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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not sure if this is the right forum to post this in, but I know if you are loading ammo, that means you are shooting it, too. So, I am asking my fellow reloaders for recommendations on hearing protectors. I can't find a good over-the-ear hearing protector that doesn't get in the way of my cheek weld on the butt stock; even the "thin" ones still get in the way. I was thinking I'd like to consider an in-the-ear type of hearing protector instead...maybe one that electronically filters out the loud sounds but allows you to hear normal sounds...or maybe such a feature really isn't necessary? I have heard that over-the-ear protectors do a better job of protecting you from loud sounds than in-the-ear types. Is that still true or has technology improved? Thanks in advance for any advice you're willing to offer!
 

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I had the same problem with hearing aide's years ago so went without. Seem's that my hearing aides are supposed to filter out the gun blast but still allow normal hearing. If I was still married, bad hearing was sometime's a big plus!
 

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Over the ear protectors do the best job, and do it best. Although they can be a pain, and in the heat can really be bothersome, they don't move. Even when jostled, they are still covering your ear. My worst experience was with a pair of in-the-ear plugs. They slowly worked their way out of my ear...it was quite gradual, and I didn't really notice, as I was slowly losing hearing in my left ear. The plugs were still seated, seemingly appropriately, but after removing them from hours of oudoors shooting I noticed that everything on my left was muffled. It took 4 days to recover "normal" hearing, but I have continual tinnitus in that ear...which I attribute to this unfortunate occurrence.

Now, even when wearing Walker Razors, I also put in ear plugs of some time...just for added protection. I'm currently trying the Isolate Pro noise blockers from this site.

https://www.flareaudio.com/collections/fb_ear-protectors
 

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You mention electronics, what are doing shooting at a range were communication is needed, hunting helps to be able to hear, target shooting by yourself? Muffs are going to require a comprise for cheek weld, nature of the beast. Also be aware that any pressures you put on the muffs will degrade the level of protection if the muff is not sealed properly. Just wearing a cap or shooting glasses can affect the degree of protection. Regular old cheap foam ear plugs if properly inserted offer adequate protection for most firearms, PROPERLY is the operative term.
Custom plugs, foam plugs ear muffs electronic and regular all have advantages and disadvantages. What are your priorities?
 

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I use Peltor and Walkers muffs. I would give the in-ear models a try, but I have a bale of hay growing out of each of my ears. Trimming it makes it come back stiff & coarse like wire. I'm beginning to feel like Jeff Goldblum. The muffs do an excellent job for me. They enhance my hearing, which is nice as I have lost almost 90% of my hearing in my left ear. About 40% in the right one. The muffs I use have individual volume controls too, that's a must have feature for me. I need to protect what little hearing I have left.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You mention electronics, what are doing shooting at a range were communication is needed, hunting helps to be able to hear, target shooting by yourself? Muffs are going to require a comprise for cheek weld, nature of the beast. Also be aware that any pressures you put on the muffs will degrade the level of protection if the muff is not sealed properly. Just wearing a cap or shooting glasses can affect the degree of protection. Regular old cheap foam ear plugs if properly inserted offer adequate protection for most firearms, PROPERLY is the operative term.
Custom plugs, foam plugs ear muffs electronic and regular all have advantages and disadvantages. What are your priorities?
My priorities are 1. Protecting my hearing adequately and 2. being able to hear around me when hunting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Over the ear protectors do the best job, and do it best. Although they can be a pain, and in the heat can really be bothersome, they don't move. Even when jostled, they are still covering your ear. My worst experience was with a pair of in-the-ear plugs. They slowly worked their way out of my ear...it was quite gradual, and I didn't really notice, as I was slowly losing hearing in my left ear. The plugs were still seated, seemingly appropriately, but after removing them from hours of oudoors shooting I noticed that everything on my left was muffled. It took 4 days to recover "normal" hearing, but I have continual tinnitus in that ear...which I attribute to this unfortunate occurrence.

Now, even when wearing Walker Razors, I also put in ear plugs of some time...just for added protection. I'm currently trying the Isolate Pro noise blockers from this site.

https://www.flareaudio.com/collections/fb_ear-protectors
I'm getting the impression that over-the-ear muffs are the best way to protect hearing, but at the cost of a preferred, natural cheek weld position. Or i can use a less-than-ideal and more expensive in-the-ear hearing protector and get a better cheek weld but at the cost of less hearing protection. So, nobody has discovered a "better mousetrap" yet?
 

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Folks, this is patently incorrect. Even most of the cheapest foam ear plugs offer better noise reduction rating than even the best ear muffs. It's just simple physics; noise reduction is necessitated by a good seal which is better accomplished by the plugs. All ear protection must be used/worn properly for maximum efficacy. Compare the specifications to convince yourselves.
Over the ear protectors do the best job, and do it best. Although they can be a pain, and in the heat can really be bothersome, they don't move. Even when jostled, they are still covering your ear. My worst experience was with a pair of in-the-ear plugs. They slowly worked their way out of my ear...it was quite gradual, and I didn't really notice, as I was slowly losing hearing in my left ear. The plugs were still seated, seemingly appropriately, but after removing them from hours of oudoors shooting I noticed that everything on my left was muffled. It took 4 days to recover "normal" hearing, but I have continual tinnitus in that ear...which I attribute to this unfortunate occurrence.

