In ear --electronic hearing pro

Discussion in 'Equipment Discussions' started by cohunt, Sep 4, 2018.

  1. cohunt

    cohunt Well-Known Member

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    Jan 21, 2016
    I've read several threads about different in-ear hearing protection and I'm still unsure which one would be best to try.

    I currently have a pair of Howard Leight electronic muffs that are OK for the range for pistol, but rather large for getting a proper cheek weld on a rifle

    I also have a pair of Pro Ears gold 300 behind the head muffs that I really like for in the field --BUT only if its cold outside--they offer NRR of 26 and individual ear cup amplification up to 15 dB--BUT if I'm climbing and sweating in the field I dont care for them (now sitting in a stand when its cold out--they are nice)

    I have seen 3 different "in-ear" style that interest me

    Soundgear has their "Industrial" and "Shooter" Instant fit plugs--NRR of 25dB, and amplification of either 8 or 15 dB (non adjustable)--only 2 sizes of silicone inserts--size #10 battery

    Etymotic has one that is also NR rated for 25dB and amplified at 15 dB with a neck cord and has both silicone and foam inserts--they say they are NRR of 15 dB for steady loud sounds and up to NRR of 25 for blast sounds, they have a hi/low switch for the amplification--size #10 battery

    Westone Defendear Shooter in ear has one also that is NRR rated at 30 dB, amplified up to 85dB with 3 amplification levels and had wind reduction and has 5 sizes of foam only ear inserts --size #10 battery


    god or bad, lets hear your experience with them if you have one of these (or if you know of a better option in the same price range I'm all "ears")


    I would be using these only for in the field hunting with 12 gauge, handgun (44mag, 10mm, 454cas) and center fire bolt action and semi-auto chassis rifles from 223 up to 300wm braked rifles

    for the range I will stick to my pro-ears muffs over plugs most of the time.
     
  2. Barrelnut

    Barrelnut Well-Known Member

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    I have used Etymotics for 5 years now. Would buy them again. I like the foam inserts better than the silicon ones. They give better protection too. The Etymotics can pick up wind noise when you use them in the 5x amp mode. The sell a small wind noise microphone cap for them that works well if you use the amplified mode in the wind.
     
  3. cohunt

    cohunt Well-Known Member

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    you ever compare them to something in a muff for reference? My pro ears turned all the way up can really amplify things, underfoot leaves crunching, pant legs rubbing etc (they claim up to 15 dbB amplification)--but I like them as you can turn them up/down indefinitely till you get the desired level of amplification depending on what you are doing ---walking making noise, I tend to turn them down a bit, sittin/waiting/listening I tend to turn them up so I like that ability
     
  4. Barrelnut

    Barrelnut Well-Known Member

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    I wear muffs at the range and field target shooting doubled up with regular ear plugs. I used a couple different brands of electronic muffs over the years too. They just didn't offer enough at the range. I bet Pro Ears would be great in a stand though.

    The thing I like about the Etymotics is you can wear them all day and even forget they are there. No pair of muffs squeezing your head all day. They are not something for the range undercover with a braked magnum beside you though.
     
  5. eklarsen

    eklarsen Well-Known Member

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    I have the soundgear shooter version and at first I was sceptical that I could wear them all day without them becoming annoying but I have found they quite good and comfortable.
    They work so well because you can have normal conversation but when gun fire happens it just clips off the loud part.

    If I did it again I would opt for the industrial for the wee bit higher amplification because I find that a plus when talking quietly in hunting situations.
     
  6. Monkeywerench1973

    Monkeywerench1973 Member

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    Sep 17, 2017
    I have the industrial ones love them but was curious if the hunting version were better I didn’t want to many sound driving me crazy. But I were them all day took about 4 times to get use to them
     
  7. Hand Skills

    Hand Skills Well-Known Member

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    No experience with the products listed, so tagging in. I too am interested in comparative reviews. There have been a couple threads on electronic hearing protection recently

    I have a fair bit of experience with in ear monitors. I own/have owned a few different models from Shure, Sennheiser and Etymotic over the years so I'll offer some thoughts on silicone/foam/custom sleeves;

    Not all custom molds are equal. Hard rigid ones SUCK. The ear canal is not static so you want something soft, otherwise they will be painful. Costco has an audiology department in the back (by the pharmacy and optician) - try talking to them, depending on the tech, they may be able to make you a custom mold for your 'active plugs' for the price of a few silicone or foam sleeves.

    Sleeves are overpriced. There's some OEM-ing going on, some sleeves are cross compatible, so if you like foam, but want soundgear, there is probably a way to do it. (I may follow up on this)

    Silicone is easy - easy to insert, easy to remove, easy to clean. Due to their conical shape, I've found a tendency for silicone plugs/sleeves to work their way out over time. This means I need to adjust them in use, which I find annoying. Customs are the same. Watch just about any vocalist performing on stage - many of them are constantly poking at their IEM's. This is because;

    jaw movement + conical plug = broken seal

    The foamies are actually my favorite. This sounds (and looks) pretty funny, but I roll the foam between my fingers and open my mouth wide as I insert the foam into my ear canal. I hold my mouth open while the foam expands. This enlarges the ear canal, allowing the foam to slightly OVER expand. After about 10sec I'll close my jaw and enjoy a tight seal. I can yell, or eat a snack and the foam stays put. Foam is not without it's drawbacks. They plug up with earwax and require replacement frequently. They also require a bit more ear care. Too much wax, they move around, not enough wax, they almost chaffe.

    Hopefully this is helpful to someone. Keep in mind, I'm not advising anyone on how to put stuff in their ears - just explaining how I like to do it, after thousands of attempts.
     
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