If you have read my last article on ear protection, insert shameless plug for myself here, you’d know that I fell in love with my ClearArmor ear muffs. For about the same price, I picked up these Decibullz custom mold them yourself earplugs. I just thought it would be nice to not always be the odd ball needing full muffs, and was hoping that I could just carry these around for range day at SHOT this January instead of my regular muffs.
They boast a NRR value of 31 and claim that they are good for shooting, swimming, traveling etc… they claim they won’t fall out or become uncomfortable. Sounded good to me and they seemed simple enough. They come in little baggies with different sized ear tips that you can attach. They have both foam and silicone tips depending on which you prefer.
I placed them one at a time in the hot water for five minutes and then let them cool as instructed. Then I attempted to mold this pink off brand silly putty feeling thing into the crevice of my ear. I have a feeling that you must need to have the fingernails of a compulsive nail-biter in order to make these appear smooth. I ended up remolding the right one twice. Both times the plug became malleable and it was fairly easy to press to the ear, it just felt awkward. I was surprised at how hard they dried. They definitely didn’t feel this hard before warming them; I suppose that’s what “thermoplastic” means.
I took them to the indoor range when there were only one or two other stalls in use. They did a decent job at blocking out sound. I was happy, even mildly impressed. I tried them again on another day when there was a full house, however, this time I opted to wear my muffs instead. They were working but not enough for my comfort. Next, I took them for a length of time test out to a shoot with friends.
They were still great with muffling sounds enough that I wasn’t jumping, my ears weren’t ringing. However, after a few hours of wearing them, the plastic hurt my ears. Now, a lot of the reviews on these are great, they talk about people using them to sleep peacefully and forgetting about having them in. Maybe I pressed too hard or molded them too far up, but, they hurt the curve of my ear. I eventually gave up and just put my muffs on again because I just had had enough. I think I’ll remold them again, just to see if maybe a different shape will help, but at this point, I’ll stick with my muffs for anything longer than an hour or so at the indoor range.