Frequently Asked Questions
Product Selection and Fit
Q: Will Pro Ears hearing protection get in the way of my shooting?
A: No, while shooters have different shooting styles and require different levels of protection our customers testimonials attest to their satisfaction with our designs. We are confident we have a design to meet your needs. Go to our Products page to see for yourself.
Q: I work for a government agency that is required to spend 20% of our annual budget on American made products. Our agency also tries to buy from American owned small businesses. Is Pro-Ears an American owned small business? Are the electronic hearing protection made in the USA?
A: Another reason Pro Ears is the gold standard in hearing protection is we are, to the best of our knowledge, the only such products manufactured in the USA and the only company that offers a comprehensive 5 Year Warranty.
Q: Muff models like Pro Ears seem less wildy when compared to in-the-ear models such as foam plugs. Which is best, more comfortable and why?
A: We believe our hearing enhancement/hearing protection products are the most comfortable available regardless of the type. We are the only company that offers ProForm™ Leather ear seals and padded, adjustable headbands for the ultimate in soft, long wear comfort. They are light, may be worn with glasses and will not cause the wearer to sweat like the other makes using vinyl and other plastics. A common testament from our customers is they wear them for extended periods of time and don’t even realize they have them on. That is a compliment we like hearing. As for which is best; there is simply no contest. First, foam ear plugs provide very little protection from high noise levels. Second, sound is really vibrations moving through space. These vibrations not only enter through the ear canal into the very sensitive inner ear but also through the bones that surround the ear itself. Wearing a muff type unit not only provides more protection through the canal but also guards against bone transmitted vibrations. No foam ear plug will ever protect hearing like muff type models.
Q: What is the Pro Ears best model?
A: It’s not a matter of which model is ‘best’. Each model is made to fit a particular need. For example, one may be in an incredibly high noise level area, such as construction, demolition or large bore hand guns indoors. This would call for our highest NRR rated Mag Line, while a person shooting small bore rifles, or sporting clays would not require the higher NRR and would choose the Sporting Clay or Stalker models. All Pro Ears are made in the USA using the same technology so preference depends on need or want. However, when looking at our entire line the top choice for the highest level of technology is our new Dimension ‘GOLD’ Series. Go to our Product Page to find out which model fits your needs
Q: Why does Pro Ears sell so many different kinds of Electronic Hearing Protection?
A: Model choices are determined by individual need. Whether you are in law enforcement, industry or shooting sports all have different needs, likes and dislikes and different hearing protection requirements and we want to ensure we have the best options available for every customer. In addition to our full lines of electronic models we also offer the highest quality, highest NRR passive models. We have something for every need and every budget.
Q: How old should my child be before I have them start wearing hearing protection?
A: Everyone exposed to loud sounds should wear hearing protection. Children’s hearing is actually more susceptible to damage than adults. Not all hearing protection devices are suitable for infants or small children. Ear plugs can be a swallowing danger. Improperly fitted ear muffs may not provide the level of protection desired. Most ear muffs, unless specifically designed for youths, are too large for smaller heads and ears. Pro-Ears are not designed for very small children as the muffs may be too large or the headband may not compress sufficiently. Our Predator cup is the smallest Pro-Ears cup.
Q: Pro Ears have become the world leader in high-tech, electronic hearing protection/amplification products. When did this phenomena begin and why?
A: Pro Ears began with entrepreneur Dan Nigro in 1992. Dan was a professional handgun shooter and was unhappy with the current hearing protection products. Through his travels he met and became friends with one of the top audio electronics engineers in the world. The relationship between the engineer and the perfectionist resulted with the introduction of Pro Ears and the company has never looked back.
Q: What makes Pro Ears stand out from other hearing protection companies?
A: Pro Ears has, since its inception, been more concerned with quality engineering to provide the clearest, most natural sound and product reliability than flooding the market with low cost/low quality products. Our dedication to quality and innovative electronics consistently allow us to move the bar higher in hearing protection/amplification products. In 2008 we made our latest leap in technology with our introduction of the ‘GOLD’ Series. The ‘GOLD’ Series is the only active hearing protection that features an 8-Bit Micro Processor that provides continuous evaluation of the operating system. We also offer a LED Light for instant monitoring of the electronics, an Auto Shut Off feature and Low Battery Warnings.
