The phrase “a new broom sweeps clean” has never rung truer than in the case of this new version of the Howard Leight Impact Sport Green Electronic Folding Earmuffs. These are one of the best sellers earmuffs in the market today.
The physical appearance element of its predecessor has basically remained the same, featuring a very streamlined overall design with a headband that has a low-profile for uninhibited use in the most obstruction-filled shooting environments. The ear-cups also follow a slim profile and they don’t protrude outwards beyond the headband, so they really won’t get in your way or catch the edges of obstructions which could send the whole unit flying off. The green-and-black color scheme works well for visual appeal but works even better on a practical consideration level for both indoor (shooting range) and outdoor (hunting) shooting.
Features & Application
In action, what this improved version of the Howard Leight Impact Sport OD Electric Earmuffs (Green) gives you is greater amplification, which is now at 4x, one level better than before (previously 3x). You also get a battery compartment which is much easier to access as well as a slight improvement on the net weight of the unit, which is now 0.9374 pounds after previously weighing in at 1.1 pounds.
All these improvements translate into a great set of protective earmuffs which gives you an indicated NR Rating of 22dB. However, upon testing indoors at the shooting range and outdoors (just shooting and hunting with fellow hobbyists), it’d be safe to say that the 22 dB NR Rating is achieved outdoors. You still get adequate protection indoors, but for some reason (maybe because of the enclosed, walled nature of a typical shooting range), the noise from something like a pistol seems better drowned out when you shoot outside as opposed to inside the indoor range.
The two AAA sized batteries used power up electronic functions such as MP3 music and directional sound amplification for about 350 hours, which is great because the batteries do come included as well.
What it ultimately comes down to is this: if you’re mowing the lawn, working in a noisy industrial environment or shooting outdoors, this is a great set of protective earmuffs, both for blocking out really loud impulse noises and amplifying those noises you still want to hear, like people’s voices and natural ambient sounds.
- The battery storage compartment now offers much easier and more convenient access
- The two AAA batteries it uses for power come included with the unit
- Convenient auto-power off feature to save battery life when the electronics aren’t in use
- One of the best protective earmuffs for persons (such as industrial workers) whose hearing is impaired
- “Good-sound” amplification is limited to a safe level of 82dB
- Directional microphones not only recreate natural or “wanted” noises/sounds, but enhance them by amplifying them so that you can clearly make them out
- Very useful AUX input for compatible signals
- Although this set of earmuffs is very solidly built for durability, the audio attenuation could still do with some improvement. Perhaps the 22dB NRR needs some reviewing, but then again it could just come down to the fit, which brings us to the next con
- The noise reduction material doesn’t seem to have been installed directly in that area of the ear-cups closest to the eardrum opening. That may be the reason for my doubts around the 22dB rating, which becomes even more apparent when one uses the earmuffs indoors versus outdoors. Great noise reduction outdoors, which seems pretty consistent with the 22 dB rating, but indoors at a shooting range I’d give a rough guess of only up to 18dB noise reduction. Try it with a pistol and you’ll see exactly what I mean
Excellent quality in their build, so these earmuffs will last you a long time, even if you use them very heavily. These earmuffs double-up as passive ear protection, with this passive protective mode, effectively activating when the audio levels reach 82dB and beyond. Basically, if you’re a shooter or industrial worker, you get good protection from high-impulse noises while maintaining the ability to hear your shooting buddies or co-workers.