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Otto Noizebarrier review and questions


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On Monday I ordered a set of Otto Noizebarrier in-ear hearing protection directly from the company.  Less than 24 hours later they were on my porch.

 

The packaging is superlative, from the case to the included accessories. 

 

I put them in my ears as per the manual’s instructions and made the 30 minute drive to my favorite local cover.  On the way I tried music of various types, windows down and up, snapping my fingers and so on.  So far so good.  I found them to be as sonically clean as the Predator Gold over ear types I currently use for hunting, with better directional capability.

 

Over the course of ninety minutes my vizsla pointed 5 grouse.  The first three went up the moment I turned to the point, so no shot.  The Ottos didn’t pick up the flush or flight at all.

 

I already had a little concern about the degree to which they were magnifying the sounds of the dry cover I was walking in, but I wasn’t ready to be disappointed yet.

 

That came when my dog got birdy and I turned in her direction.  I caught sight of a grouse flying directly over my head that had busted out- and the flight was absolutely silent.  It was if the Otto’s were specifically designed to tune out any grouse sounds.  That’s when the disappointment set in.  On the walk back to the car I bumped one out of a tree less than a yard in front of me and again, silence.

 

So no improvement over any of the other types I’ve tried.  They are comfortable, don’t fall out, don’t get knocked off by cover, and I’m sure will be great for deer and waterfowl hunting.  Not total loss.

 

I wonder if perhaps there is something unique about the way  the sounds of grouse flight is generated that is beyond the capability of electronic noise suppression devices.  Perhaps the tiny speakers can’t reproduce that subtle, lower frequency sound?

 

So I tried listening to grouse flushes, drumming, and flights I found on YouTube.  I am a high end audio fanatic, so I was using our very nice two channel stereo system to bring these sounds in my living room.  I had the Ottos in while sitting in the “sweet spot” appropriate distance from our speakers.

 

I could hear all the grouse sounds with total clarity.

 

I’m baffled.

 

I am quite familiar with the science of hearing- having had nasal and ear surgery to fix a few things at the Michigan Hearing Institute in Farmington Hills.  I have very good hearing for my age, but miserable tinnitus from too many years hunting before I started using protection.

 

Any thoughts?  Is there some science I’m missing here?

Edited by Brent
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I have bought Sport Ears . Had them several years now . They are supposed to be tuned in to the sounds of a grouse flush . I do hear it a little better but not perfect . They are better suited for tree stand . I think most are similar . I paid $2000 on sale . 

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gunsrus, one of my friends tried those and he couldn't hear flushes.  I'm glad they are working for you.  He just uses his for deer hunting now.  His experience kept them off my radar.

 

Allen, I can't help with that!

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Brent, could you hear grouse flushes with the Pro Ear Predator Gold muffs? I know muffs are too hot for bird hunting, but I'm just curious.

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Dave:

 

You can, but only if you're right on top of them.  Numerous times someone I've hunted with has yelled at me that there is a bird in the air I haven't noticed because they can barely pick it up if at all.

 

I have been hunting with Predator Golds for four years.  I use them for all of my hunting despite the sweat.  The Ottos were far more enjoyable to crash around with yesterday because they are so small, but at this point I'd say at least the Golds can hear a tiny bit of grouse flushes.  But not much.  They are a great product overall.  I've shot deer with .308, 6.5x55, and .357 Magnum with them on and the resulting protection was really nice.  

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Thanks, Brent. I've been eyeballing a set of those for a long time. Finally found a set at a super price only to find out they were sold out after being listed as "In stock."  Grrr!

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If you can find a pair truly I recommend them despite the grouse flush problem.  I've even taken them to concerts and been pleased with the results.  As you probably know they are made in the US which is a rarity of electronics.

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I bought a pair of OTTO’s a few weeks ago.  Bought them primarily for hearing protection from shooting. They work great for that and having situational awareness  while shooting is very nice and they work very well for that along with pulse noise suppression. Took a walk in a nearby state park to see how they handle the woods. Didn’t see any grouse but heard a turkey walking. 
 

Have not had them long enough to know how they hold up but am very glad I bought them. They seems very well built and are very comfortable. 

 

Olaf
 


 

 

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28 minutes ago, Crazy Setter said:

I bought a pair of OTTO’s a few weeks ago.  Bought them primarily for hearing protection from shooting. They work great for that and having situational awareness  while shooting is very nice and they work very well for that along with pulse noise suppression. Took a walk in a nearby state park to see how they handle the woods. Didn’t see any grouse but heard a turkey walking. 
 

Have not had them long enough to know how they hold up but am very glad I bought them. They seems very well built and are very comfortable. 

 

Olaf
 


 

 

Same here, just got them a short time ago. Went for a walk and was very pleased at directional hearing when looking where I heard birds singing, and geese flying by. Haven’t had them hunting yet either to hear bird flushes. Wish they had more volume control, like my game ears do.

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Update:

 

I tried them again last night on the high setting, which is said to be 5x normal.

 

I could hear my heart beating, water subtly sloshing in my pack, what birds were thinking, and I think I might have heard a conversation taking place on the ISS.

 

The sounds of the wind in leaves sounds like a violent hailstorm (I'm not exaggerating) and so on.  BUT...one can easily hear a bird flushing.  Unfortunately the birds we found where in the thickest possible cover, but I could hear grouse peeping as they flushed and all that.  It was incredible, but I'm not sure I can take that level of stimulation again.  I wish there was a bit of a happier medium.  But to OTTO's credit on that setting, they work.

 

Brent

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Have had mine for about a year now and love them. Although never used them for hunting. There are a couple of posts on here about them and I have posted in them. 

 

Packing now to leave for a month hunting grouse in XXX. Maybe I should pack them too. Yeah wish they were a bit more variable on the amplification level. That is a no Chitter about hearing your heart beat with them. And a tiny brook running a hundred yards off. With any wind the leaves become so loud I normally turn them back down. 

 

Yes the suppression still works on the high setting. But you can also hear every word the squad on the next station says, it can be interesting and helpful LOL.

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4 hours ago, Cold Iron said:

Have had mine for about a year now and love them. Although never used them for hunting. There are a couple of posts on here about them and I have posted in them. 

 

Packing now to leave for a month hunting grouse in XXX. Maybe I should pack them too. Yeah wish they were a bit more variable on the amplification level. That is a no Chitter about hearing your heart beat with them. And a tiny brook running a hundred yards off. With any wind the leaves become so loud I normally turn them back down. 

 

Yes the suppression still works on the high setting. But you can also hear every word the squad on the next station says, it can be interesting and helpful LOL.


 

what do you use them for if not hunting

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