Q: How Do I Ensure I Have a Proper Fit?
Adjust Fit – (ALL Models) A PROPER FIT IS CRITICAL TO GOOD SOUND ATTENUATION. The headband may be adjusted to ensure the cups fit correctly around the ears by sliding the headband apart. With the slider arms fully closed place the headband directly in the middle of the head. Slowly adjust one slider arm at a time as needed to ensure each cup is fully covering your ear. The ear lobe should not interfere with the seal between the cup ear seal and the skull. The two slider arms should be equidistant from the headband to ensure the best fit. Be sure the headband is resting snuggly against the top of your head. The special, replaceable ProForm Leather™ Sealing Rings are made for maximum comfort and noise protection. There should be no gaps between the ear seal and your head. For best fit ensure your hair, hat, glasses or earrings are not under the ear seal. To test for a good seal, run your index finger around the area between the ear seal and your skull and ensure there are no gaps. Pay particular attention to the space at the lower back portion of the ear as this area is most susceptible to improper fit. REMEMBER, HEARING PROTECTORS COME N DIFFERENT SHAPES AND SIZES AND NOT ALL HEARING PROTECTORS FIT ALL HEADS. BE SURE YOU HAVE A PROPER FIT BEFORE NOISE EXPOSURE.
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Customer Support Questions
Q: How do I find teh Product Registration number?
Answer : You can locate the serial number underneath the batteries; it will be a hand written number containing letters and numbers.
Q: How long does it take to return a product sent in for warranty service?
A: We generally turn around repairs in 48 – 72 hours.
Q: My Pro-Ears are out of warranty, can they still be repaired?
A: Call customer service to see if we still have the parts to fix an out of warranty model. We also offer an upgrade program to assist you in purchasing your next set of pro-ears.
Q: Can I purchase batteries directly from Pro-ears.com?
A: YES! While n style batteries are widely distributed, shopping from the comfort of your home and great prices make buying from pro-ears.com a smart choice.
Q: How does Pro Ears sell into the market?
A: We make all our products available to retail sales outlets either factory direct or through regional Distributors and to the consumer through local dealers in all states and Canada, including various catalog and internet outlets and through our own web site: www.pro-ears.com for those who are not able to purchase through a local means. For Law Enforcement, Military and Industrial we sell through various dealers that specialize in those markets as well as direct to departments, ranges and agency buyers.
Q: I am interested in carrying the Pro-Ears products in my store. Who do I contact?
A: To become a dealer, or owner of the Pro Ears brand of electronic hearing protection/amplifications products please contact us at:
In MI: 231-421-3810
Visit our web site at: www.pro-ears.com
Altus Brands, LLC.
6893 Sullivan Road.
Grawn, MI 49637
Q: Why aren’t Pro-Ears made over seas like all the other hearing protection? Wouldn’t that allow you to lower your price?
A: While it is true that all other electronic ear muffs are made outside the US it is not true that they offer a better value. When you consider the value of our five year warranty, which we can offer because of the quality of our US production, and the purity of sound due to our US engineering, we think Pro-Ears value is better than any other company. Additionally, because our customer service is located in Colorado we have the fastest, most responsive customer service anywhere. In most instances we will answer your questions in 24 hours and we can receive, repair, or upgrade a unit and get it back to the consumer in 48 hours.
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Pro Ears Use and Care Questions
Q: Can I use rechargeable batteries?
A: No, they will void the warranty.
Q: How do I replace the batteries in my Pro Ears product?
A: It’s important to insert the batteries properly into the hearing protection. Always match the plus side of the battery with the plus side of the compartment door. The battery compartment is located on the inside of the earmuff and is protected by a flap of visco-elastic foam. While this battery compartment may look insecure or unfinished, it is designed to maximize the noise attenuation and allow for easy battery replacement in field conditions or while wearing gloves. All Pro ears use an “N” size battery. These batteries can be found at most retail outlets or purchased at pro-ears.com. It could be possible to get a bad battery. So remember to buy extra batteries when purchasing your Pro-Ears product. Using the wrong style battery will void your Pro-Ears warranty and will damage your active ear muffs.
