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Hearing aids v. shooting plugs ??

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Been running ear plugs for 25 years in uspsa. No issues.

I am at the age that hearing aids might help generally but are not critical.

For those who have been down this road or understand...can one item do both life and shooting ( yes I know they are the same ūüôā )

But, can I use a single pair for both ?

thx

jon

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I wear hearing aids, but they won't work for hearing protection.  There is a version of hearing aid that does both functions. 

 

I haven't tried these yet, but I plan to get a pair.  https://www.espamerica.com/

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I wear hearing aids, and it seems they offer some protection

during shooting (they close down with loud noises) but I would

never count on them entirely.

 

I wear my aids under my ear muffs - I can hear range commands

but still have little better than muff protection, IMHO.

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The espamerica are pricey ūüôā

I am in the cry once school so that could be acceptable if I was sure.

Anyone have experience with the Peltor electronic plugs. They are $400.00 on Amazon, but, the reviews are all over the place.

 

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Yeah, the ESP's ARE pricey!  That is why I haven't already got a set!  

 

I do have a set of these:  https://www.walkersgameear.com/silencer-in-the-ear-pair/

 

They certainly don't do much for amplification, and they are a little uncomfortable.  Much better than muffs in the heat though....  Sound quality isn't nearly on par with hearing aids, but again, not too bad...  

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Most hearing aids are not rated for hearing protection.   You can further damage your hearing without protection so be careful.   Protect what you have left. 

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The link above was to the Peltor TEP 100 which is $160.00 on Amazon.

Anyone have experience with the 200 which is $400.00?

This would be a standalone item definitely not to be doubled up on.

thx for the help.

jon

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General hearing aids are not made for sound reduction, only sound amplification.  The better units are programmable to amplify only the frequencies of sound that you're having trouble hearing.  The reason they won't work for shooting is they do not seal the ear canal completely, they just have a very small speaker inserted in the canal.  To attenuate high decibel noise you must seal the ear canal completely to stop air from moving in and out of the ear.  The better the seal (with sound deadening material), the better the protection.  To allow you to hear conversation, range commands, etc., electronic hearing protection devices insert a small speaker through the ear seal such that it projects sound into the ear canal, with the microphone and amplifier circuit placed outside the ear, either on the surface of the sealing material, in a device behind the ear, in a device worn around the neck, etc.  If you need to wear hearing aids continuously to hear everyday conversation, TV, and so forth, you'd likely not be happy with a hybrid system that is also useful for shooting.  The full seal of the ear would be annoying if worn all day every day and you'd probably also object to the appearance (unless you let your hair down!).  The noise reduction rating (NRR) tells you how good the device protects your ears when it's not turned on or when it shuts off loud sounds - typically sounds at or above 85 db.  The higher the NRR number the better the device protects your ears when you're shooting, irrespective of what level it turns itself off when it senses a loud noise.  

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the problem with the plug type electronics are they pick up all the ambient sound and so the voices are semi blocked also, I've used mine at work a couple of times (Im a trade teacher) as I some times have hearing issues. One time I had a window in the class room open and the wind hitting the louver blinds was enough to shut them down or students dropping pens on to the table. So in my opinion not having used actual hearing aids I wouldn't recommend them. I've tried it with both the Peltor Tep 100 and the Walkers version.

Hope this helps   

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On 5/26/2020 at 12:05 PM, ChuckS said:

I have been using these for about a year. They work fine for general range wear and shooting PCC. I add muffs when shooting loud guns.

 

https://www.amazon.com/EEP-100-Rechargeable-Construction-Manufacturing-Maintenance/dp/B07P8YDBZD

 

I haven't had these to the range yet, but they've been very good with the chainsaw, table saw, etc. around the house.  They have adjustable volume, so you can enhance your hearing a bit.  With the skull screws on then the isolation is very good (rated 32 dB), but hearing ambient sounds in the absence of loud noise makes them much more comfortable over long periods vs. plain ear plugs - I can easily wear them for 6-8  hours without removing them.  They don't do frequency-dependent amplification like my hearing aids, but they do make it relatively easy to hear conversation.  They're sufficient for outdoor ranges by themselves, but I would use muffs over them indoors.

