In this four part series, I’ll be providing my thoughts on four pairs of ear protection. We’ll go from the affordable to the high-end. In this first part, we’ll be talking about the Surefire Sonic Defender EP3 ear plugs.
I have been using the Surefire EP3s for about 2 years. At $13.99, they are a great deal, and I used these for most of my time on Top Shot Season 4. Pictured here is an older model, but the new one comes in different colors (clear, black, or orange) and has a lanyard which is nice so you don’t lose them as easily. You can get them in Small, Medium, or Large, and they come with a small, convenient plastic case.
The EP3s are very comfortable, and I really like using them when shooting rifle or shotgun since I can get a solid cheek weld, as cans can often get in the way. The EP3s have these stopper plugs which can increase/decrease the amount of noise, but honestly, it’s been hard for me to tell the difference. The EP3 has an NRR of 24.
I can have these plugs in for a good two to three hours at a time and be totally comfortable. The only downside is that sometimes it can be hard to hear people talking to me, particularly if there is a lot of shooting going on nearby.
In part two, we’ll talk about a pair of affordable electronic ear pro which can cancel loud sounds like gunshots, while allowing spoken words to be heard more clearly. www.SureFire.com.
Chris Cheng is History Channel’s Top Shot Season 4 champion. A self-taught amateur turned pro through his Top Shot win, Cheng very much still considers himself an amateur who parachuted into this new career. He shares his thoughts and experiences from the perspective of a newbie to the shooting community. www.TopShotChris.com.