Q: How loud should I set the pro ears for normal use?
A: You should adjust the volume control so people talking close to you can be heard as a normal voice. See Use and Care to learn how to adjust the gain control.
Q: Will cold weather affect the performance of my electronic hearing protection?
A: Cold weather should not affect your Pro-Ears unless it is so cold your batteries stop working.
Q: Can I wear my pro ears in the rain?
A: Pro-Ears are not waterproof. Some brands indicate they are waterproof but I would not drop them in a bucket of water. We do seal the circuit boards on the Gold Series to provide added protection. We also do not cut the outer plastic muff (as a battery compartment) to reduce the chance of water seepage. Hunter’s wear our earmuffs in all kinds of weather with few complaints.
Q: I dropped my Pro-Ears. What is the cost of a repair?
A: If your product is under warranty the repair is free in the first 90 days. Most manufacturers defects will be evident in the first 90 days. After 90 days there may be other costs associated with repairs required due to non manufacturer’s defects. Contact customer service to get an estimate and request an RMA prior to returning your Pro-Ears.
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Technical & Troubleshooting Questions
Q: My pro ears will not turn on, what should I do?
A: Go to our troubleshooting section. If you do not find the answer to resolve your problem contact our customer service department
Q: What is DLSC™?
A: DLSC™ Technology (Dynamic Level Sound Compression) is a proprietary technology featured in all our electronic hearing protection models. This exclusive technology reacts instantly to any noise level that exceeds 82 dB. Unlike other models that either shut off the electronics or compress the volume, DLSC cuts the noise level to approx 50% or around 40 dB. At the same time it moves all other lower sounds (such as conversation) to 82 dB. What this incredible technology does is protect the wearer from hearing damaging noise spikes while at the same time, bringing other lower decible sounds up. The wearer’s hearing is always protected but is still able to hear everything in their environment. This is vital when at the range, or on the job where loud noise levels occur. With Pro Ears you will hear everything, only safely.
Q: What is NRR and what does it mean?
A: NRR stands for Noise Reduction Rating and what it does is provide a scientific measurement or standardization, for each set of hearing protection. It provides a bench mark by which people can determine the model to fit their predetermined need for various noise level environments.
Q: Electronic Hearing Protection/Amplification. Where does the amplification come into this equation?
A: The ability to hear in your environment can be as vital as having your hearing protected against damaging noise levels. In work environments with loud noises such as machinery, or loud but isolated areas such as mines, safety is a priority. With Pro Ears’ DLSC™ the wearer is able to hear conversation, warning signals, etc at all times, which keeps you aware of what is going on around you. For the LE or Military professional Pro Ears are not only vital at the range but also in tactical situations where having the ability to increase hearing up to 8 times normal can mean the difference between life and death. For the hunter or naturalist wearing Pro Ears enables you to be aware of game movements before they come into view. And our new ‘GOLD’ Series with gold conductors, gain adjustability, individual electronic controls/mics and the highest audiophile sound quality provide the clearest, most natural, 360 degree sound capture available.
Q: How does the Pro-Ears hearing protector protect your hearing?
A: Sound attenuation is the result of the ear muff blocking sound waves from entering the ear canal, just like passive ear muffs. Unlike noise cancelling headphones, the electronics in active hearing protection do not increase the noise attenuation of the hearing protectors. The electronics are designed to do two things;
- Amplify soft sounds (low decibel) to an audible level and
- Eliminate or compress very loud (high decibel) sounds to a safe level.
The noise attenuation is a result of the volume of space created by the ear muff, the materials used in the ear muff and the seal of the ear muff around your ear.
Q: Why don’t you put more than one microphone on each cup? If two are good wouldn’t more be better?
A: More than one microphone feeding sound cues to each ear creates a major problem locating sound because your own natural sense of direction is out of balance. Nature provided us with only two ears because that was all that is necessary to determine both direction and distance of a sound. Additional microphones will not improve your ability to locate a sound source. It is possible that the additional microphones could increase the amount of sound waves picked up by the muffs but th resulting sound quality, including collocating the sound source will be negatively impacted. Pro Ears has built its reputation by focusing on sound quality as well as protection.
