Champion Electronic Earmuffs
By Gary Lewis
We take hearing for granted, till it is gone. And it goes away faster for those of us who don't employ protection on the range and in the field. Increased exposure and repetition raise the risk of auditory damage, but a single shot fired through a muzzle brake can cause irreversible ear trauma.
When the Champion Electronic Earmuffs arrived, I pried them out of the blister pack and installed four AAA batteries. Padded top and bottom, the headband was comfortable. Ample foam cocooned the ears. A rheostat on each side controlled two forward-facing inputs.
Outside, the muffs magnified the chatter of a flock of finches three times what I could hear with un-amplified ears. When I clapped my hands, the electronic muffs muffled all sound. In a moment, other noises – the flushing birds and the wind – returned.
Next test was at the range, instructing six tweens and teens in the proper administration of 22-caliber rimfire. With the muffs switched on, I could hear every question, but my ears were protected from the reports of the rifle.
A week later, with sage rats and rockchucks in the crosshairs, I wore the muffs all day. Dialed to half-power, I heard the call for lunch 300 yards away.
In action, the filters close the circuit to moderate high frequency bursts of sound. In theory, the electronic noise suppression technology allows a short burst - .5 to 1 millisecond – before the internal circuitry is activated, which is not enough to cause significant damage. It's also not enough to notice.
Plugs or muffs, ear protection is so simple and cheap that a hunter need not risk his or her hearing due to expense. The Champion muffs represent a good value at a suggested retail of $38.49
Champion Electronic Earmuffs have a noise reduction rating of 25dB and are available in black as well as pink.