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Crucible
02-23-2004, 02:51 PM
I recently found a online deal on a decent pair of stereo hearing enhancers/protection ($60!). While the hearing protection aspect is self-explanatory, I don't have much experience with using the amplification (stereo, front mounted mic's to localize sound). It seems to be a no brainer using it for bumps in the night.

Anyone else use them for that purpose?

Chris

Bodfish
02-23-2004, 05:29 PM
See how it sounds with the furnace fan or AC running in your house while everything else is quiet, as it would be at night. Some of these units amplify these noises to the point where it sounds like a "white sound" generator in your ears. This effect won't be as noticable with the better units.

DaveJames
02-23-2004, 08:46 PM
I have found with the Pelators if I keep the volume turned down to just above whisper, I can ID sounds much better

Crucible
02-23-2004, 11:10 PM
Thanks guys. Bod, I never thought of the a/c-furnace running, I'll surely have to see whether or not that's going to be an issue. Good thing is that the thermostat is right outside my door, so it can be shut off while investigating as necessary (and there is not a question of not coming out of the bedroom-I've got to ensure my stepdaughter is safe or make her that way).

Dave-I'll try that thanks.

The 'phones I bought are the Radians Pro Amp from Cheaper Than Dirt

http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/ctd/product.asp?sku=93341&mscssid=V6VFDW0CV9UB8N62DXLHNXJR615K8LH6

It was the best price I've seen on a good pair of stereo muffs; I'll test and report here when I get them.

Regards,

Chris

Crucible
03-10-2004, 05:53 AM
Quick Product Review:
Radians Pro-Amp Hearing Protectors and Hearing enhancers
Price Paid: $60.00 (@ the above link)

I've had these for a couple of weeks now, and thus far, they do everything they are supposed to. They are both passive muffs and independant (stereo) hearing enhancers/protectors, have independant mic's in the front as well as independant on/off/volume dials and other electronics and batteries for each side (3 AAA per side); the manufacturer rates the batteries to operate the unit for 280 some-odd hours. These seem to be excellent quality muffs rated at 23Db reduction, and are of a low-profile, dare I say it, "tactical", design. They are comfortable in terms of fit to the head (no small feat considering the size of my grape): the ear pad material is a soft, leatherish type of vinyl, the headband is a hard plastic surrounded by flat vinyl (not painful, but not plush velvet either) and connect to metal frames that assist the unit in folding into a small size no larger than both headphone cups combined, and while they are snug to my big head, again, this isn't uncomfortable.

There is no provision for alternate sound input from radios etc.; those are features for more exspensive models.

Hearing protection, 4 of 5 stars

In passive mode (off), the hearing protection is rated at 23Db, and this seems to be accurate in how much it blocks out and how reletively silent things are with them on.

In active mode, it's designed to not allow noise beyond 85db to enter and be processed electronically. I have not been able to get to a range yet, but they do work well: I can make quite loud noises including loud clapping and they will shut electronic amplification off for that microsecond, noticeably. Interestingly, if I made the clapping on one side more than the other, the one side that processed the noice as louder than allowed blocked it, while the other side didn't; this as it's supposed to be in a a dual mic's stereo design. I'm certain something as loud as a gunshot would be blocked on both sides, I just wasn't willing to crack a few bones in hands to try to clap loud for definitive results yet:)


Hearing enhancement, 3 out of 5 stars

As this is a stereo unit, the mics are mounted on the front of the headphone cups; this allows sound localization rather like normal human hearing. And it works. The on/off/volume is done via a small dial on both sides; after using it for these few weeks, I cannot see any reason why varying volume ability for each side has any real benefit; I do wish it had one control for both sides.

All sounds are amplified to the volume you turn them up to, not just certain ones (ones above the noise threshold not withstanding). Sitting here in my office, the clicking from my typing this is very audible (loudly) as is the clicking of my mouse, my breathing, computer fans, TV in the next room, etc. Bodfish mentioned the furnace and a/c unit, and if it's on, this too is amplified-loudly if your standing right beside it of course. While these things may seem to be an issue, I've found that doesn't really seem to be: the unit amplifies *all* sound at the levels it hears it just like we would in normally hearing it. So, sound levels, say on a small scale like typing on a keyboard vs. louder noises sound "correct" in their both level of sound (high/low depending on distance away and natural loudness) and apparent direction: louder if they are closer, less so if the noise isn't very loud or is farther away or is normally less noisy, etc.

I cannot hear anything that wasn't making some sort of audible sound to begin with. In the case of someone breaking into my house and jimmying the lock for example, this will work nicely I think, whether the a/c is on at the time or not. In the case where there's a goblin stading just around the corner not moving and waiting, I *may* hear him breath is he's breathing louding, but not anything more of course. I can hear human footsteps on my wood floor quite nicely, and can definitely hear the dog moving too.

Nighttime is where this shines the most of course, but overall, it works as advertised. One issue: if the unit is taken off your head while on and the colume turned up, the speakers will sound a loud, shrill microphone feedback screech. If it's turned up loud enough, it will sound it quickly enough so you will get some of it while it's still near your ears in the process of taking them off-not exactly pleasant. The answer is to turn them down/off before taking them off of course.

While I'm not disappointed, I'm not thrilled either: I think I built up in my head the abilities these things can do far more than the reality of what they can do. They do work as advertised, and will provide, I believe, a good tactical advantage in a home defense kind of situation in that your hearing is indeed enhanced (and protected) by the cans, which may allow you to locate a goblin well before you would have without them. If you're a hunter, these things would be fantastic out in the woods in hearing approaching game, and in a military-type situation, approaching bad guys (I wish we had something like this while I was still in the Corps-can it be long before hearing enhancers of some type are military issue? These, toughend up a bit in a vain attempt in making them Marine-proof anyway, would have been great on the KD ranges in better hearing the range officials, as well as in exercises and harm's way.)

Overall, they work as adverised thus far, and for the money, I believe they are a real bargain. Time will tell of course, as will my personal comfort in wearing them for extended periods of time which I have not done yet.

Cruc