I prefer electronic ear muffs for hearing protection at the range because they allow me to clearly hear the activity around me while still protecting my hearing from potential damage caused by prolonged exposure to gunfire. Electronic-hearing protection amplifies local sounds, allowing for normal conversations to take place on the range without shouting, but cuts out the amplification and blocks incoming noises once a volume threshold has been reached. This means you can clearly hear range commands and instructions, but still protect your ears from damage.
However, earmuffs aren’t the only way to get the benefits of electronic hearing protection. Electronic earplugs offer the benefits of electronic earmuffs but with greatly reduced size and bulk. In the past, I’ve preferred earmuffs on the range over earplugs because I could never find a set of earplugs that fit comfortably inside my ears and stayed there. Obviously, hearing protection that doesn’t block incoming sound is rather useless.
That’s why I was very pleased by the performance of the ProSounds H2P electronic earbuds. They fit comfortably into my ears and stayed there all day, something that rarely happens for me with conventional earplugs, and the H2P earplugs are also packed with all manner of electronic wizardry that prevents loud noises from damaging my hearing.
My positive experience with the H2P earbuds began when they arrived in the mail. I’ve noticed that companies who spend the time on the details of how their product is packaged also tend to spend the time on perfecting the details of the product itself, and I was pleased to see that the H2P earbuds arrived in a solid, attractive box which contains the earbuds, instructions, batteries, carrying case and two sets of two different kinds of foam covers for ear buds. The silicone covers allow for slightly less noise reduction but are more comfortable to wear for longer periods of time, and the foam covers are more substantial and block more noise. I started with the foam covers and had no problems with constantly having them in my ears during a six-hour long day at the range.
The earbuds were easy to set up for use: All I did was slip on the foam tip, open up the battery compartment, drop in one of the provided hearing aid batteries and adjust the volume of hearing amplification to a level which worked for me.
To test the effectiveness of the H2P earbuds in the real world, I used them at an outdoor practical pistol match, an indoor practical match, and then later at an outdoor rifle range. The earbuds easily handled the noises found on a pistol bay, keeping my hearing safe from damage due to excessive noise yet still allowing me to hear the commands of the safety officers. The same was true at the indoor match: The tighter confines of an indoor range made for louder noises, but the electronics in the earbuds cut in when required and stopped the gunshot noise from damaging my hearing.
Stopping the noise from pistol shots—even indoors—is one thing, but stopping the noise from full-power rifle fire (especially rifles with muzzle brakes and other compensators) is another. I wasn’t sure if the H2P earbuds could handle multiple hours at rifle range with dozens people firing rifles within a few feet of my sensitive ears, but the earbuds took all that noise in stride and kept my hearing safe.
Safer, in fact than if I’d been wearing my earmuffs. Over the past few years, I’ve found that a good cheek weld with my rifle puts enough pressure on most earmuffs to shift slightly and open up a small gap in between the ear protection and the side of my head. While small and almost unnoticeable, over the course of a day at the range, having a small amount of high-volume noise creep into my ears was causing me to leave the range with my ears ringing.
This was not the case with the H2P earbuds. I put them in my ears when I arrived at the range and left them there the whole day. They blocked the noise from the rifle fire all around me, yet still allowed me to talk normally with the person on the bench right next to me. At the range, I found another benefit to earbuds over the earmuffs I had been wearing: They’re more comfortable to use when the weather gets hot. Earmuffs are great when the weather is cold, but when it get warm outside, having foam padding on your ears all day long can be very unpleasant and hot. Using the earbuds, however, meant I kept my hearing safe while keeping my cool, leading to a more-enjoyable day at the range.
If you’ve been thinking about using electronic earbuds, check out the Prosounds H2P on Indiegogo. They’re an affordable, effective way to protect your hearing and keep yourself safe on the range.