The GunSport•PRŌs (GSPs) are electronic earplugs that allow you to hear naturally, but protect you from ear-shattering blasts. The GSPs can allow you to hear at a natural level, or they can enhance surrounding noises to increase your awareness of your surroundings. With Etymotic’s Accu-Technology, you get high definition noise that can allow you to clearly hear every word of a conversation. Once it is time to pull that trigger, the GSPs will block the sudden blast from your gun.
When using the GSPs, you have two modes to choose from: Natural or Enhanced. Natural Mode allows you to wear the earplugs and hear normally (as if the earplugs were not in your ears). Enhanced Mode amplifies soft and conversational sounds up to five times the normal hearing level. This merely acts as a hearing aid, so hunters can hear noises easier and with more definition. Both modes provide blast protection and a noise reduction rating of 25 decibels.
I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to use the GunSport•PRŌs. I have been using them at the range to test the effectiveness of the hearing modes and the blast protection. While at the range, I shot firearms and did some photography of the shooters. These tasks required good communication and effective hearing protection.
When I was behind the camera, I had the GSPs on Enhanced Mode to ensure that I could effectively communicate with all of the shooters and the range supervisors. When I put the GSPs in my ears I could immediately hear the sound enhancement and it was incredible. I could hear every step that the shooters made, which let me know where the best opportunities were for good photos. I could stand close to the shooter and not get deafened by the blast of the guns. The Enhancement Mode proved effective.
I switched to the Natural Mode when I started shooting guns. Natural Mode allowed me to hear conversations better than the other shooters with regular earplugs in. I had a couple guys say “what?” to me a couple times; because they needed me to shout for them to hear me. I shot without an earplug in my left ear once (on accident), because I couldn’t tell the difference in my hearing levels from my left and right ear. This was an accident that ended up being a great comparison test. I walked away from that shot with my left ear ringing and my right ear perfectly fine. The Natural Mode proved effective.
The GSPs eventually got to be uncomfortable in my ears, but there is an assortment of Accu-Fit eartips that is included with GSP kit. After a couple different tests with all of the eartip options, I found my best match and the problem went away. There is custom fit option that Etymotic offers, also. This gives you the opportunity to get custom eartips made to fit your ears exactly.
GunSport•PRŌs are highly effective hearing protection and enhancement devices. They offer a unique opportunity for hunters, gun sport enthusiasts, professional shooters, and guides and instructors to hear conversational and soft noises effectively; while providing outstanding hearing protection. GunSport•PRŌs earned the 2010 Safe and Sound Award for Innovation in Hearing Loss Prevention and the 2011 Design and Engineering Innovations Award. For more information on GunSport•PRŌs or any other ETYMŌTIC products, please visit www.etymotic.com.