Now, even when wearing Walker Razors, I also put in ear plugs of some time...just for added protection. I'm currently trying the Isolate Pro noise blockers from this site.

https://www.flareaudio.com/collections/fb_ear-protectors
I'm getting the impression that over-the-ear muffs are the best way to protect hearing, but at the cost of a preferred, natural cheek weld position. Or i can use a less-than-ideal and more expensive in-the-ear hearing protector and get a better cheek weld but at the cost of less hearing protection. So, nobody has discovered a "better mousetrap" yet?
 

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I'm getting the impression that over-the-ear muffs are the best way to protect hearing, but at the cost of a preferred, natural cheek weld position. Or i can use a less-than-ideal and more expensive in-the-ear hearing protector and get a better cheek weld but at the cost of less hearing protection. So, nobody has discovered a "better mousetrap" yet?
Walker and others have low profile muffs. Mine never interfere with a proper cheek weld on my rifles or shotguns.
 

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I'm getting the impression that over-the-ear muffs are the best way to protect hearing, but at the cost of a preferred, natural cheek weld position. Or i can use a less-than-ideal and more expensive in-the-ear hearing protector and get a better cheek weld but at the cost of less hearing protection. So, nobody has discovered a "better mousetrap" yet?
I think they keep trying...but it’s a struggle for all of us. From my own research, the electronic noise cancelling headsets provide less than 27db NRR, with most being lower. Higher cost brands (>$100) will achieve that, most will be 23db to 24db, higher is better. Adding a passive plug of any amount will improve that number significantly, but it’s not 1 for 1. You don’t put in 27db plugs with a pair of 23db noise canceling and get 50db. But you should experience greater than 30db. Thus, if properly fitted, the passive, in the ear plugs give a margin a safety when wearing electronic, over the ear muffs. At least it does for me. Seems my thin Walker Razors still get knocked askew now and again, and more so if shooting a long gun. The one set of muffs that I bought at the range when I tried to rely on Decibullz, a molded, in the ear plug that didn’t work for (expletive deleted), a pair of 31db NRR Peltors are big, Princess Leia cans...but they are awesome. No electronics, and useless if you want to hear what’s going on around you, but man are they quiet.
 

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Folks, this is patently incorrect. Even most of the cheapest foam ear plugs offer better noise reduction rating than even the best ear muffs. It's just simple physics; noise reduction is necessitated by a good seal which is better accomplished by the plugs. All ear protection must be used/worn properly for maximum efficacy. Compare the specifications to convince yourselves.
You know that to be wrong....you just won’t admit it. Cheap foams do 26 to 27, the Peltors I bought do 31db. But my point was based in real world testing...not hypotheticals. Foamies work themselves out. Every time you open and close your mouth you change the shape of the ear canal. This is why folks like Hickok 45 use mechanical clamps to apply positive pressure to the silicon plugs they use to maintain a constant seal.
Regardless, when I want the best protection, I’m putting on muffs. If I take electronic noise cancelling I’m adding foam for additional protection. I will never go to a range with in ear only ever again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I think they keep trying...but it’s a struggle for all of us. From my own research, the electronic noise cancelling headsets provide less than 27db NRR, with most being lower. Higher cost brands (>$100) will achieve that, most will be 23db to 24db, higher is better. Adding a passive plug of any amount will improve that number significantly, but it’s not 1 for 1. You don’t put in 27db plugs with a pair of 23db noise canceling and get 50db. But you should experience greater than 30db. Thus, if properly fitted, the passive, in the ear plugs give a margin a safety when wearing electronic, over the ear muffs. At least it does for me. Seems my thin Walker Razors still get knocked askew now and again, and more so if shooting a long gun. The one set of muffs that I bought at the range when I tried to rely on Decibullz, a molded, in the ear plug that didn’t work for (expletive deleted), a pair of 31db NRR Peltors are big, Princess Leia cans...but they are awesome. No electronics, and useless if you want to hear what’s going on around you, but man are they quiet.
Hi markr. Thanks for sharing your experiences with various hearing protectors. I have the Walker Razor and my repeated difficulty shooting my long gun while wearing it is what motivated me to start this thread. I love your description of the Peltors as "Princess Leia cans" You're exactly right !
 

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I am sure that I will get flamed for this but I have been using a set of electronic muffs from Harbor Freight for 5 yrs and have no loss of hearing. OK purist flame away.
Not from me. At least you're using something. More than I can say about myself most of the time.
 
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I am sure that I will get flamed for this but I have been using a set of electronic muffs from Harbor Freight for 5 yrs and have no loss of hearing. OK purist flame away.
No flame from me. I have no significant issue with any muffs, just realizing that they need help in indoor shooting. That said, I was a submarine sonarman, "The Eyes and Ears" of the boat. My hearing is quite precious, and anything that impinges on that hearing, that I can prevent will be prevented. Just remember that the decibel scale is logarithmic, 3db is a huge power increase. Thus the difference between -23db standard electronic muff protection, and -27db for higher priced electronic protection is HUGE.
 

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I used to use the foam earplugs but they didn't work for me. For handguns I always used earmuffs. About 5 years ago I bought a set of these. That's all I use now. ! set last me about a year.

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