Ear Pro Evolution - My Choices from Foamies to... by Jared Hilton on October 14, 2019
Probably like you, I’ve tried several different kinds of ear pro. Much like hunting and shooting, hearing protection has evolved. The reason I ask is today we will walk you through the Ear Protection Evolution of my hunting career. Similar to the SHWAT™ Outfitters Hunting Evolution merchandise, my journey with hearing protection starts like a caveman and over time evolves into a modern sportsman.
Some people think that because we hunt with suppressors, hearing protection is not necessary. They are wrong and I’ll tell you why. We will also examine the comfort, cost, and effectiveness of the different hearing protection. When this story ends, will I end up as the modern sportsman using the newest coolest gadget? Or will I revert to something earlier in the timeline? Sit down, strap in and join me on this journey through this virtual time machine as we look at the evolution of ear pro.
Before we embark down this timeline, let’s look at why I still wear Ear Pro even though we hunt with suppressors. Many people think that suppressors are like what they see in Hollywood and it is far from accurate. Suppressors “suppress” sound but they don’t eliminate it. When you shoot a gun, it causes a mini-explosion. Are explosions loud? Yes, even if it’s a mini-explosion, it’s still an explosion and it’s not super quiet like you see in the films. So first, I want to preserve my hearing.
Second, while we try to shoot suppressed most of the time, sometimes it makes more sense to draw the pistol to finish a hog. Third, when you use electronic hearing protection there is a tactical advantage. Who doesn’t want every advantage when you are hunting? Enough about my reasons, let’s get this story going.
This is where ear pro becomes cool! Electronic Hearing Protection is a game-changer. My Howard Leight Impact Sports Earmuff is a Christmas gift from my in-laws from a couple of years ago.
This is the first item on the list that does not violate my ear canals’ civil rights because they are earmuffs. Since nothing is probing my ear, these are extremely comfortable to me. You can also upgrade and get gel cups to replace the standard, rigid foam that came with it for $25-$45.
Now that you know that they are great to wear, what makes them so great to use? The microphone on the front of each earmuff picks up every noise around you and amplifies it. It’s like you are a superhero in the MCU and have an enhanced power of super hearing. This allows you to sometimes hear animals before you see them and you can communicate with your hunting party without fidgeting with the equipment.
This is extremely important when you are very close to a sounder of hogs and are counting down a simultaneous shot with a buddy. You can be 10 feet away from me and when I start whispering the countdown, you have no issue getting into the rhythm. While these amplify EVERYTHING around you, through some sorcery, it magically protects your hearing when shooting.
By rolling the wheel or dial (whatever you want to call it) on the left earmuff, you control the power and the volume. These Howard Leight earmuffs take two AAA batteries and it seems like they last forever. This device isn’t much more (around $40-$50) than the Surefire EP4 Defenders. To me, it is worth it to spend a little more money and get the electronic ear pro because you get so much more bang for your buck and they are more comfortable.
I did hint at a surprise here. A lot of times we think the most expensive, the newest thing is always going to be the best option. That’s true in some cases, most cases perhaps. But not in this case and for this specific purpose of tactical hog hunting. I am partial to my Howard Leight Impact Sports with the upgraded gel cups. Primarily because they give me the ability to communicate and hear even in a strong Texas wind. And did I mention they do that while not sacrificing any comfort or breaking the bank?
I hope you enjoyed this story and if you need to purchase your Hunting Evolution shirt, go get it here. In the comment section below (no login required!), we would love to hear your feedback or questions you might have. Remember to follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. Thanks!