Electronic hearing protection is one of the best investments you can make if you do a lot of training. Nothing beats being able to hear range commands and instruction while simultaneously blocking out loud sounds that can damage your hearing. However, the pads that come on the headbands of many headsets seem to be an afterthought that weren’t designed for the realities of high volume training.
I have a Sordin headset that has a leather (or leather like) cover that gets nasty when exposed to rain or sweat, so I contacted Mike at OC Tactical who is well known for his Hearing Protection Covers.
OC Tactical Hearing Protection Covers look pretty simple but there is a lot going on underneath the nylon. The main structure of the Hearing Protection Covers is made from either coated 330D or 500D nylon. This keeps the weight down while offering a durability upgrade versus the original covers.
The underside of the covers, which is the part of the cover that contacts the wearer’s head, has a Dri-lex pad that is backed with foam. This provides a bit of low-profile padding and moisture wicking to keep the wearer comfortable.
All of the edges are bound with folded nylon material and they come standard with a 5”x1” strip of Velcro on the top for affixing a name tape. However, since OC Tactical is a true custom shop, the Velcro can be left off if you don’t need it.
Installation is easy. You just fold the cover around the headband of your hearing protection and it secures with Velcro. Depending on the model of hearing protection that you are using you may or may not need to remove the original pad. OC Tactical makes covers that are sized to fit over the thin leather covers found on some Sordin models which means you don’t have to cut off the original cover. In fact, OC Tactical has patterns for any model of Sordin headset, many Peltors, and the Howard Light Impact Sport headsets.
Observations from Use
The first thing that you will notice when using these covers is that they offer an immediate improvement in comfort. A little bit of padding goes a long way here and they handle moisture much better. That goes for moisture from your head in the form of sweat and moisture from weather conditions.
I shoot with a bunch of guys who use Sordin hearing protection so it is really nice to have my headset immediately identifiable by the cover. OC Tactical offers a staggering amount of color and camo pattern options so you shouldn’t have any problem making your headset stand out.
I did find that the cover bunched up a bit when initially installed due to the fact that the cover is a straight piece of material being installed on a curved headband. However, it relaxed and wore in over time. There are still some bunches but they are minimal and I don’t notice them at all when wearing the cover.
I wasn’t at all happy with the leather-like cover on my Sordins. OC Tactical’s Hearing Protection Covers were a great solution for me. I already made the investment in quality hearing protection so it made sense to go all the way. I highly recommend these covers.
Check out the OC Tactical Hearing Protection Covers on OCTactical.com. The site says they are out of stock, but they can be ordered.