Monday, October 25, 2010

Gear Review: Howard Leight Impact Sport Electronic Earmuffs

I've been considering buying some electronic earmuffs for a while. I wanted something that would amplify sounds I want to hear, like conversation, but cut off gunshots. So I picked up some Howard Leight Impact Sport Electronic Earmuffs:

Academy Sports and Outdoors was selling these for what seemed to be a fair price so I picked some up last week (here is the Cabela's page for them). I wore them for my last shooting session and I will admit to being impressed.

They are adjustable and fit well, even though I was wearing both sunglasses and a hat. They come with a jack for plugging in an iPod or similar device if you're into that.

They work well for amplifying ambient sounds but block out 'impact' noises such as gunshots. All I heard from my 1911 was a good thump that was felt as much as heard, but I could carry on a conversation with a soft spoken person between stings of fire. They have an on/off knob which also adjusts volume and they come with an automatic cutoff switch which activates after four hours of continuous use. They came with 2 'AAA' batteries. Battery life is supposed to be around 350 hours.

They are fairly comfortable. I don't think I'll enjoy them all that much in the summer, but that probably applies to all ear muffs.

I did notice that while you'll have no problem hearing sounds, knowing which direction they're coming from can be a problem. Everything you hear seems to be coming from forward. I guess this could be a result of the microphones being being on the front and facing forward. Not really an issue, IMHO, but it may be to some.

All in all, I like them. I like what they do, I liked the price, and I actually like the way they look too. If I notice anything important about them in the future I'll be sure to share that as well.

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