Hey everyone, it’s the bearded Vulgarian from the Frozen Wastes again. Today I’m going to cover something that’s pretty near and dear to my heart, hearing protection. Specifically the Pro Ears P300 Gold Electronic Earmuffs. See I worry about my hearing and what it’s going to be like in my old age. As we all should know, shooting can be extremely damaging to one’s hearing, and the damage is cumulative to your hearing loss. One thing that has annoyed me is my inability to hear conversation with a friend while at the range, or those important sounds while hunting.
Pro Ears P300 Gold
Pro Ears, unlike other systems, uses a hybrid digital/analog system in order to enhance and modify the sounds that come through to your ears, but protect them at the same time. Most over the ear hearing protection I’ve used also use either use no circuit boards, or one board to do the work for both ears, but the P300 uses a circuit board for each ear, as well as a microphone for each ear. One thing this allows is independent adjustment of the volume to each ear. A definite con to this is that each ear requires its own source of power and its own batteries. Because we are all forgetful, and we can forget to turn them off, they have thought to include an auto shut-off feature that automatically kicks in every 4 hours. That’s a handy feature in my book and one that has definitely saved me some money.
The set is built much the same as the traditional over the ear hearing protection. Unlike other models I’ve handled though the plastic feels much more substantial and durable. Since each ear cup is independently powered there are no wires going from one cup to another, which means nothing to snag. This unit uses four N type batteries, two for each cup, with a full set included. Walmart carries a two pack of replacement batteries for less than $3. The switches have a tactile click for when you turn them on and off, and since they are independently controlled you can also completely shut off one cup and leave the other on so you can hear your spotter if you’d like. And both cups also feature a 3.5mm mini-jack (converter cable included) so you can plug in your MP3 player so their use can extend to other activities than just shooting. I’ve actually used that while running some drills to ease some of the tension I might be feeling while doing some drills.
Remember how I said that one thing that annoys me is that previously I was unable to hear important sounds while wearing other forms of hearing protection? Well to share a story of my experience with them: During the summer I was at my local range breaking in a new handgun with a friend of mine. I was wearing this new set of hearing protection, and my buddy had the traditional muffs. While we were loading up magazines I mentioned to him how I was getting really annoyed by the bee that was buzzing above us in the shelter. He looked at me funny and said “Bee?” To which I pointed up at the bee buzzing above us. That’s right, I was able to hear a bee buzzing, while getting a 26 decibel NRR from my Pro Ears. This set has definitely solidified itself as my hearing protection of choice.
Pro Ears Cost?
So what does something like this cost? Well that’s another point we come to another con. Pro Ears that I got MSRP for about $349. I myself got really lucky though, the ones I bought came up on a sort of daily deal website that I keep an eye on for $195. Not only that but I had a credit with them which I was able to use to bring the cost down another $65. All is not lost though. Optics Planet carries them at prices starting at $215. Before you just up and write this off because of the price though, I have to ask what is your hearing worth? I’m young, but I know I’ve already damaged my hearing. I don’t want to end up deaf in my old age.