Trophy Ear - Testimonials
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Guns and Ammo professional review
THROUGH THE YEARS, I’ve tried my fair share of in-ear hearing protection. Plugs work well at muffling gunshots but, unfortunately, they make it difficult to hear anything at all. On the range or in the field, this can be problematic. In-ear electronic hearing protection is often uncomfortable, cheaply designed, or lacking sound quality. Trophy Ear’s flagship product, the Flexx Pro takes electronic hearing protection to another level. Of course, in order for Trophy Ear to create your custom digital hearing protection, they need molds of your inner ears. The supplied DIY kit contains a two-part silicone mixture that is placed into an impression syringe and injected into the ear. Here’s a pro tip: Follow the directions, the silicone sets quickly. Or, if you don’t mind paying a little extra, you can have an audiologist obtain the molds of your inner ears for you. Fit isn’t the only thing that’s custom with Flexx Pro. You can choose a black, blaze orange or a beige faceplate, and just about any color you can think of for the shells, including up to three colors swirled together. More importantly, if you suffer from hearing loss, simply include a copy of your latest hearing test when you send your ear impressions to Trophy Ear and they will program the units to your specific needs. The Flexx Pro’s waterproof, Nanocoated shell material is soft and pliable. The units fit perfectly and stay securely and comfortably in place. Each unit offers four hearing programs that you can toggle through with the push of a button. The first is for relatively quiet environments, with no wind or rain. Subsequent programs are for progressively louder conditions. Turning the volume-control knob forward turns the unit on and increases volume. Turning it rearward lowers the volume until the The Flexx Pro’s custom-fit fullshell design conforms to your ears for optimal comfort and hearing protection. The digital compression circuit hushes noises above 85 dB, without shutting off. This protects your hearing from gunfire, while enabling situational awareness. $1,199 HEAR, HEAR! A DIY mold kit is provided to ensure the custom shells perfectly fit the user’s ears. Each unit is powered by a common size 10 hearing aid battery. The audio clarity provided by the 12-band digital signal processor was the best I’ve experienced with in-ear electronic hearing protection. The Flexx Pro actually enhanced my hearing, while protecting it. Each Flexx Pro unit is powered by a readily-available size 10 hearing-aid battery, which provides around 96 hours of use. The pair comes in a hard case with spare batteries, a bristle brush and disposable wax guards that prevent ear wax accumulation in the unit’s receiver. Worth noting, all Trophy Ear products are made in the U.S. The Flexx Pro is my new go-to hearing protection. Although, priced at $1,199, they are admittedly a bit spendy albeit more affordable than conventional hearing aids. If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly solution, visit trophyear.com and have a look at Trophy Ear’s full lineup. The Custom Solid Ear Plugs start at $110.
IT’S NO SURPRISE THAT HEARING LOSS IS COMMON
among shooters. After all, we repeatedly fire loud devices near our ears. To learn more about hearing loss and how to prevent it, I spoke with Chris Warren, founder of Trophy Ear custom digital hearing protection.
the customer ships the molds back to Trophy Ear, where they’ll craft a custom set of Flexx Pros.
In use, the Flexx Pro units are effective and simple to operate, with a push button and adjustable volume control. Each unit offers multiple programs to adjust the frequency based on your hear- ing levels. They can also be programmed to match your exact hearing loss.
Depending on the user, the Flexx Pro offers a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) between 24 to 30. Warren says much of that is dependent on the shape and size of the ear. “The bigger the ear, the more material to block sound,” he said. In comparison, Warren says most of the competition only provides an NRR of 22 to 24.
Besides the impeccable audio qual- ity, the most impressive feature to me was the comfort. Trophy Ear uses a soft and pliable shell material that’s custom fit to your ear, so it moves when you’re talking or chewing. Compared to a hard-shell device that will “leak” sound
and lose effectiveness, the Flexx Pro offers better protection.
I asked Warren who buys Trophy Ear hearing protection. “Our biggest clientele has been competition shooters,” he said, “but hunters are starting to buy them more, especially waterfowl hunters.”
After speaking with Warren, I quickly understood his passion for hearing protection. Much of this stems from his own hearing loss and the desire to prevent it in others.
“Most people take their hearing for granted until it’s too late. You can’t get it back without spending $6,000 or more on hearing aids. Because I have hearing loss from shooting, I see what I’ve done to myself, and I don’t want my three kids to grow up with the same problems. If they’re shooting, they wear ear protection.”
Are there any downsides to a
custom set of Flexx Pro hearing
protection? None besides the
price. At $1,199, these units are expensive. According to Warren, “The Flexx Pro is not the cheapest, but it’s better than anything out there.”
While I’ve not tested every unit out there, after a month of use, I must agree. Compared to other high- end hearing protection I’ve used, the Flexx Pro does exactly what Warren claims. It offers better protection, a better fit, more comfort and tons of customization.
According to Warren, Trophy Ear was born out of a necessity after seeing firsthand his father’s struggles with hearing loss.
“My dad is legally deaf,” said Warren. “That’s what got my parents into the hearing aid busines 40 years ago. I grew up around this business and knew from an early age that I didn’t want to end up like him. In 2007, I began work on some- thing that was better than what I saw from the competition.”
During testing, Warren realized existing products on the market were generic and lacked features.
“They were basically cheap hearing aids tweaked to work for shooters,” he said. “I bought a bunch of them and then developed my own product. I wanted a flexible shell and customizable options
with touch buttons for controls and adjustments.”
The result of all this work is Trophy Ear’s flagship product, the Flexx Pro seen here. According to Warren, this feature-packed hearing protection offers better protection, better fit, more comfort and more customization.
What makes the Flexx Pro so good? That boils down to material selection, design and a custom fit that tailors them to the user. Here’s how that pro- cess works.
After placing an order, Trophy Ear ships the customer a do-it-yourself ear impression kit. From start to finish, the molding process takes around 15 minutes, but customers can also go to a hearing aid center or audiologist to have impressions made. Once finished, you simply mail the impressions to Trophy Ear in the box provided, and you'll get your units back within a couple weeks.
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