When I attended the Bare Bones Gunfighting course with CR Williams, it was extremely difficult for me to hear what CR was telling us, let alone carry on a conversation with each other, with the hearing protection that I had brought. CR loaned me a pair of electronic hearing protectors and what a difference they made. At one point, I could actually hear 230-grain cartridges sliding into a magazine as I was loading them. During the actual firing, the sound from both my .45 ACP pistol and that of the 9mm blasts on each side of me was pulled down to an acceptable level and I did not have to turn my head, or lift the edge of my hearing protection, to hear what CR or the others were saying. I knew that I should invest in a pair of electronic hearing protection.
After thinking about this for a couple of days (usually my downfall), I thought about the times that my wife told me, “Didn’t you hear that?” “Well, no I did not. Should I have?” is my usual response while realizing full well that my hearing loss could be a detriment to my (our) well being when I could not hear a bump in the night. While I am still not ready for hearing aids, I am ready for something that can enhance my hearing and situational awareness while still suppressing a gun shot should I have to click a firearm’s trigger in the middle of my hallway. Except on certain occasions, most of what people say I don’t really need to hear anyway. But, this is for the middle of the night when I DO need to hear my surroundings; especially movements.
An order for the Howard Leight Impact Sport OD Electric Earmuff, Green was placed with Amazon along with a carrying/storage case for it. They received high ratings and were (sometimes) preferred over the Peltor brand for similar products.
For initial testing, I got up after everyone had gone to bed, donned the earmuff, turned them on, and just listened. Amazing, is all I can say! I went outside, sat down on the back porch, and just listened. Wonderful! No ‘waskily wabbit’ is going to slip past me! The real test would be at the range, but I had to wait a couple of days before doing so.Range day came and the Howard Leight Impact Sport OD Electric Earmuff accompanied me. The range that I frequent is an indoor range and gunfire is amplified. With my previous ear protection, although quite adequate, I would find myself jumping when a .223 round was lit off in an adjacent lane because of the sharp crack of the rifle being fired. This range day, the Howard Leight Impact Sport OD Electric Earmuff was really going to be put top the test. When I entered the range area, I met a range buddy, who wears electronic hearing protection, and he helped me to set a level where we could carry on a conversation. It was good, so far. He was shooting a MSR and I had brought a Ruger 22/45: not a heavy blasting gun at all. My buddy was two lanes down and when he pulled off a shot, my hearing protection responded. The decibel level was within my tolerance level. You see, not only am I loosing my hearing, the eardrum is losing its flexibility. When a sharp crack is heard, as with my wifey’s normal New York accented speaking, there is physical pain because it actually hurts my ears. But, I digress.
I was putting the Ruger 22/45 through it paces while my shooting buddy was firing the MSR and another fellow on the line two down from me on the right was shooting a 9mm pistol. The muffs felt comfortable and I was pleasantly surprised with the muffs. Then, all hell broke loose. Although I did not see what the fellow in the lane next to me on the left brought to the range, I found out very quickly when he lit off a 12-gauge shooting #00 Buck. Even with my normal hearing protection, that would have caused me some consternation. Surprisingly, the Howard Leight Impact Sport OD Electric Earmuff kept the blast down to an acceptable level for me and the roar of that mighty 12-gauge didn’t faze me a bit. Still, I was glad when he finished shooting.
So, here are the basics for the Howard Leight Impact Sport OD Electric Earmuff:
- Amplifies sounds 3x
- Provides protection from noises over 82 dB
- Equipped with an audio input jack cord for your MP3 player
- External audio input connects to MP3 players and scanners
- Amplifies conversation and commands with one single volume control knob
- Automatic 4 hour shut-off increases battery life
- Automatically blocks noise above 82 dB, noise reduction rating: NRR 22
- Adjustable design folds for easy storage
- Available in Green, Purple, Teal, and Mossy Oak Breakup
WHAT’S IN THE BOX:
- Impact Sport Earmuffs
- 2 AAA batteries (Battery life up to 350 hours)
- 3.5 audio connection cord
According to the manufacturer, the Howard Leight Impact Sport OD Electric Earmuff is excellent for outdoor use and with long guns. I have to agree, as I tried them with my shotgun stock and they are not banging against it like larger units. Although they do provide adequate protection (for me) at the indoor range, I have ordered the http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007BGSI5U?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00″>Howard Leight by Honeywell R-01902 Impact Pro Sound Amplification Electronic Earmuff (with a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 30) to use at the indoor range and since most of my shooting is with a handgun where I don’t need compact hearing protection – I want all that I can get.The Howard Leight Impact Sport OD Electric Earmuff is very comfortable to wear. Adequate padding provide enough seal against the ear without discomfort and a more than adequate tension system keeps the muffs firmly in place against the ears. Additional foam material is used within each earpiece for added protection from sound and to protect the earpiece elements. The headband is well padded and covered in a vinyl material that seems like it will hold up to the environment. Edging is excellently stitched at all points. External wiring is well sealed at each ear piece to prevent the elements from reaching the interior of the earpieces and well protected by the padded headband. There is enough length of the wiring to allow for full extension of the earpieces and also allows for full folding up of the unit for storage.
