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Old March 27, 2010, 10:30 PM   #1
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Electronic Hearing Protection

I am anxiously awaiting a class being offered locally with DTI (John and Vicki Farnam) in May, and plan to purchase a set of electronic ear muffs before hand so that I can hear the instructors without continually pulling my ear protectors off. I'm 59, with a long history of being in and around industrial noise, shooting, and sirens (Fire Equipment). My hearing is not terrible, but I do have problems making out voices mixed with various other sounds. I have seen electronic muffs from $25 to $250 and have no idea what to look for and how much I really need to pay. Can anyone recomend any particular brand, and price range without breaking the bank?
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Old March 27, 2010, 11:06 PM   #2
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Peltor's tactical muffs are terrific.

Ive tried cheaper pairs, but they were not made as well, had wind issues, other problems. The pair listed above was just on sale for around $50 I thought, look around, you can do better than midways price.

I also have a pair of Ryobi's electric muffs, they are built very well, but aren't as directional as the peltors. I use the ryobi set in the rain, snow, anything, they keep running. The peltors are known for having moisture issues develop inside the earcups. This thread will help you:
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Old March 27, 2010, 11:13 PM   #3
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I have a cheap $30 set I bought a few years ago. Only one microphone so they aren't directional. They also suck AA batteries, but I just use rechargeable AA's.

They are still a big improvement though, greatly increasing your situational awareness.
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Old March 28, 2010, 05:29 PM   #4
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Just so happens that I asked the same question and I was directed to 'Sordins' as good quality huff. In fact, I’m sold and I will buy them before I attend the MAG-40 course later this summer.
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Old March 28, 2010, 06:29 PM   #5
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I have used various Peltor with good results.
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Old March 28, 2010, 06:43 PM   #6
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My only problem with my Peltor Tacticals is I keep forgetting to turn them off after shooting. Then the next time I pick them up the batteries are dead. But then that's my problem.
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Old April 5, 2010, 05:04 PM   #7
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I recommend American-made and top-drawer Pro Ears.

-- John D.
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Old April 10, 2010, 05:14 AM   #8
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sorry to drag this back up, but I just wanted to add that my new Peltor TacSport muffs are the bee's knees. Turns out Peltor is a big military comms supplier, and i'll tell you what, the electronics i saw inside when changing the muff covers looked ROBUST. No flimsy stuff in there. I saw a hardware IC in there that I've only seen in my very high end studio gear (Lavry DA converters); this is good stuff.

The performance at the range was second to none, I am EXTREMELY happy with them at a pricepoint of $110 at midwayusa (minus $10 if you track down a coupon at retailmenot). Being able to hear the click of a revolver cylinder next to you unimpeded while the bay on the opposite side is letting off .223, that's pretty cool IMO. You can hear the impulse noises, they're just not at all loud
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Old April 11, 2010, 10:51 AM   #9
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I've had less than stellar success with the top-drawer Pro Ears. My left ear now has documented hearing loss because of them. Never had any issues with any other brand except for Pro Ears. Pro Ears solution was to send me another head band. That really made a difference.
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Old April 11, 2010, 11:22 AM   #10
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I second Cloudcroft. I was given a set of Pro Ears as a gift and others don't even compare. Their customer service is phenomenal too. I was fortunate enough to be living near their facility and was able to take a tour when I got mine. They even custom fit them for me to go with my ballistic helmet as I was about to deploy to Iraq. Can't say enough good stuff about them.
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Old April 11, 2010, 03:53 PM   #11
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I would really be upset with Pro Ears if that happened to me, so sorry to hear about it happening to you!

I have hearing some damage also (tinnitus from the war) but although I can't scientifically measure that, I have not noticed any difference (additional damage to one ear or the other) since using Pro Ears.

I DID have a problem with them where one earcup seemed to drain its batteries even when OFF (one side was always dead after a few months of being turned OFF -- other ear was fine), but just recently Pro Ears finally just decided to replace both earcup's older model (2005 model Dimension 1 Pro Ears) circuit boards with current Predator 300 boards, so I hope it that one-side-going-dead-battery-thing no longer happens. Additionally, they gave me new/upgraded earcup pads/seals, new gray foam inserts inside the earcup and upgraded the headband, too. So now, the only thing that was original on my 2005 model Pro Ears earmuffs are the hard plastic cups/shells themselves.