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Posted (edited)

I use Defend ear custom molded earbuds. I use them on the outdoor range by themselves and they provide excellent protection while hearing commands. Indoors I used an electronic ear muff.  For normal life I use my hearing aid.

 

https://www.westone.com/store/defendear/

Edited by jeffz

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The trouble with electronic plugs and muffs is reaction time.  I've gone through several brands and models and found that all of the analog types, including my very expensive Peltor muffs, so not work for me shooting Open.  The reaction time is too long and I get a bit of amplified report before they shut down.  I bought a pair of the Howard Leight digital muffs with a 5 ms reaction time and they muffle the entire report.

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47 minutes ago, zzt said:

The trouble with electronic plugs and muffs is reaction time.  I've gone through several brands and models and found that all of the

 

Good info.

thx. jon

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Posted (edited)

I have used many different passive ear plug (Molded to your ear, generic plugs, with and without filters), as well as electronic in ear and over ear hearing protection. For MANY years I used  custom molded in ear plugs that had a passive tube/filter installed. These work great for good hearing protection and allow you to hear normal conversations while muffling shots. If they are made properly they are very comfortable to wear all day. They usually cost $50 - $100 depending on who you get them from. The only negative to these passive tube/filter molded plugs is that wind noise is pretty annoying and hard to eliminate. Some manufactures build a foam piece into the outer portion of the tube which minimized the wind noise, but it still happens.

 

A couple of years ago I one a Certificate for a pair of ESP Hearing Protection Digital Stealth model electronic ears. The ESP Stealth ears work great for both hearing protection and volume control while also reducing the loud sounds to a normal level. I basically set the volume to create a "Normal" level of hearing I would have without them. Doing this makes using them feel "Normal" from a general hearing perspective while reducing the "BOOM's" to a normal conversation level volume. They also electronically filter out all of the wind noise which can't be eliminated with passive plugs. I would consider the ESP Stealth Digital ears essential in a live fire training scenario where you are regularly switching between shooting and talking during classes. This is simply because I don't have to take on/off or in/out the ears every time I want to talk or shoot. I would consider these electronic ears overkill for the average shooter attending matches. The primary negative for the ESP Stealth Digital ears are the cost at a starting point of $2100. That is very expensive given that the only real advantage is the elimination of wind noise over a $50 - $100 Molded Passive filter plug setup. The only other benefit to the electronic ears I can think of is if you already have hearing loss and you need sound to be amplified in order to hear properly. Basically put, if you are using hearing aids already then getting a dedicated set of shooting ones would make sense.

 

To be totally honest, if I didn't win the ESP certificate that covered the majority of the cost I wouldn't spend that much money on hearing protection and continue to use the molded passive filter plugs.

Edited by CHA-LEE

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18 hours ago, CHA-LEE said:

 The primary negative for the ESP Stealth Digital ears are the cost at a starting point of $2100. That is very expensive given that the only real advantage is the elimination of wind noise over a $50 - $100 Molded Passive filter plug setup. The only other benefit to the electronic ears I can think of is if you already have hearing loss and you need sound to be amplified in order to hear properly. Basically put, if you are using hearing aids already then getting a dedicated set of shooting ones would make sense.

 

To be totally honest, if I didn't win the ESP certificate that covered the majority of the cost I wouldn't spend that much money on hearing protection and continue to use the molded passive filter plugs.

CHA-LEE:

thank you, info right on target. Questioning the value of a big spend on electronic plugs v the value. At 71, coming to the end of taking 3 day classes it doesn't seem to be worthwhile.

I guess the instructor is going to have to put up with an occasional "what".

jon

 

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I have an old Walkers game ear, behind the ear model. I replaced the  foam ear plug with a fitted ear piece and it seals very good. The sound quality is very crisp on the older ones. Stepping on twigs or dry leaves sounds like walking through a bowl of cornflakes.  Turning up the volume you can hear conversations 50 yards away if there’s no other ambient noise close by. The reaction time is very quick as when shooting a rifle from the bench it’s as you can hear the firing pin drop, no bang, then the bullet flying through the air. The newer ones are supposed to have better sound quality and electronics. The one problem I could see at a match with a lot of shooting going on around you it may be constantly turning on and off. If that was the case you could miss range calls or only hear parts of them. I only used mine for hunting and when shooting with friends where we were taking turns and not a lot of extra fire going on in the background. 

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