Everyone knows that gunshots are loud, and that shooting without hearing protection can cause tinnitus and noise-induced hearing loss. What many don’t know is that exposure to even a single unsuppressed gunshot can, and often does, lead to permanent hearing damage. Studies show that between 70 and 80% of hunters never wear earplugs or earmuffs.2 In fact, for every five years of hunting, hunters become seven percent more likely to experience high frequency hearing loss.3
Most hunters choose not to wear hearing protection in the field because they want to hear their surroundings. Suppressors are the only tool that allow hunters to maintain full auditory situational awareness while simultaneously attenuating dangerous sound levels at the source. The result is a safer hunting experience for hunters and nonhunters alike.
Hunters are safest when they are able to remain aware of their surroundings. The ability to hear approaching game can serve as the determining factor in a successful hunt. More importantly, being able to detect and localize the sound of livestock, pets, and nearby humans, especially when outside the hunters line of sight, can mean the difference between a safe and unsafe experience.
Traditional hearing protection devices (HPDs) like passive earplugs and earmuffs tremendously hinder the users ability to hear their surroundings and localize sounds. Electronic hearing protection devices can help users detect sounds, but are limited in their ability to accurately localize noise sources.4 The distinction may seem small, but detecting a sound and knowing where it came from are two very different things.