What noise canceling headphones do you recommend?

I am looking for some good electronic noise reduction headphones/ear muffs, the ones that amplify voices and range sounds, but block or reduce the gunshots. What do you guys recommend? I don't mind spending if they last and are good,but I have to buy three, one for me and one for each of my sons, so if they don't work well, it will be costly. What should we buy or what should we consider?

Thanks - Chris
 
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the only ones i have are the howard leight ones and thats because i read a simular post hear where a few guys spoke highly about them being a good value and at the time on sale a big 5 and since i lost my old ones and was going shooting the next day i went and got some . since these are the only ones i have every tried i cant speak for the others and i am sure there are better ones for more money but it was the best shooting investment for me this year I was so pleased. they are lower profile that the standard ones i used to use and you can hear people speak clearly and it turns down the volume not muffles the sound of the blast which i found really cool i was very pleased with the value of them and how well they worked
 
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We have tried a number of these at the range where they are used daily and take a lot of abuse.

Harbor Freight sells cheap ones for less than 20 bucks. These are bulky and need to be considered as disposable. If you drop these muffs the AA batteries will certainly dislodge making them inoperable until you disassemble the headpiece to reseat the batteries. Drop them on a hard surface and the battery holder will often break. They generally do a decent job of amplification and cut out when they detect a loud noise, but the volume control will become scratchy and causes a lot of static making them unbearable to use.

On the positive side, they use inexpensive AA batteries.

The Howard Leight (~$70) pair we tried never worked well. The cheap Harbor Freight muffs actually amplified much better (when they were new). The Howard Leight’s amplifier never did the same level of amplification as the cheap Harbor Freight units. They too had mechanical failures after heavy use.

We did like their lower profile and commonly available batteries.

We are now looking at the much more expensive muffs like the ones from Peltor . A down side is the higher initial purchase price but the cost of the batteries is what’s really troubling – at almost $10 a piece for a batterie the cost of ownership is quite a bit higher. We’re looking at ones with 2-way radio and Bluetooth capability. Has anyone had experience with these high end muffs?
 
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I bought 2 pairs of Howard Leights for around $45 each on Amazon.com. They work awesome for me and I don't have to wear ear plugs under them. They even have a mini jack so you can hook up an ipod/mp3 player if you really want to as well.
 
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Peltor makes a Tacpro model that can be had for about $150. Runs on AA. Better noise reduction and mic than HL. Also, much more comfortable, especially with gel ear cups. The only thing I don't particularly like is the size.....you'll have to look at the Comtac which are thinner and a lot more.
 
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Well, maybe I'm not as fancy as some. I have a pair of S$W with no batteries but a diaphragm setup. I can barely hear my gun fire. They cost less than $20. They look like audio headphones. I think I might have bought them at Bi Mart but I'm not sure.

<broken link removed>
 

darkminstrel

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A set of EP-6s or passive muffs with my mp3 player earbuds serenading me. Those new EP-6 ear plugs are amazing at what they do.

But that's just because I don't like having to rely on powered ear protection. *shrug*
 
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We are now looking at the much more expensive muffs like the ones from Peltor . A down side is the higher initial purchase price but the cost of the batteries is what's really troubling &#8211; at almost $10 a piece for a batterie the cost of ownership is quite a bit higher. We're looking at ones with 2-way radio and Bluetooth capability. Has anyone had experience with these high end muffs?
Which model is that? I thought the Peltors used AA or AAA batteries. Don't know about bluetooth/radio connections on these kind of things(looking them up on Google now - the Peltor MT53H7BWS2 uses AA batteries or a rechargable NiMH pack). Some of the bluetooth solutions for motorcycle helmets are pretty impressive though, noise cancellation on the mic pickup is getting very good. I can be doing 70mph on the Interstate using my Sena SMH-10 and people on the other end have no idea I'm moving.

Back to the OP... I have a Peltor Tactical 6-S which I like quite a bit. I don't know that any of them are "noise cancelling" like the Bose headsets claim to be, more like earmuffs with some electronics in them to amplify sound and then cut out the speakers when there is a loud sound(ie still reduces sound when they are turned off). Pretty decent noise reduction considering it's just a plastic shell with some electronics in it. Great for shooting, can still hear what's going on around you. Although since I don't go shooting as often as I'd like, removing the batteries for storage is something of a pain(have to pull the ear foam off to remove the batteries - I always forget to remove the batteries, fortunately none have leaked on me yet. actually I just remembered all this and removed them as I was typing this lol). I paid $60 for them several years ago, looks like you can get them off Amazon right now for $53.
 
I've had a pair of howard leights for a little over two years now and I could not be happier. I've thrown them, i've dropped them, i've used them in the rain and in temps as low as 23 degrees and as high as 111 degrees. They've never had a problem and have allowed me to maintain situational awareness or even just carry on a conversation without screaming.

I wouldnt hesitate to recommend them to anyone.
 
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Additional earplugs are fine at the range and maybe a good idea because there are so many shots fired you want to save your hearing for sure.

In a SHTF situation, I would want to be able to hear what's going on around me, talk if needed, and have the phones instantly and safely shut off noise only when it reaches a certain decibel level, and then instantly return to where I could hear.
 
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I have a ProEars Dimension 1 from about 5 years ago. I bought for $50 off a list member who won them in a contest. They claimed they were listed at $150. Best purchase I made, give I paid 1/3. I use it everytime I shoot. It's seen heavy use, I don't baby it, I toss it wherever I want, in trunk with other junk, in a range bag with steel and ammo, and have no fear dropping it from normal heights or toss it across the range. It's been lent out to others on a few occasions and other than needing new batteries (because they left it on) it's fine. In fact, over the last 5 years that was the only time I've had to replace the batteries is when it was left on by accident. My only complaint would be the batteries are prone to falling out in the range bag (2 per ear, 3v lithium, CR123 I think) but it's two seconds to put them back in.

It appears this model has been discontinued, and all the newer ones are in the $200-$250 range, I think this model was $100-150 originally. I don't usually recommend them unless price is not an issue, but maybe one for yourself and Harbor Freight for the kids, given the abuse kids can do and the cringing that might accompany a $200 unit vs. a $20 unit.

Being someone who always used ear plug inside of ear muffs, I often do the same with these and yet with the volume up I can hear better than my companions. They always shouting and I am always repeating myself.
 

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