Latest Hearing Protection

Sep 30, 2014
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#1
Anything new and exciting out there on this topic? I can't stand my bulky, older muffs and want to get something that does not interfere with the stock or maybe a good set of ear plugs at will actually stay put.
 
Feb 10, 2017
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#2
Maybe not so new and exciting, but for plugs I've always used the Surefire plugs (EP7/EP4 Defenders) and they've been super comfortable and they stay put (with the right size). As for muffs, I recently got a pair of the Howard Leight Impact Sports that everyone seems to have. They're pretty comfortable and slim, but I haven't been able to hit the range with them yet. They also have some aftermarket options like different headbands and gel ear cups that I liked.
 
Aug 10, 2017
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MD
#3
Electronic/active or passive protection?

For passive, I have been using the Surefire "Sonic Defender" line for about 2 years now and having really good luck (same lineup as mentioned by Mark above). They are only $10-$20 depending on the exact model you choose and provide adequate protection for shooting a braked .223 outside.

If I am shooting inside or using any larger rifles (or SBRs) then I double up (plugs + muffs) with a set of MSA Sordin muffs which are not cheap, but they are very slim and do not interfere with proper cheek weld on a rifle. I also use them for USPSA, PRS, etc where it's important to be able to hear range commands and hear my spotter giving me directions and wind calls.
 
Sep 30, 2014
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#4
Just ordered the Surefire EP7. At that price, certainly worth a try. Very good reviews far as I can tell. I'll check out the MSA Sordin next. Thanks guys for your help.
 
Likes: MarkLeupold
Aug 14, 2014
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#5
I have wanted to be impressed with the Sonic Defenders but I just can’t. Every pair I’ve had have worked great for the first hour or two of use. Then one or both won’t stay sealed in my ear. I’d think it was a sizing issue but they work well to start then quit working. True, they’re only $12-13 but that buys a whole lot of cheap baffle style plugs.
 
Aug 10, 2017
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MD
#7
I have wanted to be impressed with the Sonic Defenders but I just can’t. Every pair I’ve had have worked great for the first hour or two of use. Then one or both won’t stay sealed in my ear. I’d think it was a sizing issue but they work well to start then quit working. True, they’re only $12-13 but that buys a whole lot of cheap baffle style plugs.
The sizing on the Sonics refers only to the large rubber "ring" that sits in the bowl of your ear, not the size of the tip that actually plugs your ear canal. I don't think getting a different size would help you very much.

If they start to lose their sound seal after 1-2 hours, I would recommend trying a different style, i.e. if you have the silicone "christmas tree" plugs, try out the soft foam-rubber tips instead. Or vice versa. Or maybe they just don't quite work with your ears and you'd simply be better off with disposable foamies which conform to pretty much every possible ear shape.
 
Likes: MarkLeupold

Rerun7

Furious George
Feb 18, 2017
631
114
43
Fayetteville, Arkansas
#9
I have wanted to be impressed with the Sonic Defenders but I just can’t. Every pair I’ve had have worked great for the first hour or two of use. Then one or both won’t stay sealed in my ear. I’d think it was a sizing issue but they work well to start then quit working. True, they’re only $12-13 but that buys a whole lot of cheap baffle style plugs.
I had the same issue with the 2 flange models. The 3 flange keep their seal much better in my ears. I really like the defenders, they are effective and very comfortable.
 
Feb 14, 2017
937
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43
DC Area, MD
#10
Anything new and exciting out there on this topic? I can't stand my bulky, older muffs and want to get something that does not interfere with the stock or maybe a good set of ear plugs at will actually stay put.
I find my Peltor Comtac muffs don’t interfere with the stock and happen to be selling my spare set in the PX.
 

Rover31

Jedi Master
Oct 27, 2007
519
47
28
Mos Eisley
#11
Just started using the EP4. Really like them! My daughter does also.

I can wear them on their own or put a pair of muffs over the top for double protection. Comfy and they work.

Initially I had problems getting them to seal. It seems that I have to give them a good insert into my canal. When I do that they stay and seal up for good sound protection.

Sizing, unless you are an xxl kinda guy get the mediums. I am a large guy and thought I needed large size but the mediums fit easier. The larges have to be fiddled with to get right.
 
Jun 19, 2008
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CO
#14
The EPs are great, but I find I need to 'lick lube' them to get them fit tight. I'd rather wear muffs, but that is the last thing I want is a pair of ear muffs on a hot day.

I'm looking for electronic, in ear. If they Blue toothed to an iPhone, all the better. My Bose headphones for traveling are getting a bit wonky. Something that would work as ear-pro and headphones (what about the mic function) would be the bomb.
 

BWB

Sergeant
Mar 18, 2009
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SD
#15
EAR Inc has a SHOTHUNT series that is in-ear electronic plugs, I've been using them for over 3 years now without a hiccup. Super lightweight, super comfortable, good battery life and less expensive than the "custom molded" sets that will only be comfortable until your ears out grow them (yep your ears never stop growing). These also offer the best in class NRR rating at 32db, I can get these at a discount off retail, PM me if interested.
 
