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Thread: Elvex hearing protector review

  1. #1
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    Default Elvex hearing protector review

    I don't know if anyone is interested, but I have not written much here lately, so I will blab about this. I have been looking for a decent set of electronic hearing protectors for a little while now. I purchased a generic pair at Cabela's last year, but never really got to like them that much. They seemed to do the job okay, but did not cover my ears very well, and that kind of bothered me. I own a pair of Peltor Worktunes for work, and while they work very well, they do not have sound amplification and dampening. They are just plain ole earmuffs with a radio and MP3 jack built in.

    The electronic earmuffs are desirable for me because I have lived with significant hearing loss since I was six years old. It is not getting any better. They allow me to boost the gain so I can hear what is being said on the range or in my shop without have to constantly remove and replace the gear. Also, reading a thread here a few weeks back, someone mentioned using them in a home defense situation - something that had not occurred to me. I really don't want to go deaf in the process of exterminating some vermin who broke into my house. And the idea of wearing hearing protection that could enhance my ambient hearing, so as to hear said vermin creeping about more easily, makes it even better. I was all set to buy another set of Peltors. I have experience with Peltor, and I don't mind spending money for tools that work. But to get to 26 dB of reduction, I was looking at $159.00 and change! Peltor also makes a 24 dB reduction model, for a mere $137.00, but knowing that the 26 dB was out there, that was what I was aiming for. Things got worse when I noticed that the expected ship time was listed in months instead of days. So I kept looking.

    It did not take long to find the Elvex website. I recognized the name, and so I did some reading. I came across several models, two of which seemed to fit what I wanted in the way of features. The COM-550 were described as "mil spec" folding muffs with stereo sound and 25 dB of noise reduction. Reading along a little further, I found the COM-655, with the same features and specifications of the former, but with the electronics tuned to dampen industrial noise as well. They did not fold, but that did not matter to me. What did matter was the 25 dB reduction rating, and the tuning for industrial noise, since that is exactly what I experience in my shop. That and gunshots are the biggest noise threats in my life. So I ordered a pair. The price was $59.95, or approximately $100 less than the Peltors I was prepared to purchase.

    I ordered them Monday night, to be specific, and by Wednesday morning they were sitting on my doorstep (so to speak). I ordered through Amazon, and the order was fulfilled by Adorama Camera in NYC. The best part was, I was planning a range trip today to sight in a couple of pistols.

    The muffs themselves are black and gray, so if you are looking for something bright and cheerful, keep looking. They are comfortable, and cover my whole ear. Most things in life just aren't quite big enough for me, and I make do with small stuff, relatively speaking. I don't have big flap ears like some I have seen, but my ears are proportional to my body, so they are big anyway. Being non folding, the electronics are controlled by one knob - on, off, and volume control. There are stereo speakers, one in each muff, to aid in directional hearing. In addition, there is a jack for an MP3 player. I needed a screwdriver to get the cover off to install the included batteries. It is not something that I will need to do on a real frequent basis, so I can live with that.

    At the range, they performed beautifully. I was shooting two .22 pistols. The boom was cut off, and the sound returned fast enough that I could still hear the supersonic crack - after it went below 82 dB of course. I write that based on the literature provided. I did not have any sort of measuring instrumentation with me other than my own ears. Being that it was only 28 degrees at the range, they kept my ears warm too! Now, someone might say, .22 LR isn't much of a test for hearing protectors. That's like the guys who tell me that the chainsaw isn't that loud. There is a reason for that. But just to be thorough, I unleashed a full cylinder (seven shots) from my S&W .357 mag. These are 158 gr wadcutters, loaded pretty hot. They are not a lot of fun to shoot out of a 17 oz gun, let me tell you. And they are as loud as they kick too. For all shots, the electronics dampened the sound to a dull thump. The response time is four milliseconds.

    I also tried out the MP3 connection. While I would not classify these muffs as high quality stereo listening devices, they aren't really intended to be that. They should work just fine for things like listening to music while mowing the grass. I don't know that I can listen to Mozart, but I should be able to hear Molly Hatchet.

    Overall, my initial impression is very positive. They appear to be at least as well made as my Peltors, which I have had for a few years now. At almost 1/3 the price, that is not hard to take. Of course, final judgment will be rendered after I have had them for a while, but I would not be worried about recommending them at this point if someone were to be looking for a product like this.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Elvex hearing protector review

    Thanks for the review! I've been looking at picking up a nice set of Electronic ear pro but the price has precluded me from getting the MSA or Peltor. Looks like a good alternative and if equally effective then a good buy! If you don't mind can you follow up in 6 months with how they are doing, or if you have any problems?

    Cheers!
    Quote Originally Posted by GunLawyer001 View Post
    Buy a silencer.

    Tax: $200
    Cost of effective 5.56 suppressor: $500
    Letting the elderly neighbors sleep in until morning: Priceless.

    "132 and Bush I've got him at gun point, OK gun point, 132 and bush, cover is code 3"

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Elvex hearing protector review

    Quote Originally Posted by ithinkimamedic View Post
    If you don't mind can you follow up in 6 months with how they are doing, or if you have any problems?
    I'm planning on it.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Elvex hearing protector review

    Quote Originally Posted by PennsyPlinker View Post
    I'm planning on it.

    Excellent! I've also heard a lot of good things about "pro ears" but they fall into that expensive range so I'm hoping you have found a good alternative.
    Quote Originally Posted by GunLawyer001 View Post
    Buy a silencer.

    Tax: $200
    Cost of effective 5.56 suppressor: $500
    Letting the elderly neighbors sleep in until morning: Priceless.

    "132 and Bush I've got him at gun point, OK gun point, 132 and bush, cover is code 3"

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Elvex hearing protector review

    I just spent about an hour with them on while I ran the snowblower in our parking space (it's a big parking space). They are very comfortable, and cut the machine noise way down. When I turned the machine off, I could call to Mrs. Plinker, who was almost 100 ft away, and hear her better with them on than with them off.

    Here is a lousy camera phone picture of my two good sets together. Elvex is on the right, Peltor on the left.



    It is hard to see, but the Peltors have an antenna on the right hand side, obscured by a Maxpedition cell phone holder. I spend 2-2.5 hours on the tractor every time I cut the grass, so that holds my XM portable receiver. It looks funny, and I am sure the neighbors think I am some sort of eccentric, but I can listen to live satellite music while I cut the grass. I tried tucking the XM in my pocket, but it did not receive a signal there. The Elvex are capable of the same thing, but I think the sound quality of the Peltors might be just a little better.

    The red blob on the Elvex is the on/off switch and the black button on the bottom below that is the input jack for an MP3 player.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Elvex hearing protector review

    Excellent review. I will have to get a pair as I have been looking to do so for awhile now. Thanks!

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