Earmor M31 Hearing Protectors
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- Last updated: 05/10/2020
Earmor’s M31 electronic hearing protectors offer tactical styling, rugged construction, and ergonomic comfort, combined with smart electronics that maintain your situational awareness and ability to communicate. All at an affordable price.
Immediately distinctive are the polygonal ear-cups shaped to surround your ears while keeping out of contact with the comb of your gunstock. These are fitted with comfortable and replaceable pop-on/off gel-filled PU pads and lined with a thin but absorbent foam insert. Outside, each cup mounts a forward-facing microphone with a foam wind-damping baffle and a rearwards-facing battery holder with the cap secured by a tether and a handy 30° twist-to-open design. Each ear-cup takes 1 x AAA battery for a total run-time of around 350 hours.
The electronics are controlled via three rubberised buttons at the bottom of the right-hand earcup. A four-second push on the centre button will switch them on/off, and they will power down automatically after four hours. The rear UP and front DOWN buttons allow you to adjust the amount of ambient sound you hear in three increments. The switches behind the buttons don’t always respond when pressed. However, it’s helpful that each actual input produces a distinctive confirmatory tone.
A nice feature is the 3.5mm audio jack in the bottom of the left-hand cup, which lets you connect to an iPod or smartphone. If two-way communications are required, then consider the M32 models, which are equipped with a boom microphone that can be attached either side and a 4-pin PTT plug.
The specifications are very close to those of the popular and similarly-priced Howard Leight Impact Sport muffs. In the field, I found the M31’s gave a better seal around the ear and were generally a more secure fit. Conversely, the Impact Sport muffs are about 70-grams lighter, have a single ON/OFF/ GAIN control and provide more enhancement of ambient sounds. That said, the M31’s enhancement is focussed on facilitating voice communication, which they do very well.
The M31’s have a noise reduction rating of 22Db. You can get muffs with a higher rating, but not without paying significantly more. If you are always in a noisy environment, it’s vital to get the best hearing protection you can afford. For the recreational shooter enjoying a range session, however, these hearing protectors are well up to the job, delivering effective performance and a great tacticool look, at an attractive price.