The introduction of electronic hearing protection has been a game-changer for anyone who works or has hobbies that put them into loud environments. Whether it is working on a construction site, mowing the lawn, or shooting a gun, users need to block out the sounds that are harmful to their hearing while still being able to hear others around them.
Today we’re taking a side-by-side look at the entry-level offerings for two heavyweights in the electronic hearing protection market, Howard Leight vs Walkers. Specifically, we’ll compare Howard Leight Impact Sport vs Walker Razor Slim, including the Razor Pro a bit too.
Based on our analysis, the Walker’s Razor has the slight edge over the Impact Pro. Read the rest of our review to find out why in more detail.
Comparison of Howard Leight vs Walker's Razor
Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of Howard Leight vs Walkers Razor
NRR measures how much hearing protection lowers the sound’s decibel (dB) level reaching the ears. It’s the largest factor that you should look at when considering any hearing protection.
The Razor and Impact Pro come in on the lower end of this spectrum with NRR of 23 and 22, respectively. When looking at Walkers vs Howard Leight, both are very appropriate for everyday noisy environments, although the Razor does take the slight edge in this category with 1db of extra protection.
The larger the number, the more hearing protection it provides. The environment you will be working in plays a large part in this. For example, very loud environments such as factory floors may require hearing protection in the NRR 26-30 range to be effective. At the same time, activities such as mowing the lawn or a construction site may only require hearing protection with an NRR in the low 20s to be effective.
These earmuffs are commonly used for shooting hearing protection.
Sound Quality of Howard Leight vs Walker Razor Slim
When it comes to electronic earmuffs, sound quality is an important factor, both when amplifying sounds or playing music through the audio jack.
A user on Reddit said that the sound amplification feature was incredibly helpful for communicating with others while wearing the Howard Leight Impact earmuffs.
Another user said the audio quality while playing music was incredibly good on the Walker Razor, which was great for mowing the lawn and wearing them for extended periods.
What’s more, when it comes to Walker’s Slim vs Pro, Walker’s Razor Pro features more advanced controls, better sound reproduction and 3 automatic sound reproduction modes. So the Pro really has the best sound quality.
The sound reproduction quality in both models is great, and when playing audio through the AUX input, the sound will more likely depend on your audio file. Just keep in mind, these are not Dolby surround sound headphones, but are quite good.
Comfort & Fit of Howard Leight vs Walker Razor
My third, but also equally as important, consideration with hearing protection is always comfort.
Hearing protection is generally worn for a long period of time, so the ability to wear earmuffs for hours at a time and over safety glasses comfortably is always a primary concern.
When looking at Walker Razor vs Impact Sport, the Razor carries the edge again. The biggest differentiation you’ll notice is the padded headband on the Razor, whereas the Impact Sport has a thinner vinyl-covered headband.
This can be extremely important if wearing them over a hat or other head covering that can cause the headband to create a pressure point on top of the head.
The Razor also has thicker earmuffs than the Impact Sport, making it more comfortable wearing sunglasses or safety glasses.
Size of the Howard Leight Sport vs Walkers
The trade-off to comfort and protection level is size. Earmuffs can be awkwardly shaped and difficult to fit in travel bags. So, as you would expect, the size award in the Howard Leight vs Walkers Razor comparison battle goes to the Impact Sport.
While both have a very slim profile, the Impact Sport folds up slightly smaller, which may make all the difference in finding a spot to stow them in a range or workbag.
Battery Life of the Walker's vs Howard Leight
No one wants to be swapping out batteries in the middle of a long day on the range or work-site. Therefore, battery life should be a critical consideration in any hearing protection choice.
This factor is a little tricky to compare the two on. Both use 2 AAA batteries, which are included in the packaging with both.
Walker doesn’t report the expected battery life for the Razor, although users do report using them for months on one set of batteries. What makes them last longer is the auto-shutoff; the Razor Slim has an auto 4 hour shutoff, where the Walker’s Razor Pro can be set for 2, 4 or 6 hour shut-off.
On the other hand, Howard Leight lists an astounding 350 hours as the expected battery life for Impact Sport.
The battery life comparison on the Walker Razor vs Howard Leight has to go to Howard Leight in my mind. Two weeks of straight run time on one set of batteries means you’ll rarely find yourself stuck with no power to your earmuffs.
Style of the Walker Razor Muffs vs Howard Leight
Style is admittedly a personal preference. Usually, I wouldn’t judge this factor, but in this case, I would have to lean toward the Walkers Razor Slim vs Howard Leight.
The low-profile and cool modern design of Walker’s Slim muffs makes them great for shooting and other activities where ear cups sticking out could be an issue.
When it comes to Walker Razor Pro vs Slim, the earcups are the same. Walkers have designed all of its product line to be low-profile and have a much wider variety of styles and colors. This means that there are many more options to match your personal style preference.
I think the Walkers have a more unique design, although the Impact Sport green design is iconic. However, the Razor name fits the product line well. Also look at Walker vs Peltor earmuffs.
The Impact Sport is an iconic and sharp-looking pair of earmuffs; you see them in military exercises and more. I don’t believe many people would be disappointed with their aesthetic, but the Razor wins this round on the sheer variety of options alone.
Accessories of the Howard Leight Impact Sport vs Walker Razor
For accessories of Walker vs Howard Leight, both models include an audio headphones jack, a great feature that allows you to listen to music or any other audio while you work.
Howard Leight does go the extra step of including an audio cable in their packaging so you can get up and running quickly, which is a nice bonus.
Price of the Walker Razor Slim vs Howard Leight Impact Sport
The price for electronic hearing protection has really been dropping in recent years as the technology has continued to improve.
This is an outstanding price point for a set of high-quality electronic earmuffs and one that you wouldn’t have seen just a few years ago. I think that either of these models is a steal at that price, and it’s well within reach of most consumers without having to wait for a sale.
See Also: Sordin vs Peltor
In looking at all the factors for Walker’s Razor vs Howard Leight, I have to say that both are outstanding products. They both compare very favorably to one another on almost every factor, and both come from outstanding companies with a history of developing high-quality products.
I think most people would be very pleased to have either of these included in their tool kit.
I have to give a slight edge to Walker’s Razor, however. My deciding factors are comfort and style.
I really appreciate the extra padding in the headband and earmuffs, as I always wear both a hat and safety glasses, and I personally prefer the more aggressive styling of the Razor.
You can also check out my comparison of Howard Leight vs Peltor here.