Best Practices Checklist

Best Shooting & Hunting Hearing Protection on the Market? | Westone Digital Defend Ear

By: Dr Cliff Olson
February 27, 2018
Video Transcript

Dr. Cliff Olson, Audiologist from Anthem Arizona, reviews the Westone Digital DefendEar Hearing Protection.  Protecting your hearing while shooting guns is easier said than done.  Typically, when you are shooting for sport, you need to communicate with other individuals around you.  Traditional hearing protection hinders your ability to hold a conversation when worn properly for protecting your hearing against a loud impact of a firearm.

SoundGear Hearing Protection Review: 0:40

3 Different models of Westone DefendEar Digital Protectors:

1. DefendEar Digital 1 - Great for intermittent gunfire while still hearing and amplifying sounds around you.

2. DefendEar DIgital 2 - Has 2 programs.  One for intermittent gunfire and one for sustained gunfire.  Both designed so you can hear and amplify speech between gunshots.

3. DefendEar Hunter - Has 2 programs. One for intermittent gunfire, and one for Wind Noise Reduction while hunting.  Both allow you to hear speech and amplify around you.

Pro's of the Westone Digital DefendEar:

1. Westone is an Ear Mold Expert - They've been around for ever and make everything from hearing protection to hearing aid earmolds.

2. The DefendEar protectors are made from their OtoBlast Silicone.  This provides great protection against damaging noise levels compared to acrylic.  

3. They provide great protection! - They give you an NRR of 26, but also have an IPIL rating which provides up to 44 dB of noise reduction of a Peak Exposure Level of a gunshot.  Check out their white paper here:

Cons of the DefendEar

1. You need a custom ear mold - While this is the main reason these products work so well, finding a good hearing care professional can be difficult.  To find a good one close to you, check out

2. The Cost - The Westone Digital DefendEar protectors can range from $1,300 for the Level 1 pair, to $1,900 for the hunter version pair.  There are some protectors on the market that can charge up to $3,500 for a pair.  Considering that just one gunshot can cause a permanent hearing loss, they could save you tens of thousands of dollars down the road.

Dr Cliff's Thoughts

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