Having been around firearms and artillery for many years, it has definitely started to take its toll on my hearing. I’m also one of those people who don’t like large obtrusive earmuffs getting in the way of my activities. I was pretty excited when I was recently given the chance to try out the Etymotic GSP-15 GunSport Pro Electronic Earplugs.
Opening the package, you will find very compact devices that look more hearing aids than traditional hearing protection. They are small, lightweight, and each one has a flip switch and a battery door. I like the simplicity of them because there is nothing too crazy to get bumped, dials accidentally turned to the wrong setting, or pieces snapping off. The earplugs feel like they are nicely made and both the fit and finish are high-quality.
The Etymotic GunSport PRO come with an assortment of tips and tools, as well as a thin plastic lanyard. I found the various tips easy to change out and swapping out the batteries was a breeze. The GunSport PRO uses size 10 hearing aid batteries so tossing an extra pack in my Griffon Muff Sack left me more than enough room for lickies and chewies. The profile of the GunSport PRO is very small in your ear and there are zero issues when dropping down behind a bolt gun. Due to them being in ear, you don’t get the headache from trying to wear a cap under normal muffs or have issues with your sunglasses going all crazy. This was a key feature for me and one that I’m definitely willing to pay for. At the end of the day, comfort is key.
The GunSport PRO have two modes of operation: Automatic Hearing Protection (“LO”) and Hearing Enhancement (“HI”). Both settings give you 15db of blast protection, which is great when the yahoo next to you decides to fire off a hand cannon unannounced. I have used the GunSport PRO during recent MOTUS range days and the Hearing Enhancement kicks in with just a simple flip of the switch. This made it very easy to hear instructions from safeties without having to keep taking my hearing protection in and out or straining to hear what was being said.
In addition to use at the range, I have jogged in them, sweat on them, and worked out in them. The entire time they have stayed in place and been quite comfortable. Short of running the rain or taking them on a scuba trip, I have been comfortable with the moisture resistance. So far, so good when it comes to using them. While I plan on doing some further testing, the Etymotic GunSport PRO have earned a permanent place in my range bag for its size, convenience, and price point. Take it from me, I’m starting to pay now for years of taking my hearing for granted. Investing in quality ear pro will help you in the long run. My only minor complaint is that there is no complete “OFF” setting or switch. The battery door has to be opened and the circuit disconnected to power down the earplugs.
The Etymotic GSP-15 GunSport Pro Electronic Earplugs retail for $299. Included in the box are: 1 pair of electronic earplugs, assortment of ACCU-Fit eartips, neck cord, filter tool and ACCU-Filters, cleaning tool, batteries (#10), protective transport and storage case, and a user manual. For more information about the GunSport PRO, or to learn about the other hearing protection options available from Etymotic, visit their website.