If you’ve ever had a pair of custom molded hearing protection made, you know the advantages; improved noise blocking capability, light weight, and they don’t get in your way when you shoulder a long gun. The main drawback has been the cost. And while a variety of do-it-yourself solutions have been on the market for a while — and I’ve tried a number of them — the quality has been, well, spotty.
Decibullz think they have a better idea. Their design is a hybrid using a standard, silicone flange type plug that’s inserted in your ear canal. They’re attached to a custom molded exterior ear piece that’s molded to conform to your ears’ shape.
Their mold-them-youself plug designs come in two versions. The Custom Molded Earplugs are passive noise blockers with a removable external plug you can pull out when you want to carry on a conversation. They run about $25.
They call their active suppression model Percussive Shooting Filters. They feature a filter that reacts mechanically to the sound impulse of a gunshot and protect your hearing while letting you carry on a normal conversation when the gunfire stops (at about a 10 dB noise reduction). They won’t amplify ambient noise like electronic plugs, but they don’t require batteries either and they’re much more affordable. Price: $75.
Both models are re-moldable and provide 31dB of hearing protection. That’s about 5-7 dB more noise reduction than typical over-the-ear muffs give you.
If you shoot very often — and you should — a pair of these would be an affordable way to provide more hearing protection in a lighter package. They’s be a big plus in indoor ranges where the sound can be particularly intense. We hope to give them a try soon.