Few items are as important as the hearing protection you use when shooting. Take it from someone who has fired a gun, on more than one occasion, without hearing protection in: it's dangerous to do, and can cause permanent hearing loss if done too often or if the protection you've got on is insufficient.
Having said all of that, I do believe that it is a good idea for each gun carrier to shoot a gun at least once without hearing protection in, so you're not stunned by how loud it is if you ever need to defend yourself in a gun fight. However, this is a topic that some firearms instructors and I disagree on, and you should always listen to your instructor.
I have used many different kinds of hearing protection over the course of my life. A time I never really ever used it, however, was when I hunted as a kid. Whenever my dad and I would go on a squirrel or deer hunt, we put on our camouflage, grabbed our shotguns, and walked out of his backwoods, New Jersey home.
People find it strange that I say backwoods and New Jersey in the same sentence, but we were on an unimproved road in northwestern NJ in a spot where it was still wild and surrounded by woods, deer, and big black bear. Whenever it was my turn to shoot, he would cover my hears with his hands. When it was his turn to shoot, I covered my own ears with his hands.
My ears ring a lot, and I do have some hearing loss. From the standpoint of a hunter, I think these earbuds are perfect in that the sound of the gunshot is muffled, but they amplify smaller, quieter sounds. There are two settings of amplification, and the highest one may actually give you an advantage over the animals.
There is no on-off switch to speak of, once the batteries are inserted they are automatically on, much like a hearing aid. The “low” setting is basically what your ears are used to, without amplification. The “high” setting, according to their information, is a 5X amplification to allow you to hear sticks being stepped on by dear, but still offers the protection of muffled blasts when you put the pressure on the trigger.
These electronic ear plugs come with multiple different size ear plugs to make sure that you get the correct size giving your ear the most amount of comfort. The two plugs are attached to each other via a small, thin cord that I've managed to keep in tact thus far.
In the box, you get the following:
- 1 pair electronic earplugs
- Assortment of ACCU•Fit eartips
- Durable neck cord
- Filter tool and ACCU•Filters
- Cleaning tool
- Batteries (#10)
- Protective case
- User manual
As you just read, it comes with a pack of #10 batteries. Each time you put a fresh set of batteries into the earplugs they last between 5-8 days, and a fresh pack of batteries costs between $5-10. While the life of these batteries is not all that good, after some research I've learned that this is just the life expectancy of hearing aid batteries, and is not a fault of the earplugs.
Now, these things aren't cheap, as you can likely imagine, and aren't going to be for everybody. If you're one of those dudes or dudettes who only shoots once per month or less, just stick to what you've got. But, if you're serious about hunting any kind of animal or go to the range as often as I do (once per week, or more) you cannot go wrong if you've got the funds. You will get your money out of them.
They also seem to come with a 1-year factory warranty. This means that, unless you damage the plugs, they'll repair or replace them for you.
For our loyal readers, I've been authorized to give 10% off the purchase of these GunSport Pro's by using the code EHP10P at etymotic's website. If you value your hearing, and still want to hear range commands and animals in the woods, the $299.99 price tag is a small price to pay for quality hearing protection and amplified sound.
Here is a short video of me using them at the range, shooting a rifle with them inserted in my ears. Enjoy:
Have you ever used a set of these before? Other electronic hearing protection? Let us know how it went in the comments below. Then, when you're done there, make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel, so you can see all of our gun and gear reviews.