We got to check out the ISOtunes Sport Caliber electronic hearing protection system before they were available for purchase. Here's what we thought.
Hearing protection has come a long way from the foam plugs you have to pinch in between your finger and thumb. In fact, expecting a lot out of a newly-acquired pair of ear muffs or earplugs isn't being greedy, it's the modern age we're living in. If your hearing protection isn't actually, you know, protecting your hearing as well as a newer, more capable model can, you're definitely doing it wrong.
At least that's how I've started to feel after seeing the fast-moving advancements in hearing protection over the last couple of years. Hunters and sport shooters, in particular, have a lot to concern themselves with, and doing permanent damage to their hearing shouldn't be one of them. Experiencing the the new ISOtunes Sport Caliber in-ear electronic hearing protection only cemented that feeling when I witnessed the difference they can make.
ISOtunes Sport Caliber Close Up
The company had dabbled in the plug department with the ISOtunes Sport Advance, an in-ear tactical hearing protector, but the innovations in the Caliber design are leaps and bounds ahead.
The Caliber uses a true wireless design that's Bluetooth 5.2-connection capable. In fact, you can dual-connect more than one device, and your damage-free listening will stay clear more than 30 feet away.
The earplugs have up to a 13-hour battery life, but you can store two full additional charges inside the rechargeable case. After two hours of no Bluetooth connectivity, the Caliber earbuds shut down automatically to conserve battery.
Those features were added onto the other ISOtunes capabilities, like the Tactical Sound Control Technology, which enhances your hearing by eight times while simultaneously protecting your ears from the high-impact noises gunshots produce. There's a sub-two millisecond response time and the ear plugs are 25 NRR tested and approved to ANSI s3. 19-1974. That means there's some pretty impressive noise reduction capabilities that can handle very loud environments like a shooting range.
It's rated at IP67 durability for dust, sweat, and waterproof protection, and includes the ISOtunes Sport SafeMax Technology, which limits volume output to 85 dB for damage-free listening.
Trying Them Out
I was able to give these ISOtunes Sport Caliber earplugs a good test over the last few days, including a trip to a shooting range, and was left believing I'd found a more-than-capable ear protection system, one that's preferred over a lot of the years-old systems I've got in my possession.
The ISOtunes Sport Caliber comes with three sizes of short eartips, three sizes of ISOtunes tall eartips, one pair of silicone eartips, a charging case with lanyard, and USB-C charging cord.
It didn't take much getting used to at all, and they were comfortable after I swapped out a slightly larger-sized eartip. They're very lightweight and don't have any buttons or switches to manipulate; you can just insert them in your ear and carry on without any adjustments or tweaks needed.
I could hear the range officer's commands, the small talk convo going on at the bench next to me, and the music through my phone's media player just fine without any issues. The fact that I was able to hear and comprehend all these, while simultaneously protecting my ears from the periodic, unannounced gunshots that are common at a shooting range, is a key benefit for me. These are some awesome earplugs.
In a hunting scenario, there's no comparison to the non-electronic over-the-ear muffs or foam plugs. The level of environmental awareness that you're able to maintain, even with these plugs, remains high. The smallest sounds are still detected, but you're protected from the high-end, extremely loud noises when the shot needs to occur.
When it's time to communicate via Bluetooth, the background noise-reducing microphone provides clear communication. I conducted a few test phone calls and was able to hear and be heard while the range activity continued around me.
To cap it off, ISOtunes Sport offers a one-year warranty and a 30-day money back guarantee, plus they boast a speedy, U.S.-based customer service squad to help with any potential issues.
I'd definitely recommend these reasonably priced earplugs for a variety of folks, from hardcore hunters who are in the woods all season, to weekend sport shooters who only occasionally need quality ear protection. They won't break the bank, they're nice and durable, and more than capable of doing their intended job without fuss.
The ISOtunes Sport Caliber hearing protection system is available for $199.99 from ISOtunes Sport's website, and that's also the place to go for more details and info on these small-but-mighty earplugs, as well as the rest of ISOtunes Sport's gear.
NEXT: GEAR REVIEW: ISOTUNES SPORT DEFY SLIM ELECTRONIC EARMUFFS