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Old July 22, 2014, 12:39 PM   #1
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Electronic Muffs

I want to buy a good pair of electronic muffs.
They would of course block out the hi-Decibel gunshots and allow normal conversation.
I want them to work in stereo, each muff having a speaker and pick up.
The price range on these things is BIG $60- 550.
I want to get the best value for my money. Something that really works but you are not just paying a high price because the SEALS use them.

Are you happy with yours? what is your experience with electronic muffs?
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Old July 22, 2014, 12:51 PM   #2
Brian Pfleuger
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I've actually never used a set of electronic muffs that weren't acceptable.

Right now, I use a Caldwell pair that was about $30 at Dick's. They work just fine and don't have any static or annoying "features". The dB rating is a bit low but I typically wear foam plugs under the muffs anyway and always when I'm shooting a really loud gun.

I've used Radians that were $120 and they functioned just fine but had "features" that were annoying for a hunter, like an auto-off that was supposed to be 2 hours (IIRC) but was actually mostly random and seemed slightly related to battery power. Even with a consistent 2 hours, it would be bad for hunting.

Walker's digital products work reasonably well but not up to their price point, IMO.

Howard Leight models tend to get good reviews and they're pretty cheap.

Peltor models do pretty well but seem to have about the lowest NRR, typically.

Pro Ears are well reviewed, typically, and often have among the higest NRR and fast response times.
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Old July 22, 2014, 01:08 PM   #3
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I was just thinking about this last weekend. I have a pair of Howard Leight sports (electronic), but the 22 NRR is sometimes a little low (ok, often...) for an indoor range. I love how easily they fold into a tight spot for traveling though...

I find myself using my 30 NRR non-electronic muffs.

Was thinking about getting a pair of the Howard Leight Impact Pro muffs (30 NRR + electronic). Semi-inexpensive.

Heck I'm tempted to try the $28 Champions (30 NRR + electronic on Amazon). Reviews seem as good and I'm more willing to part with $28.
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Old July 22, 2014, 01:16 PM   #4
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I have pair that are Champion brand that I paid something like $25* for during a Midway sale.

I considered a cheaper pair at another place, but some of the reviews indicated that the wiring was easily damaged. I would also look for a headband that looks comfortable. I had uncomfortable muffs once and it wasn't worth the money I saved.

If I use plugs with the muffs, I get good noise reduction with the microphone off, and I can have a conversation by turning the volume on or up. When I get tired of other people talking on the line, I can turn off the volume and not hear the chatter.

Not too expensive and it works well for me.

* a possible shortcoming in mine is a sense that I am listening to a recording of surrounding sound, which has an artificial quality. One doesn't locate the direction of the source of a single sound, but that may not be a problem with more expensive muffs.
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Old July 22, 2014, 03:02 PM   #5
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I bought a set of the Peltor "Tactical 6-5" slimline ones a while back because they came highly recommended.

With the benefit of hindsight I don't share that viewpoint.

Battery change is between poor & unacceptable, you have to gouge the foam pads out of the ear-cups to access the batteries there is no easy way.

The batterys can be shocked out of contact with the terminals & again you have to jam screwdrivers in to fix the problem.

There is no on/off indicator at all, just the click stop at the end of the volume knob's travel. The click is so light its easy to turn them back on when folding for storage without knowing it. an indicator LED would have been a great feature.

This is my fault, fair is fair. The slimline design (which I thought would help not have ear-cup contact with the stock comb) doesn't do anything for stock contact, but it does press the actual internal speaker cones into the ear.

The best feature is the totally independent electronics in each ear cup. If one "goes down" the other will continue to work until you can leave the firing line to fix the problem.
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Old July 22, 2014, 08:33 PM   #6
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I had a pair of the Peltor 6.5 slim lines and they did me great service for over 10 years.
They held up well enough and I'd say I got my money's worth out of them.

I replaced them with the Howard Leight Impact sport muffs mainly because of the size of my ears.
The electronics in the Peltors is under the foam ear cups and it would hurt my ears to wear them continuously for over an hour.

