008, 03:23 PM
I think the electronic muffs are worthwhile. Peltor is pretty much the standard brand for me and most of the people I know, any of their "Tactical" muffs over $60 or so seem to work quite well. Having something that amplifies quieter noises is really an improvement, you can talk more or less normally.

Jermtheory
June 27, 2008, 03:37 PM
Are the electronic ear muffs really worth the money?

yes!

i really like the Howard Leights for the price...

i want the Sordins though($$$).:(

LHB1
June 27, 2008, 11:25 PM
Are the electronic ear muffs worthwhile? To answer this question, first understand what electronic muffs DO and what they DON"T DO.

DO: Electronic muffs amplify sounds UNDER their cutoff level (85 decibel?) so you can better hear these sounds. Above this level, the muffs do NOT amplify sounds BUT only reduce sounds by their stated rating like all other over the ear muffs.

DON'T DO: Electronic muffs DO NOT reduce sounds louder than their cutoff level to that cutoff level. That is, they do NOT reduce 140 decibel level sounds to their cutoff level of 85 decibel or whatever.

My choice is the best level NON electronic muffs that Peltor makes, with decibel reduction levels of approx 29-30 if I remember correctly.

Jermtheory
June 28, 2008, 12:26 AM
so the electric muffs dont reduce the noise enough for your taste?

ive shot everything from AR's and .300 WM's,to 9mm and .40 pistols....noise reduction was more than adequate.

i see no downside to them and much benefit.

LHB1
June 28, 2008, 12:49 AM
Quote: "so the electric muffs dont reduce the noise enough for your taste?"

My point was that the muffs don't reduce noise any better than non electronic muffs so they are not worth the large price increase for me. Their only real benefit over non-electronic muffs is the amplification below their stated decibel level. This doesn't justify the cost for me. YMMV. Some of the ads for electronic muffs lead people to believe that the muffs reduce all sounds to the stated cutoff level and I think this is misleading.

kurtiss
June 28, 2008, 08:09 AM
Thanks for all the info so far guys!

LHB1 - I am kind of confused. However, that is not a tough thing to do! Can you give me a real world example of what this means: "Their only real benefit over non-electonic muffs is the amplification below their stated decibel level." Do you mean that if there is not a real loud noise, like a gunshot, they do not reduce the sound?

22-rimfire
June 28, 2008, 08:37 AM
That's correct. They do not reduce sounds that are below their cutoff. Hunters use them to amplify sounds quite a bit. I use them for this purpose although the increased background noise gets a bit annoying at times. I prefer non electronic muffs for target shooting. I usually wear ear plugs only when plinking with a 22 out in the country.

The cost of non-electronic muffs are not that high. Get a pair and try them out. Get good ones with as high a decibel rating as possible. The "magnum" muffs work fine for me. Having a pair also allows you to share protection should a friend be with you should you buy something else also.

Indoors, some wear ear plugs + muffs for as much protection as possible. It is really important that you protect your hearing. Once is is damaged, it's damaged forever and gun fire will damage you hearing.

Jermtheory
June 28, 2008, 01:48 PM
Do you mean that if there is not a real loud noise, like a gunshot, they do not reduce the sound?

no,they amplify it.

which i think is an excellent feature.whether its just situational awareness at the range or whispering to each other while hunting coyote at levels you otherwise wouldnt be able to hear...even without hearing protection(much less with plugs or non-electric muffs).even for HD,if i had the time i would throw them on for that extra advantage+hearing protection.

My point was that the muffs don't reduce noise any better than non electronic muffs so they are not worth the large price increase for me. Their only real benefit over non-electonic muffs is the amplification below their stated decibel level. This doesn't justify the cost for me.

ok,gotcha...

although i disagree totally on them not being worth the added cost...

LHB1
June 28, 2008, 03:13 PM
Jermtheory:
Quote: "ok,gotcha...although i disagree totally on them not being worth the added cost..."

No problem. Different opinions for different folks; makes the world go round.

Kurtiss:
1. Electronic muffs reduce sounds by a stated decibel rating (app 22-28 decibels?) just like non-electronic muffs. This rating may be hard to find in their ads.
2. Electronic muffs ALSO amplify low volume sounds (like voices, etc.) under another stated decibel/cutoff rating (app 85 decibels?). This rating is usually very prominent in the ads. This is the ONLY difference between electronic muffs and non-electronic muffs. If this difference appeals to you, then electronic muffs are for you.
3. Electronic muffs do NOT amplify any sounds that are already louder than the cutoff rating.
4. Electronic muffs do NOT reduce all loud sounds to their stated amplification cutoff rating (app 85 decibels?) described in point 2.

Double Naught Spy
June 28, 2008, 04:44 PM
While pricey, I think Peltor Comtacs are about the best electronic muffs out there in regard to versatility. They are thin enough to use with rifles, have long battery life with standard AA batteries, fold up nicely, automatically turnoff, etc. Their NRR is good, but as with other muffs, electronic or not, smart money is on wearing plugs as well.

kurtiss
June 30, 2008, 09:30 AM
Thanks guys. I appreciate all the info. I'll look at the Peltors. What other quality brands are there? Is there any junk I should stay away from?

Jermtheory
June 30, 2008, 01:12 PM
What other quality brands are there?

the Sordins are supposed to be excellent,but they're expensive.

ZEBRARANGER
July 3, 2008, 07:42 AM
I double up, using plugs under my muffs when shooting. Especially shooting the .357's and Marlin 450 with a ported barrel (which makes it even louder)...They are just way too loud for me. The only time I dont double up is when im hunting, i just keep 33 Nrr plugs around my neck and hopefully have the extra couple of seconds to insert them.

WESHOOT2
July 13, 2008, 09:58 AM
Pro Ears Electronic muffs: Best.

I don't use them; I use 33db disposable plugs under non-electric Peltors for competition (which is when amplified muffs allow hearing range commands easier), and Peltor Ultimates for out back.....

Plugs n muffs if amped noise doesn't matter.

HowardCohodas
July 13, 2008, 06:59 PM
My hearing protection tool kit:

Ear plugs - http://www.howardleight.com/segment/index/1
Ear muffs - http://www.howardleight.com/family/index/33
Drugs & Nutrients - Aspirin, Vitamin E - http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing/noise.asp

Double Naught Spy
July 13, 2008, 09:29 PM
Interesting on the aspirin and vitamin E. Too bad there is no human data yet to support that they actually produce beneficial results, but they probably don't hurt anything by taking them!

oldandslow
July 13, 2008, 11:21 PM
Kurtiss, 7/14/08

I have used electronic muffs (Peltor and ProEars) and non-electronic ones. I prefer the non-electronic muffs (Remington, noise reduction rating approximately 31 decibels) for routine target shooting. If I am in a place where I need to hear someone's voice (ie- defensive pistol classes or IPSC competition) then I prefer the electronic muffs as the non-electronic muffs deaden all sound- both gunshots and human voices.
I had a problem with the Peltors- they gave out after one and a half years and Peltor would not respond to emails or phone calls. I recently bought a set of ProEars and they function adequately. Good luck with your search.

best wishes- oldandslow

Shiner Bock
July 14, 2008, 07:35 AM
I have a set of ProEars that I really like. I wear plugs under them and then turn up the volume. The increased situational awareness is really nice.