I have insanely sensitive hearing. I blame it on my mother who could hear a bad word if you mouthed it in the same building as her. The first few times I went to the range, I left with my ears ringing. I rented range ears with plugs in. I tried electronics. I had plugs in with the electronics. I made sure the plugs were sitting properly. I still hurt. So I started searching. I wanted ears that could kill all sound.
The highest NRR (Noise Reduction Rating) ear protection I could find is made by ClearArmor. I read the reviews like I did with so many other pairs, and they were overwhelmingly positive. Specifically, there was mention of them fitting properly on women and children. I was a little leery because of the price, how could something so affordable be good? I figured I could just return them if I didn’t like them, so I bought them.
When they arrived I tried them with and without plugs and they seemed like they would do the job. My three year old asking (by asking, I mean screeching) for the same movie we’d been watching for a month seemed to be at barely a whisper. Took them to the indoor range and was a little wary, so I tried them with plugs and was in heaven. I didn’t jump, I didn’t have any ringing in my ears afterwards, and they were comfortable. When I used them at the range without plugs with only a few people there, I wasn’t in pain. I did my LTC (CHL for those of you who don’t live in Texas) range test without plugs. No ringing.
These ear muffs state they have an NRR rating of 34dB. They’re really light weight at 9.4 ounces. They fold easily and personally I feel they are simple to adjust. Looking at the one and two star reviews on Amazon, the biggest complaint seemed to be that they were too tight. Those stating that they wear a large size hat or helmet stated they were uncomfortable. I could see how a male with a larger head might find them a bit tight but I think the padding would keep them comfortable still. For those that complained of a gap, I would think maybe they just have larger ears or were adjusting them more onto their jaw line as these do cup your ears completely instead of pressing them against your head.
Apparently less than a year ago these same ears could be found at Harbor Freight for much cheaper. A few people found the retracting connectors to be awkward for them. I however, found myself fidgeting with and having issues with the popular Howard Leight earmuffs that everyone suggested for me. A few of the lower reviews compared them to different models of Peltor ear muffs, claiming there’s no way these have the rating they claim, but some of the five star reviews did as well. So, like most things, I think it boils down to preference.
All in all, I’m glad I purchased them. I feel like they were money well spent and that they work as advertised. Can I guarantee these actually have a 34dB NRR rating? No. All I know is they work, they’re comfortable and I’m happy with them and that’s good enough for me.