EarPro, a line of hearing products from SureFire, has introduced a new kind of passive hearing protection: the EP-3 Sonic Defenders.
The Sonic Defenders is a product that sets inside of the ear, allowing normal volume sounds to pass freely through to the ear, yet shuts down when loud sounds, such as gunfire, is encountered. The EP-3 is passive technology, meaning there are not any batteries to replace. Using physics principals, SureFire was able to create this new style of hearing protection that reduces loud noises by 16 db, but still allows normal conversations with them in place.
The Sonic Defenders are ideal for soldiers or SWAT officers that find normal hearing protection is not practical. Additionally, recreational shooters, such as hunters, can also find these to be an excellent way to prevent damage to their hearing while enjoying their sport.
Hearing loss among shooters is a serious problem. Â I know I have suffered some hearing loss over the years. Â What amount of that is due to shooting, I don’t know. Â I do know that I “double up” on my protection when I am at an indoor range (foam plugs plus over the ear muffs). Â Granted, shooting indoors is worse for your ears than shooting outside. Â However, even when firing a few rounds outdoors, you should have some type of hearing protection in place.
That is where ear pro like these Sonic Defenders come in handy. Â They reduce the amount of damaging noise that can make it to your inner ear, but still allow you to hear most normal things. Â For a hunter or police officer, these can be a really great tool. Â The same goes for military personnel. Â If you can keep your hearing while on patrol, but cut off some of the damage when the poo hits the fan, you are doing pretty good.
SureFire updated their popular EarPro line of passive hearing protection.Â The new line of EarPro Sonic Defenders now come with a 26″ polymer lanyard to help you keep track of them.
I’ve never used the SureFire EarPro plugs before, but I have a friend who swears by them.Â It seems the earplugs block noise via a Hocks Noise Brake filter that passively reduces loud noise, but still allows normal sounds to pass through.Â If you want to shut down all noise, you close a small plug on the earplugs.
Shutting the plug takes the noise reduction to 24 dB.Â No noise reduction numbers are provided for the “open” mode.Â I would imagine quite a bit noise makes its way into the ear, but even a 10 dB reduction can be a big help.
I imagine the EarPro Sonic Defenders would be good for anyone who needs unimpeded hearing but anticipates the possibility of gunfire.Â SWAT teams pop to mind, as do hunters and soldiers in the field.