Q. What is ‘Attack Time’?
A. This is another feature that Pro Ears beats the competition with. We offer the fastest, less than 1.5 milliseconds, ‘Attack Time’. This is the time between the unit receiving a noise level spike and the time it takes to react to, in our case, compress the sound level to a safe level. We also have the fastest Recovery time, the time it takes to resume normal monitoring after the high sound level subsides to a safe level. With Pro-ears, the attack and recovery time are accomplished without clipping or turning off the system so you hear all the sounds, only at a safe level with excellent clarity.
Q. Why do Pro Ears have mics and volume knobs of each cup?
A. Pro Ears features individual electronics in each cup which allows for true stereo sound, multi-directional mics and individual volume controls that work like your ears so you have a complete, 360 degree range of hearing. The volume controls allow you to adjust each side to accommodate hearing range anomalies and have control of situations which may require volume level differences between left and right ear. Additionally, by having the electronics in each cup we eliminate the need for wires connecting one side to the other that is awkward and easy to snag or break.
Q: What causes my Pro-Ears to whistle or squeal?
A: Pro-Ears should not whistle or squeal like other poorly designed electronic hearing protectors. Some brands of active hearing protection allow feedback to occur between the two ear muffs. Pro-Ears is designed so this cannot occur. If you are hearing a whistle or squeal contact customer service.
Q: What causes a hissing sound or what we call a sea shell effect?
Web site and policy issues
Q: How do you protect visitor information?
A: We implement a variety of security measures to maintain the safety of your personal information. Your personal information is contained behind secured networks and is only accessible by a limited number of persons who have special access rights to such systems, and are required to keep the information confidential. When you place orders or access your personal information, we offer the use of a secure server. All sensitive/credit information you supply is transmitted via Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology and then encrypted into our databases to be only accessed as stated above.
Q: Do you use “cookies”?
We may contract with third-party service providers to assist us in better understanding our site visitors. These service providers are not permitted to use the information collected on our behalf except to help us conduct and improve our business.
You can choose to have your computer warn you each time a cookie is being sent, or you can choose to turn off all cookies. You do this through your browser (like Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer) settings. Each browser is a little different, so look at your browser Help menu to learn the correct way to modify your cookies. If you turn cookies off, you won’t have access to many features that make your site experience more efficient and some of our services will not function properly. However, you can still place orders over the telephone by contacting customer service.
Q: Do you disclose the information you collect to outside parties?
A: We do not sell, trade, or otherwise transfer to outside parties your personally identifiable information unless we provide you with advance notice, except as described below. The term “outside parties” does not include Pro Ears. It also does not include website hosting partners and other parties who assist us in operating our website, conducting our business, or servicing you, so long as those parties agree to keep this information confidential. We may also release your information when we believe release is appropriate to comply with the law, enforce our site policies, or protect ours or others’ rights, property, or safety.
However, non-personally identifiable visitor information may be provided to other parties for marketing, advertising, or other uses.
Q: How can I opt-out, remove or modify information I have provided?
A: To modify your e-mail subscriptions, please let us know by modifying your preferences in the “My Account” section. Please note that due to email production schedules you may receive any emails already in production.
To delete all of your online account information from our database, sign into the “My Account” section of our site and remove your shipping addresses, billing addresses & payment information. Please note that we may maintain information about an individual sales transaction in order to service that transaction and for record keeping.
Q: What is your relationship to third party links?
A: In an attempt to provide you with increased value, we may include third party links on our site. These linked sites have separate and independent privacy policies. We therefore have no responsibility or liability for the content and activities of these linked sites. Nonetheless, we seek to protect the integrity of our site and welcome any feedback about these linked sites (including if a specific link does not work).
Q: How do you use your information you collect on your site?
A: We may use the information we collect from you when you register, purchase products, enter a contest or promotion, respond to a survey or marketing communication, surf the website, or use certain other site features in the following ways:
- To personalize your site experience and to allow us to deliver the type of content and product offerings in which you are most interested.
- To allow us to better service you in responding to your customer service requests.
- To quickly process your transactions.
- To administer a contest, promotion, survey or other site feature.
Q: What is covered under the product warranty?
A: Basically everything is covered from manufacturer’s defects. The warranty is different for each series. The length of warranty is different for electronics and other hardware. Please read the warranty section for more information.