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Thread: Hearing protection

  1. #1

    Default Hearing protection

    Looking for information on hearing protection for hunting. Amplification and protection. What do you use? Who has the best?

  2. #2
    Member JoeJ's Avatar
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    There's a lot of products on the market for just about any type of shooting. If you can afford them - the electronic ear protectors are among the best. A lot of high volume shooters use them. Here's a site for one brand: http://www.earinc.com/p1-electronic-hunting.php

    When I shot 7 days a week there were no such products on the market and we weren't "educated" enough back then to worry much about hearing protection. We wore muffs more or less to cut down on the muzzle blast from the guy standing next to us, so we wouldn't follow his shot a hair second before we wanted to (a 45 blast under canopy will do that occasionally). If I were 20yoa again I'd save my money and purchase the electronic ear plug for competition & recreational shooting as well as hunting. If you're not a high volume shooter and only occasionally go to the range or into the game fields then ear plugs would be more than sufficient and the cost is nil.

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    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Good topic...

    but not so much selection to my searches in past.
    I used Walker's Game Ear last year. They function well, allowing me to hear yet offering hearing protection, but the ear piece dislodged frequently during hiking or other movement. Good in-ear devices that allow good hearing, yet dB protection - are spendy.

    A couple of threads here...
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=65717

    BTG MegaEars:
    http://www.forums.outdoorsdirectory....d.php?p=231365

    Good luck.

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    I have a set of Pro-Ears that is a few years old. The model I have is no longer current, but looks similar to the Sporting Clays model.

    The best thing about the Pro-Ears I have is that they never 'shut down' the electronics. Cheaper models of electronic muffs just turn off when the sound reaches a certain decibel level and 'clip' the sound. My Pro-Ears use dynamic compression to reduce the loudest noises while never turning all the way off. This is much nicer than the cheaper muffs, when you hear great while one person is shooting but have essentially dead muffs when you are on a range with several people (or a dozen or two) all shooting at once.

    In the Pro-Ears I have there is a master volume switch under the padding that allowed me to boost the overall volume level. Now I can wear plugs and crank the muffs all the way up. I can hear while getting the highest level of safety.

    When my wife and I bought ours, not all Pro-Ears used dynamic compression. Some other makers use dynamic compression on some models, but it is very hard to tell if a particular muff uses clipping (turning off) or dynamic compression from the advertising on the packaging. I haven't researched it in the last 2 years, but it used to be that unless you were paying $200+ per pair the electronics were all of the clipping variety.

    Sordins are also well spoken of. Lots of military and tactical guys swear by them.

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    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Buyer's Guide at Cabela's website is useful...

    http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...ge=fieldguides

    Scottr's comments about the ProEars are interesting. Sounds like he's had some experience. I wasn't looking for muff type protection, but the others get very expensive.

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    Nice information scottr...I have the ProEars Dimension 2. Bought them a few years ago when I was RSOing at the rifle range on the weekends, so they might be the old school type rather than the compression dampening system. They were spendy at the time, but we got a discounted deal on them. Have to honestly say that I don't particularly like mine. They just don't seem to provide enough protection for me, especially if someone has a muzzle brake on the bench next to me, so I usually wear ear plugs as well. I also have a talent for inadvertantly turning on the power knob when tucking them into my shooting bag...so the expensive batteries are often dead.

    When I'm in the field I take some ear plugs...the kind attached to a string so that I don't lose one...again. However, as I get older I realize that my wife is right and my hearing isn't what it used to be. I'm starting to get real interested in those expensive, upper end models that fit inside your ear...anyone use those for hunting?

    Doc

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    For range use I use the foam plugs AND muffs. Brand is unimportant if they fit reasonably well. Combining the two has improved my bench rest shooting abilities. Carry foam plugs in the field as well but the majority of the time forget to put them in.

    Can't stress enough the importance of adequate protection (sounds like a condom commerical, haha). Pretty much one shot from a centerfire rifle has the ability to give you permanent hearing loss which is usually not noticeable right away. Basic range of hearing for people is approximately 200-7,000 hz. The permanent losses first start occurring in the upper end range (very high pitched sounds) but we don't notice the loss untill we get closer to the voice range and by then it is to late.

    Try doubling up with both plugs and muffs while hitting the range as it has improved my range time, especially off the bench.
    Tennessee

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    If youíre looking maximum hearing protection you can only achieve that by using full ear muff that are tight fitting, anything less will reduce your protection.

    If you want your ear protection to amplify sounds you need to decide if you want to hear talking or faint field nature sounds.

    Then you also throw in to the mix, how bad your hearing is things get really complicated.
    I know Iím not being much help. I am trying to point out you need to decide what your main go is and because of the human factor what works for one person may not work for another.

    I went hunting with a guy that had exceptional good hearing, Itís was amazing what he could hear or I should say what I could not hear. Depending on location, type of hunting (calling) and the animal you are hunting you need good hearing.

  9. #9

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    You can also look into the Howard Leight Impact Sport muffs. They reduce very well and amplify normal sound well enough to be useful for hunting. I wear them waterfowling and find I pick out incoming geese MUCH btter with them. If you'd like to read a review, just ask.


    www.outwriteoutdoors.com

  10. #10

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    As a long time airboater, shooter, and former pilot I can attest the same pair of headphones will work differently for each person. I've used many different brands, cheap and expensive. A proper fit is more important than decibel rating IMO. If the headphones do not make a solid seal around your ears you are basically waisting your time. Foam plugs and headphones have worked well for me in the past but I do not care for foam plugs. Forget about glasses, chewing gum or eating food, all of the above creates a gap which lets unlocks the seal around your ears. For my daughter I prefer the plastic squishy ear inserts and headphones both specifically designed for a child.

