Which hunting hearing aids are best?
There are a few things that you can take with you when you go hunting that will increase your chances of success. Deer or predator calls always work well, as do scent markers and bait. But like the ultra-sensitive ears of your prey, you will also need to be alert to what is going on around you.
A snapping leaf or rustle in the brush is a subtle clue. A hunting hearing aid like Walker’s Game Ear Raptor can dramatically increase your situational awareness and help you pick up on the quiet foot traffic through the forest.
What to know before you buy hunting hearing aids
The rifle being used and the size of the hearing aid
Thinking of getting a hearing aid or enhancer for hunting? There are a few things that you must consider. The most important are the rifle being used and the size of the hearing aid. As you shoulder the rifle, your ear will be close to the stock. Wearing bulky hearing aids can hinder your ability to aim. Hearing aids that look like headphones are perfect for handguns and archery, but for rifles, a slimmer, behind-the-ear aid will be best.
Amplification of sounds
There are several different kinds of hunting hearing aids available, and you need to consider what type of sound amplification you’re after. Do you want to enhance all sounds around you or only ambient sound? Hearing amplifiers isolate certain frequencies so you can pick up on game calls and quiet movement.
Volume control and connectivity
The majority of hunting hearing aids will have the ability to adjust the volume on the device. Also, most can connect to a mobile device through Bluetooth so that you can receive and make phone calls, listen to weather reports and other advisories.
What to look for in quality hunting hearing aids
Background noise suppression
When hunting, you need to be as quiet as possible with little interference from equipment or humans. But unfortunately, we can’t tune our hearing to eliminate background noise. That is where a quality hunting hearing aid will do the trick. By removing as much background noise as possible, the hearing aid can enhance the sounds that are in your immediate vicinity, increasing your reaction time and allowing for better shot planning.
Shot protection and whistle cancellation
Through their design, hunting hearing aids amplify the sounds around you. But it will be devastating to your eardrums if the gunshot is also amplified. The same goes for the high pitch of a whistle or game call. A quality hunting hearing aid will have the ability to block (or at least suppress) gunshots and whistles. If you don’t have a hunting hearing aid that can do that, you’ll have to switch it off before taking a shot.
Long battery life
As with most technological gadgets, they work on rechargeable batteries. Out on the hunt, you won’t always have the ability to quickly recharge your hunting hearing aid. A quality hunting hearing aid will have a powerful enough battery to last a few hours. In the worst-case scenario, the hunting hearing aid should be able to recharge rather quickly.
How much you can expect to spend on hunting hearing aids
The average price of a hunting hearing will depend on the technology and who the manufacturer is. Entry-level hunting hearing aid retail for between $40-$60. More sophisticated hearing aids with noise cancellation can retail for between $100-$200.
Hunting hearing aids FAQ
Can you use a regular hearing aid for hunting?
A. You can, but it more than likely won’t have the same effects as hunting hearing aids. The quality of the sounds will also be compromised, as hunting hearing aids enhance ambient sounds while decreasing others.
What is the NRR of a hearing aid?
A. Simply put, the NRR stands for the hearing aid’s Noise Reduction Rating. This is a rating that is given to the hearing aid based on the number of decibels it is able to block or reduce. The higher the number, the better protection it will provide. The highest NRR you can achieve is through the combination of earplugs and earmuffs, and this is typically in the mid 30s. With guns firing well over 100 decibels, you want a number that approaches the low 30s to bring that blast decibel down as much as possible
What are the best hunting hearing aids to buy?
Top hunting hearing aid
What you need to know: These aids are a great solution for enhancing the ambient sounds around you on the hunt.
What you’ll love: This hunting hearing aid uses bone-conduction technology to transmit sounds. You don’t have earbuds in your ears, so the ambient sounds are amplified and sent to your eardrums through your skull. It also features an omnidirectional microphone and volume control, so that you can take calls or listen to music.
What you should consider: The Ear Raptor works off a rechargeable battery, so you need to make sure that it is always charged.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top hunting hearing aid for money
What you need to know: These are similar in design to medical hearing aids but are good for picking up ambient noise.
What you’ll love: Taking on the shape of normal hearing aids, these are designed for entry-level users who might not be comfortable with more sophisticated systems. The hearing aid can be worn on either ear and fits comfortably behind the lobe. It features adjustable tone and volume and has a mild compression circuit that muffles gunshots. It ships with three batteries.
What you should consider: Some users found they fall out of their ears easily and aren’t the best at picking up human speech.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods
Worth checking out
Pro Ears Electronic Hearing Protection and Amplification
What you need to know: If you need solid protection and amplification, these are for you.
What you’ll love: With a noise reduction rating of 30, these hearing protection headphones will protect your ears from loud gunshots. But the great thing about them is that they also use Dynamic Level Sound Compression (DLSC) so that you can hear softer sounds around you clearly with up to eight-times amplification. It has an adjustable headband, thick foam padding and low battery indicators. The volume can be adjusted on each individual earcup.
What you should consider: They are rather expensive, which could put them out of reach for many.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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