Analog Ear Protection Update

With the exception of my cellphone and TV remote, I don’t want to rely on batteries for too much for functioning, and that includes ear protection. By the time we reach our 30s, the medical world tells us that every cell in the human body has reproduced at least once, and we’ve lost our upper range of hearing, as well. Shopping around for the latest gear to revive my handgun-shooting hobby, I came across three analog ear protection devices you should look at - Decibel Defense and MPOW muffs rated at 35 - 37 db and 35 db respectively, and the Otis “Earshield” at 31 db. My old Silencio “Magnums” still work ar 29 db, but were always really heavy, like the muffs worn by aircraft carrier flight crews. FYI

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Micky mouse ears and dense foam cores, worn together, saved my highly sensitive hearing when I was in Navy engine rooms and on flight decks. (The rock concerts I went to during that time likely did most of my lifetime damage… ) Only a couple of bell ringers (that I remember) from ‘other’ sonic concussions that I prayed my hearing would return from. Nonetheless, I’m really impressed there are one-piece 30+ reducers out there today: Highly recommend them if they balance protection vs. the need to hear.

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@KURT17 >> so far unless I missed it some people on this site don’t think they need +30 db rated ear protection. I tried to warn people about ear phones being sold by USCCA that had a substandard db Level
but my warnings got blown off. There is also a topic I made about “ tinnitus “ see attached, check it out.
[ CAN YOU HERE ME NOW ]
** thanks Kurt good topic.


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One nice thing about electronic earmuffs, is that they do not rely on batteries to protect your hearing. If you forget to turn them on, or the batteries die, they essentially become dumb/passive earmuffs.

But when the batteries and electronics do work, you get the added safety and convenience of being able to hear the less loud things around you better.

Personally I virtually always double up with ear plugs covered by electronic muffs. Plugs can be 30-33 NRR (some are less), then you can put electronic muffs over them and turn the volume up so that you have stacked protection of 30-33 NRR plus the 18-30 NRR of the muffs.

I especially like that I can comfortably get away with slim earmuffs in the 18-22 NRR range when stacking, to alleviate some earmuff/firearm stock interference, while still having tons of hearing protection + hearing what people around me are saying, hearing doors open, hearing vehicles driving on the gravel, etc.

I had not seen 35-37 NRR form a single earmuff though, that is impressive. On occasion (like indoors when somebody shows up with a * muzzle brake on a short barrel rifle) it’s nice to get every single reduction rating you can get your hands on. MIght have to buy myself some of thsoe to try

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Thanks I’ve been looking for these for awhile.

P.S. - For earplugs, Howard Leight’s maximum foam earplugs are rated to 33 db - make sure that you firmly knead them between your thumb and index finger to thoroughly soften them up to provide the most secure seal possible. I’m still headed to an optometrist asap for custom made shooting glasses. FYI

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I was unaware of such high db NRR. The ones I currently use are 34 db NRR. I also usually use ear plugs, too. The lower passive db NRR in the electronic ones are the reason I have yet to buy those. I do like the idea that they make the vocal range easier to hear. Some have the ability to increase environmental sounds, and and input jack and/or blue tooth. I will wait until the passive db NRR on those increases, I like my hearing.

You should shop for eye and ear protection in the same way you should shop for auto insurance - at least every 6 months, to make sure you’re not cheating yourself in the long run. After all - new designs and materials are almost constantly appearing on the market - the Otis “Earshield” is such a product, and is so incredibly lightweight - I can remember how heavy and cumbersome TV sets, VHS and stereo systems were years ago. FYI

Mine are not that old, are light-weight, and have a better db NRR than the Otis you listed. I do not have loud bangs with my current set-up. They apparently are optimized for gunfire, so I can hear vocal range fairly well, too. When I need new ones, I will do some more research.