I’ll admit it: I’m a wimp when it comes to loud noises. As I child I always tried to find an excuse to skip out on Fourth of July fireworks celebrations, and I never really grew out of my sensitivity to loud sounds.
As Senior Managing Editor for North American Hunter, it’s part of my job to shoot guns of all types, and the only way I’m able to do so is by wearing topnotch hearing protection. And I’ve never found anything that works as well as the electronic muffs made by Pro Ears.
Specifically, I trust my hearing to Pro Ears Pro 300 Electronic Muffs, which not only don’t get in the way of my shooting (rifles or shotguns), but they allow me to concentrate on hitting targets instead of fearing the BANG that comes a millisecond after I pull the trigger. I believe much of the perceived recoil felt in the shoulder by shooters is actually the sound itself. In other words, I find that a gun kicks a lot less when I wear proper ear protection.
I know what you’re thinking: Can’t I just wear foam plugs? Don’t they do the same thing?
In a word: No.
Foam ear plugs provide very little protection from high noise levels, and because sound is really vibrations moving through space, these vibrations not only enter through the ear canal into the very sensitive inner ear, but also through the bones that surround the ear itself. Wearing a muff provides more protection through the canal and also guards against bone-transmitted vibrations. No foam ear plug can protect hearing like a muff.
My Pro 300s allow me to hear everyone speaking at normal levels, but they cut out the loud sounds to protect my ears. It’s really the best of both worlds.
I know that the Pro Ears Pro 300 isn’t an inexpensive muff, but like most things in life, you get what you pay for. Super-comfortable ProForm leather ear cushions ensure a high level of sound attenuation, and no tools are required to change the internal battery. Finally, the made-in-the-USA muff has a 3-year warranty. Nice!
P.S. I also trust my two sons’ hearing to the Pro Ears brand. Like me, my oldest boy (photo below) is super sensitive to loud sounds, and he wears his Pro Ears ReVO muff to fireworks celebrations, as well as to the gun range and into the field while deer and turkey hunting.