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Old January 3, 2007, 04:57 PM   #1
hknut
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Powered earmuffs?

Why is there such a huge differance in the prices of powered muffs? I have seen them as low as $39.00 to as high as $199.00. My question is why the HUGE price differance? Any thoughs or insight?
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Old January 3, 2007, 09:15 PM   #2
HSMITH
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Quality costs money, and this is a case where that is very true. Reaction time, db reduction, and clarity are mostly what you are paying for, battery life is another real consideration. Cheap muffs might take longer to react to the sound and suppress it, more expensive muffs react much quicker. Hearing protection is better and the overall experience is much more pleasant using the fastest reacting muffs. Clarity of sound that is passed is a big variable, some of the cheap muffs sound as bad as a childs toy radio or worse. Good muffs sound great. Cheap muffs might only reduce noise by 15-18 db, good muffs are in the 22-28 range. Db reduction isn't linear, a 22db reduction is a LOT more reduction than 18 and vastly more reduction than 15db. Good muffs will run on one set of batteries for 100 hours or more. Cheap muffs eat batteries in as little as a few hours.

If you want electronic muffs spend the money and get some good ones, they are far and away better than the cheap ones.

I use Pro-Ears Dimension Plus Sporting Clays muffs and they are absolutely fantastic. True stereo sound, great sound quality, a 25 db reduction, very comfortable, a 7 millisecond response time, over 100 hours of use on a set of batteries, and enough amplification to hear a squirrel playing in the leaves 75 yards away on a windy day if you want to. They were not cheap, but they are worth the money.
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Old January 3, 2007, 09:38 PM   #3
Ripplingh2o
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For clarification, I'd like to see and read about these 39 dollar powered muffs you mention. I'll bet they're not even close to comparing to the more expensive electronic muffs.
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Old January 4, 2007, 05:46 PM   #4
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Probably talking about these:



They seem to get pretty good reviews. I am actually interested in these non-powered ones that claim to let you hear a conversation and protect your ears from high-frequency sound:

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Old January 4, 2007, 06:40 PM   #5
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Thanks for the tip about the Cabela's electronic hearing protectors. I read the reviews, and they sounded quite positive, and the price was right. I've got plenty of rechargable AA batteries, so that should be a good match for me. I just ordered a pair.
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Old January 4, 2007, 07:00 PM   #6
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The one thing that I noticed about the Cabela's powered hearing protectors is that they apparently aren't stereo. So you'll be able to hear but you won't be able to tell the direction of the sound. That would also explain some of the price difference. One amplifier circuit and microphone vs. two of each. I'm assuming that it comes with two speakers but that's not a given. Still an improvement over standard hearing protectors.

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Old January 4, 2007, 10:06 PM   #7
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Not necessarily a good thing. If the response time is slow they will transmit through the microphone and speaker damaging noise levels. Response time is VERY important in an electronic muff, and probably THE most important criteria when looking at them.

If you wear plugs under them it won't be nearly as important.
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Old January 4, 2007, 10:30 PM   #8
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Pro Ears are probably the best. I have the Pro Mag. I bought them for noise protection for all kinds of activities. They are great for talking with guns firing. They have some gain adjust so you could use for hunting. Their only weak point for me is they don't block enough noise for low noise preventative use like mowing. They basically seem to allow lower db noise in which makes them actually give the user less overall quietness than non-powered muffs. That is a side affect and how they are supposed to work. I think in the case of mowing, I'm better off with the active noise canceling type. Not sure if I'm making sense. For just shooting at the range, I like them on, but I'm ok with having them off too, except that seems like a waste. I think I would value them more if I shot more indoors. I think I will value them more, if I turn the gain up and use for hunting.
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Old January 5, 2007, 12:27 AM   #9
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You'd be suprised by how little you might use the powered one's. I went and purchased a great set of Silencio's electronic one's, but 95% of the time their turned off at the range. The only time I might turn them on is when Im ease dropping on on some gun story while waiting for the safety to be called. Out of all the earmuffs, look for the most db reduction + slim size so you can get a good cheak weld. If I have some boomer next to me with a WinMag, I double up. A good pair should not be $200 - thats just crazy.
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Old January 6, 2007, 01:42 AM   #10
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I've owned the Peltor Tactical 6-S hearing protection for quite a long time and have completely enjoyed them. I use them for all of my shooting and have the power on all of the time. They enhance my hearing ability and I don't have to take them off or quickly turn them on when someone wants to talk to me. More importantly, they are able to pick up range commands, which is extremely important.
The "Tactical" models have an indent on one ear piece so you can mount a stock properly. Battery life is pretty good, especially when you remember to turn them off at the end of the day or on long breaks. They are lightweight and comfortable most of the time. Summer turns them into mini-saunas for your ears so you'll find yourself taking them off frequently. I'm shooting a combat match tomorrow and I know that at least my ears will be warm!
IMHO, well worth the investment.
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Old January 6, 2007, 01:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Thanks for the tip about the Cabela's electronic hearing protectors. I read the reviews, and they sounded quite positive, and the price was right.
I bought a pair of these last year. The clamp down time and noise reduction isn't bad (I think the perceived noise reduction is a tad bit better than that of my Silencio Falcons), but the audio recovery time is horrible.

