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View Full Version : A ringing right ear after a day of shooting (surefire ep-3 plugs)


Nordschleife
08-03-2010, 10:51 AM
I'm wondering if anyone here regularly uses Surefire EP-3 Sonic Defender ear plugs?

I purchased a set of these and tried them out for the first time, yesterday, up at Burro. After shooting for three hours, I noticed a ring in my ears after the very last line break was called. I took the sonic defenders off and RINGGGG, on my right ear!

Went with my buddy to fire his newly-built AR. My left ear is perfectly fine, but my right ear is fairly deaf. He was using these as well and he was perfectly fine. I don't know why my right ears are messed up, they seemed to be working well, but perhaps they're not made for this type of long usage?

Anyone else experience this with these plugs? (and yes, the port was closed!)

hkusp9c
08-03-2010, 11:59 AM
oh that sucks. I was gonna give surefire plugs a try as well. I guess not. I hope your ear's ok.

sevensix2x51
08-03-2010, 12:04 PM
are you right handed? perhaps you have a unique cheek weld, that pulls your ear and deforms the canal.... stranger things have happened. i have used ep-3's and 4's, and i love them.

johnthomas
08-03-2010, 12:19 PM
My guess, you didn't have them in correctly. I wasn't there so I am only making a guess based on the number of times I see folks not wearing ear plugs the way they are designed to be worn. As you may know, anything over 85 dcb's require hearing protection. Correctly installed. I am surprised you didn't notice the loud noise every time a shot rang out. I use the foam plugs. There is a technique in putting in and wearing any hearing protection. I'm also guessing you are right handed? Your shoulder or buttstock may have aided in working the plug loose from a properly seated position.

Sniper3142
08-03-2010, 1:27 PM
It was my understanding that the Surefire EP-3 Sonic Defender ear plugs were for outdoor use and were also supposed to be more of an "emergency use" kind of thing. For regular and/or long term use, I always double-up (foam earplugs under a set of over-the-ear Peltor or similar setup.

Hopefully, the ringing will eventually go away. If there was also noticeable hearing loss, I'd strongly suggest seeing a doctor.

:(

If not, here are some good resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tinnitus

http://www.ata.org/

Corbin Dallas
08-03-2010, 1:31 PM
EP3's do not have a high enough NRR for AR15's. I use them for pistol and shotgun only. Any rifle work and I have to put in the foamies or double up.

Sheepdog1968
08-03-2010, 1:54 PM
EP3's do not have a high enough NRR for AR15's. I use them for pistol and shotgun only. Any rifle work and I have to put in the foamies or double up.

I'm sorry you have had this happen. I looked the Sonic's up, they provide 16 dB of protection. The foam kind typically provide somewhere between 28 to 33 dB of protection depending on the brand. For rifles, I like to double up as well.

shrap
08-03-2010, 2:46 PM
EP3s don't fit well into my ear and have a tendency to work their way out, so I stopped using them. I'll stick with foam earplugs and then an electronic headset over those if I'm indoors or near loud guns.

Spiggy
08-03-2010, 4:41 PM
Surefire Earpro works great outdoors for light things, but if you're going to shoot rifle, the foamie ones work better.

naimad
08-03-2010, 4:51 PM
pm sent

Nordschleife
08-03-2010, 7:36 PM
are you right handed? perhaps you have a unique cheek weld, that pulls your ear and deforms the canal.... stranger things have happened. i have used ep-3's and 4's, and i love them.

Yep! I'm right handed. It was with my AR and a Magpul CTR stock...but the thing is, my friend was using the exact same setup (his AR has a standard 6-position stock) and he was perfectly fine. He even checked my ear piece and said it was good to go. But...

EP3s don't fit well into my ear and have a tendency to work their way out, so I stopped using them.

This may be the case and perhaps why my right ear is ringing.

I'll definitely take all the suggestions from the above and start doubling up with foamies and a pair of good muffs.

Thanks a LOT for all the input, everyone! I'm still gonna see a ENT Doc just in case, tomorrow.

Diabolus
08-03-2010, 7:56 PM
I very much dislike the Surefire EP3s.

Spiggy
08-03-2010, 10:39 PM
they work great if you know how to hook up a MP3 player to them :D

esskay
08-03-2010, 11:58 PM
I'm still gonna see a ENT Doc just in case, tomorrow.

Better safe than sorry, but they can't really do much IME. I forgot to put my ears back on one time and touched off my AR. Yowza that was bad, ears were ringing for days. Doc took a look but couldn't do anything but tell me not to do that again!

stphnman20
08-04-2010, 12:03 AM
I have some but never tired it.. Can't go wrong with Peltors dude.

wkd4496
08-04-2010, 12:18 AM
I use them all the time (surefire) when I fire my AR, shotgun, and pistol. Never had a problem. But I have been turning up the tv volume lately. I think I'll do foams and double up.

G-forceJunkie
08-04-2010, 12:26 AM
As stated the NRR is 16, and thats assumming a perfect fit. Cheap foamies are over 30 NRR. You simply did not have enough hearing protection.

SgtDinosaur
08-04-2010, 3:23 PM
Most likely it will go away. I'm an old guy and have on occasion shot without any hearing protection. Afterwards my ears rang and I couldn't hear too good for a while, but eventually things went back to normal and I still do ok on hearing tests.

I still recommend using adequate hearing protection, of course. The more the better.

Plisk
08-04-2010, 3:30 PM
Did you have the plunger cap put in on the right ear piece? First time I tried the Surefires; I forgot to put one of the plug dongles in and I figured it out on the 2nd round.

pontiacpratt
08-04-2010, 3:53 PM
Did you have the plunger cap put in on the right ear piece? First time I tried the Surefires; I forgot to put one of the plug dongles in and I figured it out on the 2nd round.
When shooting outdoors I never run the stoppers in. My AR. .308, and .40 no issues. As I understand the stoppers only block low-level droning noise (engine noise). The "Hocks noise breaker" works regardless of the stoppers... at least that is what I get from the "Operator's manual"

Nordschleife
08-09-2010, 6:38 AM
It's been six days since I posted this, and my ears have fully recovered. I'm hearing fine now, thankfully.

I purchased these, and used them three times already at the range with AWESOME hearing protection (doubled up with foamies):

http://www.riflegear.com/p-589-leightning-impact-sport-green-electronic-nrr-23db.aspx

If anyone here is looking for a solid pair of muffs that won't break the bank, definitely check these out.

Was at Vegas over the weekend, and stopped by American Shooters (beautiful tactical shop/indoor range) to fire off a few rounds with my AR and used foamie/muff combo and walked out with the same great hearing as I walked in with.

phkk
08-09-2010, 8:06 AM
i double my safe by using the earplug and ear-muff at the same time.

hope your ear gets better

Mac Attack
08-09-2010, 8:38 AM
I have been using the same pair of surefire plugs since they came out. I use them for outdoor shooting and they work fine. I also use them for indoor shooting but I use mutts as well.