I took these products through their paces over the past month or two and am very pleased with what I found. I’ve been using a lower level set of Peltor ear protection since last year, and loved them, but THESE are a whole other set of awesome!
Power wise, the Peltor 500 electronic earmuffs take two AA batteries, which is a feature I love. AA batteries are always easy to find. No running around trying to find odd size batteries right before a match. I’ve got a bunch of half-used lithium AA batteries left from when I swapped them out of my game camera, so this is a good way to use them up and ought to keep me powered for years. These muffs also have a USB rechargeable battery pack option, if you are a “rechargeable” kind of person. I personally tend not to be proactive enough for that, but if you are – this jam’s for you.
Also in the power department, I like that there is a “battery low” warning that signals the wearer every ten minutes. That’s an advantage at a match. It’s nice to have some warning to replace the batteries before they just cut out on you mid-stage. There is also an auto shut-off feature with options of two hours or four hours. This is helpful for those of us *Ahem* who forget to turn off our ear protection before dropping them into the range bag.
The Peltor Tactical 500’s are also Bluetooth compatible. This will be extremely helpful for me when I am on-call while at the range. Pairing to my iPhone was a snap and there was an audible “Bluetooth Connected” voice confirmation.
I tested this feature out on the range recently while someone else was shooting. I listened to a variety of my favorite music. I’m a fan of a cappella and close vocal harmony, so my choices sometimes challenge cheaper speakers.
The audio quality from these Peltors was wonderful and did not interfere at all with the noise suppression from the gunfire. I also tried a phone call to myself and this worked very well too.
Additional features of these great electronic muffs include:
-Clear Voice Tracking Technology – which seeks voice tones out from background noise to help make conversation (and range commands) clearer.
-Adaptive Suppression Time – which sets suppression time to the measured energy in the gunshot.
-Dosimeter – allows for increased audio input volume in noisy environments.
-Limiter – sets audio input maximum sound pressure to a level of 82 decibels.
All of the above features can turned on or off via the setup menu.
The on/off button on these ear muffs is easy to find by feel, and gives an audible “Power on”/“Power off” voice confirmation. The volume controls are also easily palpable on the right ear cup while the muffs are being worn. I like that I don’t have to take them off in order to fumble with buttons. Having to take your muffs off to mess with them kind of defeats the purpose of ear protection, ya know? No worries with this design.
The Peltor Tactical 500 cushioned ear cups provided a comfortable fit and excellent sound suppression when using my Aero Precision AR 308 (the loudest gun I own). I tested this not only from behind the trigger, but also from behind and to the side of another shooter using a muzzle brake. I felt the concussion from the brake in my chest, but it did not have the same effect on my hearing. The noise suppression was very effective. The Peltor Tactical 500 earmuffs have a listed Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 26 decibels with proper fit and use.
The 3M SecureFit safety glasses are easily my favorite range glasses. Unlike virtually every other kind of eye protection I have worn over the years, these do NOT give me a headache. The temples are soft and flexible and do not dig into my scalp under pressure from my ear muffs. The nosepieces are soft and comfortable also.
Mine came in a 3-pack with lens colors of clear, sunglass “shaded”, and a smoky gray “indoor/outdoor”. This gives me options for days when the weather starts out cloudy but brightens up as the afternoon wears on.
These range glasses are listed as blocking 99% UV and are impact resistant with an ANSI Z87.1 rating. The sunglasses version is cool-enough looking for non-dorky street wear, too. This is a plus for travel. Why pack another set of sunglasses for the drive to the match when you can just wear your SecureFits on AND off the range?
In the same vein, I’ll be flying to Texas for a hunt in November, and I plan to use my Peltor 500’s as in-flight audiobook listeners. Why pack another set of earphones when these will be in my carry-on anyway? Multi-use for the win!
I heartily recommend both the Peltor Sport Tactical 500 Earmuffs and the 3M SecureFit 400 series safety eyewear if you are looking for high quality and functionality in your personal protective equipment. I think they are the bees knees.