How To Pick Out The Best Ear Muffs Without Spending A Fortune
A message from Jacob Paulsen | President of ConcealedCarry.com
Regardless if you are new to shooting or a lifetime presser of triggers, there are three things we can all agree on when it comes to ear protection.
- Ears are important and expensive or impossible to repair so quality ear protection is an absolute must.
- When it comes to being safe and having an enjoyable time on a gun range electronic ear muffs are critical.
- Good ear muffs can be expensive.
What you may not know about me is that I'm deaf in my right ear. Since the age of 15, I've been appx 90% deaf in that ear and so I'm particularly sensitive to protecting the hearing I have left in my 1 remaining good ear.
Ironically, when you have only one good ear it grows extra sensitive which means loud noises that most people find tolerable cause me great discomfort. This is why I don't attend concerts or live sporting events.
This has led me on a quest of finding ear protection that not only truly protects my good ear but also can be worn all day long, sometimes for several days in a row.
Recently I partnered up with the team at Ready Up Gear to make the absolute best quality ear muffs possible at the lowest price possible.
Don't get me wrong there are ear muffs out there that are better, but you would have to spend over $100 to get them. The new Roger 22 muffs are the best muffs on the market for less than $90 and I'm proud to have had a part in working on them.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. In order to truly understand the product and its journey you must first understand what criteria I look at when I evaluate ear muffs.
The 7 Criteria Against Which I Judge Any Ear Protection
#1: Protect Ears From Harmful Noise
We can spend very little time on this first criteria because almost without any exception any name brand ear muff that sells for more than $25 is going to adequately protect your ears.
The Roger 22 Muffs have a Noise Reduction Rating of 22dB which is a rating approved by the American National Standards (ANSI). This is a more than adequate level of protection for most shooting and is on par with competitive products. For our European friends you might note the Roger 22 Muffs have a SNR of 27dB.
#2: Good Amplification and Sound Quality
I only use electronic ear muffs because in addition to blocking out harmful loud noises from things like gunfire; I also want to be able to hear my friends or students on the range with me. As a matter of safety, I think it critical that one also be able to hear the range safety officer, and electronic muffs are critical in that effort as they amplify and bring in sounds such as humans talking while still blocking dangerous sounds.
As such I expect ear muffs to have good sound quality. When I put them on and turn them on I expect to hear conversations in a clear and crisp manner. I expect to be able to adjust the volume sensitivity to my satisfaction regardless if I'm in an indoor or outdoor range environment.
The Roger 22 Muffs do this well. They are equipped with 2 omnidirectional microphones (one on each side) and the volume control has a lot of range.
#3: All Day Comfort
There are a handful of things that I think impact the comfort of ear muffs.
First: They can't be too tight. Ear muffs are designed to apply pressure on your head in order to create a seal to block out the noise. The issue is some of the popular brands put too much pressure on the head and lead me to a headache after 3-4 hours on the range.
Second: Adjustability matters. To get a good comfortable fit you need to be able to adjust the height of the headband and of course, the headband itself should be padded.
Third: The earpads themselves matter. I'm talking about the physical padded cups or pads that come in contact with your head. Stock out of the box most of the top brands of ear muffs come with similar foam padded ear cups that for an average person are more than sufficient but should you want to upgrade to an after-market gel cup that should be an option.
The Roger 22 Muffs check all these boxes. They apply just the right amount of pressure to ensure a snug fit but don't cause a headache. They are easily adjusted and are compatible with all the common and most popular after-market gel cups. (In fact Ready Up Gear is planning to make and sell their own line of the after-market gel cups in the near future)
#4: Longterm Durability and Reliability
So far I'm impressed with the Roger 22s. I have about 8 full 8-hour range days in with these muffs and our Director of Training Riley Bowman has another 12 full 10+ hour days in with these muffs.
At this point we've seen no degradation of audio quality or any other issues of any kind.
So far all signs point to these muffs withstanding heat, abuse, dirt, sweat, and prolonged use.
#5: Auxiliary Audio Input
I'm not a guy who goes to the range and wants to listen to music or anything like that while I'm shooting.
That said, I appreciate the option to plug in via a 3.5mm jack any sort of auxiliary audio. My video producer often plugs our camera into his ear muffs when we are filming on the range and sometimes I like to connect my RangeTech shot timer to my ear muffs to pipe the preparatory commands right in.
The Roger 22 muffs have a 3.5mm standard audio input jack so you can easily connect it to whatever music player or phone or whatever else you want. The muffs come with a 40" auxiliary audio cable!
#6: Profile & Shape
If you are like me your first pair of ear muffs were probably fairly bulky because the bulky ear muffs are cheap and I just didn't know any better.
And frankly, when shooting handguns the bulk doesn't matter much but when you shoot a rifle it starts to matter a ton.
Low profile ear muffs allow you to get a good cheek weld on the rifle for accurate shooting. Bulky muffs get in the way of shooting a carbine such as an AR-15 properly.
The Roger 22 muffs are very slim with a profile that is as low as any other pair of ear muffs I have tested and in addition to helping with rifle shooting that also means they take up less room in my range bag!
Cost is last on this list because I am willing to pay for quality. I care about my ears and I spend enough time shooting guns to know it is often worth it to spend more money to get quality gear.
That said, there are a lot of ear muffs on the market that check all the 6 criteria boxes above on this page. There are a lot of good quality name brand muffs.
However, the Roger 22 muffs are the absolute lowest cost muffs that meet all these criteria. Here are 3 competing muffs that are similar in features and quality to the Roger 22s:
Walkers Razor Slim
Peltor Tactical 100
Howard Leight Impact
Ready Up Gear Roger 22
As you can see the Roger 22s beat the competition on price and do it without jeopardizing quality or features.
A good pair of electronic ear muffs are a Must-Have at the gun range for you and for family and friends who go with you.
Invest in your safety and a quality experience by picking up a pair or two of the new Ready Up Gear Roger 22 Ear Muffs.
From one shooter to another, I promise you won't regret it!
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