Best available over-the-ear hearing protection and why?

May 18, 2012
1,750
126
63
Boulder, CO
www.BisonTactical.com
#1
Guys, I am looking to upgrade my hearing protection from the Howard Leight Impact muffs I currently use.

I want the best hearing protection that I can shoot precision rifle with.

They need to be over the ear and comfortable for multi-day use.

If you have suggestions about why they are the best, I would like that info.
I don't care too much about extra's like connection to phone, bluetooth etc, I just want them to save my hearing, and they need to be able to transmit sounds from RO's talking so I can hear what they say.

I do like long battery life...
 
May 11, 2017
258
93
28
CA
#2
I use Peltor Sport Tactical 500's and love them. I upgraded the cups to the gel versions and I can wear them all day, with glasses and not have an issue. They have a nice cutout for the stock and never get in the way for me. For solo days at the range, the bluetooth is nice so you can pair it with a phone and listen to music. Unlike the Howard Leights, the Peltors use sound compression instead of threshold clipping. By compressing loud noises over a certain dB rating, you can still have a completely normal conversation with gunshots going off in the background and not experience any cut outs or loss of clarity. Battery life is good and I would buy another set if they broke tonight.
 

phxfa

Gunny Sergeant
Mar 9, 2010
1,296
31
48
Arizona
#3
MSA Sordin Supreme Pro-X’s get my vote. Tapered cup where it would interfere with the stock, less likely to break the seal. Gel cups, (optional) behind the head strap or over the head, great noise reduction with clear, adjustable volume control. I use non alkaline batteries, decent battery life with lithium’s.
 
Nov 5, 2009
1,362
20
38
WA, USA
#9
MSA Sordin Supreme Pro-X’s get my vote. Tapered cup where it would interfere with the stock, less likely to break the seal. Gel cups, (optional) behind the head strap or over the head, great noise reduction with clear, adjustable volume control. I use non alkaline batteries, decent battery life with lithium’s.
^^THIS^^
 

Dirty8404

Sergeant of the Hide
Apr 17, 2018
170
99
28
#11
I have the Sordins with gel cups and behind the head strap, they are nice. Haven’t tested them against Peltors, but I’d definitely get them again.
 

SLG

Gunny Sergeant
Sep 2, 2009
931
328
63
#13
I have been using Peltor Com tacs for the last 15 years. The Gen1's are far and way the best, but the latest (gen3, I think) are also quite good, and most people like the form factor better. I have tried Sordin's, Leight's, and some other Peltor models. I vastly prefer the ruggedness and fit of the Comtacs. I do prefer to replace the ear cups with gel cups, but its not 100% needed.

I have a set of the Safariland TCI's coming to try as well.

None of these, or any others mentioned here, give enough hearing protection on there own. I either use a can, or plugs, to augment them.
 
Likes: Gil P.
Feb 13, 2017
3,723
4,138
113
Camano Island, Washington
#14
No. Safariland TCI DEHP. These are more like $415.
These appear to be "Re-branded" MSA Sordins, which, if true, is OK. I have Sordins and really like them. I have the headband version. I think I paid in the area of $275.00 for them about 3 years ago. To do it over again, I would probably go with the version that can be worn under a helmet/ball cap.
 

Mute

Sergeant
Sep 9, 2003
714
73
28
52
Diamond Bar, CA
www.amtraininggroup.com
#16
These appear to be "Re-branded" MSA Sordins, which, if true, is OK. I have Sordins and really like them. I have the headband version. I think I paid in the area of $275.00 for them about 3 years ago. To do it over again, I would probably go with the version that can be worn under a helmet/ball cap.
I have Sordins. One of my friends have the Safariland. They don't appear to be re-branded. I tried them and they seem to do a slightly better job of blocking the loud noises while still allowing you to hear conversation.
 
Likes: Dan M
Feb 13, 2017
3,723
4,138
113
Camano Island, Washington
#17
I have Sordins. One of my friends have the Safariland. They don't appear to be re-branded. I tried them and they seem to do a slightly better job of blocking the loud noises while still allowing you to hear conversation.
Yeah, I only glanced at them quickly, but from what I saw, the headband internals and the mic covers appeared similar, if not the same. In any event, for the $$'s asked for either one, they should be pretty good. ("Should be" anyway.....).
 
