MSA Sordin Supreme PRO X vs. Peltor SportTac

If you’re in the market for a pair of electronic ear defenders for shooting, MSA Sordin Supreme PRO X and Peltor SportTac are two very popular options. In this article, we’ll be weighing up the differences between them so that you can choose the pair that’s right for you.

If you enjoy shooting, you definitely need proper hearing protection. Guns are extremely loud—even .22 rifles are capable of 140 dB. At that noise level, firing a gun would cause immediate pain and hearing damage. We highly recommend that firearms enthusiasts never remove their hearing protection when around firearms. If you still need to be able to hear, electronic ear defenders are a great choice.

 

What are Electronic Ear Defenders?

Electronic ear defenders can be most easily described as a pair of headphones covered in noise-dampening foam. They contain speakers that allow them to play back ambient noise picked up by microphones, or sound from an MP3 player, radio or phone via an aux-in port.

When there’s a very loud noise such as a gun firing, this is dampened down to a safe level to avoid damage to the user’s hearing. This is what makes them so useful for shooters.

The speakers inside and the microphones outside allow the wearer to hear ambient noise and conversations better than they would be able to without the hearing protection. This allows the user to keep their hearing protected whilst communicating at the range or listening for noises whilst hunting.

If you’re interested in alternative types of hearing protection, why not check out our article on how to protect your hearing when shooting?

 

MSA Sordin Supreme PRO X

MSA are a company with a great reputation for their hearing protection products. Their ear defenders are trusted by hobbyist shooters and soldiers alike. If you’re looking for serious protection for your hearing, the MSA Sordin Supreme PRO X might be the ear defenders for you.

Features

  • IP67 rated
  • Choice of black or green cups
  • Foldable for storage
  • Waterproof battery cover
  • Estimated 600 hrs of battery life with low-battery warning
  • 5mm mono audio input for external audio input

Protection

NRR: 18 dB

The noise reduction of these ear defenders might seem a bit low. However, these ear defenders are designed to block the specific frequencies of gunshot, and their performance in real life is better than on paper. It’s also important to remember that there’s a lot of variability in reported NRR ratings, so when the manufacturer says the NRR is 18 dB that doesn’t mean it necessarily offers less than ear defenders with an NRR of 20 dB.

Price

The MSA Sordin Supreme PRO Xs are significantly more expensive than the 3M Peltor SportTacs (see price on Amazon). Whilst both products are comfortably on the high end of the market, the price difference may be significant to you. The price of the MSA Sordin Supreme PRO X ear defenders can vary quite significantly depending on the specific configuration you purchase as well as who you purchase it from.

Regardless of the chosen configuration, the protection level remains very similar.

 

Peltor SportTac

3M Peltor are well-regarded for their hearing protection products. They produce hearing protection for a whole variety of fields, including workplace safety as well as firearm safety. 3M’s reputation as one of the best hearing protection brands is definitely deserved and the Peltor SportTac ear defenders are certainly a great option.

Features

  • Gradual volume change prevents abrupt audio cut-off
  • Swappable ear cup shells for easy changing of colour
  • Automatic shut-off
  • Foldable for storage
  • Estimated 600 hrs of battery life
  • 5mm mono audio input for external audio input

Protection

SNR: 26 dB

The attenuation level of these ear defenders appears to be higher than the MSA Sordin Supreme PRO X ear defenders, but this is partly because the SNR (single number rating) is measured differently to the NRR (noise reduction rating), and SNR values are typically higher.

Over long shooting sessions with louder firearms, the extra attenuation can help make the Peltor SportTac a more comfortable choice. Though, this extra attenuation comes at the cost of being a bit bulkier.

Price

From a pure price perspective, 3M Peltors have the advantage (see price on Amazon). The Peltor SportTac is the cheaper option of the two. However, the MSA Sordin Supreme PRO X ear defenders have extra features that help to justify the extra cost: waterproofing on the battery cover, a slimmer design, and optional gel earseals.

 

Verdict

If you’re in the market for a pair of electronic ear defenders to protect your hearing whilst shooting, you can hardly go wrong with either of the options we’ve discussed.

The MSA Sordin Supreme PRO X ear defenders have some nice features that make them a tempting option for anyone who doesn’t want to wear something as bulky as the 3M Peltor SportTacs. The waterproofing on the battery compartment and optional gel earseals are an excellent bonus for people who’ll be wearing them for a long time whilst out in the elements.

The 3M Peltor SportTacs offer a cheaper option with a higher attenuation rating. They’re slightly bulkier than the MSA Sordin ear defenders, but still remain comfortable. 3M state that they were designed specifically with hunters and marksmen in mind. The unique sound circuitry that stops the abrupt noise cut-off is certainly a nice feature.

Overall, both ear defenders offer excellent protection and a variety of features. We advise you carefully research both options to make sure you get the best hearing protection solution for you.

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