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Old July 17, 2010, 02:24 PM   #1
Straightshooter629
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Do electronic muffs cancel more?

I finally was able to get the wife to take a trip to the range with me and overall, she did pretty well. Her problem is the noise. She was wear regular muffs AND ear plugs, and see still complained about the amount of noise she was experiencing. I was wondering if investing in a pair of electronic muffs would be woth the cost. I'm looking at the noise reduction ratings and they don't seem to be much higher than regular ones. Standard muffs have always worked fine for me, so I need help from someone who knows more about electronic muffs than I do.
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Old July 17, 2010, 05:15 PM   #2
oldandslow
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ss, 7/18/10

I originally started out with a set of Remington passive (non-electronic) muffs with a noise reduction rating in the low 30's. They worked great. For training classes I bought some electronic muffs, first the Peltor brand and next a set of ProEars. The noise reduction ratings were less, somewhere in the low to mid 20's. I finally switched back to the passive Remington's because they were quieter. So while the electronic muffs were great for hearing range commands I like the passive muffs better. Make sure the ones you got for your wife has as high a NRR as possible. Good luck.

best wishes- oldandslow
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Old July 17, 2010, 05:30 PM   #3
Brian Pfleuger
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The electronic muffs would make it "worse" if she's already hearing too much. They don't block any more noise that conventional muffs, and they "pass-through" additional noise like speech, non-stop.

If it's too loud when she has both plugs and muffs then there are really only two possibilities. She's either VERY sensitive to noise and there's little hope, or she is not wearing them correctly.

Make sure that the plugs are pushed quite far into the ear canal to make a good seal and make sure that the muffs are completely sealed around the ear. Glasses, hair bands, other such things and even just hair can pull/push them away from the skin.

Even if everything is being worn correctly, there is only so much reduction possible. Some of the sound that you hear is actually penetrating you head, right through the skin and bones. There is little that can be done about that, short of wearing a sound proof hood.

I highly recommend electronic muffs anyway, as I believe that they are safer because you can still hear what's going on around you.
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Old July 17, 2010, 05:33 PM   #4
fisherman66
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In my limited experience, the electronic muffs are less effective than passive muffs for lowest DB level.

I would consider taking her to the range when there will be less people there. A weekday or early morning weekend shooting session might be better. Staying away from muzzle braked weapons is always a priority for me.
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Old July 17, 2010, 10:37 PM   #5
Double Naught Spy
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Have your wife get better muffs and better plugs, both with higher NRR ratings (both should be in the 30s, around 33 or so) and make sure they fit properly. The NRR won't mean a whole lot if the protection does not fit correctly.

If you took her to an indoor range, change that. Outdoor ranges are less noisy because they have so much LESS noise being reflected back at t shooters from the ceilings and walls. Dirt ranges often have even less because the dirt on the ground absorbs some of the sound that otherwise would be reflected back up from concrete floors.
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Old July 17, 2010, 10:58 PM   #6
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Last edited by noyes; July 26, 2010 at 10:51 AM.
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Old July 18, 2010, 04:41 PM   #7
fisherman66
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"Further hearing protection is afforded by keeping your mouth closed when firing."

That can be challenging fer sum of our wives.
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Old July 18, 2010, 04:59 PM   #8
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Well I think it's plain to see your wife doesn't read this
bb
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Old July 18, 2010, 11:01 PM   #9
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Mission Impossible!
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Old July 19, 2010, 10:37 PM   #10
KMG5402
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I read some reviews about the Howard Leight electronic muffs on amazon a while back and some users complained it didn't block enough noise. So if you do go for e-muffs, you may want to stay clear of the Howard Leight or conduct some more research.

People said when they used them at the range they just ended up going back to their earplugs. Then I remembered how I cant shoot a long rifle with big muffs, and decided I'll save $100 and stick to my earplugs
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Old July 20, 2010, 12:44 AM   #11
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The problem may be poorly fitting muffs. My wife complained about the noise while shooting and we finally figured out that the muffs were not providing an airtight seal around her ears and therefore weren't blocking very much sound at all.

We did some testing and found a good quality of muffs that fit her properly and she hasn't had any problems since.
Quote:
...they "pass-through" additional noise like speech, non-stop.
There may be some muffs like this but I've never encountered them. The ones I've tested stop passing all noise anytime there's a loud enough noise to cause the amplifier to cut off and they will keep "blocking" the sound until the noise level falls to an acceptable level.

So you hear normal speech until a shot occurs. The shot and the speech (all the sound going through the amplifier at the time) will be cut off and prevented from reaching the ear. Then when the circuitry decides that the sound level is acceptable it will begin passing sound again.
Quote:
I remembered how I cant shoot a long rifle with big muffs, and decided I'll save $100 and stick to my earplugs.
Earplugs will definitely help, but there is significant sound transmission to the inner ear via the bones surrounding the ear. If you want to appreciably deaden that sound you will need to use muffs. Muffs AND plugs are a good idea, but if you're going to go with just one method muffs alone will provide superior protection compared to plugs alone.

By the way, you can improve the fit/seal (and also the comfort) of a good pair of muffs by retrofitting them with gel pads to replace the foam pads that normally come standard.
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Old July 21, 2010, 11:09 AM   #12
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Quote:
Further hearing protection is afforded by keeping your mouth closed when firing.
I started doubling up at one point in time to work off a nasty flinching habit that I had developed. I took a couple shots with my mouth open, and that was shocking! I never really considered the fact that those sound waves can come right to your ears through the mouth. That might be worth considering for your wife, if she's mouth-agape in concentration on her shots or something. I'm certainly not implying anything, I've just seen people do all kinds of funny stuff when they are going through their shot plan.
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Old July 21, 2010, 03:51 PM   #13
wogpotter
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Inexpensive electronics are not worth the bother. Just get good muffs & yell at her to get her attention.

The more expensive ones actually do work very well as long as they actually fit.
Things like glasses (even safety glasses) break the seal & allow a lot of noise into the ear. You might want to check a behind the head type band if a glasses wearer as they don't run foul of the arms of glasses. Hats also raise the rims & allow more noise in.

The electronics in the better ones do contain high volumes BTW they don't shut off as the cheaper ones do.
I have a set of the Peltor tacticals & they work very well allowing normal sound through without excessive clipping of other sounds.
They could be backed up with a set of soft foam plugs if you wanted to that would drop the noise to darn near nothing, but the plugs will tend to block speech as well as other noise.
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Old July 21, 2010, 09:03 PM   #14
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John K Sa
There may be some muffs like this but I've never encountered them. The ones I've tested stop passing all noise anytime there's a loud enough noise to cause the amplifier to cut off and they will keep "blocking" the sound until the noise level falls to an acceptable level.

So you hear normal speech until a shot occurs. The shot and the speech (all the sound going through the amplifier at the time) will be cut off and prevented from reaching the ear. Then when the circuitry decides that the sound level is acceptable it will begin passing sound again.

All of the better versions that I am aware of limit volume to 85 Db but continuously feed sound. Most of them advertise it as a safety feature so you can hear range commands through the gunfire.

The type that you describe are referred to as "cut-off" or "clipping" or something like that, while the others are "compression".
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