Caldwell E-Max Electronic Earmuff Review
Most shooters have spent hours at the shooting range plinking away with various rifles while wearing foam ear plugs. Foam ear plugs are a great, cost effective way to protect your hearing when shooting. The only downside is that they block noise very well and are a pain to remove and replace, especially when just trying to discuss a target or how a gun is shooting. Traditional earmuffs are also an excellent way to block sound but again, they can be a bit cumbersome when trying to hold a conversation in between shots. Caldwell Shooting Supplies has come up with a solution with their line of E-Max electronic earmuffs.
The Caldwell E-Max comes in two models, low profile and standard. The low profile earmuffs have a slimmer earmuff shell than the standard model. The standard model looks much like any other earmuffs on the market, except that there are two microphones on the outside of each muff and a volume dial on the back of the right ear muff.
The volume is controlled via a dial on the back of the right earmuff.
The E-Max takes two AAA batteries (that are not included) to power a small electrical circuit that amplifies normal sounds. When a shot is fired or any loud noise over 85dB hits the microphones the circuitry automatically cuts out the sound to the headphones in the earmuffs.
The E-max is powered by two AAA batteries that are installed in the left earmuff.
The right earmuff has a light that indicates the earmuffs are turned on.
The first time wearing earmuffs at the range is a liberating experience. One can carry on normal conversations and need not worry about surrounding gunfire or when touching off a few rounds. The E-Max works quickly to cut out loud sounds and quickly returns back to normal hearing once the loud bursts have passed. Because there are two microphones on the E-Max, one for each ear, sound arrives at your ears in stereo and still allows a wearer to localize sound.
With large caliber magnums (338 caliber or larger) or with smaller cartridges with muzzlebrakes, some people may find that the 25db NRR (Noise Reduction Rating) to be insufficient. This situation can be easily remedied by putting in a pair of foam ear plugs and then using the E-Max over the ear plugs. This effectively increases the overall NRR and the volume on the E-Max can just be turned up to hear conversation around you.
The E-Max retails for around $35, which puts it at the low end of the price range for electronic earmuffs with more expensive models offered by Radians and Peltor. Because of the low price the Caldwells are made mostly of plastic and do not have the plush fit and feel of more expensive models. However the E-Max works as advertised and can make a day at the range a much more enjoyable experience especially when trying to have a conversation with your spotter.
The Caldwell E-max folds up to a compact size like other earmuffs on the market.
For more information visit Caldwell Shooting Supplies.