Digital, inside-the-ear hearing protection has made great strides in recent years. The chief advancement has been compression and amplification technology which allows small, portable earplugs to soften or mute loud, impactful sounds—like gun fire—while also amplifying softer tones. The benefit for shooters is effective protection that still allows for conversation and hearing range commands, in a small package that will not interfere with headgear or obtaining a good cheek weld. The drawback, however, has been price—high-quality digital ear-pro commands a premium, often $500 to more than $1000 (for custom-fit units).
Silencer earplugs from Walker’s represent another advancement, this time in affordability. Offering good sound compression and amplification, universal fit—a variety pack of silicone and foam ear buds and Secure-Lock sizing fins—and clear audio transmission, Walker’s has also made some design improvements over similar, competitive options: robust volume dials and on/off switches; a protected battery compartment (for #10 batteries, one per plug); and the inclusion of a lanyard to connect the two units. But, of course, the most notable improvement is the price, Walker’s Silencer is tagged at just $230, and often found closer to $180 at retail locations. Contact: Walker’s, LLC; (877) 269-8490; gsmoutdoors.com