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Posted: 12/10/2012 3:42:14 PM EDT
Alright, so color me stupid here... but I am wanting to get some electronic hearing protection. My current hearing protection (cheapo muffs) have a rating of NRR = 29. They were $30 and basically the exact same thing as these.

So I am wanting to get some electronic ones but they seem to all have a much lower rating, closer to 20, dropping ~1/3. Am I missing something here or are the expensive electronic ears not as good as the cheapo ones?

Example:

http://www.operationparts.com/Peltor_Tactical_6S_Hearing_Protection_Ear_Muffs_p/pel97044.htm

What am I missing here? If anyone has any recommendations for under $150 I am all ears.

Link Posted: 12/10/2012 8:16:23 PM EDT
What you need to know is that there is no standardization or regulation of NRR (dB reduction) ratings. Basically the manufacturer can list what ever amount of reduction they want. Muffs that fit comfortably and have soft rings that will seal well against the side of your head will give you the best protection. Ideally, foam earplugs worn under electronic muffs are the best. The muffs will give you some amount of amplification to overcome the earplugs, but gunfire will be muted by the muffs and the plugs help to add around 5dB NRR or so to the protection of the muffs. Where you run into trouble is if you are wearing glasses (eye protection is very important also). The temple pieces of the glasses break the seal of the muffs and reduce their effectiveness, hence why I like to wear earplugs under my muffs. Comfort and fit is number one, NRR is not really an important factor when comparing models. Sorry...Audiologist soapbox rant off. Good luck.
Link Posted: 12/10/2012 8:21:08 PM EDT
Electronic ones are pricey but worth it if you take courses or go to a range where you need to heed commands. They pricer ones do cancel out more noise. I have two pair of peltors. One is 19, one is 26(I believe), and the higher rated one is def much better at canceling out sound.

I won't shoot without them anymore.
Link Posted: 12/11/2012 2:05:36 PM EDT
Originally Posted By rdc_bones:
What you need to know is that there is no standardization or regulation of NRR (dB reduction) ratings. Basically the manufacturer can list what ever amount of reduction they want. Muffs that fit comfortably and have soft rings that will seal well against the side of your head will give you the best protection. Ideally, foam earplugs worn under electronic muffs are the best. The muffs will give you some amount of amplification to overcome the earplugs, but gunfire will be muted by the muffs and the plugs help to add around 5dB NRR or so to the protection of the muffs. Where you run into trouble is if you are wearing glasses (eye protection is very important also). The temple pieces of the glasses break the seal of the muffs and reduce their effectiveness, hence why I like to wear earplugs under my muffs. Comfort and fit is number one, NRR is not really an important factor when comparing models. Sorry...Audiologist soapbox rant off. Good luck.


Great info, thanks! So how to I know which ones protect better than others if they can put any number they want?
Link Posted: 12/11/2012 2:14:07 PM EDT
They all will be fairly close, as the above poster said the more expensive ones are better made and will do a slightly better job. Really comfort is the biggest thing that you should look for, try them on if you can. A comfortable fit with a good seal means that you will be able to wear them for long periods and you will get the best protection. That said, I wear the cheapie Caldwell ones from Midwayusa with foam earplugs underneath. Buy them based on comfortable fit and ones that don't break the seal when you turn your head or talk. Good luck!
Link Posted: 12/13/2012 8:48:02 AM EDT
Since hearing damage is cumulative in nature the important thing is to wear whatever you use EVERY time you're around LOUD noise.

Remember an Army range officer telling us > 50 years ago that our ears would quit ringing in 3 days or so.

I usually wear electronics, occasionally foam plugs.. and sometimes both.

Body and its functions designed to last us for a lifetime but we have to choose to participate.

Best.
Link Posted: 12/13/2012 8:57:41 PM EDT
Howard Leight Electronic Muffs. I love mine and they work great. If you are really worries, throw a pair of foam plugs in underneath and crank the volume up so you can hear normal things, but loud noises don't get through.
Link Posted: 12/13/2012 9:47:27 PM EDT
Excellent review of the Howard Leight - Impact Sport. Also contrasts the Howard Leights with the Peltor Military Soundtrap electronic muffs.



Post 4,000!
Link Posted: 12/17/2012 5:45:31 PM EDT
I bought the Peltor ear pro in the OP, and I wish I had bought them years ago. Wow! Without opening the gate, the earmuffs are just dumb earmuffs - by that I mean that they perform just like standard earmuffs. When you start engaging the gate/filter, voices and little sounds become amplified in a very peculiar way and your gunfire is clipped. I'm looking at the Peltor Pro Sport (I think they were called) now as I expect they are a little better but the 6S is a good entry set I think.
Link Posted: 12/26/2012 1:40:16 PM EDT
Walmart carries the Peltor Tactical for around $50 I believe...
Link Posted: 12/28/2012 10:53:04 PM EDT
Don't go cheap because it's your first pair. I have a pile of non functioning muffs that I wish I had all the money back on. The impact sports are good, but I'm really impressed writhe walker's muffs I gave my mama for Christmas. They were about fifty bucks at academy. They're called alpha power muffs. The thing I prefer over the impact sports is they have big easy to find volume knobs on each earpiece.
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