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Old June 17, 2002, 11:48 AM   #1
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Join Date: September 8, 2000
Location: True West
Posts: 1,350
in-ear hearing protection - a better way?

Is there any good in-ear hearing protection made that is not the rubber or foam inserts? Something as protective as over-the-ear types--and that stays put? I find it hard to shoot long guns with the over-the-ear type but prefer it for protection. However, the last time I went out with my shotgun, firing slugs, the recoil knocked my over-the-ear model back from my ear twice (slugs are loud!!!) and actually knocked 'em off completely once. Also, over-the-ear protectors get hot in summer heat for a protracted range session.

Any ideas?
"You come far, Pilgrim."
"Feels like far."
"Were it worth the trouble?"
"Ah...what trouble?" ~Jeremiah Johnson
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Old June 17, 2002, 11:59 AM   #2
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Join Date: April 11, 2000
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In-ear protection won't block 'bone-conduction', which is low-frequency sound conducting to your inner ear through the bones in your skull. Over-the-ear does help with this (or so they tell me - I've never actually seen any proof of this...but I'll err on the safe side).

I use a pair of custom-molded (like hearing aids) 'musician's plugs' and then have a set of Peltor low-profile Tac-6s over those with the volume turned up. I can hear everything just fine, they're slim and comfortable and if I happen to have the headset off when someone lets loose, I still have 15dB of protection in place.

Go to --> musicians --> musician's plugs. I have the both the 25 and 15dB filters for mine. I wear the 25's on the range, and the 15's at concerts or such.

You can do just the 25's without any over-the-ear and not notice the range noise, but the bone-conduction is still a problem.

They're not cheap, but I bought mine about 8 years ago and it was the best $200 I ever spent. Seriously.

- Gabe
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Old June 17, 2002, 02:39 PM   #3
Bartholomew Roberts
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Join Date: June 12, 2000
Location: Texas and Oklahoma area
Posts: 6,847
Check out the Walker Game Ear - it has an NRR of 29DB and works like the advanced electronic muffs. It amplifies normal noises and then cuts off when the noise exceeds a certain amplitude. It is fairly small and looks more like an older hearing aid than hearing protection.

Caveat Emptor: I haven't used or tried these; I am just relaying the marketing guff on their website and we all know what that is worth. They are also expensive as can be; but specialty products usually are.
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