ProSounds X-Pro Earplugs
Andy and Tami McDaniels 08.20.15
Years of hunting and range time have affected my hearing ability and range. While the norm for my generation was to not wear hearing protection, times are changing. Shooters have learned from the mistakes of the past and are looking for hearing protection to fits their particular needs.
ProSounds’ new X-Pro Earplugs seek to fulfill those needs, They’re small earpieces with a push-to-hear button that actuates an internal valve. This valve allows natural sounds to pass through while providing up to 30 decibels of noise reduction when closed.
ProSounds is the parent company of SportEAR, which made a name for itself in the custom-molded hearing enhancement and protection market. The designers and engineers at SportEAR have over 50 years of experience in producing hearing aids and have transitioned to producing products for the outdoor and recreational markets.
The X-Pro Earplugs are not available to the public yet, but I was given a pair to test out for myself.
A friend and I went to the local gun club to run the plugs through their paces. The X-Pro earplugs are packaged with the two earpieces, a carry case, one set of silicon tips, and both medium- and large-sized foam tips. I opted to use the medium foam tips.
The X-Pros fit snugly in my ear and muffled even the loudest muzzle blasts from a nearby rifle. The earpieces are made of smooth, medical-grade plastic with a reinforced silicon secure-fit extender that allows them to fit snugly in most ears. They weigh less than a tenth of an ounce, and I hardly noticed them.
When talking with my buddy, I could quickly push the button and open the valve. The open valve allows enough noise through for effective communication but still provides up to 19 decibels of protection from unannounced reports. When we weren’t speaking, I would click the button again and have maximum protection. The sleek profile of the earplugs also allows shooters to double up with earmuffs if they want to.
We stuck it out at the range in the summer heat for two hours shooting handguns, rifles, and shotguns. I felt completely protected while shooting and enjoyed the ability to switch back and forth without removing my hearing protection. As anyone with range experience knows, sometimes you forget to replace your plugs after going hot and send a round downrange, blasting your ears. Never having to remove the X-Pros eliminates this issue.
One of the best uses I see for X-Pros will be during duck season. I spend 30 to 40 days hunting ducks each year. I often hunt with friends, and being able to switch back and forth from maximum protection to hearing each other will be very much appreciated.
The MSRP for the X-Pros will be $24.99. While disposable foam plugs are priced lower, the X-Pros earplugs are washable and reusable, cutting out the hassle and continued costs of replacing disposable plugs.
To kick off the product launch of the X-Pros, ProSounds started a Kickstarter campaign in July to help create awareness of this new product. Backers of the campaign will be the first to receive the earplugs and also receive a 32 percent discount on their purchase. It’s a great opportunity to get the hearing protection you need at a discounted rate but the special offer ends on August 22.