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Recently, the kind folks at Walker’s “ear pro” company sent their newest product for testing and evaluation, as well as humoring my request for a low-tech product of theirs as well. I was pleasantly surprised by both.

Razor Digital X-TRM Muff

This is Walker’s newest contribution to the electronic ear protection arena. The “Razor” label means the design follows the company’s recent trend of making low-profile, good-looking protective ear muffs that make it easier to get a cheek weld.

The electronics in the device are powered by two AAA batteries, supplied with purchase. An internal, multi-directional mic does a great job of amplifying voices. Even with existing hearing challenges, I find the lowest volume of mic helpful with minimal interference from wind. Though suppression of wind noise is built into the system, I have yet to find ear muffs that don’t sound noisy when winds are around 15 mph or greater. With that much wind, it’s easier to simply turn the amplifier off.

User comfort is where the X-TRM Muff really shines in comparison to most. Walker’s revamped the lining of the headband, opting for a breathable, padded mesh rather than typical vinyl. For people who get annoyed with headband heat and sweat, this is a great advancement.

Ease of use is further enhanced by super-flexible, gel-filled ear cups. They mold around the ear to seal out sound very well, including molding themselves around branches of eyeglasses. I experience no eyeglass pressure and pain with these as I do with other ear muffs. The vinyl ear cups do create a sweat ring around my ears, but skipping the sunglass headaches I associate with all-day wear is worth it.

If you want to use an audio device with a headphone jack while shooting or doing other loud activities, the X-TRMs make that possible. A discreetly-placed headphone jack allows for connecting a device with the cord secured down the back of a shirt. I haven’t used the jack, but am appreciative of the apparent improvement in the rubber cover for the jack. Unlike my older Walker’s muffs, the jack cover stays neatly in place.

Color choices for the X-TRM are black or light gray, both in matte finish. The X-TRM’s reduction rating is 23. Price is $99.99 by direct order.

Passive Neckband with Retractable Plugs
Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best. This earpro device is a simple, arc-shaped plastic band that rests around the base of the neck or around the outside of a collar. On each open end of the arc are foam earplugs, attached to strings that retract back into the arc when not in use.

The set comes with three sizes of foam plugs. I especially like it because the band allows me to both wear a brimmed hat that protects my skin in the hot sun. At the same time, I never lose my “foamies” nor do they get gunked up with hay dust or whatever else is in my jeans pockets.

Perhaps best is the level of hearing protection the plugs offer. They’re rated 31 for noise reduction. It’s no secret that foam earplugs offer better hearing protection than muffs, as a rule.

The one drawback to this elegantly simple device is that it tends to interfere with a sling. Although it would be fine with the luxury of time to carefully coordinate the two accessories, it tended to get jerked around when on the clock. Consequentially, so did the earplugs.

Walker’s price for the Passive Neckband is $24.99. It’s a small price for the satisfaction I get from having comfortable, hat-friendly, convenient, and effective hearing protection.

The company has added other new products in the past two years. If you’re in the market for ear pro, you ow it to yourself to check them out.

The post Hearing Protection from Walker’s: a Review of Two Products appeared first on AllOutdoor.com.

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