Serious shooters are serious about their hearing protection. Theyre also serious about being able to interact with companions, range officers, and competitors effectively.
Gun Tests recently looked at a half-dozen electronic hearing protectors (click here to view pictures). Although we subjected these to both outdoor and indoor testing scenarios, its worth keeping in mind that some models are designed particularly for one or another, and if your shooting tends to cluster around one predominant form you should keep that as an important ingredient in your decision. After shooting .30-caliber rifles at an outdoor range, calibers from .22 rimfire up to .45 ACP indoors, and evaluating all models for noise reduction, low-level sound amplification and comfort, heres what we found.
Peltors Tactical 7S, $248. Our Pick. Testers gauged this model to be tops across the board. Downside: It has a correspondingly high price tag, but our view is that our hearing is worth protecting.
Remington R2000, $147. Buy It. Although listed second here, the Remington R2000 is probably a better value than the Peltor. It came in just behind the Peltor. The difference: One tester gave it a fair rating under Overall Impression, even though he graded it good in each specific category. Obviously, it has a much friendlier price tag.
Beretta Stereo Electronic Ear Muffs, $130. Conditional Buy. Not as comfortable as others; consistently rated fair overall by testers; some artifact noise experienced by one tester.
Dillon HP1, $135. Conditional Buy. Noise reduction rated less efficient than others at the indoor range.
Ridgeline Pro Ears Dimension 1, $220. Conditional Buy. Good quality; comfort rated fair by one tester; overall impression rated fair by another. Pricey.
Silencio Low Pro ELP-97, $130. Conditional Buy. Quality of sound amplification not as high; good noise reduction.