Welcome to TFB Weekly Amazon Deals 31. In-ear electronic hearing protection has seen an explosion of new products in recent years and this is great for a number of reasons. First, it’s always great to have options but secondly, the technology stuffed inside of these tiny little in-ear devices has become quite good and in some cases can enhance your hearing while simultaneously protecting it. I don’t think anyone is going to argue that in-ear electronic hearing protection is in any way superior to traditional over-the-ear muffs but on a hot summer day when the sweat is pouring down your neck, those giant gel ear cups can be quite uncomfortable. Even if it’s cold out, over-the-ear hearing protection can often interfere with your cheek weld when shooting a rifle, and for these reasons, I generally prefer to field in-ear electronic hearing protection. If you’re looking to pick a pair up, I’ve gathered some of my favorites that are currently on sale.
TFB Weekly Amazon Deals 31: Electronic In-Ear Hearing Protection
Many of you are already familiar with 3M Peltor’s great lineup of over-the-ear hearing protection. Many of you probably don’t know that they also make electronic earplugs. These small, lightweight, and rechargeable earplugs have an IP67 waterproof rating and are charged via a portable charging case that runs off of 3 AA batteries.
Noise Reduction Rating: 23 dB
- Extremely lightweight
- Weatherproof and Sweatproof
- Fast Recharging
- Weatherproof charging case
- No Bluetooth connectivity (not necessarily a con)
- No built-in windscreen
The Otto NoizeBarrier Mircos are what initially turned me on to in-ear electronic hearing protection. The Ottos are dedicated shooting earplugs with great sound quality for incoming speech and less-loud noises. The Ottos come in a ruggedized charging case and feature simple 2-button controls. It is somewhat surprising to me that the batteries in these little things last as long as they do with several people I know who own them using them all day on a full charge and only having the battery down to about 50% after a 7-hour range session. If you’re averse to spending $1,000 on custom earplugs, these may be your next best option.
- Up to 40 dB of impulse noise protection
- Up to 15 dB adaptive noise attenuation
- Amplifies soft sounds by 5X
- Includes cleaning kit and the operation instructions are printed right inside the case
- Still expensive
- No Bluetooth connectivity
Walker has one of my favorite parts of over-the-ear electronic muffs – the Walker Razor Slims. While their Bluetooth-enabled earbuds might not fetch such an attractive price, what they do offer is a lightweight and convenient set of earbuds that work for just about everything including shooting. This second generation of the Silencers features improved battery life, and a better connection range when using its Bluetooth-enabled features.
Noise Reduction Rating: 24 dB
- Comes with 3 extra sets of foam tips
- Connected to your phone via Bluetooth calls and audio
- Auto Shutoff
- “Fins” on the earpieces don’t fit every time
- Charging Case is of dubious quality and likely not weatherproof
- Earbuds take a long time to charge compared to other makes and models
A more budget-friendly option that still gets the job done, the ISOtunes Xtra will cost a fraction of what their newer models of earbuds do but still have a great 27 dB noise reduction rating. These earbuds feature a slightly different design with the battery being housed in an inline module that connects both earpieces. Incoming noises past a certain threshold are completely silenced while speech and other lighter noises are played through to your ear at a safe and comfortable 85 dB.
Noise Reduction Rating: 27 dB
- Comparable cost to over-the-ear electronic earmuffs
- Bluetooth connectivity and controls
- Wrap-around design means they are far less likely to get lost compared to individual earbuds
- Magnetic earbuds can snap together to keep them on your neck
- Less durable than other models
- Only carries an IP45 ingress protection rating
- Sound quality is not the best
I am a little biased with this selection because these are my current go-to pair of in-ear hearing protection. The AXIL GS Extreme earbuds have great battery life, good retention, awesome sound quality and come with 5 spare sets of ear tips to fit nearly everyone. What I like most about the GS Extremes is their individual control sticks on either side which allow you to independently control Bluetooth audio and external noise. They by far have the best noise reduction rating (with foam tips) on the list and they are comfortable to shoot with even when using larger caliber centerfire rifles outdoors.
Noise Reduction Rating (Foam tips): 29 dB
Noise Reduction Rating (Silicone tips): 22 dB
- High-Quality Audio rivaling higher-end Bluetooth earbuds
- Long 12-hour battery life
- Quick recharging via onboard USB port
- The wrap-around design keeps the earbuds secure in your ear
- The Neck cable, while adjustable is a bit too short making it hard to see the controls you’re using
- Previous versions tended to have Bluetooth connection issues (I haven’t personally experienced this)
- Not particularly weatherproof
What’s your favorite pair?
That’s all we got for TFB Weekly Amazon Deals 31. I’d like to hear what kind of electronic hearing protection you use and how they’re holding up for you. Have you tried any of these options on this list? If so, let us know what your experiences have been! Thanks as always for reading with TFB.
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