Gear Review: Impact Sport BOLT Electronic Earmuffs by Al Quackenbush, July 16, 2018
What’s that? Say again? What’d he say? Huh? These are words you don’t want to have to repeat over and over because you didn’t use hearing protection at the range. Your hearing is important and if you have ever fired a rifle and not used hearing protection you know what I am talking about. I have used hearing protection all my life and I am always looking for improvements as I grow older. For about six months I have been field-testing the Impact Sport BOLT Electronic Earmuffs from Howard Leight by Honeywell. When it comes to hearing protection, I am a bit picky. If it covers my ears, it had better block out the excess noise and work with my rifles with a cheek riser. I also want something that is not bulky, easily adjustable, and it must be comfortable. In the package are the BOLT earmuffs, 2 AAA batteries, 3.5 mm auxiliary cable (for MP3 players and scanners), belt clip and extra pads. They come conveniently packed with easy to follow instructions.
The BOLT earmuffs turn on easily with one rolling switch (shown in the image above). You can adjust volume up or down depending on your own personal hearing needs. Adjustment on these is easy and I was able to fit them to my rather large head with no issues. They cover the ears fairly well and are not too tight. The benefit to that is that your head won’t sweat terribly with them fitted properly. Plus, these work well on kids smaller heads. Most of the time my daughter complains at how tight the earmuffs are. She didn’t complain with these. The not-so-good part is that they can slip or pull away from your ear if you aren’t careful. They don’t fit very snug. I was shooting my Remington .270 with a high cheek riser and when I fired the shot, I had the riser too close to the earmuff, thus lifting it from my ear and having my ear take much of the blast. It was my own fault, but I want to urge caution with that. You better believe I only made that mistake once. Even still, I wish these hugged my head a wee bit tighter.
The Impact Sport BOLT Electronic Earmuffs function very well as hearing protection and also as a means to hear when your buddy tries to have a conversation with you while everyone is shooting. The volume can be adjusted up or down to minimize or maximize volume and protection. You can adjust it for different calibers to reduce the volume, but if you choose, you can also turn them right off. These worked very well when tested with four shooters. I was able to converse with my friends while shooting and my hearing was protected. These will turn off automatically after four (4) hours of non-use. This helps save battery life. Storage of the BOLTs is easy. Pop the actual muffs back inside to the headpiece and they fit in your hand. They easily pack into a range bag or a backpack. This also helps from them accidentally turning on. Should you choose to invest, the Impact Sport BOLT Electronic Earmuffs can be found online for around $84.00. For me, that is a sound investment because once your hearing goes, you cannot get it back. Protect your hearing! Even though I wish these fit tighter to my head, I would recommend picking up a pair as they are an excellent hearing protection device.