SoundGear Blends Hearing Protection, Situational Awareness

SoundGear Blends Hearing Protection, Situational Awareness
These tiny devices just might be the hearing protection you've been after.
These tiny devices just might be the hearing protection you've been after.
These tiny devices just might be the hearing protection you've been after.

It literally takes a split second to permanently damage hearing, a fact most shooters know well.

It is why ear protection – along with eye – is mandatory at every shooting range from Tacoma to Timbuktu. But what about those times shooters aren’t punching holes in paper or breaking clays?

It’s a fairly common practice, even for those who are religious about guarding their hearing, to leave protection at home during hunting season.

There is a fairly rational explanation as to why otherwise safety-conscious individuals throw caution to the wind. Hunters want to have all their senses at the ready. After all, they’ve been waiting all year to bag that dream buck or bring a feast full of fowl home.

But what if there was a way to safeguard hearing, while keeping the advantage in the field? That’s exactly what Starkey Hearing Technologies has accomplished with a piece of digital masterwork.

The renowned hearing aid manufacturer has used its years of expertise to produce SoundGear, hearing protection that gives shooters the best of both worlds.

The digital hearing protection compresses all sound waves more than 93dB, but allows anything lower to come through, crystal clear. What that boils down to, gunshots are dampened, a buck snapping a twig is not.

That is a magnificent middle ground between hearing protection and situational awareness.

The minute in-the-canal hearing aids have a Noise Reduction Rating of 25dB and are designed to conform to any shooters’ body. It does this through the utilization of universal double and triple flanged silicone sleeves.

These sleeves ensure a proper seal within the canal, assuring the report of a rifle or shotgun does not seep through. And they are designed to remain comfortably in place, no matter how long you stay in the field.

This final attribute of SoundGear is especially important, if not often overlooked.

If hearing protection is not comfortable, it won’t be used – that’s not good. That basically brings a hunter back to square one, hoping that the next trigger pull won't be the one that deafens him.

Sure, bagging a trophy whitetail or shooting the limit in pheasants is what hunters live for, but neither is worth a shooter’s hearing. SoundGear makes sure hunters never have to make the compromise between a grand time in the field and a lifetime of sound hearing.


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Elwood Shelton is the Digital Editor for Gun Digest. He lives in Colorado and has provided coverage on a vast spectrum of topics for GD for more than a decade. Before that, he was an award-winning sports and outdoors reporter for a number of newspapers across the Rocky Mountains. His experience has consisted of covering the spread of chronic wasting disease into the Western Slope of Colorado to the state’s ranching for wildlife programs. His passion for shooting began at a young age, fostered on pheasant hunts with his father. Since then, he has become an accomplished handloader, long-range shooter and avid hunter—particularly mule deer and any low-down, dirty varmint that comes into his crosshairs. He is a regular contributor to Gun Digest Magazine and has contributed to various books on guns and shooting, most recently Lever-Actions: A Tribute to the All-American Rifle.


  1. These and Walker’s ear protection are great solutions. At $400 there are a whole lot of folks like myself that will have poor hearing before we can enjoy the benefits enjoyed by the quite wealthy in our hunting trips. Devices like these are wonderful but as far out of reach for the common person as a $3000 guided hunt or multi-thousand dollar safari.


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