electronic hearing protection

I've only really played in the cheaper end of the spectrum, but I can share what I've experienced. I'm sure someone else will be along that can better get into the sordin vs comtac arena if thats more what you are looking for.

To give some context. I am in my 20s and have no hearing damage. I shoot a lot of handgun (1-2k rounds a month). Knowing that each round is potentially adding to cumulative damage, I make it a point to reduce the noise as much as possible. I am intentionally overdoing the protection.

I was using the Howard Leight Impact Sports for about 4 years. I always use foam plugs under the muffs, and the HLs were usually loud enough to allow me to hear voices around me without issue. I do not think they are really effective enough at noise reduction to be used indoors without the foamies for any centerfire caliber, and I would probably still use plugs outdoors if I was shooting a rifle. The ear cups are shallow enough that my ears would get sore after a few hours, and I would need to take a break for a bit. The cost of these was still worth it to me just to amplify voices enough to hear through the plugs. If I was headed to a class, it would be worth the ~$50 to me just to make sure I was hearing the instructor right.

I recently upgraded to the Peltor Sport Tactical 500. There was a great sale on amazon to get these for like $80. These have a noticeable improvement in noise reduction, but I still double up if I am inside. I've been a little dissapointed in the volume of the amplification. It can be pretty hard to hear voices through the plugs even at max volume. The HLs were better in this regard. The bluetooth feature on the 500 is nice so I can have music if I want, but its more useful so that I can use a shot timer app for parr times on a public range without beeping at everyone. The ear cups are also deeper so these hurt my ears less after a long range session. I'd go with the 500 over the HL.

On both of these I used noisefighters gel ear cups. I'd reccomend them as a worthwhile upgrade for both comfort and improving the seal.
 

WeaponOutfitters

Amateur
Vendor
Even with doubled up ear pro... you are still getting slight hearing damage with unsuppressed guns. The only way to avoid all hearing loss is to double up, and use cans.

Right now, the $1000 OpsCore AMP with their $200 dollar Near Field Magnetic Induction (NFMI) ear plugs is the only solution that allows you to double up and hear perfectly clearly.

A cheaper solution is to use foam or Surefire EP ear plugs with electronic ear pro with volume cranked up.

Cheap headsets like the Howard Leight Impact sport work great for the cost... but to make the $50 level, a lot of corners are cut on electronics, durability, moisture/RF shielding.


$50-$100 = Entry Level

$300 = Pro Grade (MSA, Peltor Comtac Defenders
$600 = Pro Grade with Comms
$1000 = Ops Core comms headsets with hearing protection capability, LOL
 

Don L

Newbie
I have a 400+ pair that I can't adjust for tightness on my head. The Sordin Supreme Pro X is not recommended with eyewear. My $70 Champion set works much better. The highest NRR noise reduction rating is 33 db. Sound over 80 db causes hearing loss, a sound greater than 140 db can cause permanent loss. Some .22 rifles make 140 db reports, high-caliber and pistols generate 175 db. Accounting for average db pistol noise at 175 db, subtracting the highest NRR of 34 from that leaves 141db.
I double up and suggest that you consider fit with the ability to wear eye protection. The
 

Default.mp3

Established
I have a 400+ pair that I can't adjust for tightness on my head. The Sordin Supreme Pro X is not recommended with eyewear. My $70 Champion set works much better. The highest NRR noise reduction rating is 33 db. Sound over 80 db causes hearing loss, a sound greater than 140 db can cause permanent loss. Some .22 rifles make 140 db reports, high-caliber and pistols generate 175 db. Accounting for average db pistol noise at 175 db, subtracting the highest NRR of 34 from that leaves 141db.
I double up and suggest that you consider fit with the ability to wear eye protection. The
So, uh, that's not really how ear pro works.

The 85 dB number from OSHA is talking about permanent hearing loss if that 85 dB is sustained over an entire 8 hour work day. Just throwing that number out as saying that it can cause permanent hearing loss is highly disingenous.

