Earmuff-style hearing protection for shooting is extremely popular, and for good reason. It is much more comfortable than sticking plugs into your ears, as well as much more hygienic. And electronic earmuffs or those that allow you to hear conversation and range commands, but block out harmful, high-decibel sounds are a must for anyone who shoots regularly.
Where do you put your earmuffs when you're not shooting?
One issue I have while on the range is what to do with my electronic earmuff hearing protection when I'm not shooting or on a break. Anyone who wears earmuffs knows that no matter how comfortable they are, after a while you need to take them off. Especially when you are on the range for say 8 hours, you have to take some of that constant pressure from your hearing protection earmuffs off of your head.
I put them on the bench or table
Sometimes I take them off, put them on a table or bench, forget they are there, and walk away. What ensues is a process of me trying to retrace my steps to find them. Or someone picks them up and thinks they are theirs.
I put them around my thigh
First, whenever I put my earmuffs around my thigh, almost inevitably they end up falling off or sliding down and falling into the dirt. Sort of annoying, sort of dirty. Especially when it is wet and muddy.
I leave them on my head but off of my ears
And leaving them on my head but not my ears doesn't actually alleviate the pressure that muffs apply to your head. This can result in some headaches or just not being as comfortable as you could. Plus according to Jacob, it makes you look like Mickey Mouse.
The ReadyUpGear EarClip Belt Clip
Okay, so I got one of the EarClips, from our sister company ReadyUpGear to try out. The product supposedly allows you to hook your hearing protection to your belt and keep people like me from leaving their hearing protection all over the range.
Now there are some other similar products that claim to do the same thing. So I really wanted to test the Ear Clip from ReadyUpGear, and see if it:
- is durable
- works with different brands of muffs
- is easy to use
- worth the $10 pricetag
So the product is quite simple. It is made of polymer and clips onto any belt up to 2 and a quarter inches wide. If you're wearing a duty belt or happen to not be wearing a belt at all, the product has enough pressure to stay put if you clip it onto a pocket. In the picture, you can see that I have it clipped onto my cargo pocket and my regular pants pocket.
Is the clip durable?
The Earclip is made of polymer and has a magnet built-in where it clips closed around the earmuffs. So there isn't really much to break. The biggest durability question is where the clip wraps around the earmuffs, as this is the major flex point. The Earclip actually has two parts in this area, a thin and thicker layer. Opening the clip up far beyond what is necessary to insert the ear pro doesn't seem to do anything to the Earclip. It looks and feels like the point that flexes can take a lot of use, and require purposeful action to break the clip.
What brands of earmuff hearing protection will it work with?
It will accommodate any earmuffs that have a headband width of 2 inches or less. I tested it with my Walker's Razor's, Howard Leight Impact Sports, and my ReadyUpGear Roger 22's and you can see that all of my hearing protection fit perfectly.
I couldn't find any earmuffs that had a headband thickness of over 2 inches, so it's safe to say your brand will work. If you happen to have a set of muffs that are over 2 inches in width, leave a comment and I'll update the review.
Is it easy to use?
First, it just clips onto the belt just like a basic, polymer holster clip, so there isn't much to it in that respect. I was curious as to how cit would be to clip the ear pro to it. On one hand, you want it to hold it securely. On the other hand, you don't want the clip to be so stiff that it is hard to get the muffs in and out. Or where it would cause wear on the headband and possibly cause damage to the electronic cord passing through the headband.
I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to open the Earclip. It flexes just the right amount. The addition of the magnet where the clip closes around the muffs is nice. This allows the Earclip to be flexible but still securely close around and encompass the headband of the muffs.
Putting the muffs into or removing them from the clip, it doesn't require more than one hand.
Is it worth ten dollars?
For me, the answer is simple, absolutely. Now to be honest, because I work for the company I got this one for free to evaluate. However, I am placing an order to purchase one for all of the instructors who work with me. None of them have one, and all of them will love them. Plus, if everyone has one, there is less chance of mine going missing.
Sure, you can rig something up with velcro, which I have done sometimes in the past. But this is far more convenient and works so well. If you have earmuffs, you will absolutely benefit from using this product.
In the comments, let us know what you do with your hearing protection when you're not shooting.