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#614457 05/03/22 10:42 AM
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Sidelock
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Sidelock

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For ages I have used the classic yellow Aearo foam ear plugs...

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

...but have been thinking about getting a pair of custom molded passive ear plugs.

In your experience:

Do the custom ones provide better hearing protection than the Aearo's or other basic foam plugs?

Which brands have you found to work the best and last the longest?

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Sidelock
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Originally Posted by FallCreekFan
Do the custom ones provide better hearing protection than the Aearo's or other basic foam plugs?


No. They are several dB worse.


"The price of good shotgunnery is constant practice" - Fred Kimble
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Sidelock
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They do not provide quite as high a level of protection as foam plugs, but I have been wearing a molded set for 19 years, and I love them. The comfort level is unreal. I absolutely forget I'm wearing them. It's my second set.


May God bless America and those who defend her.
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Sidelock
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Stan,

Are they moulded “plugs” or ones with electronic inserts?

Keep Well

Parabola

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IMHO custom molded earplugs are not worth the money. My wife & I have used the disposable foam plugs for years, both the yellow type & currently the Howard Leight pink version w a 30 DB rating.

Several years ago my wife wanted to try a set of custom molded ear plugs & I tried to talk her out of them but she insisted.

$$ later she wore the custom molded plugs (INSTAMOLD) about 2 rounds of sporting clays & went back to the disposable foam because of better noise reduction w/ the disposable foam.

I think the problem w/ the the custom molded plugs is that the material used is too dense & doesn't attenuate the noise as well as the less dense disposable type.

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I use a combination of plugs and ear muffs. Hearing loss is cumulative and too gradual to notice. I lost too much in my youth but have not lost much in the last 25 years. My current ear muffs are electronic and do shutdown loud noises well. What gets past them is further reduced by the plugs. My kids also use a combo. Hearing is too important to take for granted just like sight.

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Boxlock
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As stated above, the NRR of the foam plugs is higher than the custom molded plugs.

I have 2 sets of custom molded plugs - one set made from relatively hard plastic (EAR) and the other from a softer/pliable silicone. The silicone plugs are very comfortable as Stan stated. When on the clays course, I typically wear a foam plug in my left ear (RH shooter) and a molded silicone in the other. The advantage of doing so is that I can easily crack open the silicone plug's seal in order to hear a conversation and then push it right back into place.

In an effort to better deal with the impulse noise from a shotgun blast, I selected the lead shot-filled silicone models from Northwest Hearing Center. Had my impressions made locally and then sent them to Northwest (very fine folks to deal with).

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I found molded plugs to work too good . I could not hear others shooters at all. I now use custom molded electronic protection. Expensive but worth it. I have good protection and can still be part of the conversation and hear Pull. An added benefit of electronics is being able to hear the trap.

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I have tried all kinds of plugs the only time I use the electronic type is in a stand in the woods. I prefer the foam plugs with a plastic string between them. I order them by the box and keep my shooting bag well stocked

Last edited by simcgunner; 05/08/22 10:03 PM. Reason: sp
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I use the silicone molded plugs that you have to "screw" into your ears. They are molded in place. Granny made me my first set at a big NSCA tournament in '03. I can hear conversations just fine with them in, so I never felt the need for electronic ones.

Cabela's used to sell a kit with which you can make your own, with someone's help.

I suffered most of my hearing loss very young, due to a boil in one inner ear, then working in a fighter jet squadron in the Navy, and lastly from driving tractors without a cab for so many years. I do not believe I have suffered much hearing loss in the last 19 years since getting custom molded ear protection.


May God bless America and those who defend her.
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