Hearing Protection shopping

Discussion in 'Main Message Board' started by yotehater, Jul 17, 2016.

  1. yotehater

    yotehater Silver $$ Contributor

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    I've always used the foam plugs in addition to non electronic muffs. While out shooting earlier this morning I was wiping the sweat from my face and set the muffs on my truck bed and forgot them. Needless to say when I drove off I heard a terrible crunch thinking I'd run over a poor turtle. When I got out to look I realized the mistake I had made was running over them with the rear tire. ouch.
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    Now I am thinking about either just plain muffs to replace them or trying the electronic ones. How about opinions on each?

    What's that???? Speak up. Oh sorry, I'm wearing my older RCBS ones with the metal strap from 1985. Sounds like an upgrade in order.

    Looking at these, Walker's Pro-Low Profile Folding Earmuffs (NRR 31 dB)
     
  2. XBBR Shooter

    XBBR Shooter

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    I have had a pair of Peltor muffs for 15 to 20 years, and I love them. You can actually hear more when they not blocking very loud sounds.
    When you check the rating, remember that the numbers are not linear, they are logarithmic - meaning that a pair rated at 26 db is TWICE as effective as a pair rated at 23 db, and 4 times as effective as a pair rated at 20 db.
     
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  3. Comrade Terry

    Comrade Terry Gold $$ Contributor

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    I have a set of Pro Ears Pro Tac Gold which I really like. They're comfortable, effective, and I have no trouble conversing with them on. The downside is that they're a little pricey.
     
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  4. Sniper338

    Sniper338

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    Peltors are good
     
  5. M-61

    M-61 "Quis Separabit" Gold $$ Contributor

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    What model Peltor would one chose?
     
  6. Sniper338

    Sniper338

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    I have the 6s model and they work fine. Like $60.. low end model. Ive used the higher end models a lot and they are great too. I tend to like the slim line ear muffs and not the ones that stick out further on your ears...

    Take your pick on what you can afford. Ive never been unhappy with any of them.

    Just make sure to turn them off or next time tou go to use them the batteries are dead lol. I do that about every other time... they work great tirned off too though... never had an issue.
     
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  7. M-61

    M-61 "Quis Separabit" Gold $$ Contributor

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    Thanks
     
  8. SmokinJoe

    SmokinJoe SSOY 2004 Gold $$ Contributor

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    Look at the Howard Leight line also, they make some electronic muffs that are a good value & have very high NRR. A couple other considerations from my experience are to check what type batteries your chosen unit uses, some use std AA or AAA, but others use pricier batteries; check comfort over your ears, some of the low profile/tactical units are pretty shallow & will become uncomfortable to wear after a fairly short time. Also, make sure that your chosen unit shuts itself off automatically after a period of time which will save batteries if you forget to turn them off. Hope this helps, Joe
     
  9. normmatzen

    normmatzen Gold $$ Contributor

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    O.K! I can't resist commenting!

    As I have said before, the reason to use hearing protection is to protect your hearing!!!

    It ain't going to happen if you don't use something with excellent protection and use them correctly.

    First, if you totally seal up your ear canal you will still only get about 40-45dB of attenuation. For the un-scientific, that is about 100 to 200 times reduction in loudness. That is because the mastoid bone around your ear conducts that much. It also distorts as there is more attenuation for high frequencies than lows.

    The best protection is the old yellow foamies (or orange or green or whatever they are made with). If correctly inserted (not trivial) they offer about 38 dB protection. That's about 80 to 1 reduction. But, you will not be able to hear anything like range orders or the guy next to you trying to talk to you. These plugs are OSHA rated at about an NRR of 28-30 dB due to the many ways they can be inserted incorrectly.

    Then comes muffs. These are the single most popular hearing protection and the popular ones give about 26 dB protection or a reduction of about 20 to 1 reduction in sound pressure level. There are some that give adequate protection, but are way more expensive and way larger to the point it is hard to shoot with them on unless you are shooting pistols.

    Now, with most ear plugs you can improve the protection by careful insertion such as the foamies from 28-30 up to almost 40 dB. Not so with popular muffs. The NRR of 26 is all you are going to get, and that simply is not adequate protection. A rifle shot is a noise impulse of around 165 dB SPL and the 26 db just subtracts from 165 to put just about 140 dB into your ear! That is 10 times the threshold of pain! Some folks have figured out that you can use foamies under muffs and they think they get perfect protection. Not so, don't forget the old mastoid bone, still limited to 40 dB or so. Any way, why use the muffs as the foamie gives the best protection without the muffs.
    What you can do is buy the amplified muffs which use a compressor amplifier. That means, the gain varies with sound level. Soft sounds are amplified by 1 to 5 and loud sounds can make the gain decrease to well below 1. But, you still have a protection limited at 26 dB. So, go on ebay and look for some Etymotic Research ER-20 or ETY Plugs and buy a couple pairs at only $12 or so per pair. Now, you can wear them under the muffs for an additional 20 dB which gives a total of 46 dB which will be limited to around 40 by your mastoid but still yield maximum protection and the amplifier in the muffs will allow you to hear range commands as well as the guy next to you.

