Investing in good hearing protection is a must in the shooting sports to prevent hearing loss. I’m a big fan of electronic hearing protection, especially when taking a shooting course or when you’re trying to chat with buddies at the range. Well here’s something a bit different, the GunSonics! app makes use of your iPhone turning ordinary passive shooting ear muffs into electronic hearing protectors. It’s designed to use the factory Apple iPhone/iPod headsets that you wear under non-electronic shooting ear muffs. The GunSonic! app does the rest, the developers claim the GunSonics! app has a sound cutoff reaction time that’s much faster than many of the electronic earmuffs on the market, it also amplifies quieter sounds such as an instructor’s voice or animal movements. The app has 6 presets that are customized for various types of firearms, it even allows you to choose between semi-auto and full-auto weapons. For more info check out Gunsonics.com, the app is currently available in the iTunes app store for $9.99 with an Android version coming soon.
From the press release
Audio app pioneers Essency publish a new revealing hearing safety chart to coincide with the release of new ear protection app for firearms, GunSonics. The chart compares the reaction time of electronic ear defenders against the formation of a gun blast to show just how well they perform against the GunSonics! hearing protection app.
The GunSonics! App works with passive ear protectors, worn over the top of Apple standard issue headsets connected to an iPhone or iPod Touch. This allows shooters to choose passive ear protectors with a higher NRR (Noise Reduction Rating) to achieve maximum protection.
Electronic ear defenders sold for shooting, have a microphone on one or both ear cups that feed an internal amplifier, which then transmits ambient sounds to the user with speakers inside the ear cups. When a gun is fired the amplifier temporarily shuts down and hearing protection is dependent on the speed of shut down and the passive attenuation of the ear cups.
The key factor is whether electronic ear defenders act fast enough to prevent harmful sound pressure peaks from reaching the user’s ears, via the internal electronics.
Gunshot blasts generate an ear shattering shockwave that peaks within 1 millisecond (thousandth of a second) and is millions of times louder than the safe listening levels recommended by The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
The chart, based on manufacturer specifications, reveals how the fastest electronic ear defenders on the market fail to react before gunshot blasts peak. The GunSonics! Ear protection app is the only product on the market to catch and stifle 100% of gunshot blasts.
The sound pressure level (SPL) of a gunshot varies from 144dB for a 0.22 caliber pistol to 170dB for larger revolvers or rifles.
NIOSH state ‘exposure to one gunshot at 140 dB SPL constitutes 100% of a person’s daily allowable noise exposure’. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) permissible exposure limit for impulsive noise is also 140 dB SPL. Exposure to an electronically amplified gunshot can lead to non-reversible noise induced hearing loss or tinnitus.