A sound investment

Matthew Godson

Beretta Australia supplied Australian Shooter with a pair of Sordin Supreme Pro-X LED earmuffs to review and I was happy to take them to the range then into the field to give them a thorough assessment. The model received was the perfect choice for my needs, having a camo cup colour with matching textile headband sleeve which I thought would blend well with my camo jacket on a duck hunt.

These earmuffs are based on Sordin’s military-grade models which meet the most stringent demands of quality and functionality. You’re protected from hazardous noise above 82dB (such as gunshots), while allowing you to clearly hear natural and man-made sounds in the background. I believe they’re a perfect combination for both range shooting and hunting situations.

It’s claimed no hearing protector matches the Supreme’s natural sound reproduction where weak ambient sounds are amplified without chopping or cutting out. The Supreme Pro-X family comes with an advanced sound system called the SordinHEAR2 which includes four audio profiles in hunting, shooting, focus and comms.

While testing these profiles I found the ‘shooting’ one perfect for range activities, where you could easily carry on conversations with fellow shooters between sessions without the need to remove the earmuffs or adjust the settings. When I flicked through to the ‘focus’ profile, the power to pick up and amplify weak ambient sounds in the background was evident. On one occasion I could clearly hear the sound of my fingers flicking through the pages of the manual which was quite extraordinary.

Out in the swamp hunting, the ability to hear all things around me was remarkable. I could hear the honk of mountain ducks flying in orbit hundreds of metres away from my position as well as all those natural swamp sounds. Splashes, rustling reeds, insects, frogs and birds in full song as well as distant car noises could all be heard as if I wasn’t even wearing earmuffs.

The directional surround microphones enabled me to know which direction each and every noise was coming from. I could definitely imagine how these earmuffs would pick up all sounds in the forest for those chasing deer, pigs and other species. No doubt the sound of breaking twigs and rustling leaves would also be clearly reproduced and transferred to your ears by the high-quality speakers in the cups.

Other features worth noting is the forward-facing LED light which can provide enough light to safely navigate you back to camp if you’re caught out after sunset. It does automatically shut off after three minutes but you simply turn it back on. The earmuffs are also fully waterproof (IP67 tested). I found them extremely comfortable to wear with the sealing rings and wearing glasses didn’t create an issue. The push buttons to control the electronic functions (on/off, volume, LED, profiles etc) are well designed and easy to use.

I hoped to connect the audio input up to my two-way radio to test the ‘comms’ feature but unfortunately the provided 3.5mm cable was too big for the input of my Garmin two-way. As an alternative I connected it to my laptop to test audio and confirm it does work as described. If anyone had the same issue, there are audio jacket adaptors available to buy online. As a power-saving measure, the unit will automatically switch off after four hours if no button is activated. When there’s roughly four hours left in battery life a low battery warning is activated, though with two AA batteries you have about 40 hours lifetime.

The Sordin Supreme Pro-X family is available with different cup colours, headbands and designs. They have a five-year warranty and the pair tested has a $644 RRP.

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