#19
I used MSA’s for years and they have worked great for me. Reliable even in all day wet conditons. Clear surround sound amplification. Good noise reduction although I need to use ear plugs at indooor ranges. Comfortable for all day wear but I would upgrade to gel cups. My only problems with them are that they can get hot in warm weather and they can sometime interfere with cheek weld. I’ve recently been trying out in-ear options. I’ve come to rally like Nacre QuietPro headset. I got a used mil-surplus set for $60 off eBay. Excellent noise amplification, almost as good as the MSAs. Very comfortable since they have different sized ear tips. The unit test the sound seal every time you power on the unit. For the price, they can’t be beat. And it is nice to wear something besides a baseball cap.
 
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Dirty8404

Sergeant of the Hide
Apr 17, 2018
170
99
28
#20
None of these, or any others mentioned here, give enough hearing protection on there own. I either use a can, or plugs, to augment them.
Have to agree with this, I shoot with a can and my Sordins do great but when a heathen with a brake is next to me, I know it.
 

LawnMM

Harbinger of Sarcasm
Jul 5, 2009
1,812
214
63
Colorado
www.accuracy-tech.com
#21
MSA Sordins, Fred. Triad sells them with the gel cups, well worth it. Comfortable for all weekend matches. I get headaches a lot, including migraines, particularly when stuff is squeezing my head hours on end. None with these.

Battery life is stupid long, they auto shut off if you forget. I have had mine for a few years now, changed batteries once. The noise amplification is clear and directional.

They're outstanding, if mine died tomorrow I'd buy a new set without any hesitation.
 

Sogan

Sergeant
Jun 11, 2013
486
86
28
#22
The MSA Sordins are a night and day difference in sound clarity and sound amplification compared to the Howard Leight Impact muffs. I own the Sordins and my buddy has the Howard Leights - I can hear animals in the brush well before he can when hunting. I tried his Howard Leights and voices sound muffled and not near as clear as the Sordins to me
 

Bradu

Full Member
Aug 24, 2011
2,075
309
83
IL
#25
You will like them. I don't own a set but have tried my buddy's and they are so comfortable and work well. Only reason I don't have them is they don't work well for me with the a desert techs because they hit the stock.
 

Bradu

Full Member
Aug 24, 2011
2,075
309
83
IL
#27
If I was getting some right now then I’d go for in ear. Even the Sordins interfere with stocks for me.
That's why I'm still using the throwaway yellow foam plugs. They offer more protection than anything I've tried but they suck because you have to pull them out to hear a conversation.
 
Feb 15, 2005
144
50
28
Mission, KS
www.donttouchme.com
#28
Sordins, with gel earcups and a memory foam top pad. Which model? Do not care. I have a comms headsets I use for earpro so I don't have several to pick between, but they all work the same.

I have friends with Peltors, and have no issue if you go that way.

TEA and TCI used to (I THINK) simply upgrade Sordins with all new internals, but I believe now build only new. They are NOT rebranded Sordins but absolutely have different internals. Some also say they are more waterproof, but I have abused the hell out of my Sordins and never shorted or ruined them.

Keep spare batteries around. Use only lithium batteries.

Foam earplugs under the electronics help but are just a small extra bit of help, Not only do the earmuffs have better sound ratings, they provide more AREA of protection. Do not forget that your ears are in your head. Sounds like gunfire and explosions come through other parts of your head just fine. Larger earpro, integral goggles, even a helmet, help reduce sound to your eardrums also
 

Frog05

KeepItSimpleStupid
Feb 15, 2017
132
89
28
Southern Illinois
#29
Good choice on the Sordins! I’ve ran them for about a year and love them. I still double up with earplugs if I am shooting indoors. The gel cups are super comfortable. My buddies run comtacs and love them but the Sordins just sound better to my ears and the controls are easier to manipulate for me, especially with gloves on.
 
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SilentStalkr

Wonna Be Badass
Oct 8, 2012
950
439
63
38
Somewhere in the US
#30
I think the Sordins would be great if they reversed the ear piece 180 so that the battery compartment or whatever it is, while it is still narrow is not as narrow as the top part and therefore still gets in the way of a stock, imo.
 
