A blog by Bob Rich. Squirrel Hunting, Henry Rifles, Reloading, Range Shooting and More!


Thursday, June 1, 2017

PRODUCT REVIEW: Pro Hear II, for sound amplification and suppression?

The first half of this story was originally posted way back on 7/8/2011

Over the coming month I'll be field testing a digital sound amplifier and hearing protection unit by Pro Ears called Pro Hear II. If you follow this blog you know that I've been wearing a pair of Pro-Ears Pro Muffs whenever revolver hunting or shooting at the range for the past few years and I couldn't be happier with them. For Father's Day I received a cowboy-style NRA hat that I can't wear when shooting because the muffs can't fit over it. I contacted Altus Brands and they recommended their Pro-Hear II unit. It looks similar to a small hearing aid that plugs into the ear with a tiny unit about an inch long that goes behind the ear.

The set comes with a good set of plugs that you use to block the other ear. If this works correctly, my right ear should hear amplified sound while filtering gunshots and the left ear will be blocked. I often shoot with large caliber guns on either side, so I always double plug (ear plugs w/ Pro Ears muffs over the top). Without both my ears double-plugged they are guaranteed to be ringing. I still have a hard time believing that these tiny units will replace standard hearing protection, but I'll test them and let you know how they work. If they don't do the job at the range, they should be great for hunting, especially when it's too hot to wear muffs. Check back for the test.

First you must know that these plugs are not the hearing protection they advertise. I wore them to the range and when my buddy shot his 1911, I found out the hard way. Hands immediately over ears and I ran for my muffs. I WAS PISSED! These plugs do almost NOTHING to limit gunshot volume.
 "I would recommend using two cigarette butts in your ears over these things
6/1/2017 Report
Over the coming years I wore this hearing amplifier numerous times during my squirrel hunts. I always returned with them in my pocket. It's basically nothing more than a cheap hearing aid. The kind that gives feedback when it gets near anything, you turn your head or turn up the volume. When the volume gets high enough to do any good, the deafening feedback forced me to turn the volume so low that they do nothing. Very frustrating. I finally gave up on them and started using my amplified range Pro-Ears headset. They work great, amplifying 9X and never a bit of feedback. You can literally hear a pin drop.

The in-ear amplifier, Pro-Hear II totally failed the test, but the Pro-Ears muffs work great. Now you know. I just checked their website and I'm amazed that they still sell them, but now they go for $270! With hearing aids you get what you pay for so the more expensive models ($370 & $450) might work without the feedback. It's also possible that they could have improved the electronics to reduce the feedback, but there's no way to know that. They look exactly the same. Considering that they all use the same kind of foam plug, I would never recommend any of them for hearing protection. Pro-Ears still advertises them this way:
"The Pro Hear II is a low-profile in ear sound amplification and suppression in one device"
I would recommend using two cigarette butts in your ears over these things. If you'd like to check them out for yourself, here's the link. http://proears.com/prohear-2. If you've purchased a pare and you feel differently feel free to add your comments below.

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