The ongoing civil unrest in many cities has led to a dramatic reevaluation of gear. Such scrutiny has been urgent and widespread among peace officers ( think laser-safe eyewear and solutions for hearing protection) but is increasingly common across the entire spectrum of gun owners. Recently Chris Tran (seasoned LEO and Mag Life contributor) shared his thoughts about the Otto Noizebarrier Micro hearing protection in just this context.
Let’s quickscope it.
Otto Noizebarrier Earpro
It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Otto Engineering I wear their Range SAs on my helmet at work, and I’ve been T&Eing their Noizebarrier Micros as a possible solution for our bike officers that are working the protests and riots in the area. – muffs won’t work under their bike helmets, and earplugs are a no-go as they lose situational awareness.
Thus far, the Micros have performed very well on the range, indoors, against NFDDs [Noise Flash Diversionary Device, aka “flashbangs”], and in fight exposures. The biggest issue so far is individual officer ear canal depth and finding a comfortable ear-tip.
One of the big concerns I had was losing an earbud during a fight, hard takedown, or resistive arrest. The Micros come [and combat such issues] with a thin, strong, unobtrusive lanyard. That, in conjunction with this, a dual acoustic tube attachment, is money.
Not only can you hook the Micro earbuds up directly to your acoustic tube(s) but they add another level of earbud retention. I thread the lanyard through the acoustic tube coils and attach it to the drag handle of my carrier – so if an earbud happens to get knocked out during a fight, there is a much better chance of retaining the earbud as it’s tethered by a lanyard and an acoustic tube as well.
Tran says the Otto Noizebarrier Micros have “…new earpiece kits, officers can plug their acoustic audio tube directly into the micros, allowing for clear comms and the same 360° active hearing protection we need to maintain situational awareness and active hearing protection as well.”
If you’re curious, Tran advises the Otto Range SA headset he wears on his helmet “blew his MSAs out of the water”, relegating his Sordins to backup. He says his only (negative) critique of the Range SA style is that they autogate with wind noise.
Keep up with more like this via Tran’s social media, @christranfiveoh. Find Otto’s earpro online.
If Tran publishes a formal review here or elsewhere we’ll update this article.
Noizebarrier Micro Specs and details
The Otto Noizebarrier Micro is described by the manufacturer as, “…high-definition and rechargeable electronic earplugs offer unsurpassed situational awareness and clear communication while providing hearing protection from loud noises. The dual-mode NoizeBarrier earplugs offer active hearing protection as well as hearing enhancement for extremely effective sound localization and detection.”
NRR: 28 dB(Foam Tips); 23 dB (3-Flange Tips)
Frequency Response: 40Hz – 16kHz
Transducers: Balanced armature receivers (speakers), Wide bandwidth, low-noise MEMS microphones
Earplugs: Up to 16 hours
Charge Station: 20 earplug charge cycles
- Up to 40 dB of impulse noise protection
- Up to 15 dB adaptive noise attenuation
- Hearing enhancement-mode – amplifies soft sounds up to 5X
- Natural hearing for safe sounds
- Accu-Technology® high-definition sound quality
- One-button touchpad, 2-mode operation
- Rechargeable with up to 16 hours of continuous use
- Earpiece and case IP67 water-resistant
- Charging status LCD panel