As for a 175 dB noise against ear pro with an NRR of 34 dB, it's ironically actually worse than the 141 dB you incorrectly calculated; it's actually 161.5 dB, as the correct formula is sound in dB - (0.5 * (NRR rating - 7)). For doubling up/dual protection, the formula for determining the NRR rating is 33 * log10((0.4 * earplug rating) + (0.1 * muff rating)), though a lot of people just approximate it by taking the higher NRR rated ear pro, and then adding 5 dB of NRR.

And really, I challenge you to find a handgun that is 175 dB at the ear. Even an unsuppressed MK18 isn't going to be that loud. Beyond that, there's also the question of exactly what wavelength of noise is being rated for NRR is, and the wavelength of a gunshot: https://trevoronthetrigger.wordpres...me-performance-the-misleading-nrr18db-rating/

I'm not trying to be flippant here, I take my hearing very seriously, and I do always double up at the range (even when shooting my suppressed .22 LR). But the numbers can be misleading, and the process for determining the amount of hearing protection offered is not straight forward... which is why I always double up, I guess. Previously used the SureFires using Shure triple flanges or olives paired with Sordin Supreme Pro Xs, then swapping out to using TCI Liberator HPs; now I use the Ops-Core AMPS with the NFMI plugs.
 

shoobe01

Established
Frequency is a good one! I tried to wear my Sordins on a (small) plane once as they work not just for gunfire but around loud trucks, etc and fit me well. A total joke. Went to the DCs hanging on the bulkhead before we took off. Since I have a photo :)
2582913529_d610e685cf_b.jpg


The system is important. People forget that, your head is part of the system. Sound doesn't come in your ears only, especially gunfire/explosion/etc loud noises. Helmet and eyepro is part of it, so wear them when plausible. I mean, maybe not helmets every time, but eyepro is important. APEL list is a good start.

Get goggles or strap kits for glasses to avoid temples (the sticks that go over your ears) pinching and giving you a headache so you take off the eye or earpro. Wiley X now (they didn't used to) has good strap kits for goggles like the SG1.

Electronic is great so you can hear what's going on and again: you leave them on. If really budget conscious, need spares, etc. these specifically are INSANELY good earpro and very comfy and for a while, fire sale prices: https://srstactical.com/left-right-medium.html

Lower end electronics will not be environmentally-proofed. Not just immersion, but rain, mist, even enough sweat or humidity can make them go bad. I upgraded because otherwise good headsets would become not good.

In general, these are my favorite guys for all this. They also do Sordin repairs well, fast, and cheap. But sell ears and accessories and have only authentic bits, and in stock! Wander their store or send a message with your constraints like budget and see what they offer up:
 

Arete

Regular Member
I have used a variety of electronic earpro over the past 25 +years: Liberators, MSA/Sordin Supreme Pro-x, Pro Ears (several models), Peltors (several models). Had my Sordins serviced by SRS Tac and they did a great job. Can’t recommend them enough.

Also recommend the noisefighters gel ear cups.

Recently bought a set of Ops Core Amps with NFMI earplugs after trying a friend’s out, and I am very impressed. NRR, sound quality, ease of use, ease of using with headband and also helmet mount and converting them from one to the other, ease of connecting downloads and boom mic.

They aren’t cheap, got mine on sale, but they are all they are cracked up to be and then some.
 

Brock01

Newbie
If you wanna stay around $200 ish: get the peltor 500s (I think that's the model/ non blue tooth), buy the gel cups for them, and a headband. For more expensive options, there's a lot.
 

bates

Newbie
I’ve got a set of the ESP custom molded in the ear electronic ear pro.
I love them

work great for me with classes and matches
 

nightchief

Fighter of the Daychief
I've been using the Otto Noize Barrier in ear electronic since December. So far, they have been great for noise reduction and staying put while shooting and moving and shooting in non typical positions. After taking No Fail carbine last fall, I found the electronic muffs to be inadequate while shooting in and around barricades. I was routinely knocking the muffs off my ears resulting in no protection and/or time lost putting them back on. I only use them outside though. They don't offer sufficient protection at an indoor range.
 

Don L

Newbie
So, uh, that's not really how ear pro works.