Sep 30, 2014
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#16
EAR Inc has a SHOTHUNT series that is in-ear electronic plugs, I've been using them for over 3 years now without a hiccup. Super lightweight, super comfortable, good battery life and less expensive than the "custom molded" sets that will only be comfortable until your ears out grow them (yep your ears never stop growing). These also offer the best in class NRR rating at 32db, I can get these at a discount off retail, PM me if interested.
These are really interesting, but not at that price. Its about the price of a suppressor for god sake!
 

BWB

Sergeant
Mar 18, 2009
387
27
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SD
#18
These are really interesting, but not at that price. Its about the price of a suppressor for god sake!
I'm not going to argue they are expensive, but they are a one stop shop. If you shoot shotguns at all, these are a dream. Dove hunting, Duck Hunting, Goose Hunting, etc. I also shoot with lots of people with no suppressors at all and end up wearing my hearing protection anyway. We all have pistols or other long guns we shoot that aren't suppressed. I can beat the online list price. They are the best investment I've made in a very long time.
 
Apr 4, 2017
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#20
I went to an Audiologist and had a custom set molded. They're electronic and they come from SoundGear I believe. Super comfy and I can hear great with them in. Only downside is they are spendy.
 

BWB

Sergeant
Mar 18, 2009
387
27
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SD
#23
In the end an over ear solution will work but they are still hot as balls when it's 80-100 degrees outside and don't breath keeping your ears feeling like a junior high locker room.
 

spife7980

Full Member
Feb 10, 2017
4,078
1,020
113
Central TX
#25
get yourself a set of Noisefighter gel earcups and a padded headband and youve got yourself a REALLY nice set of muffs for ~$100
Just saw that they were on sale for 44 shipped so I said sure, why not?
Of course that means I also just ordered some new howard leight impacts for 54 making it 2 bucks shy of your quoted 100 (y)
 
Jul 11, 2017
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#29
Otto’s best I’ve found and if you at the range with muzzle brake folks throw on at set of 3M’s over those. Very effective. When I’m shooting alone or suppressed the Otto’s it.
 
Likes: kabarNC

Strykervet

Resident Phoenix Eye and Dim Mak Instructor
Jun 5, 2011
2,958
1,108
113
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Pierce County, WA
#30
Maybe not so new and exciting, but for plugs I've always used the Surefire plugs (EP7/EP4 Defenders) and they've been super comfortable and they stay put (with the right size). As for muffs, I recently got a pair of the Howard Leight Impact Sports that everyone seems to have. They're pretty comfortable and slim, but I haven't been able to hit the range with them yet. They also have some aftermarket options like different headbands and gel ear cups that I liked.
I have a pair of those, they're okay but they don't work nearly as well as the older (tac 6? Or 7?) ones I have. A lot of people like 'em because they'll fit under a helmet (if that's an issue for you). But these larger Peltor tacticals just work much better. In fact, with the volume up, everything is louder EXCEPT the gunshot.

Nothing works if you don't wear it though. L. ear STILL ringing from last month firing a .50BMG with brake and no ear pro (had a suppressor but it wasn't on it at that time). The M2HB isn't NEARLY as loud, FWIW. It was a mistake but it was a painful one (next shot I got scope bit if you can believe that!) Had tinnitus ever since blowing shit up in the army, shot a LOT with no ear pro, but it had sort of softened... Now it's driving me fucking crazy again.

Hearing loss is actually the least of your concerns IME. For all the exposure to loud noise, I had no hearing loss when I got out of the army. But tinnitus isn't considered hearing loss. Nay, I'll probably never experience total quiet again in my life. So get good ear pro.

Those Peltor's were expensive, but they have an NRR nearly ten digits higher or more than most others.
 
Likes: MarkLeupold
Jul 11, 2017
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#31
Mine was from being drunk and playing with fireworks when I was young and dumb. So my hearing is very compromised and tinnitus is my constant. It sucks and I’ve had it since 1977 you don’t get used to it just accept it. I use double hearing protection 95% of the time, and suppressors whenever possible.
 

Jory45acp

New Hide Member
Mar 10, 2018
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15
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#32
If you are running Howard Leight right now, go check out these guys. A new startup with replacement gel cups that are cut for glasses. These are cheap replacements that give Howard headset a completely new feel and improved performance!! You will be amazed how much better they feel during long range trips or classes.
https://noisefighters.com/
 
Likes: MarkLeupold

pell1203

Full Member
Dec 27, 2007
1,025
154
63
Bellevue, WA
#36
I got a pair of Otto Noizefighters a few weeks ago and have had them at range outings a couple of times so far. They were comfortable and performed well.

Used them by themselves with success with suppressed shooters and as an RSO while working behind the firing line. Added muffs over them when a few magnum rifles equipped with aggressive brakes where brought to the firing line.

BTW, the rechargeable Otto case is really a cool design. I mostly got them to wear while hunting unsuppressed but will consider them for further use at the range.
 

Max

Descendant of John Adams
#39
Mine was from being drunk and playing with fireworks when I was young and dumb. So my hearing is very compromised and tinnitus is my constant. It sucks and I’ve had it since 1977 you don’t get used to it just accept it. I use double hearing protection 95% of the time, and suppressors whenever possible.
Funny, I lost most the hearing spontaneously in one ear as a teen. The ringing started then and never stopped but it never really bothered me. In fact, for a long time I just thought that was what silence sounded like.......
 
Likes: MarkLeupold