Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Product Reviews | Recipes | Home RSS

Caldwell G3 Ear Protection

A Case for Upgrading Hearing Protection

July 13, 2012
Bill Waugaman , Ohio Valley Outdoors

Growing up in the 60's and 70's, little did I know what all of the loud music was going to do. Throw in the various loud noises over the years and the fact of just getting older, my hearing has been affected. Fortunately, I've been careful over the years when it comes to shooting, and now I'm more careful than ever.

For a long time, my hearing protection was the inexpensive Gun Muffler by North Consumer Products. These are very basic, foam filled ear muffs that have an NRR (Noise Reduction Rating)* of 25db. They function by reducing all sound, including normal sounds and conversations. A couple years ago, I bought Astro Pneumatic's Electronic Earmuffs which have a built in microphone and an NRR of 21db. The built in microphone did amplified low level sound and the circuitry did eliminate loud noise. However, loud noise 'clipping' is erratic causing normal level noises to be cut out and there was an obvious delay in reactivating the microphone. Recently, I received Caldwell's new Platinum Series G3 Electronic Stereo Hearing Protection. After just a couple days of use, my opinion can be summarized in one word, 'WOW'.

Caldwell's G3 electronic circuitry works great and as advertised. When turned on, you can hear sound just like you would normally without ear protection, sometimes even better. Since there is a volume control for each ear, you can adjust the volume independently to match your own needs. There are two (2) sound pick-ups, one in each ear cup which greatly enhances the ability to determine where a sound originates. As for sudden, loud noises such as a gun blast, the G3 does not 'clip off' the sound, it compresses the gun blast sound to a safe level, and does so without cutting off normal sounds such as a conversation.

Article Photos

As for comfortthe ear cushions are soft; the head band is padded; ear cups are individually adjustable up/down and have a 'soft touch' finish; the inward tension on the ear cups is not excessive.

From the design standpointthe on/off/volume controls can easily be adjusted with just your thumb; individual red LEDs show if one or both of the pick ups are on; the ear cups do not interfere with the stock; dual density foam gives the G3 an NRR of 21db.

While high quality ear protection can easily run $150 to $200 or more, the Caldwell G3 has a surprising MSRP of only $79.99. By shopping around, you can save $10 to $20 off of the MSRP.


* NRR (Noise Reduction Rating) - Simply stated, this is the level of sound in decibels that are blocked from an unprotected ear. For example, an NRR rating of 21 will reduce a noise level from 71db to 50db. In ear protection with electronic circuitry, this testing is done with the electronics turned off.

First Published July 2011



I am looking for:
News, Blogs & Events Web