And I agree, they seem really to care about Customer Service and everyone I dealt with there very recently (in the office and tech shop) were very pleasant to work with...and my muffs were fixed/returned to me extremely fast with NO charges of any kind, even shipping my muffs back TO them.

But I must admit I do not use them OFTEN -- I never intended to -- just when I go out shooting (which is rare) and the last time I wore them was when I had to qualify with my TX CHL gun at the gun range. The MAIN reason I bought them is for self-defense use (and I recommend electronic muffs to other gun-owners for THIS same reason): To locate (using the increased hearing gain) any intruders in my residence, AND to protect my ears from shooting a gun most of the time they are on my nightstand. Still, when I DO use them, I do not notice any problems whatsoever.

The other electronic muffs described above (those in the same higher-end category as Pro Ears) seem to be good products, too. Consequently, I don't think you can go wrong buying any of the better quality muffs. I decided on Pro Ears back in 2005 and presently, see no compelling reason to look elsewhere.

-- John D.

Last edited by cloudcroft; April 11, 2010 at 04:17 PM.
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Old April 21, 2010, 12:20 PM   #12
Bill McCort
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I'm sorry to hear you're having problems with your Pro Ears, but please help me understand the problem. How did the hearing loss come from the Pro Ears? When did you purchase the product, and what model are we talking about?

The suggestion to send you a new headband is not uncommon, but short of understanding what you are truely experiencing. The headband is an important feature in overall preformance simply because of the pressure needed to form a solid seal around your ears, so the person you spoke with evidently determined you were experiencing a loose fit. This was likley a fialure to completely understand your issue.

That said, I would ceretainly like to not only understand your situation, but hopefully find some resolve as well.

Best regards,


Ops Manager - Pro Ears.
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Old April 21, 2010, 02:50 PM   #13
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Interesting thread....

All of a sudden, I find this thread very interesting. I had a set of Peltor Muffs many moons ago, and while they were nice I found myself using ear plugs more and more because of the interference with my butt-stock both with my carbine and my shot gun. (These were not the low profile tactical models)

I just haven't pulled the trigger yet on a new set just yet, but I've been eying the peltor Tactical series more and more lately.

I haven't had any experience with any of the other muffs on the market, but when the OPS manager from Pro-Ears comes out to a public forum to address an customer complaint, I find it rather interesting.

Since it started in the open forum, I'm hoping the discussion remains in the open forum. I could see this swaying me into a product that I may not otherwise have considered.
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Old April 21, 2010, 04:11 PM   #14
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ETA: just duped myself
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Old April 21, 2010, 05:31 PM   #15
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For those of you that use electronic hearing protection earmuffs, do you also use earplugs with them? I was looking through the Peltor line of electronic muffs, and the NRR ratings seem to be on the low side.
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Old April 21, 2010, 07:08 PM   #16
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I've been using the Howard Leight Impact Sports muffs. Midway has them for $60 and they can be had on sale occasionally for less than $50. They have dual mics so you get directionality, a stereo input plug if you want to jack in an MP3 or radio and are pretty thin with a NRR of 22.

I always - most always, anyway - wear plugs under muffs (even non-electronic). With these, I just turn up the volume until sounds are normal or louder (better than a hearing aid). They are nice as they don't cut all output upon a high impulse noise, they just don't amplify it beyond a comfortable level. You have no problem following a conversation or range commands even while firing is going on.

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Old April 21, 2010, 09:11 PM   #17
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Peltor model 6S electronic

I have a set of these . . .
They work great
Battery replacement must have been an afterthought though. It is very difficult to chenge them without damaging the muffs.
I wouldn't recommend them because of that.
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Old April 21, 2010, 10:26 PM   #18
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No, I don't. If I went shooting much more often or my shooting sessions were longer time-wise, I would look into the issue but so far I haven't seen the need.

-- John D.
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