Design OverviewThe manufacturers really shifted the paradigm a bit with this set of protective earmuffs, when it comes to the design. They’ve managed to give hearing protection gear a nice modern look and feel with a very nice glossy finish to the ear-cups of the X-Series Over-the-Head muffs. Non-conductive materials used in the product means that the protection offered goes beyond your hearing.
The head-band has a nice split-bridge design which just distributes the unit’s weight more evenly, something you only truly appreciate the effects of when you’ve been out shooting for a long time and you’ve worn your earmuffs for a good few hours.
The cushions are themselves very soft and quite wide, which I guess was a necessity in order to provide the kind of comfort delivered. Let’s just say design-wise, this is a set of protective earmuffs you’ll he happy to show off to your fellow gun enthusiasts at the shooting range.
Features & Application
Forming part of the latest hearing preservation advancements in 3M’s range of products, the manufacturer’s X-Series offers some exciting and interesting features. This particular product, the X5A, delivers a very high Noise Reduction Rating of a colossal 31dB. This means that environments of extremely high noise levels can be made a lot more comfortable, which comes in handy if putting up with noisy environments is more out of necessity than just a shooting hobby you enjoy once in a while. Even the foam used inside the functionally shaped ear-cups is a bit different to foam filler used in many other protective earmuffs.
Although you can’t see it just by looking at the earmuffs, the headband’s inner skeleton is made of wire, which is perhaps what accounts for just the right amount of pressure to hold the earmuffs in position while shooting, running and moving in all sorts of direction, while comfort is maintained as they’re not too tight.
These earmuffs are quite bulky to be honest, but all the design technology that only adds to the huge 31dB rating has to fit in somewhere, does it not? For one, you can replace the ear cushions and the foam lining as well, which simply means you have a very hygienic set of earmuffs. Electrical insulation means that industrial environments with many occupational hazards are made considerably safer.
It’s very easy to take design features such as pivoting and tilting ear-cups for granted, but it’s an overall combination of these features which come together to make this a very comfortable set of earmuffs with one of the highest NR Ratings around.
This is hearing protection in its purest form which means no electronics to amplify low ambient sounds, but you definitely get protection from loud and damaging noises, including noisy neighbors who can’t resist blasting their music at full volume. So basically you must choose between hearing soft-talking or fully blocking out harmful noises.
- Very attractive and modern design
- Quite light in weight, especially considering how bulky and big they are
- The internally-wired headband offers electrical insulation to add to safety standards
- Split headband design offers great comfort by minimizing the build-up of heat and irritation
- Replaceable cushions are soft, concave and offer great comfort by minimizing the pressure applied directly to the ear-contact area
- These earmuffs are quite bulky, even though they’re not as heavy as the volume of space they take up suggests – they take up a lot of space
- Not the most tough-built earmuffs you’ll find. They seem as if they’re not as durable as one might ideally like them to be
There are so many risks associated with operating in environments that give off very high noise levels and this set of protective earmuffs seems to have been purpose designed and built to take on such environments. Naturally then, industrial environments are best suited for these earmuffs, while gun enthusiasts who enjoy spending a few hours at the shooting range will have to make do with a complete noise reduction solution. 31dB which is invariable due to these being foam / non-electronic earmuffs means that all you get is what’s important, which is hearing protection that is very comfortable.