Monday, January 23, 2017

Gear Review: Caldwell G3 Electronic Stereo Hearing Protection

Protecting yourself from hearing loss at the shooting range is something everyone should be doing. Wearing your hearing protection should be key, but it can be frustrating when your buddies are trying to guide you or ask you questions. What is a person to do? Allow me to share with you my experience with the Caldwell G3 Electronic Stereo Hearing Protection and how they change all of that.

As I always do, I research a company and the product they want me to review. When I was asked about the G3s and doing a review, I read about them and thought it would be a perfect opportunity. You see, I go to a desert range bi-monthly, and we fire off between 500-1000 rounds each time, and we also talk and share ideas while we do it. For a while now it’s been a "Huh?", "What was that?", or "Say again?" kind of experience. We couldn't hear one another.

When I first received the G3s, I could not go to the shooting range with my friends, but I had an idea. I installed the six AAA batteries and shared them with my three shooting buddies. I asked them to take them out to the range and evaluate them for me. I knew I would also be testing them myself, but they would have first crack at them. They took them out and each took turns wearing them and adjusting the sensitivity. I am paraphrasing here, but they said they were amazed that you could hear the person ten feet away from you while another person was shooting thirty feet away. Vice versa, when someone was shooting right next to them they could have a conversation with someone thirty feet away and hear them clearly. I would say that’s excellent! I asked them the important question of ‘Were your ears and hearing protected though?’ The chorus of Yes’s was enough for me. Now it was my turn to try them out.

Our next outing to the shooting range gave me the opportunity to shoot anything from my AR-15, to my long range .300 WM and my hearing was protected. I could hear the G3s engage when a shot went off to lower the sound of the percussion in your ears. Over and over I did this and most of the time I was talking with my friends as the shooting was taking place. I could hear them well, especially when they were behind me or off to the side at ninety degrees. I found the G3s very comfortable and easily adjustable.

When I took them to SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range, I knew that they would get a workout. Imagine my surprise when my shooting buddies all had purchased the G3 hearing protection! They were believers! I used mine all day and they worked very well. All over the shooting range they worked great and protected my hearing while allowing me to have a conversation with someone.

The only negative thing to say is that if the concussion is behind you (you are turned away from the shooter) while you are having a conversation, you will indeed hear it a bit louder than if you were facing the shooter.

A big positive, besides protecting your hearing, is the battery life. I had my G3s on for over 18 hours and the batteries still work well. They say the batteries will last 250 hours, so I have a long way to go, but it is good to know they will last.

Hearing protection like this used to cost over $100, but the Caldwell G3 Electronic Stereo Hearing Protection comes in at $39.99. You can’t put a price on protecting your hearing, but at a price like that you should buy two. They work great and I highly recommend them. These will accompany me on every trip to the range.

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