hearing protection

Peltor Tactical 500

 Peltor has been making hearing protection for many years. The Peltor Tactical 500’s are one of their newest releases. They sent me these after talking with them at SHOT show. As we all know, hearing protection is very important. Especially if you do a lot of shooting. The Tac 500’s will help with that and even give you some bonus features.

 I am not new to electronic noise cancelling hearing protection. I’ve used a set of Peltor tactical 6-S’ for almost 20 years, as well as other manufacturers also. These new Tac 500’s have way more features than my old trusty 6-s pair. They have a noise reduction rating of 26 dB while reducing any sound above 82 dB. In order to reduce the sound of loud noises, the tac 500’s use what Peltor calls “Dynamic Suppression Time” technology. What this means to you, is that the electronics monitor the harsh sounds and echoes to determine how quickly and how much to mute the volume. This feature works outstandingly well. I really liked how it only cut the gunshots or loud noises to a manageable level. While still being able to hear them. They do not cut out the sound completely like my 6-s or some of the less expensive hearing protection.

 Another feature that somewhat resembles the Dynamic Suppression, is the “Clear Voice Tracking.” The Clear Voice tracking also appears to work very well. What it does is sense voice levels getting input from the microphones. It then enhances them so that you can clearly hear what others are saying. Ant time I was wearing the Tac 500’s at the range, I had zero problems understanding or hearing people talk. It sound almost as if I didn’t have the hearing protection on at all.

 The Tactical 500’s were comfortable when worn. Except the headband can press in the top of your head some and cause discomfort. I noticed this a little when wearing them without a baseball hat. But when wearing them over the hat, they were comfortable to me for long periods of time (6+ hours). The headband is vented some, it has three vent squares in the top. One of these vent squares is made to clear the button on top of a hat, so that the button doesn’t press into your head and start hurting. The ear cups were also comfortable for me. They also sealed over my glasses pretty well. I believe the gel cups that 3m sells will fit on the Tac 500’s also.

 Hearing protection that rides up, or opens up, when shooting rifles can be a real problem. Peltor has made the Tac 500’s with a cut-out, or scoop, on the bottom of the ear cups. This cut-out help them sit lower when putting your cheek on a rifle. The 500’s worked well for me when shooting rifles and shotguns. They didn’t try to lift up like my Howard Leights do. Even though the 500’s are larger, size wise, then my 6-s’, I didn’t notice any differences in comfort.

 Possibly one of the coolest features of the Tactical 500’s is the built in BlueTooth. This allows you to pair your smartphone to the hearing protection. I think most people have missed a phone call or text while at the range. Having the bluetooth feature allows for you to hear incoming notifications from your phone. You can even answer a phone call by pushing the center of the right ear cup. Because of the dual microphones in the headset, people can actually hear you talk, within reason, you are still at a shooting range. This particular ear protection has an annoying whine or static when turned on. It happens with the bluetooth on or off. If you up the volume, it just gets louder. If these didn’t have that whine, I’d give them a much better rating. Having the bluetooth also allow me to listen to music when I wear these around the house, lawn mowing and the like. These are not music headphones, so the sound quality of music is pretty blah. Another feature with the bluetooth, is being able to use it with a shooting app on the smartphone. It makes it super easy to hear the tones, or beeps. If you want to use them without bluetooth, they have a 3.5mm audio jack and come with a cable.

 The Tactical 500’s also fold up into themselves. Of course this is for storage. But they also include a nice bag for putting them in. A rechargeable battery pack is also available and can be charged with a micro usb plugged into the right ear cup. Otherwise it uses 2 AA batteries. But don’t worry, it has an auto off feature for people like me that forget to turn stuff off. The Tac 500’s will also alert you, by talking, that your batteries are low or when you “power on” and “power off” the hearing protection.

 I probably missed something that the Tactical 500’s do. I have a love / hate relationship with them. I love all the features, but hate the annoying static sound when they are turned up. Go check them out if your in the market for some electronic hearing protection.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:

Noise cancelling over ear hearing protectors

Target Market:

Shooters, Hunters, anyone needing hearing protection

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • 26 dB NRR

  • Dynamic Suppression

  • Clear Voice Tracking

  • Bluetooth

  • Auto shut-off

  • Recessed Microphones

  • Cheek cutouts for rifle stocks

  • Vented Headband

  • 3.5mm Audio Jack - Cable Included

  • Carrying bag

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?

None - You get Black

What others are saying?:

From 3M -  ⅘ stars.

