Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level
and then beat you with experience.” -- Mark Twain

"Stay Strapped or Get Clapped." -- probably not Mr. Rogers

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Electronic Shooting Headsets?

I've looked into some of them and, frankly, I'm underwhelmed.

These things are not active-noise cancelling headsets, mind you. They are passive noise headsets with a microphone setup so that quiet noises are not muffled. Once a sound passes the auditory threshold for those things, then they act like regular passive headset hearing protection.

What is underwhelming is the noise reduction ratings, which tells you how much they quiet the sounds. First, let me digress a bit. Sound pressure is measured in decibels (dB). Decibels are measured on a logarithmic scale- a 3dB difference is doubling (or halving) the noise level, and 10dB is an order of magnitude. So if one product has a NRR of 23dB and another has an NRR of 26dB, the 26 db one lowers the amount of noise you hear twice as much.

The NRR on the electronic headsets that I see in the store is 23db. The classic yellow E*A*R brand earplugs have a NRR of 33dB. So if you pop those babies into your ears, you are going to hear sound at a tenth of the level of the $25-$30 electronic ear muffs. You can find passive protection ear muffs that have a NRR of 30 dB without too much research. But some of the electronic ones have an NRR of 19 dB, which, frankly, is piss-poor.

Your ears, of course. But if I were you, I'd go for the higher NRR ratings. And, on an indoor range, I wear both earplugs and ear muffs. For you never know when some nimrod two lanes over is going to unleash some full-power .44 magnum rounds from a 3" snubbie.

1 comment:

BadTux said...

I have ringing in my ears from riding motorcycles with the E*A*R brand earplugs, and wind buffeting noises only get to around 110db. I can't imagine actually *shooting* with something that only has a NRR of 23db...