I bought a pair of SoundGear in-ear units from a guy here on the UPH forum a while back. They were bundled with a gun package he bought at a banquet but he already had a pair of the pricier ones, so he gave me a pretty good price on them. I think they retail for $399 new.
They work great, but they are small and very easy to lose track of. I managed to lose one shortly after getting them The SoundGear folks were very helpful and hooked me up with a single replacement at a discount (and threw in a box of batteries too). Between the original purchase price and the replacement, I'm now in for about what a set of new ones cost. I tend to keep better track of them now.
Now that I have gotten used to electronic hearing protection, I'm not sure I could go back to plugs or muffs. They allow me to hear what's going on around me (voices, dogs, birds running/flushing, etc), but they don't pick up the wind noise like I thought they would. For indoor range shooting I still use plugs & muffs, but for hunting/clay shooting they are perfect - well worth $400.
There are several options now. ESP/Westone Game ear are both at the extreme high range. There are several new ones out. Ghost Stryke is one I have recommended to some collegues and they really liked them. $400 for a set, more if you want amplification. There are several others out there but I am not sure how well they work.
Word of caution, with those that come in different colors, Get the brightest color you can. Don't get red/black/brown/green. You will be amazed how much foliage blend in with your ear pro when it falls into the grass.
You get what you pay for. If you want ear protection buy some good plugs that are formed to your ears. I struggle to hear birds get up when I have those in so I spent the money and bought some great protection. You would be amazed at how often you use them and the use they get. I lost a lot of hearing due to my not wanting to spend the money. The hearing loss can't be bought back! i now own a pair from Wild Ear. They didn't cost me $1,000 but just because I bought them at a show on a deal. http://wildear.com/ These are the best I have found!
Not sure where you are located at, but near where I live is a thing called Game Fair. They have tons of vendors and you can go and talk to all sorts of ear protection guys from custom made plugs all the way to sound amplification and noise deadening.
I'm new to this site and have enjoyed the discussions.
As I've gotten wiser, hopefully, I have been considering electronic hearing protection when I'm hunting. At almost 70 the hearing is not so good - maybe I should have protected it better when I was younger. So I'm thinking electronic vs. plugs.
Any experience and recommendations - plus and minus?
I have always used ear plugs at the gun club, but haven't used hearing protection when hunting as I thought hearing was so important whether turkey, deer or pheasant hunting with dogs - that has likely been a mistake with the hearing loss I have now.
Of course 5 years in Uncle Sam's infantry shooting everything including 50 cal and M60 machine guns probably contributed. Hope you young folks are smarter and protect your hearing.
Just now read the message regards ear protection; which one did you buy? Did they fit you or just sell you one over the counter? Does it enhance hearing or just block out loud sounds? And what was the cost of your Wild Ear?
I bought my wild ear plugs a few years ago. They are great and they are molded to fit my ear. They take a mold of your ear that only takes a couple of minutes to do and then they make custom ones for you. I lost my first pair and they still had my mold so it was easy for them to remake me another pair. They block out any loud noises and they enhance my hearing. I can use them for deer hunting as well! I think I paid around $700-$800 for my first pair. It was a special at the game fair.
All the puppies are sold. They will be going to their new homes on Labor Day weekend.