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Thread: Electronic In Ear Custom Molded Ear Protection?

  1. #1
    Site Supporter Bill Nesbitt's Avatar
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    Electronic In Ear Custom Molded Ear Protection?

    I have mostly shot handguns in the past while using electronic ear muffs. Recently I have been shooting long guns and muffs get in the way of a good cheek weld.

    I am looking for a set of custom molded in ear electronic ear plugs.

    I am currently using a set of these https://earinc.com/product/insta-mol...stic-earplugs/ with the filter. They are comfortable and deaden the sound well, but I can't hear conversation well. Like when my spotter talks to me.

    My wife has had a set of these for several years. https://www.espamerica.com/elite-classic/ They are analog. Customer service was excellent the one time we needed it.

    I'm looking for input from people who have had personal experience with any electronic ear plugs, specifically quality of sound. I will probably go with digital rather than analog. It's hard to describe quality of sound and the way electronic hear protection deadens the sound of the shot while maintaining the ability to hear surrounding sounds. I dislike the ones that shut everything off for a second or 2. Then I miss things said. I like the way Pro Ears Gold work. Any information is welcome. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    I have a set of these:
    https://www.goaxil.com/extreme-edge/

    They are actually digital hearing aids that also provide protection against loud noise, and are custom molded to your ears. The sound quality is good and I use them, but to be honest I can't bring myself to use them as my primary earpro solution. I think that for people with healthy ears they would work okay for shooting rifles outdoors.

    They are pricey, but as I said they are also digital hearing aids. Overkill if you don't have a hearing disability (I do). The company has other products that might be better suited for the average person.

  3. #3
    Site Supporter Bill Nesbitt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robinson View Post
    I have a set of these:
    https://www.goaxil.com/extreme-edge/

    They are actually digital hearing aids that also provide protection against loud noise, and are custom molded to your ears. The sound quality is good and I use them, but to be honest I can't bring myself to use them as my primary earpro solution. I think that for people with healthy ears they would work okay for shooting rifles outdoors.

    They are pricey, but as I said they are also digital hearing aids. Overkill if you don't have a hearing disability (I do). The company has other products that might be better suited for the average person.
    Thanks for the reply. I had never heard of these. Do you wear them daily and are they comfortable? I have some hearing loss. I was fitted with hearing aids a few years ago, but I couldn't get used to them. They made everything too loud. I like my quiet world with just a little tinnitus white noise. I'm mostly shooting 22 rimfire rifles so they aren't obnoxiously loud.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Nesbitt View Post
    Thanks for the reply. I had never heard of these. Do you wear them daily and are they comfortable? I have some hearing loss. I was fitted with hearing aids a few years ago, but I couldn't get used to them. They made everything too loud. I like my quiet world with just a little tinnitus white noise. I'm mostly shooting 22 rimfire rifles so they aren't obnoxiously loud.
    They are digital and programmed based on an audiogram. The volume is adjustable and they have four settings for different environments. They do help me hear better and they are comfortable enough to wear for a few hours at a time. But I can't stand to chew with them in my ears so I don't wear them while eating. Also, if I wear them for more than 3-4 hours it aggravates my tinnitus. Sometimes I wear them when carrying a gun since if I ever need to fire it what's left of my hearing will pretty much be destroyed if unprotected.

    The same company also offers the type that fit behind the ear. They offer about the same protection with the optional foam inserts, at least according to the website. I chose mine because they are custom molded, but the occluded feeling you get from wearing them can get old after a while. Everything is a trade-off.

  5. #5
    Site Supporter Bill Nesbitt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robinson View Post
    They are digital and programmed based on an audiogram. The volume is adjustable and they have four settings for different environments. They do help me hear better and they are comfortable enough to wear for a few hours at a time. But I can't stand to chew with them in my ears so I don't wear them while eating. Also, if I wear them for more than 3-4 hours it aggravates my tinnitus. Sometimes I wear them when carrying a gun since if I ever need to fire it what's left of my hearing will pretty much be destroyed if unprotected.

    The same company also offers the type that fit behind the ear. They offer about the same protection with the optional foam inserts, at least according to the website. I chose mine because they are custom molded, but the occluded feeling you get from wearing them can get old after a while. Everything is a trade-off.
    A couple of years ago, I was fitted with a set of hearing aids that went behind my ear with a speaker that went in my ear. The speaker was open so I could hear with what hearing I hadn't lost. They were programmed and I could adjust them with my I-Phone. It seemed to me they just made everything louder. They gave me a headache and I kept turning them down. I would have had to take them out to shoot and use plugs or muffs. I had a few days free trial, but after 2 days they started asking for the $5000.00 and I returned them.

    I know what you mean about being occluded. Even with my custom molded ear plugs, I take them out after a while.

  6. #6
    Site Supporter Bill Nesbitt's Avatar
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    I have an appointment with an audiologist tomorrow.

    The Axil https://www.goaxil.com/extreme-edge/ that Robinson mentioned looks promising. I want something with sound compression rather than clipping. This video shows the difference. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1JP23qrq-JQ

    Looks like a big decision to be made soon. They all look expensive. I don't mind spending the money if it will help me. The hearing aid I tried in the past just gave me a headache.

  7. #7
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    ESP

    I'm a full time shotgun instructor and have been wearing ESP's virtually daily since 2004. I had been using them on the weekends for 6-7 years before that. I have a a GREAT experience with ESP. My early years I had analog's and they were fine. About 2007 I switched to the digitals, and they are a VAST improvement. Customer service with ESP is exemplary. They aren't cheap, but they are extremely comfortable, and very effective.

    Best,

    Will

  8. #8
    Site Supporter Bill Nesbitt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will Fennell View Post
    I'm a full time shotgun instructor and have been wearing ESP's virtually daily since 2004. I had been using them on the weekends for 6-7 years before that. I have a a GREAT experience with ESP. My early years I had analog's and they were fine. About 2007 I switched to the digitals, and they are a VAST improvement. Customer service with ESP is exemplary. They aren't cheap, but they are extremely comfortable, and very effective.

    Best,

    Will
    Thanks. I'm leaning toward the ESP if I go for hearing protection only and not a hearing aid type. We won the ESPs that my wife was wearing at an Area USPSA match several years ago. They had a rep there who did the ear molds on the spot. They also repaired a broken battery door for free a few years after we got them.

  9. #9
    King of Craft Clusterfrack's Avatar
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    Hearing protection is no better than foam earplugs, so if you’re ok with that... then these can help you hear your surroundings better. If not, save your money.
    "BJJ is sort of like nonconsensual yoga"
    "You don’t really graduate from certain problems or certain things… like you always have to work on trigger control and pulling the trigger straight. " --Ben Stoeger 1/24/2018

  10. #10
    Site Supporter Bill Nesbitt's Avatar
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    Well, I ordered the ESPs. My audiologist did a hearing test which she sent to ESP along with ear impressions. Now I wait. I went with the top of the line digital ones.

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