    What do I use you ask? I'll tell you. Etymotic Research also makes a blast protector called the GSP-15 GunSport-PRO. I use nothing but this device. It is rated at only NRR 25dB but that is because it comes with a bunch of different ear tips and some of them yield less than adequate protection. The best are the grey foamies (no surprise) and they are followed by the silicon 3 ribbed tips. Now you are back to near 40 dB and are truly safe.

    Yes, these cost just over 200 bucks, but they are quality devices that uses an analog compressor amplifier that has excellent fidelity. A side feature is that your situational awareness is not degraded and can in fact be improved by the devices gain at low SPL levels. This feature allowed these devices to be approved for police and military use. It is not widely known, for obvious reasons, that digital hearing devices do not have the fidelity of an analog amplifier due to the need to keep the battery drain down as well as the digital amplifier introduces a finite delay in the signal path that can vary with signal amplitude. This delay as well as the variation of delay really screws up your sound localization or situational awareness.

    And, you ask, why do I always specify Etymotic products? Well two reasons. The first is that I not only worked for Etymotic till I retired but the amplifier in them was my last project! The second reason is that Etymotic is run by a world renown Audiologist named Mead Killion phD and he has very tough standards for quality. There is no anecdotal evidence at Etymotic, every decision is based on clinical and lab testing. On top of that, the GSP-15 not only out performs the competition but is cheaper.

    You would rather spend $25 for a muff that doesn't protect your hearing but you will spend over $2000 for a N-F Competition instead of buying a BSA 6-24 power scope. Poor decision on the muff! But same concept. We don't scrimp on our equipment, but penny pinch on hearing protection at the expense of our hearing.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2016
  10. Sniper338

    Sniper338

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    Norm im glad your on top of it... but id rather be deff when i get old so i dont have to listen to peoples bs anymore or my wifes!
     
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  11. savagedasher

    savagedasher

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    What did you say? The older I get the the less noise I make hunting . And the less my wife says .
    Buy the best and push for supressors in all shooting sports. Larry
     
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  12. dickn52

    dickn52 Gold $$ Contributor

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    IF you plan to double muff with foamies, then standard muffs will be fine. IF you plan to use muffs only, go with the Howard Leight systems.
     
  13. savagedasher

    savagedasher

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    Why not use both? Larry
     
  14. MarkInFolsom

    MarkInFolsom

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    Doubling up on hearing protection is NOT additive. See this link from OSHA https://www.osha.gov/dts/osta/otm/new_noise/#appendixe


    Dual hearing protection involves wearing two forms of hearing protection simultaneously (e.g. earplugs and ear muffs). The noise exposure for workers wearing dual protection may be estimated by the following method: Determine the hearing protector with the higher rated NRR (NRRh) and subtract 7 dB if using A-weighted sound level data. Add 5 dB to this field-adjusted NRR to account for the use of the second hearing protector. Subtract the remainder from the TWA. It is important to note that using such double protection will add only 5 dB of attenuation. For an example of a calculation of dual hearing protection, see Appendix IV:C. Methods for Estimating HPD Attenuation of the OSHA Noise eTool.

    For a more extensive discussion of how to use the NRR, see the NIOSH website. NIOSH has developed guidelines for calculating and using the NRR in various circumstances. (Hearing Protector Devices )
     
  15. savagedasher

    savagedasher

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    At the end of the song and dance.
    Not only are you dealing with sound you have a pressure change . So double protection can help. Larry
     
  16. msinc

    msinc

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    Suggest you consider the 3M Peltor Tactical Sport. These are electronic and they can be set to amplify if you want to hunt with them on. They come with orange and black covers and take standard batteries. The sound quality is very good, not scratchy or tinny at all but like stereo sound just like you are not wearing them.
    I have had these for about 5 months now and shoot a lot...I am very happy with the quality and performance.
     
  17. Chfcemerson

    Chfcemerson Silver $$ Contributor

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    I have tried almost all of them and by FAR the MSA supreme Pro-x are the best electronic hearing protectors I have ever used. They come with gell ear cups and youncan wear them all day very comfortably. The attack and release off the electronics is much faster than the others. If you are having a conversation While wearing howard leights you will miss alot because of the lomg release time, and they are not that comforable to wear. Ever guy I have let try a pair of the MSA headsets goes out and buys a pair for them the next day. They are a little more expensive than others, but well worth the price.
    Glenn
     
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  18. dickn52

    dickn52 Gold $$ Contributor

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    You can always use both, but using electronics on top of foamies seems a waste of money.
     
  19. savagedasher

    savagedasher

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    I don't think so I fact I know different .
    I haven't be able to hear birds for over 5 years. Nobody fault but my own . Larry
     
  20. TheOtherZilla

    TheOtherZilla

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    Ear plugs here.. Use some called Skull Screws.. Muffs just get in the way and are not as effective..
     

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