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Best Silicone Ear Plugs?

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by vpr80, Nov 9, 2009.

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  1. vpr80

    vpr80 Active Member

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    Aside from the custom molded ear plugs, what are the best reusable silicone plugs? Been using mine for a few months and it's time for some better ones. I found SilentEar which are NRR 32, are these good?

    Thanks
     
  2. threedeuces

    threedeuces TS Member

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    Sure fire is the best ear plugs in the world period. When they are in you can not feel them there and you can carry on a conversation well. They only block out the high end noises.
     
  3. vpr80

    vpr80 Active Member

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    Wow those look really nice...gonna have to try them. Thanks
     
  4. TC

    TC TS Member

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    What is the db rating of the Sure Fire's? About 5-7 db? About the same as a wad of paper tissue! The 32 db is a heck of a lot more protection.
     
  5. threedeuces

    threedeuces TS Member

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    If you have not used or laid eyes on them then don't pass judgment. Try them then come and tell me all about them. I have tried all of them and for the most part they all do there job but I like the sure fires because they will let you talk to someone with out screaming your guts out. You can actually here someone say something without reading lips.
     
  6. 221

    221 Banned User Banned TS Supporters

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    WHAAAAAAAHD-HEEEEE SAY????
     
  7. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    To determine the best ear plugs, you first have to figure out what you want the ear plug to do. If it is to block out the most noise, than the one with the highest db rating would be best. If you want the most comfortable, you have to try out several types. If you want plugs that will allow you to hear others talking, get plugs that don't block a lot of noise. With my era plugs in, the only thing I want to hear is the scorer saying "five all, y'all" when we change posts.

    For me, I like the MAX brand. They are cheap, have a DB rating of 34 and I like their color.

    Pat Ireland
     
  8. short shucker

    short shucker TS Member

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    I love my custom molded plugs. I won't use anything else.

    ss
     
  9. vpr80

    vpr80 Active Member

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    I don't understand the different measures, but if you look at this spec sheet from SureFire, on top it says NRR 16, but then there is a chart to show you how it ramps up with an increase in db. Anyone understand this?

    SureFire PDF Specs
     
  10. mixer

    mixer Well-Known Member

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    What they're saying is that the louder the sound (input level) the greater the reduction (attenuation level). To understand the graph all you have to do is subtract the attenuation level from the input level to get the sound level at your ears.

    As a frame of reference, the average sound level of a movie in a theater is 85db and the sound level of a shotgun measured at the shooters ear is 115-120db.

    Eric
     
  11. Quack Shot

    Quack Shot Active Member

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    It all boils down to: "Just How Deaf Do You Want To Be in Your Old Age?" Your deafness will be inversely proportional to the Noise Reduction Ability of your hearing protection. (When Properly Used) The choice is yours.
     
  12. vpr80

    vpr80 Active Member

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    So then unless I am missing something, the SureFire plugs are pretty good since at 110-120 they drop it to 74db to 81db which is roughly the noise of a vacuum cleaner and these are just short bursts. Yes?
     
  13. mixer

    mixer Well-Known Member

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    Yes.

    Eric
     
  14. chipking

    chipking TS Member

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    Be very careful of any of the mechanical type (Ear valves) They work well when new but as they age the protection they provide decreases. This is normally so subtle a change that you don't notice it until your ears have been subjected to dangerous sound levels for a while. I prefer the custom fitted ear plugs and usually get a new set each year (after all it is less than the cost of a flat of shells)

    --- Chip King ---
     
  15. Quack Shot

    Quack Shot Active Member

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    vpr80

    That is what the manufacturer might claim. Remember that the statistics are usually under ideal conditions. The way they fit the individual may have a lot to do with their effectiveness. I have not used them, so I can't really comment on the Surefires. I had something similar some years ago and found them to be less than ideal. I still prefer the Howard Leight Max styles myself. Disposable, sanitary, high NNR, and inexpensive. Anything mechanical may eventually fail or deteriorate. In my case, I like something really sound proof, so I don't hear that "lost" from the scorekeeper. :)
     
  16. threedeuces

    threedeuces TS Member

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    I know several and I mean several people who use these same sure fire ear plugs for all kinds of shooting, including indoor ranges, cowboy shooting and trap shooting. They turned me onto them so I thought I would give them a try and I am glad I did. There is no reason to argue with these know it alls that have not tried them. If one of them would come on here and say he tried them and he blew his ear drum out using them then so be it but they have no proof other than there mind thinking they know everything. My sure fire plugs work the same way the electronic ear muffs work. I have them both and I cant tell a difference in the high end noise they block out. I have the ear muffs, I have the electronic ear muffs. I have the custom molded plugs. I have custom molded ones for ipods and I have the sure fires. They all work and work well but none of them compare to the sure fires with comfort, blocking loud bangs and being able to carry on a conversation with out screaming at each other.
     
  17. TC

    TC TS Member

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    I used an earlier version called the Lee Sonic. I now have over 60% loss in my left ear and over 50% loss in my right ear. Wish I would have known then what I know now. Not trying to substitute my experience for yours. Problem is, you really can't tell when you are damaging your hearing. Once you lose your hearing it is gone forever.
     
  18. Quack Shot

    Quack Shot Active Member

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    Features


    •16dB Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) for EP3 Sonic Defenders with stoppers in

    •19dB Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) for EP4 Sonic Defenders Plus with stoppers in

    These come in various sizes and need to be fitted properly for them to work as designed. Notice that the maximum noise reductions are obtained with the stoppers in.

    Comments by Dr. Thelen located at url: http://www.4hearingloss.com/archives/2006/12/gunshots_hearin.html

    "In-the-ear plugs that mold to the outer contours of the ear generally do not seal as well as rollup-style plugs that fit tightly in the ear canal, or as well as muff-style protection, Thelen said."

    "Ear plugs with a mechanical valve or filter that are supposed to allow normal sounds to pass while filtering loud noises generally are ineffective, he noted."


    Test data from Hocks (manufacturer of the "filter") seem to cloud the test data even further. It starts here: http://www.hocksproducts.com/products/datasheets.php

    There are some comments made by Paul Michael and Jack Vernon along with the test data at the above url. Unfortunately, gunfire is usually a low frequency event. These "valves" work best at mid-frequencies, which are generally higher than that of gunshots. The "C-Scale" testing is based on a wider range of frequencies. These might be better at a rock concert than at a shooting range. Like I said before, the testing appeared weighted and done under ideal conditions. Real world results would likely be lower, as Paul Michael mentioned.

    Some additional information:

    http://www.surefire.com/EP3-Sonic-Defenders

    http://www.surefire.com/pdfs/ep3-ep4_tech_copy.pdf

    http://www.surefire.com/pdfs/EP3_sizingchart.pdf

    Unfortunately, once hearing is lost, it is usually never regained. I don't wish to be a "crash test dummy" for an ear plug. I won't find out they don't work until it's too late to switch to something that does. I'll use what is time tested and proven to work.
     
  19. vpr80

    vpr80 Active Member

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    Frankly, I don't care about being able to talk to someone. I DO care very much about my hearing though so maybe I will just stick with the regular plugs to be on the safe side.
     
  20. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    TC- I remember, with no fondness, the old Lee Sonic plugs. They would whistle in a strong wind, they rattled when I moved my head and they did little to block noise.

    Pat Ireland
     
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