Hearing Aid and Protection Technology is the best it’s ever been — and hunters and shooters are definitely more aware of the importance of protecting their ears. But one drawback to conventional ears plugs or ear muff style hearing protectors is that in social shooting situations, like on the trap range or in the duck blind, hearing protection protects your ears but also blocks the sound of conversation. There are some ear-muff styles on the market that have hearing amplification to enable sound to get through, but in hunting situations, you don’t really want a big bulky device on your head while you’re hunting. Problem solved.
Utilizing hearing enhancement technology by Starkey Hearing Technologies, SoundGear has produced an amazing high-definition hearing protection and sound enhancement device. They are basically ear plugs for hunters and shooters (and many other ear-damaging activities). They enable the user to hear normal sounds and even amplify and enhance normal ambient sound. But when the sound level exceeds 95 decibels (like a gun shot) the device blocks those sound waves from entering the ear. So you can have a conversation on the shooting range and still not worry about hearing damage. Even better, it has great practical use in the field- duck and goose hunters can shoot all morning without going home with your ears ringing. If you’ve ever goose hunted in a box blind with five guys standing elbow-to-elbow blasting magnum rounds for 3 hours, you know what I’m talking about.
Keep in mind these are hearing “enhancement” devices, which mean they actually amplify the normal sounds in addition to blocking out loud ones. Turkey and deer hunters will also benefit hugely from this. I tried them on a turkey hunt in Kansas this past spring and I could actually hear the sound of my boots on the weeds as I was walking. It was weird at first, but then you get used to them and become more “in tune” with your surroundings by hearing things you never did before, or at least didn’t notice. Wouldn’t it be great if you could hear a deer walking up behind you in the tree stand? These are the smallest devices on the market, so there has never been a better device for hunters.
These devices are the pinnacle of hearing protection and enhancement technology. And the beneficial applications extend well beyond hunting— tactical training, recreational shooting, even construction work, all activities that entail high-decibal situations.
The SoundGear package comes with replacement batteries, cleaning tool and multiple ear plug housings or “buds”. Using them is simple – you pop in a battery (each one lasts for 5-6 hours) and place in your ear. With several size ear buds to choose from, you can find the one that best fits your ear canal. They retail at around $399, which is a bargain compared to most other hearing devices that start at around $1,000.
You only have one set of ears. Protect them. Move this to the top of your “must have” list of gear.
Their website is loaded with great videos and interactive demos that give you a great idea of how well they work, check it out at SoundGearHearing.com.