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Basher

Sergeant
Dec 13, 2004
1,185
524
113
32
Mesa AZ, USA
#31
I think the Sordins would be great if they reversed the ear piece 180 so that the battery compartment or whatever it is, while it is still narrow is not as narrow as the top part and therefore still gets in the way of a stock, imo.
On the Sordins? Looks like Sordins have a cutout on the bottom. Peltors have the battery hump on the bottom, which has always concerned me that they'd ruin my cheekweld. I'm trying to decide what to get as well. I'm hoping to find somewhere local that has both that I can try.
 
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SilentStalkr

Wonna Be Badass
Oct 8, 2012
950
439
63
38
Somewhere in the US
#32
On the Sordins? Looks like Sordins have a cutout on the bottom. Peltors have the battery hump on the bottom, which has always concerned me that they'd ruin my cheekweld. I'm trying to decide what to get as well. I'm hoping to find somewhere local that has both that I can try.
The older Sordins didn’t have cutouts on the bottom. While they were thin, they still had a hump for the battery compartment and microphone/electronic shit.
 
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Frog05

KeepItSimpleStupid
Feb 15, 2017
132
89
28
Southern Illinois
#33
On the Sordins? Looks like Sordins have a cutout on the bottom. Peltors have the battery hump on the bottom, which has always concerned me that they'd ruin my cheekweld. I'm trying to decide what to get as well. I'm hoping to find somewhere local that has both that I can try.
The Sordins I have are cutout on the bottom which for me is a lot better than the Peltors which have the hump on the bottom.
 
Likes: Basher

RNWRKNP

Sophisticated Redneck
Dec 13, 2017
1,376
1,634
113
PHX, AZ
#35
On the Sordins? Looks like Sordins have a cutout on the bottom. Peltors have the battery hump on the bottom, which has always concerned me that they'd ruin my cheekweld. I'm trying to decide what to get as well. I'm hoping to find somewhere local that has both that I can try.
In the same boat amigo. Here in town I’ve found the 100’s but not the 3-500’s. From what I’ve read, you’ll want the Tac 300’s at minimum. Lowlight gave the 500’s the thumbs up in a podcast if you don’t follow it. For me, the 4x amplification of the Sordins for hunting is very attractive. The Peltors are clear but do not amplify and lack the cut out at the bottom.
 
Likes: Frog05
Mar 18, 2012
374
48
28
33
#36
I run sordins with gel cups. They are very comfortable but I don't find they provide enough sound reduction if I'm shooting around others with brakes. I double up with plugs and muffs. If I am shooting by myself or with people running suppressors they are perfect. Very comfortable and haven't had any issue interfering with my cheek weld.
 
Likes: Frog05
May 18, 2012
1,750
126
63
Boulder, CO
www.BisonTactical.com
#37
I have tried running in-ear plugs for a while, but they were painful after 2 days of competition. I switched back to my muffs (Howard Leight) but wanted something that was more comfortable. I shot for a day with the Sordins, and so far they are very comfortable, have good hearing protection and seem to work well. I didn't have an issue with cheekweld. I will run them this coming weekend at the Quiet Riot in UT for a 2 day match and have more feedback after that.
 

SilentStalkr

Wonna Be Badass
Oct 8, 2012
950
439
63
38
Somewhere in the US
#38
I have tried running in-ear plugs for a while, but they were painful after 2 days of competition. I switched back to my muffs (Howard Leight) but wanted something that was more comfortable. I shot for a day with the Sordins, and so far they are very comfortable, have good hearing protection and seem to work well. I didn't have an issue with cheekweld. I will run them this coming weekend at the Quiet Riot in UT for a 2 day match and have more feedback after that.
Guess I’m weird and my ears are closer to my jawline than most, I suppose.
 

FUNCTIONAL

Dirty Civilian
Feb 19, 2012
533
97
28
Charlotte, NC
#39
Guess im going to be the odd man out and say I use Howard Leights with gel cups and a padded headband cover for $50 more and they have been excellent. Just under $100 total and they have been perfect when used for 3 days straight.

Still like everyone though inside shooting I prefer to throw in foamies with the HLs and just crank the volume.