REVIEW: Peltor’s Sport ‘Tactical 500’ electronic hearing protector and ‘Securefit’ eyewear

It is a pleasure to share with you information about the best eye-pro/ear-pro combo that I’ve ever used.

The combo arrived in the mail a week ago: a pair of Peltor Sport Tactical 500 Electronic Hearing Protectors, and a set of three “Securefit” safety eyewear, in clear, gray and amber.

I had seen the products at the SHOT Show in January — they were a featured item at Media Day — but they were not available for individual testing at that time.

I put the product through rigorous testing — shooting indoors at Sarasota’s Take Aim Gun Range, and then

TGW PHOTO Carrie Rasmussen

outdoors during a 3-gun competition at the Manatee Gun and Archery Club.

Make no mistake, these are unlike any electronic ear-pro you’ve used before.  They’re by far the best pairing I’ve ever seen — hands down.

According to the manufacturer, Peltor, which is a division of 3M, the “technology measures the energy in gunshot noise as well as echoes in the environment and automatically sets suppression time for optimized comfort and communication.”

The Sport Tactical 500 Electronic Hearing Protector, which retails for $199.99, features the following:

  • A vented headband, which allows heat release and is comfortable with headgear
  • Low-profile cushioned cut-away cups with rubber bumpers
  • Recessed microphones that reduce wind noise
  • An easy-to-use button interface and voice guidance for operation without removing the headset.

    [Herald-Tribune staff photo / Dan Wagner]

  • Foldable, compact storage
  • Bluetooth technology to allow two-way communications and cell phone usage
  • An NRR of 26
  • Programmable auto shut-off
  • A 3.5mm audio input jack, which fits most 2-way radios.

All tolled, they create one dynamic product.

The one feature that sets the Tactical 500 Electronic Hearing Protector apart is the “Clear Voice Tracking” — which makes it very easy to communicate while there’s gunfire nearby. It actually makes it more easy to understand what someone’s saying — improving speech intelligibility.

And it works.

I was at an indoor range with three AKs firing simultaneously just feet away and had no trouble understanding what my shooting buddy was saying. I heard every word — a far cry from traditional electronic ear-pro that will sometimes shut down when there’s that much gunfire.

The one feature which distinguishes the Tactical 500 from the Tactical 300, which retails for $149.99, is Bluetooth compatibility.

I found it very easy to sync my iPhone with the Tactical 500 — it took just seconds. Once synced, I heard a soft tone for every text and email, and a standard ringtone for each phone call. I’d never had cellphone access at a range before. I usually left the phone in the truck. It was one of the reasons I enjoyed going to the range. With the Bluetooth on, you’ll never miss a text, email or call unless, of course, you leave the phone in your truck.

Peltor deserves kudos for the design of their “Securefit” eyewear. They’re the perfect addition to their hearing protectors.

The glasses have thin, flexible temples, which neither pinch nor create a gap for sound to enter.

The temples of the Peltor “SecureFit” eyewear are thin, flexible and do not pinch under ear-pro. [Herald-Tribune staff photo / Dan Wagner]

They’re also extremely comfortable.

I wore the pair for hours but never developed the painful eye-pro/ear-pro pinch.

In my humble opinion, Peltor has created the most comfortable, best designed and most effective combo for serious shooters, hunters, LEOs and the military.

When I’m shooting, you won’t see me wearing anything else.

For more info, go to 3M.com

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About Author

Lee Williams can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t shooting. Before becoming a journalist, Lee served in the Army and worked as a police officer. He’s earned more than a dozen journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. He is an NRA-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, an avid tactical shooter and a training junkie. When he’s not busy as a senior investigative reporter, he is usually shooting his AKs, XDs and CZs. If you don’t run into him at a local gun range, you can reach him at 941.284.8553, by email, or by regular mail to 1777 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You can follow him on Twitter: @HT_GunWriter and on Facebook @The Gun Writer.

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