As a practical review site which strives to give our guns and accessories enthusiast readers the best practical information they can use before making any purchases, it only makes sense for us to go against the flow a little bit and break out of the boundaries we ourselves set. This is why we decided to add a set of protective earplugs among our reviews which primarily focus on earmuffs. The reason for this particular set of earplugs from 3M Peltor being featured is because they essentially make for a great alternative to earmuffs as we totally understand ourselves that sometimes even the best earmuffs the combined market has to offer may not be good enough, due to a number of reasons which may include comfort. So please don’t skip over this 3M Peltor TEp-100 Tactical Digital Earplug review. It is not in the wrong place.
A net weight of 8.2 ounces is perhaps one the biggest and most obvious advantages of trading in any considerations of earmuffs for these earplugs. They take up a total volume of only 4.4 x 2.2 x 6.8 inches, so lots of space is saved for packing, deployment, and transition. The compactly-packed carry-case these digital earplugs comes in speaks volumes of the product’s intended use, which is for occupational and industrial workplaces as well as for serious shooters and hunters.
Features & ApplicationI think I should first get the downside to these earplugs out the way; they seem to fall short on minimizing wind noise. If you’re taking a shooting class, for example, it can be very hard to make out everything the instructor is saying, which also means wind noise is a bit of distraction in more practical outdoor shooting settings. If you’re only going to use them for hearing protection at the indoor range, however, then this isn’t an issue, but then again why would you spend in excess of $200 just for indoor shooting protection?
Otherwise, this makes for a great pair of earplugs to use as an alternative to even the best earmuffs you can get. A Noise Reduction Rating (or Noise Attenuation Rating) of 23dB means you get adequate protection from the dangerous impulse sounds made by handguns and even rifles. The integrated electronic power unit is rechargeable, either with a USB cord or with 3 AA sized batteries.
If you can look past the wind noise issue, these are great because whatever it is you’re listening to via the audio input takes nothing away from the ambient sound amplification and the hearing protection you get. If earmuffs really don’t do it for you and you also want a bit more clearance space for other accessories such as shooting glasses, this is a good alternative.
- Great quality and build, which suggests they’ll last long and put your mind at ease about having to pay so much for them
- The earbuds come in a variety of sizes, which is convenient since auditory canal openings do indeed differ in size
- Extremely easy to use and they offer way more comfort than earmuffs, especially if you’re out shooting for long periods of time
- They work well in all weather conditions
- Unlike most earmuffs, there is no interference with other shooting accessories like shooting glasses
- Issues with wind noise are rather unfortunate because it’s a real concern and a flaw you just can’t seem to get away from
- Since we are indeed comparing these to earmuffs as a possible alternative, they do fall short on battery life. This is to be expected however since such as small and compact unit can only hold a limited amount of stored power, so although the battery life is okay, it won’t even give you a full day’s use on one charge
Although we featured these earplugs as a good alternative consideration to big and bulky shooting muffs, these earplugs are a lot more expensive than perhaps even the best earmuffs or headsets you can get. If regular muffs just won’t do because of issues such as making you sweat along the contact area (around your ears), this much smaller package is just for you.