Decibullz DIY Thermo-fit Molded Earpieces
The tested product is the Decibullz “percussive filter” kit. Supplied are two earpieces, case, lanyard, and a variety of tips. The foam tips have the highest noise reduction rating at “up to” NRR31. With the silicone flange inserts used, it is hard to say what the noise reduction really is, for despite graphs in the instructions, it doesn't specify. It does very little at low sound pressures. Nor should it, for that would hamper the sound of a pheasant flush, conversation on the dove field, or other outdoor shooting events where you need to be aware of other shooters and range officers.
OSHA describes gun shots, air raid sirens, and jet engines at 140 dB. It appears that with the silicone inserts in, roughly a 20-25 dB reduction is plausible with the percussive filters. In other words, not very aggressive. There is no way I would use Decibullz filters at an indoor range. As far as I'm concerned, that's not the point of the product: it is to allow hearing and awareness at low sound levels, but attenuate the peak levels of 140 dB or so from firearms, down to the less harmful 115 dB range.
I used my coffee maker to make hot water, and poured it over the Decibullz earpieces in two coffee cups. By pressing the plastic earpieces against your ear, they quickly distort and give you a more comfortable, more secure fit. Afterwards, I gave the Decibullz a “Judge Judy” test on my flat screen, with normal volume. With the foam inserts used, I couldn't hear what she was saying. With the silicone inserts used, I easily could.
The problem, of course, is all the times when we are hunting or shooting outdoors when we don't use any hearing protection at all. The same is true when mowing the lawn or running a chain saw. Guidance is published by the CDC and OSHA which my audiologist terms as “stringent.”
The Decibullz are comfortable and ideal for turkey hunting, upland hunting, and outdoor shooting where all too often, hearing protection is ignored.
Copyright 2023 by Randy Wakeman. All rights reserved.