First of all… I have pretty good hearing, and I’m keen on keeping it that way for as long as possible
I used to run the Howard Leight Impact Sport. I “upgraded” to the Peltor Sport Tactical 500. In addition to the boost in Noise Reduction (22db vs 26db NRR) the cutoff/switching between muffling/amplifying is much better with the Peltors so it’s easier to converse on crowded indoor ranges.
The downside to the upgrade is that the Peltors are significantly bigger. When using pistols, it’s not an issue. But when I run a long-gun sometimes the muffs bump against the stock when I’m trying to get a good cheek weld. Then the recoil will bump them up just a bit, breaking the seal of the muffs against my head and I get a lot of noise coming in. It’s not pleasant. I’ve taken to doubling up on ear pro now when using most long guns, but then I reduce the effectiveness of the amplified noise.
So does anyone know of good slim profile ear muffs with as high an NRR as possible? Must be electronic (amplify normal noises, dampen loud noises). I don’t need features like Bluetooth, but I won’t be upset if it has it.
Have used foam plugs, but prefer the muffs for the range, though I have not tried the electronic ones, I did recently find some plastic plugs that dampen louder noises while allowing voices to pass through.
Years on a range both shooting and explosive disposal, and some time working in and around aircraft… but the tinnitus is most likely from the very loud music I used to play back in the 70s and 80s.
Remember hearing loss is forever☹️. For the last few years I use plugs and muffs. Neither, alone, will reduce the report of a firearm fired indoors to below the threshold where hearing damage can occur. Protect you eyes and ears, ya only get one pair of each and they have to last as long as you do😏
You are right there @Dwayne. I tend to play it by ear (pun intended) on the range if I feel it’s too loud, I will go back and double up. I like the peltors, because I usually don’t feel the need to double up.
A notable exception… my local range at the end of december, either because everyone got new toys for Christmas (which were then unfortunately lost in many boating accidents) or people preparing for the boogaloo (im in VA) there were TONS of short barreled ARs and it sounded like Knob Creek. The concussion and volume was incredible that day. I happily doubled up on ear pro.
Ah, Knob Creek, the Mecca of auto weapons in America😁. I live about 90 minutes from there and try to make a shoot/year (good prices on ammo👍). Unless you’re a combat vet you’ve never heard Gunfire until you’ve visited KC… THAT place is LOUD😏
I finally found a good pair of slim electronic ear muffs!
The Walker Xcel series has 26db NRR, Bluetooth & non-Bluetooth versions, very slim profile, and good clear amplification of ambient noises. I’ve tried them with rifles and they are slim enough not to get bumped off by the stock under recoil. The ear “cups” are very soft and comfortable.
There are two versions, the Walker Xcel 100 is non-bluetooth MSRP is $100, I’m seeing it on Amazon right now for $60, several other places (OpticsPlanet, MidwayUSA) for ~$90-100.
The Walker Xcel 500 is the bluetooth version at MSRP of $150. Pretty much everywhere has it for ~$100.
If you don’t mind the colors, MidwayUSA has the non-bluetooth version but in either neon green or neon orange for $45. As far as I can see, there is no difference to the Xcel 100 other than the color.
I’m pretty happy with them, here is a better review than I can provide by Mr GunsNGear