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Old July 17, 2010, 09:03 PM   #1
Join Date: August 29, 2008
Location: Central Florida
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Opinions on competition earmuffs

I have now shot 1 USPSA and 2 IDPA competitions with my POS earmuffs that I bought 4 years ago at Wally-World and am looking to upgrade. I have seen and heard about Peltor and Howard Leight, etc. but am looking for your opinions on the brands/models that impress you as far as practicality, comfort, and value. I have shot my last match with the cheap earmuffs and without your help, I'll buy the ones that look the coolest because that's how I roll. Thanks in advance!
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Old July 17, 2010, 09:32 PM   #2
Jim Watson
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I am at present wearing Pro Ears Ultras. 33 dBA rating but I cannot tell they are any quieter than the Peltor Ultimate 10 at 30 dBA and half the price.
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Old July 18, 2010, 01:21 PM   #3
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For the running gun events, ear plugs might be better.
The muff type of ear protection might either get slightly dislodged while running around, or the ear stem of the safety glasses might be picking them up off the ears.
I use this type with no problems.
Another approach is to use the ear plugs along with electronic muffs, with the volume turned up.
This allows really good hearing and double protection, too.
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Old July 18, 2010, 01:43 PM   #4
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Pro Ears. Developed by a very good USPSA competitor. I've worn them for years, and recommend them.
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Old July 18, 2010, 08:14 PM   #5
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Another approach is to use the ear plugs along with electronic muffs, with the volume turned up.
This allows really good hearing and double protection, too.
That's my preferred technique as well...
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Old July 25, 2010, 04:35 AM   #6
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Pro Ears are great, especially if you wear hearing aids. I know the guys that invented them.

Dillon also makes a great set and so does Peltor.

Muffs are the way to go. You can hear the conversations around you, the range commands and the timer with no problem. You can also hear your hits on steel targets. You can't always do that with plugs.

I've never lost my muffs during a run and gun stage, even when I was 100 lbs lighter and much faster.
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Old July 25, 2010, 08:01 AM   #7
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No matter the muffs, I wear plugs and muffs when at a range.
Downside is hearing range officer commands, usually impossible.
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Old July 27, 2010, 06:10 AM   #8
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Electronic Hearing Protection

this is some of the information I found when researching this topic about 4 years ago. I ended up buying a pair of Sordin Hearing Protectors and I'm quite satisfied with them:

ELECTRONIC HEARING PROTECTION comments from the 10-8 forum:

From Tim Lau:

I have a pair of Sordins and they are GTG for range use. Overall, I do not prefer them to the Peltor COMTACs as, for me, they lack directionality. I own all three, and here is how I break it down:


Robust construction, waterproof battery compartment
Switching is on left side, buttons appear to be more robust
Low profile, fits easily under most helmets
Electronics superior to Peltors, lack annoying clicking

Lacks depth and directionality
Earplugs may hit the internal foam if you double up
Peltor COMTAC:

Fairly robust construction, but not as much so than Sordin
Very good directionality and depth of sound
Power buttons easier to operate with gloves on

Annoying clicking
Battery compartment is not waterproof
Conflicts with some helmets (fits under MICH)

Outstanding Electronics, Clear Transmission, No Clicking
Independent volume control for Right/Left Earcup

Does not fit under helmet
Control knobs get in the way of just about everything
Adjustable headband gets very loose over time
Batteries not secure. Fall out of headset if dropped.
Fair to poor robustness. Fall apart after less than a year of use.

To order Sordin products direct:

Triad Tactical
(click on MISC shooting supplies)(cheaper than the factory!!)

From Hilton Yam:

-low profile, fit easily under RBR helmet
-earcup interior is small and shallow. It barely contained my ear, and wearing the earpiece of my commo harness underneath was physically painful.
-I did not experience any sensation of direction or depth of sound. Teammates would be trying to talk to me and I'd look around to find them, only to realize that they were 3 feet away from me. On a mission, I called out a noise from the left when it originated from the right. That was the last operational use of them.
-Electronics featured a smoother processing of high end noise without the clipping and clicking common to Peltors. Volume was not quite what I wanted, and I had a hard time actually telling if they were on or off.

