In this final part of the series, we’ll be talking about a high-end electronic ear pro model, the ESP America Stealth, coming in at a Cadillac-sized $2,100.
These puppies are custom molded to your ear, and have noise cancellation technology embedded in the molds. They come in multiple colors: green, orange, and black.
The customization process was fairly straightforward. ESP America gave me the contact information for an audiologist in my area and I scheduled an appointment. I had wet foam shot into my ear to make the mold, and the audiologist sent it to ESP America. 7-8 days later, and I had my Stealths in hand.
I’ve been using them for the past 5 months, and they are amazingly comfortable and reliable. They reduce gunshots to an acceptable level and keep sound below 90db. I can go about 15 hours on the hearing aid size battery. They are great for pistol, rifle, and shotgunning, even at larger calibers (like .44 Mag, .338 Lapua Mag, and 12 ga).
The one small thing that I noticed is that somehow the ESPs would turn on when inside the supplied soft case and jostling around in my range bag. At first I thought I was careless and forgot to turn them off, but when I contacted ESP America they confirmed that this was a known issue. Their recommended solution is to take the batteries out after each use. I’m too lazy to do that, so I bought a cheap $10 Otterbox and lined it foam. That solved the problem!
I would recommend the Stealths for anyone who requires comfortable ear protection for hours on end, and who needs to hear sounds during that time. I can hear talking and animal noises quite well whether I’m at the range, in competition, or out hunting. ESP America markets to law enforcement agencies in addition to casual and pro shooters, so I’d be interested to know what TFB LEO readers think about wearing ESPs on duty.
The top of the line “Dynamic” model costs $2500, but they also have cheaper models starting at $220. www.ESPAmerica.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.