Ear Pro Part 3 of 4: 3M Peltor Tactical-Pro

In this third part of the series, we’ll be chatting about the 3M Peltor Tactical-Pro ear pro. These are definitely on the higher end of the ear pro cost spectrum at $190.64 on Amazon.com. I wore the Peltors during the 3.2” bag gun cannon challenge in Top Shot Season 4.
Key features include electronic limiting of sounds to 82 db within 2 milliseconds, omni-directional stereo microphones which provide 360-degree ambient listening, gel filled ear pads, and an auto-saving power feature. The Peltor takes 2 AA batteries, and I find that I can get about 25-30 hours of usage before needing to change batteries.

I’ve been using these off and on for the past year and a half, and I’ve found that they have only been useful for two purposes: 1) Serving as a range officer and 2) Teaching students. As a range officer, I’m at the range for 5-6 hours and around gun fire all day long. Comfort is key, and I also need to be able to hear customers over gunfire if they have any questions. When I’m teaching a friend or a student how to shoot a pistol for the first time, I will often ask them to wear the Peltors since they are comfortable, and I know they will be able to clearly hear my instructions and commands. Helping a student clearly hear the instructor is an easy way to put that student at ease.

Side view with the Volume up, Power on/off, and Volume down buttons (from Top to Bottom).

I do not recommend using the Peltors for rifle or shotgun shooting because it’s almost impossible to get a solid cheek weld, and you’ll end up pushing one of the cans off your ears and breaking the seal. All that money you spent on the Peltors will not be put to good use! www.Peltor.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.

Chris Cheng

Chris Cheng is History Channel’s Top Shot Season 4 champion and author of “Shoot to Win,” a book for beginning shooters. 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 is a professional marksman for Bass Pro Shops who shares his thoughts and experiences from the perspective of a newbie to the shooting community. He resides in San Francisco, CA and works in Silicon Valley.



  • Max

    If you want to go high end, get the Peltor ComTac XP. MUCH slimmer, allowing for a good cheek weld, but a little more expensive.

    • FormerSFMedic

      I agree with Max. This ear pro series has been full of “lower end” designs so far. I’m wondering if we will see something more advanced in part 4 or are we just going to look at the less expensive models?

    • noob

      Are those the cool-guy ones that have the scalloped profile to fit under a non-MICH helmet and scalloped from below to get you a cheek weld?

      or are they flat like pancakes?

  • Alien

    I’ve got a couple of these I use for handgun students plus one for myself and I’m impressed with how well they work. They also do fairly well with carbine (AR15) students IF they have an electronic sight that sits high enough on the rifle to prevent the muffs from interfering with cheek weld.

    Now, if Peltor could just include these electronics in a muff with bottom-tapered ear cans to get around the cheek weld problem AND keep the price down – the ComTac XPs are just way too expensive to even consider. These Tac-Pro muffs are more expensive than they should be, but they’re the best I’ve located for use with students who have hearing problems.

  • Max

    Agreed, their price is ridiculous, but you get what you pay for! And my hearing isn’t that great already, gotta save what’s left of it!

  • Anon

    MSA Sordins can be had from around $120-$200, and are lower profile than these. Some of the cheaper ones appear to be unused military surplus, so they come with a microphone and radio downleads, but those can be tucked out of the way very easily (also handy if you ever need to use a radio at the range).

    I bought one, it came new, works 100%. MSRP at times is a lot higher than street price.

  • gunslinger

    i wonder what the “high end” will be?

    i used to travel and tons of travelers had the bose cans. one day i was wandering around a shopping outlet plaza and stopped in a bose store. their cans were amazing.

    i wonder how they’d do for sudden, short but loud noises.

  • Nicks87

    I thought this was a firearms related website so where are all the cry-babies that always whine about “firearms not politics”??

    While I do appreciate Chris Cheng’s brief look into the wonderful world of muffs and plugs I could just as easily spout “firearms not hearing protection” and then make some smug comment about how there are other websites devoted to this type of equipment or that most hearing protection is “good enough”.

    To Chris Cheng: Show us an example of some poor choices for hearing protection. Not something that was made to be a joke but some piece of eqiupment that sells for a moderate price and doesnt work worth a shit or that dissappoints to a high degree.

    Sorry I just like to see two sides of every debate, not just “this is good and these are good but that is good too so make your own decision.”

    • Hey Nicks87,

      I was hoping to show in each review that certain ear pro types are better or worse for certain activities so that each review is not just “this is great, and so is that.” I highlighted how big cans like the Peltors are simply terrible for rifle or shotgunning, and how the Surefires can make it hard to hear people talking to you.

      To your point, I would like to review some ear pro, or other piece of gear, that does fall short in big way. Balance is a good thing. Stay tuned!