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Old November 23, 2007, 01:59 PM   #1
genemike
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Electronic Earmuffs

So, I decided to go for a pair of electronic earmuffs and, as is so ofter true, there are many variations at many prices! How about some opinions on the best and best buys for these??
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Old November 23, 2007, 04:16 PM   #2
Billy Sparks
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I am looking myself and haven't made a final decision but I know what I do and don't want. I do NOT want clipping. I am not sure if this is the correct term but what it means is that some cheaper muffs when presented with a noise above X amount it shuts the the speaker off. To me it is very disoreinting. The second type just lowers the speaker volume so as not to hurt your ears.
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Old November 23, 2007, 10:42 PM   #3
genemike
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WOW! What a good piece of information! I would have never thought and I wouldn't like the "elimination" either. Reading again the descriptions in the Midway catalog, I see that some say the sounds over 82-85 db are "blocked" while others say "compressed."

Thanks!
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Old November 24, 2007, 12:19 AM   #4
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I can advise you what NOT to get...

I've got some very inexpensive ones (~$20) that I'm looking to replace. They shut the earspeakers off completely. They are reasonably quite (27db noise reduction). The most disconcerting thing is that they don't turn back "on" until about 3 seconds after a gunshot. If the range is at all busy, they rarely turn on at all. That bothers me.
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Old November 24, 2007, 12:21 AM   #5
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I think you get pretty much what you pay for and I've used Pro Ears Dimension I for more than half a decade now. Long battery life and good function for under $200 - well worth it.

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Old November 24, 2007, 12:50 AM   #6
oldbillthundercheif
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Quote:
I do NOT want clipping. I am not sure if this is the correct term but what it means is that some cheaper muffs when presented with a noise above X amount it shuts the the speaker off. To me it is very disoreinting. The second type just lowers the speaker volume so as not to hurt your ears.
Actually, the technical term for what those cheap-o electronic muffs do is "compression suck".

Well, that may not be the technical term, but it's what we called it when I worked in sound. Clipping is when a circuit is overloaded and it distorts. There is some of that involved with the cheap muffs as well. I won't get into explaining slew rate and the other things that make them give you that disorienting, weird sensation, but it can be cured by buying nicer gear.

The reason the expensive ones are expensive is they have to use electronics that are fairly complex. I have only had a nice set in front of me to examine a few times, but I think I saw a compressor component, a limiter component, what looked like it could be a filter component, 2 amplifiers, and a power circuit for the micro-condenser mic. All of that x2 for the whole assembly and good components are not cheap.

That's for a non-digital design, though. I'm sure there are sets out there with little computers in them that do all the audio processing. Those would be slightly less complex in design, but probably not any less expensive.

The $20 junk-piles that I bought don't have much of that. It just looks like a powered mic run into the cheapest high-ratio compression circuit they could find in Taiwan, run into the amp for the speaker. When you hit a high-ratio compressor with something like a gunshot without a limiter in front of it in the signal-path and feed the results directly into a cheap headphone speaker amp (clipping it), you get the disorienting crunch-suuuuuck down to nothing effect.

No fun.

I'm also in the market for a really nice pair of electronic muffs. Thanks to my $20 investment in useless junk I now know that the spendy ones are worth the pain in the wallet.
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Old November 24, 2007, 07:12 AM   #7
Billy Sparks
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Thanks Oldbillthunderchief, I didn't know the correct terms for it. When I shot my first match (GSSF) I was using non-electronic muffs and I found myself straining to hear the briefings etc so I bought a pair of cheap muffs. Great but at the first match I used them the speakers kept shutting off due to other shooters and I was back in the same boat. Since then I have used a set of Wolf Ears (I think they are no longer in business) which were around $200 and they were great but heavy, so I bought a pair of used MSA Sordins which I REALLY like but they died about a month ago.
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Old November 24, 2007, 03:29 PM   #8
chris in va
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I bought some $100 Radian muffs last year from a local store. They do the 'clip' thing, shutting off all sound for a couple seconds. After a while they started to develop a buzz that was distracting so I took them apart...

