I’ve always been more of an ear-muffs kind of guy at the range. Earbuds always tended to fall out, or I’d lose them, or the sound quality sucked. The guys at Axil asked me to give their latest GS Extreme 2.0 earbuds a try, and I agreed, not approaching them with much confidence. After a few weeks of use, I’m quite impressed with their performance, and they’ve become more than my first choice for use at the range.
Basics and Breakdown of the GS Extreme 2.0
These are electronic earbuds that provide you with three different products in one. First, they are noise isolation headphones that can effectively reduce loud noises by 29dBs when used as directed, and with foam tips, you get 19 dB of noise reduction With or without battery power. While these things are electronic, they don’t need battery power to effectively provide hearing protection.
With battery power, you do get a few more features, well, a buttload more. Like electronic ear muffs, you get hearing enhancement. The hearing enhancement shuts off when a noise reaches 85dB and blocks all noise in fractions of a second. The GS Extreme 2.0 earbuds also act as wireless Bluetooth headphones.
Those two features can even work independently of each other as well. I mean completely independently. I can shut off the enhancement or Bluetooth and use one without the other. That’s why I’m calling these my self-defense earbuds.
I like to work out. Part of that is running and rucking. My son aims to join the middle school basketball team, so we’ve been running daily. I love listening to music while I work out, but I hate losing my situational awareness. While the GS Extreme 2.0 Earbuds are meant for the range, they work damn well for a run.
The noise enhancement allows me to maintain my situational awareness and the Bluetooth design allows Biggie and Cradle of Filth to serenade me on my run. I can adjust the volume of the music independently from the volume of my hearing enhancement. My head stays on a swivel, and I can run fast and far. Well, I can do one or the other.
Headphones and earbuds made for shooting are super well known for having a high degree of audio quality. However, the GS Extreme 2.0 earbuds do something different, a lot different. The Bluetooth sound quality is off the charts good. They aren’t a compromise in sound quality by any means.
I can hear Ghostface Killah perfectly. The external sound that’s enhanced isn’t as crisp, but it’s clear, and I can have conversations without issue, and hear vehicles approaching, animals in the brush, or a potential threat approaching.
Battery life is 8 hours when using a combination of hearing enhancement and audio. It’s nine hours when using audio-only and 25 hours using hearing enhancement only. Recharging is easy, and you plug it into a USB cord and let it rip.
At the Range
Yeah, they let me play music provide me with great situational awareness, but how do they function at their intended purpose? Do the GS Extreme 2.0 headphones protect your ears from the loud and frequent gunfire? Yep, they sure as heck do. Handguns, rifles, shotguns, and even rifle caliber pistols don’t offer much resistance to the GS Extreme 2.0 earbuds.
The main test for these would be the famed Draco, and under the intensity of a short-barreled 7.62×39, they preserved. Meaning my ears weren’t ringing or even discomforted as I lit off some 7.62 from that fireball breathing barrel.
I never felt half concussed due to gunfire, even with multiple shooters and muzzle brakes occupying the line. I appreciated that when it came to rifles and shotguns, my face could obtain a good cheek weld while I shoot. Muff can’t provide that same level of comfort when shoulders a long gun.
The GS Extreme 2.0 headphones also offered the ability to tailor and bend the end pieces to fit you. One size fits all shouldn’t apply to your head, and hear it doesn’t. The stiff rubber pieces allow me to conform the headphones to my ears. This ensures they remain comfy and, more importantly, in place. I hate when I have to constantly adjust my earbuds, and with these, I don’t have that issue.
Each side features a little control hub. These allow you to adjust the Bluetooth or hearing enhancement on the fly. You can do so without looking, and I think the use of two hubs is absolutely a good idea. I couldn’t imagine shoving this many controls onto one hub or trying to make a mess of long and short presses to control the device.
Adjusting the volume or turning either on or off doesn’t require you to remove the headphones, and you can navigate the buttons by feel alone. This tops off an already great set of earbuds. The fact is they are a multi-use tool, at least to me. I take them to the range, I take them on runs, and I even take them on planes to listen to music, podcasts, and the like.
Axil’s made a comfy, well-made, easy to use, and protective set of earbuds that you can check out right here.