Dynamic supression great, but odd interference

I bought these a few months ago and use them at indoor and outdoor ranges and also while I'm woodworking (both handtool for chopping mortises and dovetail waste) and when using power tools. It is great to be able to hear sounds and voices. In fact, these have an uncanny way of amplifying low level sounds, which is kind of cool. As to ear protection, these work well for both indoor and outdoor ranges as well as in woodworking. As others note, the headband can be uncomfortable. It appears that 3M simply didn't user test these, which is very odd. If I am careful about positioning I can usually wear them for hours, but if they are slightly off the top of my head starts hurting. For me though, the main issue is the strange audio signal that I hear. I'm not sure what it is from, perhaps bluetooth, but it is almost always there and detracts from the experience. As to music quality, these are only OK. My Bose QC35s blow them away. Listening to music through the Peltors is not a great experience--it all sounds flat and compressed. But I didn't really buy them for music--that's just an extra for me.

From Amazon - ⅗ stars


A lot of unnecessary feedback and buzzing in the headsets

Bought so my kids could go hunting with me. A lot of unnecessary feedback and buzzing in the headsets. Any solutions to this would be appreciated.

Link to other reviews:

Gun Holsters & Gear

Price point:

MSRP = $199.99

Retail = $119.99 on Amazon

I need it now! Availability:


Our Rating:


  • Excellent Noise cancellation

  • Uses AA batteries

  • Bluetooth

  • Auto Shut-off

  • Fits over hat button


  • Static sound

  • Headband comfort

Score: 7.50 Good



Favorite Link:   ABC House Benefit Match


Decibullz Custom Molded Percussive Shooting Ear Plugs

  As shooters, we all know that good hearing protection is needed. Usually opting for over the ear style. Or most likely, amplified earmuffs so you can still hear other people talking, while cutting out the harsh noise of the gun shot. Sometimes the earmuffs can lift off your head slightly and now you have lost the benefit of them. Well, Decibullz has come out with a percussive filter, custom molded in ear, earplug.

  Decibullz had made standard moldable earplugs for a while. But they recently introduced their new Percussive Filter ones. The percussive filter cuts out harmful noise, while allowing you to still hear relatively normally. Not quite like the amplified muffs we are use to. These do not require any batteries! Granted, they won't amplify sound, but they also don't lift up when pressed against a rifle stock. When I asked how much noise reduction they have, Decibullz said they have a Noise Reduction Rating of 32, so 32 NRR. But at normal levels like talking, it is rated at 10 NRR. So what does this mean for you? Well, it basically means that you can hear normal voices, but they are a little reduced in volume. But on the other side, they do a great job at cutting out loud volumes like gunshots.

  Probably one one the best features of the Decibullz percussive ear plugs, is they are custom moldable. When the earplugs first arrive, they are kind of bean shaped. Don't worry, this isn't how they are used, you must first mold them. To mold the earplugs to the shape of your ear, all it takes is hot water. First remove the filter and set it aside. Install the orange tip onto the plug. Then just boil some water on the stove. Once it is boiling, take it off the burner. Toss in one plug only, as they can stick together if you put both in at the same time. Wait 5 minutes, remove the plug with a spoon and let rest for 30 seconds. Install the filter. Now press the plug, filter, and orange tip into your ear, pressing to form it to your ear. Let sit in your ear for 5 more minutes. Now your done with that ear, do the same for the other plug. If you mess up, don't worry, because you can just do the process over again to remold it. One of the only problems with these being moldable in hot water is that they can unform in high heat environments, like a hot car in the summer. But if this happens, just remold them. Decibullz has a very good video on molding the different model of plugs on their website.

  After wearing these for some time now, I can honestly say they are great. So good that I ordered a set of the standard ones also. If your worried about fit, don't be, they are really comfortable, even for extended periods of time. The plugs also come with a plethora of tips to fit different size ear canals. Also included is a neat little carrying bag to store the plugs in. While using these I didn't have any problem hearing normal conversations, even if the were muted a small amount. When shooting rifles, they allowed me to get a much better cheek weld than I normally get with my electronic muffs. They also did an excellent job cutting noise from short barreled rifles and compensated rifles, and we know those can be loud. For right now they only come in black. The ones they supplied me with are orange, as you can see. I would expect them to be offered in the same colors as the rest of their product lines. The orange is actually nice because it is easier for range officials to see that you have your ear protection on. 

  I mentioned ordering a normal set, since the moldable part is the same, I'll talk about a different experience. These were for my wife. After molding them, she was not really getting any noise reduction. She tried the different size tips and the foam tips as recommended on the Decibullz website, but that didn't seem to help. If you pushed on them, they would work. We tried to remold them, and even though they fit a little better, the plugs did the same thing and didn't block noise. After reading some of the reviews on Amazon, we decided that that her ears are small and/or narrow. There seemed to just be too much plastic to mold and get a good fit in her ears. Since all of the Decibullz products are one size, you might want to be cautious if you have small ears. Maybe Decibullz will offer sizes some time in the future.