The recovery time is a full two to three seconds. That might not seem like much, but when you're engaged in a fast moving exercise, you can miss critical range commands.

I've designated mine as "loaners" to friends while doing nothing more serious than plinking. For serious shooting, I have to cast my vote for the Peltors as well.
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Old January 6, 2007, 05:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
I've owned the Peltor Tactical 6-S hearing protection for quite a long time and have completely enjoyed them.
Yep. Agreed.

Quote:
You'd be suprised by how little you might use the powered one's.
Can't agree here. Mine are used all the time, especially indoors. I belong to a small indoor range that is in constant use by LEO's (who are allowed to use their service carbines) and a multitude of CCW'ers (who are allowed to train realistically; double taps, dump the mag drills, etc.) There are days when the noise level is really loud. I double up with the electric muffs and can hear as necessary while still having good protection.

YMMV

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Old January 6, 2007, 07:09 PM   #13
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Quote:
The one thing that I noticed about the Cabela's powered hearing protectors is that they apparently aren't stereo.
Well, that shouldn't be a problem for me. I've got a significant hearing loss in one ear (not from shooting, but from playing in a rock band back in the 60s surrounded by several 200+ watt amps, mine being one of them).

Had I known then what I know now, I'd have taken better care of my ears.
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Old January 6, 2007, 07:47 PM   #14
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This is from the Pro-Ears site and is certainly slanted a little bit, but they can't get away with misquoting specifications. It lists out what some of the competitive models have compared to their own products, and also goes into some of the how and why of electronic muffs.

http://www.pro-ears.com/FAQs.htm

It also shows I screwed up some of the specs in my first post, I should have known not to go from memory...
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Old January 7, 2007, 08:02 AM   #15
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I would like a pair I can wear with a rifle, and I don't know if I wear them wrong or what, but that is a very tall order. All the muffs I have seem to allow the right ear seal to be breeched, and with my .300 Win Mag #1, that is loud!
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Old January 7, 2007, 08:16 AM   #16
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HMMM. I should get them out, but, I picked some up from
Sportsmans Guide while buying ammo. I also have some hearing loss, and, I find I might be better off hunting with the headphones, since they seem to pick up sounds I wouldn't normally hear.

Anyone else find any headphones that actually boost hearing, while klipping loud noises?

Anyone use their's for hunting?

S
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Old January 7, 2007, 10:31 AM   #17
HSMITH
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I hunt with electronic muffs, I hunt with handguns a lot so the noise level isn't tolerable without them. To me a short barreled magnum revolver is louder than a 7mm Mag rifle. The upside is the ones I have are extremely good and I can hear things I never would have heard without them on. I can hear things at distances I wouldn't have believed until using them.
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Old January 7, 2007, 12:55 PM   #18
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I got a pair of the $35 muffs (on sale) from Cabelas. They work great so far. I even bought a pair for my dad. Haven't used the $$$$ ones, but mine work great.
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Old January 8, 2007, 03:43 PM   #19
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I received my Cabela's electronic hearing protectors today, and for how cheap they are, I'm rather impressed with them. Even a loud clap of the hands gets damped away. Recovery time seems to about one second, so maybe they've improved them. I'll give you a range report the next time I get down there.
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Old January 13, 2007, 08:23 AM   #20
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Harbor Freight

I have the same muffs as sold at Cabelas, but I bought mine at Harbor Freight a year or so ago for $20. They work great for me and are easy on batteries. Here is the good part: I just got a flyer in the mail yesterday from Harbor Freight and these muffs are now $9.99!! Now that's a deal......

JSF
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Old January 13, 2007, 09:12 AM   #21
shappy0869
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Are these the Harbor Freight ones: http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=92851



If so, they still show as $19.99 on their website. Are they not available for that price online?
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