Tried and tested – Clever ear protection from Custom Fit Guards, Havalon’s versatile Hydra Double Blade, the new and improved BL-HD bino range from Minox, and more
The CF Duo is a passive (i.e. non-electronic) device that utilises a special filter to reduce the sound levels reaching the ear while still allowing you to hear conversation and natural environmental noise. Where the CF Duo is different from other devices is that it offers two different levels of use: one with maximum noise suppression; and one allowing a greater level of environmental noise if you like to chat or have more awareness of the world around you. A simple rocker switch is used to shift between these two modes and it is very easy to do by touch.
The custom fitting process only takes a few minutes and consists of the strangely enjoyable sensation of having your ears filled with cool ‘goo’ that slowly blots out the rest of the world. Blissful!
With a custom mould of your lugholes created, the team at Custom Fit Guards then fabricate a set of hearing protectors from medical-grade silicone. You can choose from all sorts of colours but the clear ones give you the chance to see all the internal gubbins – especially cool on the electronic models!
A week or two later, the plugs arrive in a neat box, along with a protective pouch and a small tub of ear lubricant (Vaseline, basically!) to help insert the plugs easily. There is also a wax removal tool to clean the plugs and an instruction booklet.
There is definitely a knack to getting in-ear plugs in properly, but a bit of lubricant or saliva should ensure a nice snug fit and a bit of a twist when you put them in also helps.
The plugs are quite soft and very comfortable to wear even for extended periods. The advantage over muff-type protectors is that when wearing glasses and a hat (as most clay shooters do) there is nothing to break the seal around the ear. There are no bulky plastic shells to interfere with your gun mount, or to make you sweaty in hot weather.
The price tag of £99 might seem quite a lot for a passive plug, but they are well made and are comfortable and effective. We simply cannot overstate the importance of looking after your hearing, and even if, like me, you are already having some problems, good protection will minimise any further hearing degradation.
For more information on the CF Duo, or the other models available, visit www. customfitguards.co.uk or call 01926 640786.