It was time to replace my old, cracked, head-abrading protective ear protection. The search for a replacement set had 3 criteria: above-standard decibel protection compared to other muffs, electronic enhancement of conversation, and relative comfort for all-day put on. Soon after an comprehensive net search and an encounter with a pair of “ears” that was so uncomfortable I returned them, the search lastly ended with Walker’s Xcel 100 digital electronic earpro.
Walker’s is emerging as a single of the household names in hearing protection for shooting. These muffs are a amongst the most effective-featured I discovered in the beneath-$300 category.
For starters, they’re not in the way. I can nonetheless get a cheek weld or rest my cheek on my bicep in rollover prone, thanks to the slim, straight-sided outer case. And hey, can we all just admit right here that every person prefers not casting a shadow that appears like there are two tennis balls glued to their ears?
The electronics on this solution are complete-featured, and shooting-certain. Multi-directional microphones choose up sound with fantastic accuracy—so a lot, in truth, that standard conversation is amplified. But this strong function would be fatiguing with no some adjustability. The Xcel 100 delivers. Not only is the volume of what the wearer hears adjustable there are also settings to concentrate on a selection of 1) Universal—to make every little thing that is not a blast sound louder, two) Voice clarity, three) Higher frequency—to amplify the ring of steel on these lengthy-variety hits, and four) Energy increase mode, for basic enhanced volume of non-damaging sounds.
As a frequent headache sufferer, I didn’t take nicely to a different brand’s electronic muffs that painfully squeezed my temporomandibular joint. By moving a lot of the electronics to the headband, as an alternative of the ear cups, Walker’s innovated the way electronic muffs match and really feel. Possessing most of that weight a tiny larger delays the onset of earpro fatigue.
The muffs are shipped with two AA batteries, and these occupy a single of the ear cups. In contrast to other e-muffs, the controls for the Xcel 100 are on the headband. There are 4: on/off, hearing mode, volume up volume down. Some have complained that the controls are really hard to operate in the course of put on I haven’t discovered this to be correct with a tiny believed committed to which is which. The controls are uncomplicated to inform apart by tactile make contact with. A female voice informs the wearer when modes are becoming changed, saving the wearer from possessing to guess or test these muffs although operating on far more critical points.
I have discovered voice clarity mode, with the hearing volume at the reduced finish of the variety, is fairly efficient for amplifying conversations in the course of class although minimizing wind noise. Wind roar is by no means pleasant, and these muffs do amplify it slightly, but it is nonetheless significantly less fatiguing than possessing no earpro on in the course of a incredibly windy day. There is no annoying crackle at the starting or finish of conversations as with some electronic muffs.
Of the a lot of functions this set delivers, the a single I like most effective is the automatic shutoff and warning thereof. Shutoff can be set to occur just after two, 4, or six hours of powering the unit on. When the time for shutoff is close to, a single minute to be precise, the subtle voice challenges a notification. A easy push of any butt on the unit resets it for a new time cycle. This is a fantastic battery saver! Turning the unit off manually calls for holding down the energy button for about 3 seconds. As with other mode modifications, a modest tone notifies the user that it is powering off.
To make a very good point superior, these muffs are superior to a lot of other individuals of their type exactly where sound protection is concerned. With a noise reduction rating of 26 decibels, they present superior protection for the valuable sense of hearing than a lot of. Did I mention the matte, desert tan colour goes with every little thing?
If you have to have Bluetooth, there’s a Bluetooth version of these muffs also, the Xcel 500BT.
These muffs have been a boon to my perform on the variety as a student and teacher, and I hope they continue to be provided by Walker’s, a Texas corporation that guarantees these muffs with a mail-in warranty. If I have any complaint, it is that the warranty method is requirements an on the web alternative.
Most outlets have Walker’s Xcel 100 Digital Electronic ear muffs for just more than $100. I discovered a fantastic deal at earplugstore.com with shipping the muffs had been $91.00. Surely an item to place on any shooter’s present list!