U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- If you have been shooting for any length of time you have probably tried several different brands and styles of hearing protection. While one style might offer more convenience, another less convenient style may offer more protection. The Peltor Tac 500 Bluetooth ear muffs offer a nearly perfect balance of features, protection, and form factor leaving very little to be desired.
As you might expect, the Peltor Tac 500 ear muffs are stuffed full of high tech electronics that block harmful noises but still allow conversation and other safe noises to be heard. Peltor also packs a ton of other features into the muffs like Bluetooth tech that allows you to connect your phone to the headset and take calls or listen to music while protecting your hearing from harmful noises.
While the 26 dBA noise reduction rating might not seem impressive, keep in mind that a sound that is 3 dB louder doubles the acoustic energy making the muffs noticeably quieter than others I have used.
Here are the rest of the specs from the Peltor website:
- 26 dB Noise Reduction Rating (NRR)
- Bluetooth® Wireless Technology syncs with mobile devices
- 3M SMART Technologies
- Dynamic Suppression Time adapts to firearm and environment for optimized shooting experience
- Clear Voice Tracking seeks voice within noise for improved speech intelligibility
- Auto shut-off
- Intuitive buttons and voice guidance let you operate without removing headset
- Low-profile cups have cut-outs for use with long guns`
- Vented, adjustable headband improves comfort when worn with hats
- Durable recessed microphones designed to reduce wind and fan noise
I did find some uses for the Tac 500s off the range several times in instances that might be a bit … unorthodox.
Before we get to the unorthodox uses, let's talk about the obvious ones like yard work. I used the Tac 500s a few times when mowing and weed eating my yard while listening to music and found that they worked great while cutting out some of the engine noise.
Is wearing the Tac 500s on an airplane be unorthodox? While most people would go with a set of noise canceling headphones, I have flown a couple of times while wearing the Tac 500s to cut down on the amount of cabin noise on long flights. The side benefit of being able to listen to music while suppressing noise over 82 dB was also pretty darn handy.
Probably the most out of the box use I had for the Peltor Tac 500s was wearing them while my wife is vacuuming. I know, that sounds pretty insane but when you have a Belgian Malinois in the same small room as you are in the muffs are very appreciated. I was able to keep working on video editing during the onslaught of over 100 dB barks aimed at the intruding vacuum and retained most of my hearing thanks to the muffs.
On The Range
Over the last year, I have switched between my MSA Sordin Supreme Pro X muffs and the Peltor Tac 500 muffs depending on what muff is closer to my range bag.
Again, the amplification of ambient noise and conversation was something that I quite appreciated on the range. Not only did it make conversation or listening to range commands easy, but when someone drove up to the bay I was shooting at I could hear the car approaching.
On days when I am on a range by myself I also rather enjoyed listening to audiobooks, podcasts, and music while shooting. Something about jamming out while shooting groups seemed to help me focus on the task at hand resulting in some pretty stellar handgun groups.
I have been using the Peltor Tac 500 muffs for about a year now and can't say I have many gripes. One of my main gripes is the lack of a factory option for gel cups like on my MSA Sordins. Depending on the eye protection that you might be using you might be left with a gap that allows harmful sound to leak past the ear cups. That particular annoyance can be minimalized by using eye protection with very thin temples like the Smith Optics Aegis Echo II glasses or even the ESS Crossbow Suppressor ONEs.
The Peltor Tac 500s do consume batteries much faster than my MSA Sordins but that should be expected since it has the Bluetooth function built into the electronics. I would recommend that if you buy these muffs, buy a rechargeable battery or keep spare AA batteries on hand. The battery consumption isn't as bad as the ProSounds M4 muffs that I have reviewed in the past for another publication, but I have had to change batteries on the range more than once in the year I have been using the muffs.
Beyond those small irritations, the muffs are stellar. Not only do they provide better hearing protection than most other electronic muffs I have used, but they come in at a street price of about $120 that other comparable muffs just can't touch.
All in all, I would consider the Peltor Tac 500 ear muffs to be a great buy.
About Patrick R.
Patrick is a firearms enthusiast that values the quest for not only the best possible gear setup but also pragmatic ways to improve his shooting skills across a wide range of disciplines. He values truthful, honest information above all else and had committed to cutting through marketing fluff to deliver the truth. You can find the rest of his work on FirearmRack.com as well as on the YouTube channel Firearm Rack or Instagram at @thepatrickroberts.