Wearing the Howard Leights with the outside elec. are much more
comfortable and they seem much louder in volume than my (to be fair, they are 10 years old) Peltors.
I still use the Peltors for rifle, as they are the only muff I have found that allows me to get wood on wood while maintaining a seal.

Buy the best you can afford. You will get what you pay for.

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Old July 22, 2014, 08:55 PM   #7
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I own the Howard Light Impact Sport and they are excellent, very low profile, easy battery replacement (although I've not had to replace the original batteries yet). Good magnification of sound, directional microphones. Mp3 jack but I've never used it. The only knock is the material on the earpiece can get a little sweaty on a hot day. They are only $40ish bucks and IMHO one of the best bargains out there.
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Old July 22, 2014, 09:13 PM   #8
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Been using them for years. The brands mentioned all are pretty good in my opinion.
I wish we knew more about hearing loss & shooting when I was younger, maybe I'd not be so hearing impared today.
I even use them while hunting as they help me hear better & muffle the gunshots.
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Old July 22, 2014, 10:00 PM   #9
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I'm still trying to find my howard leight sports though...
During the 4th of July fireworks at my house, inevitably one of the kids is a bit overwhelmed with the noise so I pop those out (very light & comfy). After this year's festivities, I can't seem to find them.
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Old July 23, 2014, 09:51 AM   #10
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Anyone have experience with in-ear electronic hearing? I'd like to get a set for trap shooting, but my web searching leads to several "companies" that all link back to the same web store and that makes me bait-and-switch nervous.
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Old July 25, 2014, 12:28 PM   #11
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I had a pair of Pro Ears Pro Mag Gold, 33db NRR, and I loved them until they snapped the 6th or 7th time I used them. Mine may have been a fluke, I don't know, but I will probably get something else, as I don't want to be stuck with a pair of $300 muffs that broke after the return period/warranty ended.

Here is my full review:
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Old July 28, 2014, 11:56 AM   #12
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along the same line I have been using foam ear plugs (32 nrr)

but have trouble hearing my friends etc while at the range, am hoping that electronic ear muffs are the answer, however I have a few concerns / considerations

I wear glasses and am worried that I wont get a tight seal / they wont work as effectively.

and secondly I shoot a Remington 700 rifle.... will they get in the way of putting my cheek on the stock correctly?

was looking at something like these...
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Old July 28, 2014, 12:22 PM   #13
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Just about everybody shooting wears glasses. Or should.

I can wear over the ear for a "factory" Remington 700 pretty easy. It's the multiple piece stocks with LOP, Comb etc that I start running into trouble.
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Old July 28, 2014, 01:08 PM   #14
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It will depend a little on the design of the arm/earpiece of the glasses. I have a fairly slim "aviator" style & its no problem even with slimline muffs.

Likewise with the comb interference. I shoot mostly MilSurps & they tend to have a lower comb. However the riser on my scoped No4 Enfield is not causing a problem & its just shy of contacting the bolt bottom.
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Old July 28, 2014, 01:37 PM   #15
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I have a pair that are old enough now the brand names has worn off them.
I paid less than $25.00 for them.
I have replaced the battery twice and never think to turn them off when I leave the range.
The only time they did not serve me well was when the guy next to me was shooting a 500 Nitro Express and I don't think there are many muffs that would deaden that cannon.
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Old July 28, 2014, 03:36 PM   #16
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The reduction of noise is easy & inexpensive. $20 units have been doing it for decades. What you pay a premium for in electronic muffs is the speed of the processor, the electronics amplifying low level sounds & filtering high level ones, the type of control mechanism.

If you don't mid the type that shuts off when there is a loud enough noise to trip the electronics you can save a bundle. If you must have the more advanced types that simply filter out the loud noise while retaining amplification of soft ones then you will pay through the nose for it.

Its the amplifying of noise funnily enough that makes expensive electronic hearing protectors expensive!
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