    This summer I bought a pair of Howard Leight Impact Sport muffs and they are the cat's meow for me. My hearing is lacking to begin with, but I can listen into a conversation 100 yards away at the range while blocking out all gun shots above 82db. The fit is great, they fold nice and compact for storage and these headphones are great on batteries. Best $50 I ever spent! My only complaint is they are not as comfortable as some of the aviation headphones I've used but they work great for a range session.

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    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Something beats nothing. I said, SOMETHING BEATS NOTHING!

    Went out to try some predator hunting yesterday. Great to get out.
    My hunt partner was wearing ear protection too. While I always see hearing protection (HP) worn on the range, it's been the exception for me to see in the field. There seems to be quite a bit more interest now compared to 2-3 yrs ago. In the end, it seems to be one of those pay a little now or pay more later deals.

    With prices ranging from 30 cents to $3,000 (OK, OK, TWO thousand) for anything from foamies to electronic muffs and behind-the-ear designs to in-ear designs, it didn't take me long to go from "My hearing is priceless" to "Whoa!. Did you say t-h-o-u-s-a-n-d-S?!". I'm inclined to agree with Doc though, wearing something is easy and the "... ear plugs...the kind attached to a string..." make sense.

    Cost of batteries and other features to consider too as Doc also mentioned. One appeal regarding the Walker's Game Ears (WGE), behind the ear design, is the batteries are inexpensive. My issue with them centers on the earpiece, but awhile back, I thought another forum member (stid2677?) had found custom-fitted earpieces solved the problem for him. If so, WGE would offer a good intermediate design that could probably be worn under your hoods, balaclavas, etc and also avoid problems getting a good acoustic seal.

    Sport Ears, an in-ear design sold by Cabela's ($400) look good (fit and function), but no reviews available and Cabelas' won't ship these to Alaska.

    Good thread.

  12. #12
    Member whateveri8's Avatar
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    Default Hearing Protection

    WHAT? SPEAK UP i CAN'T HEAR YOU, DID YOU SAY EARRING PROTECTION?


    never could resist being an ********* just at the right time
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    the loss of hearing from being stupid about protection doesn't bother me all that much.......it is the constant ringing in my ears, that will never go away that really makes me want to kick my own arse sometimes....

    good info...I'm at the point where I'm finally willing to pay good $$ to preserve what's left....I've heard of custom fitted inserts in the $200 to $300 range available in ANC, takes a couple weeks to get them once a mold is cast of your ear....I imagine they would provide the best fit and therefore the best protection....anyone know anything about them?....
    ------------------------------------------------
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    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Audiologist?

    Quote Originally Posted by tjm View Post
    ...I'm at the point where I'm finally willing to pay good $$ to preserve what's left....I've heard of custom fitted inserts in the $200 to $300 range available in ANC, takes a couple weeks to get them once a mold is cast of your ear....I imagine they would provide the best fit and therefore the best protection....anyone know anything about them?....
    I plan to ask at my next eye exam if they recommend an audiologist who can do the fitting, and I'll see what recommendations they might have.
    Good luck.

  15. #15

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    Here's a great site to take a peak at. I bought a set of child headphones and child ear inserts last summer.

    http://earplugstore.stores.yahoo.net/

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    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Earplugstore: Good info/website -

    Thanx Water_Gremlin. Seems very helpful information and a wide range of products.

    They point you at less costly options too. From,
    http://earplugstore.stores.yahoo.net/morabshootea.html:

    "If the tactical headsets are a little out of your price range, try Indoor/Outdoor range plugs, Hock's Noise Brakers, BlastBuster, or Sonic Valve II. These plugs have various kinds of internal mechanisms that let you hear clearly under low noise conditions, but that protect your hearing when hit by a high volume pressure wave such as that created by a gunshot or nail gun, giving you the full protection of the plug just when you need it."

    Also, as Snowwolfe suggested:

    For frequent shooting or even occasional high velocity rifle work, we suggest more protection. Your safest choice is a combination of plugs plus a muff worn over them

  17. #17
    Member JoeJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjm View Post
    the loss of hearing from being stupid about protection doesn't bother me all that much.......it is the constant ringing in my ears, that will never go away that really makes me want to kick my own arse sometimes....

    good info...I'm at the point where I'm finally willing to pay good $$ to preserve what's left....I've heard of custom fitted inserts in the $200 to $300 range available in ANC, takes a couple weeks to get them once a mold is cast of your ear....I imagine they would provide the best fit and therefore the best protection....anyone know anything about them?....
    In the past I purchased the EAR insta-mold earplugs - I think I paid $60.00 and they were fitted by either a audiologist or his helper at a clinic. They really feel "odd" in your ear canal and it will take some time to get use to them. A foam ear plug seated correctly isn't as bad but close. The muzzle report of a firearm next to you still seems very loud compared to wearing a good set of muffs but the protection is there. If you get the inserts just make sure the "fitter" shows you how to properly insert the ear plug and do it a couple of times before you leave the office, as what feels good and seems to be a proper fit can be an improper fit and you'll never realize it until that muzzle report next to you makes it painfully clear that "something" is wrong.

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