When new, adjusting the earpieces is stiff but loosened a little with each use. There is enough adjustment to allow the wearing of a baseball-type cap (or watch cap) under the headband while still allowing a full fit on the ears. The length adjustment is made by sliding the muffs up and down very substantial metal supports. The polymer muff supports are adequately attached to pivot points on each ear muff.
Microphones, which are protected by foam padding are incorporated in each ear muff. The microphones allow for full left/right hearing when the unit is energized. The unit, according to the manufacturer, amplifies normal sound three times. Since I am hard of hearing, that is a big plus for me. I can hear things that I cannot normally hear. Also, the earmuffs can be worn with the microphones pointing forward or with microphones pointing rearward with equal comfort.
The ear piece units themselves are made to wear on either side of the head. You can wear them with microphone to the front or to the rear. As stated by the manufacturer, an audio input jack also allow you to connect your MP3 player; a cord for such is provided. I cannot attest to the directional characteristics of the microphones, but they seem to be very sensitive. At the range, I turn the unit on when talking to other enthusiasts and usually leave them off when not needed.
According to the manufacturer, the Howard Leight Impact Sport OD Electric Earmuff is for beginner to advanced shooter seeking protection without sacrificing the ability to hear their surroundings. Ideal for use on the range, in competition or during the big hunt. Wearing these is the difference between night and day, in regards to my hearing. Of course, I don’t want to tell my wifey that or she will have me wearing them all of the time.
So, thanks to a loaner set of the Howard Leight Impact Sport OD Electric Earmuff, I now have a unit of my own and the Howard Leight by Honeywell R-01902 Impact Pro Sound Amplification Electronic Earmuff unit is on the way. With both of these unit, I can say that I have all round hearing protection for any occasion where I need hearing protection. Now, if I can just slip them on when the wife is talking with her getting upset ;>)
JUST IN CASE:When purchasing the Howard Leight Impact Sport OD Electric Earmuff, Green, I noticed that a case for them was offered. I thought, why not? After all, it is nice to have something to protect what protects your ears. The Caseling Hard Case for Howard Leight Impact Sport OD Electric Earmuff. – Includes Mesh Pocket for Accessories. – Black seemed to be something that I could use.
The Caseling Hard Case for Howard Leight Impact Sport OD Electric Earmuff is made of a high-impact material and the outside is fully covered with what seems to be a nylon material. The inside if fully covered with a soft material and the two materials are double-stitched together with what seems to be a more than adequate bonding material.
A double aluminum zipper with polymer tracks ensures that the unit stays closed and secured. At the rear is a small D-ring to attach the provided carrying strap.
Internal to the case is a mesh pouch to hold the instruction manual for the Howard Leight Impact Sport OD Electric Earmuff, which the case is intended to hold, and/or a set of replacement batteries for the earmuff.
The angular opening is such that you can place the muffs with the protective side forward and the head strap to the rear toward the hinge, although the Howard Leight Impact Sport OD Electric Earmuff will fit either way.
The case will require a substantial amount of space in your range bag. The outside dimensions are: approximately 4 7/8-inch tall, approximately the same dimension in width, and approximately 6 ½-inches long. However, the payoff is that your hearing protection is fully protected.
Of course the Caseling Hard Case for Howard Leight Impact Sport OD Electric Earmuff is intended to house the Howard Leight Impact Sport OD Electric Earmuff; however, that is not to say that it cannot house comparably-sized hearing protection units as well.
While I cannot attest to the durability of the case’s outer covering, I can say that I see no reason that the case itself cannot do the job of protecting the Howard Leight Impact Sport OD Electric Earmuff, or others for that matter.
The Howard Leight Impact Sport OD Electric Earmuff is an electronic device, and like all electronic devices that are subject to sometimes adverse environments and conditions, they need our help to keep them from damage. The Caseling Hard Case for Howard Leight Impact Sport OD Electric Earmuff is certainly a good choice.
- Howard Leight Impact Sport OD Electric Earmuff, Green: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001T7QJ9O?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00
- Caseling Hard Case for Howard Leight Impact Sport OD Electric Earmuff. – Includes Mesh Pocket for Accessories. – Black: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ZVID4X6?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00
- Howard Leight by Honeywell R-01902 Impact Pro Sound Amplification Electronic Earmuff, Black: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007BGSI5U?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00