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Old November 20, 2010, 06:13 PM   #1
Fargazer
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Join Date: October 4, 2010
Location: Chattanooga, TN
Posts: 466
Review - Peltor Tac Pro electronic ear muffs

After researching the boards, I pulled the trigger on a pair of Peltor TacPro electronic ear muffs. I got them through my local gun store, but they are available for as low as $160 or so through Amazon (at least as of mid Nov 2010).
  • Build quality: Very nice.
    • The headband, rods connecting the muffs, and the muffs themselves are solid and well connected. There is a cord running from one muff, around the headband, to the other muff; this cord is a thick rubber, enters each muff cleanly and securely, and there is no "slop" running along the headband.
    • The batteries are on one side, in a separate compartment secured by a knurled straight screw. Though there is no gasket, the cover edge has a groove to fit a matching plastic ridge surrounding the battery compartment. Dropping or other "trauma" isn't going to displace the batteries.
    • I found no excess flashing, threads, or other signs of sloppy manufacture. In general, I would have no concerns sticking this into a range bag with other items.
    • If anyone's interested, these are made in Sweden, which is also the home of Sordin ear muffs.
  • Controls: Excellent.
    • There are three rubber buttons on a single muff. The center one is power - hold for a couple seconds to turn on (high beep) or off (low beep). The upper is held for boosting volume, the lower is held for dropping volume. Just pressing briefly will not work; they need to be held, though not for long, to operate.
      • I saw at least one complaint online about the volume of the power beep. Yes, it's loud. No, it's not painful. To me, it's just fine.
  • Comfort: Excellent.
    • The default muff cushions are a fluid gel / foam fill mixture. There is a gel earpiece set (HY80) one can get for increased comfort and probable extra noise isolation, but the default cushions feel very good, and accommodate my glasses just fine.
    • The headband is snug, but not painfully tight. I'd say it's just right; a looser fit would impact the ear muff seal against the head.
    • I have not shot any rifles with these yet, but I was able to shoulder and get a good cheek weld on both my double barreled 10 gauge and my scoped Remington 660 .308 rifle.
  • Sound processing: Excellent
    • Staff at the gun shop all commented on the quality of the sound coming from the TacPros (they have the Peltor 6S and a Radians as their best quality in stock muff); it's significantly better than the less expensive models they had (my wife has the Radians).
    • I did notice that, unlike the Pro Ears, the TacPro's attenuate all sound when a shot is fired, including the conversations. It was not a big deal.
    • A noisy 22 (P22), a couple 9mm (P99 and SR9C), and three other guns (sounded like at least one or more were larger than 9mm) were all shooting together at the range (all 6 lanes full). The noise each one made was a very noticeable but "soft" (not sharp) boom - much louder than using my NRR 33 earplugs, but comfortable and not painful at all.
    • I've seen some complaints about hearing "clicking" with these muffs; I heard no such thing with my set.
    • The sound amplification actually act like a hearing aid. It was a bit odd to hear people in the far lanes conduct conversations, when with my earplugs I can barely hear my own actions. Turning down the volume took care of that. Excellent for hearing range commands.
    • Doubling up with NRR33 earplugs softened the gunshots still further, but also interfered with the conventional sounds, even when I turned up the volume. I would only double up either with a lower NRR earplug (soften the gunshots further, and crank the volume for normal voices), or if shooting a large 50 caliber (use the NRR33, and just go for all out noise suppression).
    • There is a 4 pin socket to accommodate audio cords, to allow an external device to play into the muffs. The muffs will NOT actually play stereo from this port - a stereo source with the correct cord will play all channels into both muffs. *Shrug* good enough for me.
In general, I think the Peltor's are the best combination of price, build quality, and sound protection I could find. The ProEars have higher NRR, but weaker build quality and higher price - the Sordins are lower NRR and more expensive. I'll post back on this thread in a couple months for a followup, but so far I'm very VERY happy.
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