So i bought some fancy electronic ear protection from cabela’s to use at the range. I had searched some places and this “Impact” model fit my real requirements: has to muffle sounds, have to fit into the range bag. They also met my optional requirements: electronic ones that boost normal range sounds, so you can still hear people talking while you’re wearing them.
I got them for shooting, but i’ve now used them for a whole host of purposes:
The electronic part works pretty good at the range, its very easy to hear what the people around you are talking about. Its pretty interesting, because when you have a room full of people wearing ear protection, they assume that only the people in a 3 foot radius can hear them. So i’ve overheard some hilarious discussions at the various local indoor shooting ranges. When using power tools, like the router or the table saw, it doesn’t work very well, though. I think the tool noises are in the ranges that overlap with the other sounds you’d want to hear, whereas a gunshot is a pretty intense and identifiable noise that would be easier to filter out. These also have an aux-in so that you can pipe in sound from an ipod or some other thing with a standard headphone plug, but i haven’t used that yet, although i’ve thought about it. I just don’t really want a cord going from my head to something else while i’m working. It can only get in the way of something! (which you don’t really want when shooting OR playing with power tools!)