The 85 dB number from OSHA is talking about permanent hearing loss if that 85 dB is sustained over an entire 8 hour work day. Just throwing that number out as saying that it can cause permanent hearing loss is highly disingenous.

As for a 175 dB noise against ear pro with an NRR of 34 dB, it's ironically actually worse than the 141 dB you incorrectly calculated; it's actually 161.5 dB, as the correct formula is sound in dB - (0.5 * (NRR rating - 7)). For doubling up/dual protection, the formula for determining the NRR rating is 33 * log10((0.4 * earplug rating) + (0.1 * muff rating)), though a lot of people just approximate it by taking the higher NRR rated ear pro, and then adding 5 dB of NRR.

And really, I challenge you to find a handgun that is 175 dB at the ear. Even an unsuppressed MK18 isn't going to be that loud. Beyond that, there's also the question of exactly what wavelength of noise is being rated for NRR is, and the wavelength of a gunshot: https://trevoronthetrigger.wordpres...me-performance-the-misleading-nrr18db-rating/

I'm not trying to be flippant here, I take my hearing very seriously, and I do always double up at the range (even when shooting my suppressed .22 LR). But the numbers can be misleading, and the process for determining the amount of hearing protection offered is not straight forward... which is why I always double up, I guess. Previously used the SureFires using Shure triple flanges or olives paired with Sordin Supreme Pro Xs, then swapping out to using TCI Liberator HPs; now I use the Ops-Core AMPS with the NFMI plugs.
Thank you for that lesson. My numbers came from 2 sources that I thought were accurate. I read that OSHA 83db for extended periods can cause loss. It seems that I simplified the calculations as you pointed out.
So, uh, that's not really how ear pro works.

The 85 dB number from OSHA is talking about permanent hearing loss if that 85 dB is sustained over an entire 8 hour work day. Just throwing that number out as saying that it can cause permanent hearing loss is highly disingenous.

As for a 175 dB noise against ear pro with an NRR of 34 dB, it's ironically actually worse than the 141 dB you incorrectly calculated; it's actually 161.5 dB, as the correct formula is sound in dB - (0.5 * (NRR rating - 7)). For doubling up/dual protection, the formula for determining the NRR rating is 33 * log10((0.4 * earplug rating) + (0.1 * muff rating)), though a lot of people just approximate it by taking the higher NRR rated ear pro, and then adding 5 dB of NRR.

And really, I challenge you to find a handgun that is 175 dB at the ear. Even an unsuppressed MK18 isn't going to be that loud. Beyond that, there's also the question of exactly what wavelength of noise is being rated for NRR is, and the wavelength of a gunshot: https://trevoronthetrigger.wordpres...me-performance-the-misleading-nrr18db-rating/

I'm not trying to be flippant here, I take my hearing very seriously, and I do always double up at the range (even when shooting my suppressed .22 LR). But the numbers can be misleading, and the process for determining the amount of hearing protection offered is not straight forward... which is why I always double up, I guess. Previously used the SureFires using Shure triple flanges or olives paired with Sordin Supreme Pro Xs, then swapping out to using TCI Liberator HPs; now I use the Ops-Core AMPS with the NFMI plugs.
Thank you for those facts. I saw the 171 dB and the rough average for pistols is 161. I will use Ops-Core AMPS with the NFMI's. Playing drums from age 8 to 23 and shooting skeet from 14 to 20 with no hearing protection was stupid of me so I have to be extra careful now.
 

Default.mp3

Established
Thank you for that lesson. My numbers came from 2 sources that I thought were accurate. I read that OSHA 83db for extended periods can cause loss. It seems that I simplified the calculations as you pointed out.

Thank you for those facts. I saw the 171 dB and the rough average for pistols is 161. I will use Ops-Core AMPS with the NFMI's. Playing drums from age 8 to 23 and shooting skeet from 14 to 20 with no hearing protection was stupid of me so I have to be extra careful now.
I really like the use of the NFMI plugs. Gives better protection than the SureFires with the plug out, while still allowing way more situational awareness. FWIW, there's definitely a few discount codes floating around for buying direct from Ops Core, though there will be a bit of wait if you go that route given how they're way behind on orders. PM me if you need a code.
 
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