  On a side note. The plugs are hard, not soft or rubbery. But since they are molded to your ear, they are still comfortable. Installing them in your ear is self explanatory. I found that when removing them from my ear, it helped to pull your ear lobe out of the way and then kind of pop them out. That's how well they stay in. But if you don't want the percussive filters, and just want standard plugs, they do not come with the plug insert

  At first I was reluctant at how these Percussive filter plugs were going to work. I have used other brands that were said to do the same thing and didn't. But the Decibullz work! I am so glad that they sent me out a pair, because I know that I wouldn't have probably purchased them myself. Like I said before, I even purchased a non percussive set. If you don't like ear muffs, but want to hear sounds around you without loud noises damaging your hearing, these are the ticket. Go give Decibullz a look, They also make headphones that are custom moldable.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:

Custom molded noise cancelling earplugs

Target Market:

Shooters, hunters, or anyone around loud noises

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Custom molded  
  • Percussive filters
  • Remoldable
  • Work with other Decibullz products 
  • NRR of 32 db
  • NRR of 10 db under normal volumes  
  • Certified up to 166 db
  • Passive (no power needed)  

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?

None as of now, only black, but the standard earplugs are available in Black, Blue, Orange, Pink, and Red

What others are saying?:

None found. Product is too new with the percussive filters

Link to other reviews:

Spotter Up

Wide Open Spaces

Price point:

MSRP = $74.99

Retail = $74.99 on Amazon

I need it now! Availability:

Amazon or Decibullz

Our Rating:


  • Easy to mold
  • Remoldable
  • Comes with lots of sizes and types of inserts
  • Super quiet
  • No batteries to go dead  
  • Ultra comfortable  


  • Some reduction in normal sound
  • Can melt or deform under high heat (like a car dash) 
  • Don't come with standard plug inserts 
  • Don't work well for smaller ears

Score: 7.0 Good


Chad’s Favorite Link:  Axelson Tactical

Griffon Ind. Hearing Protection Cover

GriffonHearPro1 The Griffon Industries Hearing Protection Cover is an excellent addition to either a new or a used pair of electronic ear protection.  The cover is constructed of a ballistic nylon with a vented padding.  It is attached by some very strong hook and loop fastening.  The cover is made to go over the existing band that goes over your head.  The padding on the cover makes the ear protection much more comfortable and looks good also.  I purchased mine for my peltor tactical 6-s.  The plastic cover that came on my 6-s had split along the edge, this didn't really cause any problems, but I didn't like how it looked.  Griffon makes the hearing protection cover for 3 different manufactures of hearing protection:  The Peltor series, The MSA Sordin, and the popular Howard Leight.   It is also available in three patterns: Multicam (what I purchased), Kryptec Typhon, and AOR1 (Think Desert Digital).  A Griffon Industries patch also came with the cover and is intended to be put on the cover.  There is a nice pattern appropriate hook and loop fastener on the outer of the cover for this or other patches.  A small loop is also sewn into the center of the cover so that you can hook it somewhere when not in use.


Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Pointsgriffonhearpro4

Claim to Fame: Padded Hearing Protection cover

Target Market: Those who want a padded headband on there ear protection

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Padded
  • Loop for hanging up
  • Color pattern options
  • Comfortable

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?  Kryptec Typhon and AOR1

Price point: 

  • MSRP = $25-32 depending on pattern

I need it now! Availability: Griffon Industries

Our Rating:


  • Comfort
  • Style
  • Padded


  • Availability

Score: 8.5 Great85



Chad's favorite link: Hand Gun Radio

Beretta Hearing Protection Review

Beretta ear muffs Your hearing, once you loose it .... you can never get it back.  With that being said, proper hearing protection can not be stressed enough.  It doesn't matter whether you are shooting .22LR or a cannon, all of us should be stressing the importance of hearing protection.  OK, enough of the safety talk and now onto the main event.  Recently I purchased the above pictured Beretta Hearing Protection ear muffs.  I am normally a push in ear plug man, but I thought I would get myself something  different.  The Beretta ear muffs are low profile and fully adjustable.  However, they seem to require some breaking in or just loosening up.  Using them right out of the box, they just felt very stiff to adjust and get comfy.  As far as function, I had n0 problems what-so-ever.  I could hold a conversation with my friends and shoot well over 100 clays with a 12 gauge.  Overall I am very pleased with the product, but time will tell as I break them in.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Low profile and compact design for protection and value.

Target Market: All shooters who wish to keep their hearing in place.

FNB's:  (Features and Benefits of this product)

  • Fully adjustable
  • Compact
  • Protection of db-25
  • Lanyard attachment

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?:  Beretta offers these in green, blue and black.  Beretta USA

What others are saying?: 

  • Beretta USA reviewers are giving them 4.5 out of 5 stars.
  • Optics Planet - only 1 review posted and the user gave them 2 out of 5 stars.
  • Amazon reviewers are giving them 4 out of 5 stars.

Price Point:

I need it now! Availability: Readily available on-line at Beretta USA, Optics Plant and Amazon.

Our Rating:

+-Compact +-Adjustable +-Lanyard

--Need to be broken in/loosened up

Score: 8.5 Great85


Jared prefers Simon Peter Sport Company for all his FFL needs.

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