Anyone who works in an environment with constant and incessant noises knows how irritating and aggravating it is and how difficult it can be to get things done. Whether you work in construction, outside on the runway of an airport, or simply want to cut out all the unnecessary noise of your day-to-day, you can definitely benefit from the use of noise-reducing headphones.
I personally know of people who work in an office building that say they’re tired of listening to their neighbors talk all day about everything under the sun, while my friends are just trying to get their jobs done. One friend in particular told me a story about their cubicle partner and how this person would go on and on about the latest gossip in office: “Becky talks to Amber about Vanessa and Ricky going out, and how Ricky’s ex in accounting is jealous and threatened to…” I could see myself going mad there–my poor friend.
As a teacher myself, I know the urge to want to sometimes want to drown out the sound of kids screaming and running wild all day. But that’s simply not practical–unfortunately.
However, very recently have I found a new hobby by visiting my local gun range and popping off some rounds after work. It was an interesting experience, albeit a bit scary at first, but soon after I discovered a liking for it, and since then I have become quite the enthusiast. What I don’t like, however, are the earmuffs that they give you when you visit the gun range: they’re often either too big or too small; they don’t breath right and leave your ears hot and sweaty; and most times I feel like they aren’t always cleaned properly.
This has led me in the pursuit of finding a personal pair of earmuffs that I can call my own.
After perusing the internet for some time, I have narrowed down my options to two brands in particular: Howard Leight vs. Peltor, and more specifically, the Howard Leight Impact Pro vs. the Peltor Tactical Sport.
A good set of earmuffs needs to be able to reduce harmful noise from the environment, be comfortable to wear, and be useful for all different types of activities, not solely limited to shooting. When it comes to Howard Leight vs. Peltor, both have received high reviews from customers and both claim to be the “best,” but which is telling the truth?
Howard Leight Impact Sport Features
- The Impact Sport weighs 3 pounds (the weight of the human brain) and is convenient for carry. It’s compactable design makes it easy to store on the range or in the field.
- The design is no frills and basic, with a Hunter Green-colored ear cup and a matte black finish. It can sometimes be difficult when you’re taking sight of your gun due to the boxiness of most earmuffs, but the Impact Sport has slender, sleek earcups to allow for complete clearance of the gun stock and better visibility.
- The Impact Sport earmuffs are custom fit, non-slip, and built for comfort, with a padded and telescoped headband that can be adjusted depending on the user. These earmuffs are very easy maintenance. The ear cushions are snap-on and easily replaced to help extend its performance over time. There is also a built-in AUX jack that can be connected to an MP3 or other device.
- Another great feature is the earmuffs low energy use. These earmuffs use 2 AAA batteries (included with purchase) and have an automatic shut-off feature after 4 hours with a projected 350 hour battery life.
- The Impact Sport’s claim to fame comes from its ability to reduce harmful sounds to the safe and manageable 82 dB. Rather than completely blocking out all noise from your surround environment, these earmuffs are equipped with directional microphones that amplify conversation and range commands to an understandable level, which allow users to maintain environmental and situational awareness.
Peltor Tactical 6S Features
- The Peltor Tactical 6S comes with easy to change/different colored headset cups. This allows for customization as well as being useful on a hunting expedition. This makes the wearer more visible and helps increase the wearer’s safety.
- The Peltor Tactical is lightweight (a mere 8 ounces) and has a foldable design. This makes the earmuffs easy to carry, compact and able to be conveniently stored in a gun bag or jacket pocket. Most earmuffs given in gun ranges are blocky and sometimes a bit heavy to wear. This lightweight design allows for more mobility as well as being a lot more comfortable for the user.
- The volume control function of the Peltor is easy to use and is easily adjustable. It is equipped with an automatic shut-off function for convenience and can be connected to a radio that can be played directly from the headset.
- The Peltor Tactical runs off of 4 AAA batteries and has a battery life of around 200 hours–yes, 200. This is simply outstanding for only 4 AAA batteries.
- Most importantly, the Peltor, like other noise-reducing headphones, can significantly decrease the amount of loud and potentially damaging sounds from the environment to a tolerable level. What most other headphones are incapable of is dropping down the volume levels by 19 dB, which is remarkable considering that most hearing protection doesn’t muddle much of the sounds at all.
Both earmuffs stress comfort and protection more than anything else, but where they differ is in their features and price. The Impact Sport is sold for around $43 dollars on Amazon, whereas the Tactical 6S runs at some retail stores and online sites for a whopping $120. The Impact Sport has the built-in auxiliary jack that allows the earmuffs to double as a set of headphones, whereas the Tactical 6S allows for a more customized feel with its ability to change the color of the ear cups.
And the Victor Is…
When I’m looking to make a purchase, I tend to correlate price with quality. If this were my only factor than the obvious winner would be the Tactical 6S. But, if hunting or shooting were not my sole purpose in life and was a mere hobby (as it is for me), I don’t know if spending almost triple the price would be worth it.
Another notable comparison is the MSA Sordin vs. Peltor COMTAC
It all comes down to how practical these earmuffs will be in your day to day. Both of them can be used for miscellaneous other activities and are not solely restricted to shooting.
But if it were up to me, the Impact Sport seem like the better buy. Even if they’ll only last me a few years and need to be replaced, the additional features seem to outweigh the other option. So, in the debate of the Howard Leight Impact Sport vs. the Peltor Tactical 6S, my vote is for the Howard Leight.