Hearing Protection

May is Better Hearing Month and to celebrate we’re giving away a different prize each week!
Week 2 is a pair of Howard Leight Impact Sport electronic earmuffs. Call us today for your chance to win!*

In a few weeks, I will post some information about custom-fitted hearing and ear-protection earpieces. However, there is a mind-boggling selection of off-the-shelf devices available; from over-the-ear earmuffs to disposable ear plugs. Some of these devices are pretty darn good, too!

Over-the-ear Earmuffs

Though skeet and trap shooters almost universally hate them, circum-aural earmuffs are an excellent, convenient, and relatively comfortable way to protect your hearing. There are nice, big, comfy earmuffs with lots of padding and a secure fit, and there are little foam plugs connected to a strap or tether. The kind you use may be determined by your employer, your budget or, in my case, whatever is handy at the moment.

Earmuffs are king at my house, and you should have at least one set lying around as well. Earmuffs can be electronic or passive, and the most important feature should be comfort. Don’t be afraid to try on a few pairs until you find some you like. If they aren’t comfortable, you aren’t likely to wear them! They should fit completely around your ear (pinna) and sit snuggly against your head without being too tight or constricting. Depending on what you’re doing, some earmuffs can feel awfully hot and heavy after a while, so when you try them, wear them around a while, move from side to side, bend over — really give them a workout!

The price of electronic earmuffs can vary widely. The only rule here is that you need to be willing to spend a little; it isn’t really necessary to spend a lot. Any electronic earmuffs between $75 and $200 will be just fine. Spend less, and you won’t get the performance you expect. Spend more and you won’t get the performance you expect.

Ear Plugs

The other category of off-the-shelf hearing protection is the well-known foam plug. These little guys are cheap, usually disposable, and perfect for keeping in your gear in case you forget your other hearing protection. There are countless options, and most perform similarly and have comparable noise-reduction ratings.

By the way, Vibrant Hearing has a huge supply of free foam plugs you can grab at any time. The foam plugs need to be comfortable, fit completely in your ears, and be easy to use. The secret, of course, is in the placement. Roll it up tight and put it as far into your ear canal as you comfortably can. Once you have put it in, WAIT until they have completely expanded before you start making noise.

Also, please toss them when you’re done and grab another pair. No need to transfer grit and goo into your ear canals over and over again.

Not sure what’s best for you? Contact us!

We’ll schedule some time to show you your options and let you try them on to decide for yourself. Keep those ears healthy and stay Vibrant!

*Entries accepted between May 8-12, 2017. Open to Montana residents only.

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