Peltor Comtac 1:
-medium profile, just barely fit under RBR and MICH helmets. Can be fatiguing since helmet pushes earcups into head.
-earcup fit is deeper and wider, allowing better fit for ears and commo earpieces.
-directionality and depth, based on my own use, is workable. It's not as good as your natural hearing, but nothing currently is.

The observations on the Peltor vs. sordin are based on my own experience with them, and as always, your mileage may vary. I know plenty of folks that I respect greatly that have differing opinions on the brand comparison as well as the very concept of using active earpro in tactical settings. You're going to have to try it yourself to see what your needs are.

From Pat Rogers:

The Sordin's are significantly better when it comes to water- among other things.
I've gone through various models of peltors, including com tacs, which never lasted too long. The Pro Ears were terrible.
The Sordins aren't perfect, but they are subjectively better then anything else out there.
From Tim Lau:

I have used the ProEars, Peltor COMTAC, and more recently the Sordins and here is what I have found.

ProEars: Their strength lies in the electronics. Their "Dynamic Sound Compression" is the most seamless and natural sounding, while maintaining the ability to perceive sound direction. I wish they had a little more amplification. The downside to the ProEars are the harder to find N-size batteries, no battery compartment (batteries fall out if you drop the earpro), high profile switches that prevent their use with some helmets, and overall lack of durability as compared to the Peltor and Sordin.

Peltor COMTAC: I've used a pair of these for a little while now and overall, I like 'em. They are significantly more robust than the ProEars, though the plastic battery cover doesn't inspire confidence. Despite this, I have had no problems, even when used in heavy rain. Some users have complained about the leather strap across the headpiece rotting in humid conditions. However, they are generally compact, work with helmets, very comfortable, and run on regular AA batteries. Their electronics are not as advanced as the ProEars and click on and off. Otherwise, the electronics work well and the ability to perceive sound direction is good.

Sordins: I finally got a pair after listening to Pat rave about these for the past few years (yeah, I'm a cheap bastard.) These are very nicely built with a sealed battery compartment for the standard AAA batteries. The controls are on the left side which work well for the 91 percent of the population that are Right Handed, (allows use of support hand to control the electronics.) The headpiece has a removeable/washable cloth cover. Overall build quality is excellent. Some observations: they are not as sensitive to direction as the others, and I have trouble perceiving from which direction some sounds are coming from. The suppression technology is good, and there is no annoying clicking. Sound amplification is good as well. One of my good buddies complained about the earpiece being too shallow, and that the foam earplugs he wears underneath rub up against the inside foam of the ear cup. I have not found this to be the case for me.

Of the three, I would give the nudge to the Sordins though I would not have any issues using the Peltor COMTACS (and still do). The ProEars are okay for range use, but they need to be beefed up a bit before I would feel comfortable using them for more serious work. That said, they have historically been a great company to deal with, so hopefully they'll have some upgraded, more robust designs coming down the pike sometime soon.

I use the Sordin Supreme Pro, which is available through Tactical Command Industries. I have only had limited dealings with them from when I've purchased replacement parts for my earpiece system, but they have always delivered as promised.

Their website is
You can only learn from experience if you pay attention!
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Old August 4, 2010, 11:20 AM   #9
Don P
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Being that I shoot here in the heat of FLA I prefer to use ear plugs with a dBA of 31
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Old August 4, 2010, 09:54 PM   #10
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just asked the same question

on the cz forum and took the advice of a couple of posters and went with the Caldwell E-max low profiles. did some follow up on their advice and found the reviews to be in line with what i was looking for got my set from midway for under 30 bucks
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