Hearing protection is a big deal in the shooting sports. You do not want to be the guy or girl who did not pay attention to proper protection and ten to twenty years later have trouble hearing the person yelling right next to you.
There are many styles of hearing protection on the market. All have their benefits and limitations.
Some block out a great deal of sound all the time which can make it hard to hear when talking on the range. Some have electronics in them to amplify voices when talking, but shut out loud noises like the report of a firearm. Those electronic devices have the limitation of needing batteries to be replaced.
There are ear muff styles of hearing protection, which can become less comfortable during long periods of wear, and in ear styles that are limited in features because of their size (or if they have features like active electronics, they can be super expensive).
In a nice little niche in the market are the Decibullz hearing protection with percussive filters. These in-ear style hearing protection are low profile, comfortable and can be worn for long periods of time. The have a “mechanical valve” like system which reacts to loud noises. In theory, when you are simply talking to the person next to you, the valve is open and allows sound waves to travel in to your ear relatively freely. When a high level of sound pressure impacts the valve, it shuts closing out the potentially harmful loud noise.
The benefit these percussive filters have, is that it is supposed to give you a similar experience to active electronic hearing protection, without the need for batteries.
In the Box
Inside the slick packaging you will find:
- Two heat moldable ear units (one left, one right)
- Two Replacement Heat Moldable Inserts (one left, one right)
- Two Percussive Filters
- 3 Sets of black foam ear canal inserts (Small Medium and Large sizes for left and right ears)
- 3 Sets of orange silicone rubber ear canal inserts (Small Medium and Large sizes for left and right ears)
- Travel case to keep them safe and clean in you range bag
The molding process is easy and the directions in the package are spot on. Simply boil water, take the water off of the heat and drop in the moldable polymer pieces one at a time. You will take the pieces out of the water after five minutes. Attach the ear canal inserts and mold to the space in your ears.
The hardest part is selecting the right size in ear foam or silicone ear canal inserts. Realize, you must pick the right size such that it seals the ear canal. If you do not do this, the hearing protection will not work.
I have tried these both at indoor and outdoor ranges.
To me, these are not adequate for indoor shooting ranges. There is just too much sound reflection and concentration indoors to be comfortable. I prefer wearing double layers of ear protection at indoor ranges. Indoors I wear foam earplugs with electronic ear muffs over top. I am very protective of my hearing, and this seams to be the best solution I have found.
Outdoors, the decibullz thrive. I have worn these to compete in IDPA and professional rifle classes. They are comfortable and they keep the destructive noise levels at a tolerable level. They also allow me to hear range commands quite well. After four to six hours of range time, ear-muff style protection always starts to hurt my ears. The decibullz, being in-ear hearing protection alleviate that major complaint.
While they are not the be-all, end-all solution to hearing protection; The decibullz percussive filter based hearing protection has it’s place. I am thoroughly enjoying them for my outdoor shooting, and they enhance my comfort in that environment.
Decibullz with Percussive Filters Currently come in at approximately $75.
You can purchase them here at this amazon.com link: Decibullz with Percussive Filters