3M Peltor Tactical 6S Active Volume Hearing Protection Review
As you probably already know, shooting a firearm of any kind is incredibly loud. While you might be okay shooting low caliber rounds with an attached suppressor without hearing protection, anything else will lead to damage to the eardrums and, at least in most indoor shooting ranges, is a strict requirement to enter. Aside from the old trick of putting spent bullet casings in your ears, you’ve got a few options.
You can use disposable foam earbuds, but they can be uncomfortable and, well, disposable. A good pair of over-the-ear earmuffs is probably your best bet, but you’ve still got one primary problem; if you want to talk to anybody, you have to either scream at each other or remove your earmuffs. Sometimes, that’s just not practical, especially when you’re hunting or spotting for somebody. What you really need is a good pair of active earmuffs, and you can’t go wrong with the 3M Peltor Tactical 6S.
Features of the Peltor 6S Hearing Protection
First off, what are “active earmuffs”, and how is the Peltor 6S any different? The technology, whose full name is “active volume hearing protection”, works by running a small microphone through a set of speakers in each ear cup. When sounds come in, active earmuffs will pick up the sound in the microphone and relay it to you with minimal delay. Sounds over a certain threshold of decibels will be blocked out, allowing you to hear anything below that range just like normal.
The Peltor Tactical takes this a step further, boosting any quieter sounds up to 19 decibels. You control exactly how boosted the sound becomes with a knob on the side, so you can choose to focus on conversations or not while shooting. Anyone who has ever hunted with or without a partner will find these to be an absolute god-send.
Alone, you can hear every twitch around you more clearly, making it easier to find and track animal movement. Working with a partner, you can also talk in whispers; this way, one person can spot, one person can shoot, and nobody has to worry about damaging their ears.
Other than that, you still get all the prime features Peltor puts on their other noise-cancelling earmuffs. Peltor’s signature deep earcups feel good on your ears, the solid steel headband stays strong, and the whole thing folds up to easily fit in a jacket pocket or range bag. The compact design is even small enough to fit under a beanie, so you can use these comfortably even in cold weather.
Reviews of this Tactical Hearing Protection
Ear protection reviews for this product are positive, like most of Peltor’s other products. The words of the day, once again, are comfortable, sturdy, and easy to stow when you’re not using them. Of course, where these reviews are coming from is an important factor as well; considering that these positive reviews come from MPs in Iraq, police officers, and hunters all agree that these are quality pieces, it’s a safe bet that shooters across the board who are looking for tactical ear protection will find them to their liking.
Unfortunately, most of the negative reviews all center on one unavoidable thing; in terms of straight ear protection, the Peltor Tactical 6S tends to get outclassed. With a comparably low noise reduction rate of 20 Db, these pieces aren’t as strong as some strictly ear protection earmuffs; the negative reviews agree that these aren’t completely suitable for indoor shooting ranges.
However, when the sound has somewhere to go, like outside, these active earmuffs can really show their stuff. For outdoor shooting, these provide perfect protection from damaging noise while still letting you hear your own conversation. If you really want to get the best of both worlds for an indoor range, you can simply put two rounds in your ears, put the earmuffs on over them, and turn up the audio enhancement to compensate.
Conclusion? Great for Long Gun Enthusiasts
Whether you’re a hunter, trap shooter, or a three-gun competitor, the Peltor Tactical 6S is some of the best hearing protection you can buy. It’s affordable, collapsible, built just as solid as Peltor’s other great earmuffs, and perfectly designed to stick on your head without irritating your ears. While it may not be the best choice for an indoor pistol shooter, anybody who shoots outdoors and doesn’t want to have to scream to be heard can find a new best friend in these. Keep your batteries fresh, and these earmuffs will give you all the advantage you need to hear your partners without risking damage to your ears.
Peltor also makes the H10A Optime 105 Earmuff you may also want to consider.