When I initially got into hunting and shooting, like most folks I picked up a couple pairs of the Walker electronic ear muffs for hearing protection. I've been happy with them and they work great and protecting my hearing while also enabling conversation with buddies.
However, they can become uncomfortable on long range days and are a bit bulky and heavy to throw in my backpack while hunting.
So, I was in the market for a new solution and I eventually came across Axil and their GX Extreme 2.0 ear buds and I picked up a couple pairs during the BOGO black friday sale.
The Axil GX Extreme 2.0 has proven to be a great option that delivers 3 products in 1. Say goodbye to carrying multiple hearing devices and hello to the convenience of having Bluetooth earbuds, noise isolation headphones, and electronic earmuffs all in one product. With a 29 dB Single Number Rating (SNR), this product offers a number of improvements over the 1.0 version including 2.5X better audio quality, giving you a more full, rich audio experience. Additionally, the compression is 2.5X faster and smoother, protecting your hearing from loud sounds at 85 dB or higher. Plus, an extra set of heavy-duty foam earplugs ensures maximum seal in any ear canal size. With 2.5X the battery life, you can enjoy up to 25 hours of hearing enhancement and protection run time or 9 hours of audio-only run time.
The Axil GX Extreme 2.0 also features sport-fit ear hooks that comfortably stay in your ear and a rechargeable lithium battery on a lanyard, ensuring you won't miss any action on the hunt. The design is made from ABS, medical-grade, non-allergenic acrylic shells and features control sticks for Bluetooth and hearing and protection volume. You can switch between sound enhancement and protection mode to Bluetooth audio mode, or use both at the same time with independent volume controls to tune to your environment. With 5.0 Bluetooth audio for studio-quality audio and hands-free communication, you won't miss a beat.
Overall, the Axil GX Extreme 2.0 offers a 19 dB SNR with silicone tips, 29 dB SNR with general foam tips, and 30 dB SNR with max protect foam tips, making it the perfect hunting accessory for anyone who wants to stay aware of their surroundings while also protecting their hearing.
What Internet Reviews Say
Some customers found that the earbuds work well in loud environments, such as at a shooting range or while mowing the lawn. Others had issues with the fit or found that wind noise was picked up when using the "audio enhance" feature. The sound quality received mixed reviews, with some customers finding the sound lacking bass or with amplified high frequencies. The earbuds received high ratings from some customers, while others found them uncomfortable or difficult to keep in place.
The most common pros mentioned in the reviews were that the earbuds provide good noise reduction or cancellation, they are comfortable to wear, and they are useful for shooting, construction work, lawn care, and other loud outdoor activities. Additionally, many users appreciated the long battery life and separate controls for noise suppression/amplification and Bluetooth music.
While the product has received mostly positive reviews, there are some common cons mentioned. These include: the fit of the earbuds, wind noise interference when using the audio enhance feature, and general sound quality as compared to claims.
So far we've been putting the GS Extreme 2.0's through the paces at the range and they've performed great. I currently have these in my pack for my spring bear hunt and expect to be using them in a real hunting scenario soon.
In general, my opinion follows the majority of the internet reviews. These things do a superb job suppressing gunshots and protecting hearing while using firearms. They're comfortable and very easy to use and I've been satisfied with the sound quality when listening to music via bluetooth.
For me the biggest con has been the sound quality when using the audio enhancement feature. It doesn't sound quite as good as Walker over-the-ear units and seems to suffer a bit more from wind noise interference. Perhaps the biggest issue for me personally is that I'm almost always using a hoodie of some sort and, given the location of the microphone, this almost always causes unwanted scratching noises.
Still, those cons are not a deal breaker for me. The small, lightweight nature of the unit and excellent sound suppression when shooting are more important to me. I'm very happy with my purchase and have no hesitation recommending these to other hunters.