Seems the 'electronics' consist of a small metal cylinder with a tornado-looking spring in the middle. A strong sonic pulse would make the spring jiggle and hit the metal cylinder, cutting the sound.

They're somewhere in a landfill now.
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Old November 24, 2007, 09:56 PM   #9
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I have been using a set of Peltor Tactical 7's for about 6 years now. they have held up well, and always work. I am very happy with them
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Old November 24, 2007, 10:26 PM   #10
oldbillthundercheif
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Quote:
Seems the 'electronics' consist of a small metal cylinder with a tornado-looking spring in the middle. A strong sonic pulse would make the spring jiggle and hit the metal cylinder, cutting the sound.
Ha!

That's terrible. Thanks for the info, I'll stay well away from those.
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Old November 24, 2007, 10:36 PM   #11
genemike
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I read everything here and went online to Midway to buy one of the more expensive earmuffs that did not clip but, when I read the rave reviews on the Caldwell Sound-Right ES-85 Electronic Earmuffs (NRR 27) Green here, I could not resist ordering two pair:

http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpag...725&t=11082005
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Old November 24, 2007, 10:41 PM   #12
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Peltor 6S wrap-behind. They work as advertised, but I think next time I'll get the standard bands. Never have a problem wearing the standard band on top of my cap...

Got 'em from MidwayUSA for about 60 bucks give or take...
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Old November 24, 2007, 11:07 PM   #13
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I can recommend Silenco's Falcon model. No clipping, volume control, affordable, and work very well. No auto shutoff, though, so they eat AAA batteries quickly if you forget to shut them off.

A bit hard to find, but they are out there, usually for about $50.
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Old November 25, 2007, 09:03 AM   #14
Toolman
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I've been using a pair of Radians for 4 yrs. Use 'em every weekend. My brother-in-law uses Peltor electronic. I've been happy with their performance. I like my electronic muffs when it's cool out.
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Old November 25, 2007, 02:59 PM   #15
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another vote for ProEars Dimensions. I'm using the Magnum model because I'm
shooting the 50 BMG and dbl plug. The cups are a little too big, but otherwise
the electronics function very well and work great during indoor pistol and rifle
shoots. i may try the slimmer, ProEars design next.
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Old November 25, 2007, 04:16 PM   #16
genemike
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"I'm using the Magnum model" ?? Does that mean the ProMag model or is there another?

P.S. How does one quote the earlier message??
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Old November 25, 2007, 04:18 PM   #17
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Quote:
I read everything here and went online to Midway to buy one of the more expensive earmuffs that did not clip but, when I read the rave reviews on the Caldwell Sound-Right ES-85 Electronic Earmuffs (NRR 27) Green here, I could not resist ordering two pair:
Gotta try these for the money!!!!!!
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Old November 25, 2007, 04:34 PM   #18
genemike
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Cabbynate, How did you get that quote window?
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Old November 25, 2007, 04:48 PM   #19
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Cabbynate, How did you get that quote window?
You copy and past it in the reply box. You go over it life click to make it black. Then you click on the third image from the right^. (the arrow almost points right at it). and it will wrap it in a quote.
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Old November 25, 2007, 10:06 PM   #20
genemike
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Quote:
You copy and past it in the reply box. You go over it life click to make it black. Then you click on the third image from the right^. (the arrow almost points right at it). and it will wrap it in a quote.
Got it! Thanks!

Back to Earmuffs - Sorry folks!
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Old November 26, 2007, 01:28 AM   #21
Greatfulldead
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I used the Tac-7s for Years... They are as good as it gets... Just upgraded to the Tac-Pro... its a updated version of the Tac 7 but has a external jack so I can listen to my Ipod while I plink...and still hear everything going around me..
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Old November 26, 2007, 08:35 AM   #22
genemike
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I don't think anyone has mentioned Silencio and I see a lot of them around??
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