Champion Electronic Earmuffs (Save Your Money)

Champion-04

Not that long ago electronic ear muffs were priced out of the reach of most casual shooters.  Prices generally started around $200 and went up.

Fortunately, times have changed.  Unlike ammo, the price on entry-level electronic hearing protection has come down significantly, and all but the most cash-strapped shooters can afford them.

Champion Electronic Earmuffs

The Champion Electronic Earmuffs are an inexpensive model of electronic hearing protection, with many retailers selling them for $35 or less.

They offer a stated 25 db of protection.  The electronics cut off harmful noises, but allow you to amplify more quiet sounds.

The Champion ear muffs have two mics, one for each ear, allowing for true stereo sound.  Each muff has its own volume control, allowing you to boost the volume in one ear more than the other.

Champion electronic ear muffs

The earmuffs use four (4) AAA batteries, two in each side.  A set of standard Duracell batteries lasted through multiple trips to the range, so battery life seemed good to me.

The muffs fold up into a very compact package for easy storage.  This may seem like a trivial thing, but space in my range bag is at a premium.  Compact is good.

The muffs fit my head well and provided a very good seal around the ears.  I previously reviewed the Caldwell E-MAX electronic muffs, and feel the Champion earmuffs did a much better job at fitting around the ears and dampening loud noises.

Champion electronic ear muffs

However, I experienced other problems with the Champion Electonic Earmuffs that made them an obviously inferior product that I cannot recommend.

The mic/speakers did not work very well at all.  The speaker in the left muff cut in and out constantly, creating a highly annoying situation.  The right muff was better, but it would also cut in and out.

No amount of playing around with the muffs would fix the problem.  This problem alone prevents me from recommending this product.

There were two other issues with the Champion ear muffs, though neither was a deal killer in and of themselves.

First, the audio quality (apart from the cutting in and out) wasn’t terribly good.  The speakers could only reproduce a very narrow frequency band, meaning that everyone sounded pretty awful when talking.  As a gag, I tried listening to music through them.  The audio reproduction redefined “bad.”

The second issue is the lack of LED or other warning light signifying the earmuffs are “on.”  It would be very easy to turn the muffs on and forget to turn them off after you remove them from your head.

The competing Caldwell product has a small red light that is plainly visible when the circuitry is active.

Not having a light may not be a deal killer, but it would likely kill more than a few batteries around my house.

I had high hopes for the Champion Electronic Earmuffs.  They look and feel nicer than the Caldwell muffs, but their performance was horrible.  If you decide to give these a try, make sure you save your receipt.




Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is http://www.gunsholstersandgear.com/.


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  • Eddy A

    I’ve been using the “Howard Leight R-01526 Impact Sport Electronic Earmuff” which I got at amazon for $48 and they are absolutely fantastic. I’ve even had them in wet weather and they stood up to it. I honestly can’t say a bad thing about them.

  • fmonk

    I often wonder why electronic ear muffs generally cost so much and are so poorly constructed. They all have the same cheap, weak headband to muff connection. The retailers and manufacturers must make a killing on these things. Probably doesn’t cost more than $10 per unit to manufacture.

    I mean c’mon, I’ve seen $10 music headphones with better construction!

  • http://gunscoffee.blogspot.com Fred

    I’ve got a pair of the ones reviewed, only in pink (I call them the “Earmuffs of Shame” for the range buddy who forgot their ear pro. Always get them back!) They actually perform about the same as my muffs that cost twice as much, they’re just bulkier.

    Not that I’m disagreeing with the review, but adding that there may be some inconsistancies with the quality controls on these particular muffs.

  • Komrad

    I have a pair and they work fine, I experienced no cutting in and out and while the audio quality wasn’t great, it isn’t really needed for something that is only supposed to allow you to hear range commands.
    It appears that the author got a bad apple, which may or may not be representative of the product.

  • http://smcfirearms.com Gregory Markle

    I just bought a pair of Peltor 6S muffs before SHOT Show this year and have used them ever since. Other than the access to the batteries being a bit difficult (easier once you’ve done it a few times), I have no complaints.

  • TangledThorns

    First time post. I bought two sets of these, one green and the other pink for my girlfriend. I’ve had no issue with my pair after three visits to the range. An LED would have been nice but these are great headsets for what I paid, $30, through Optics Planet. I think the reviewer has a bad pair and should return them.

  • C3P0

    Huzzah for a factual negative review. This kind of review mean so much more to the community and the industry than the typically Pollyanna (tacitly sponsored) positivity typically given to niche products. And double huzzah for a review on safety products when so much of the focus is on guns and bullets (which i don’t have a problem with per se).

  • Flashman

    This class of product are more marketing fizz than functional performance. They are outrageously over-priced for what they are and what they deliver. Even in terms of basic design, the weakest point on all of them is the flimsy plastic headband to muff connection.

    Good old 3M passive industrials are built like a brick outhouse, cost a fraction of the price and do a superior technical job of damping the decibels.

  • ProfessAndObey

    The cutting in and out is intentional. It is the way lower cost electronic earmuffs filter out dangerous noise from their amplification. I suspect that you had louder guns on your left side.

    I have a pair of these and love them. The key is to think of them in their place. They are great as an alternative to standard earmuffs with no amplification. It would be foolish to hold these up to the same standards of something like a Peltor.

  • Takabis SEO

    I will try to use it

    From Takabis