Hearing damage sucks. Believe me, I know. So I’m on a constant quest to find the newest and best options for hearing protection (aka “Ear Pro”) on the planet. Certainly the quest is self serving, but if you’ll follow these hearing protection stories I hope you will avoid hearing damage, loss or the incessant ringing too many shooters and hunters know. The ear pro that I’m most excited about right now is something entirely new and different to me. Unless you’re law enforcement or have a military background, it’s probably new to you as well. The Silynx Clarus Pro brings their rugged military hearing protection expertise to the civilian world in a functional package different from anything else I’ve used.
There’s no coincidence in the design. Silynx got its start in 2005 making in-ear hearing protection and communications headsets for soldiers. The headsets enabled the user to maintain full situational awareness, were not bulky or hot, and didn’t interfere with glasses, helmets, etc. Later they branched out to law enforcement and expanded their reach globally.
The Clarus Pro headset is Silynx’s entry into the civilian market. Like its predecessors, it is in-ear active hearing protection that tethers its two ear buds to a single control unit. Having spent twelve straight hours with the buds in my ears while hunting and using them on several trips to the range, let me walk you through some of the benefits I’ve discovered.
I love the fact that I only need a single AAA battery to power the headset for 100 hours – that’s four days straight! Other in-ear hearing protection I’ve used required hearing aid type batteries that have no “off” option and are harder to find. The AAA battery is located in waterproof compartment on the Clarus Pro control box, easily changeable while leaving the ear buds in your ears.
Controlling the Silynx Clarus Pro is simply done through a single button. Hold for a moment, the unit powers up. Repeatedly tap the control button to cycle through the various modes. Hold again to power down. Whether powering up or down, or just changing modes, an Apple Siri like voice tells you what mode you you’ve selected. Simple is good.
Active hearing protection responds to the noise level of your environment. The Clarus Pro uses what Silynx calls “Hear-Thru” levels to control how much environmental sound gets electronically transmitted to your ears. Levels range from no hear through to Super Normal Hearing with each level announced by Siri’s alter ego.
Your hearing is literally enhanced 3, 6 9, and 12 decibels at the various levels which boost the ambient sounds. This is an outstanding benefit to hunters or anyone else who needs to be aware of their surroundings. Since each ear bud has its own microphone, you retain the same 360 degree situational awareness that your unprotected ears normally provide.
While enhancing ambient audio, the active hearing protection is ready to muffle loud noises like gunshots. That’s called attenuation.
Anytime you have more than one person and a gun in near proximity, communication is vital to safety and success. On a recent hog hunt at Spike Box Ranch I wore the Silynx Clarus Pro for 12 hours straight, riding around in vehicles, stalking hogs, and shooting, of course. The active noise reduction meant I could switch from conversation to shooting without giving my ear pro a thought. That’s the only way to go in my opinion.
Speaking of keeping the conversation going while wearing ear pro, Silynx ships a short cable to connect your cell phone to the Clarus Pro control box. Gimmick? Nope, they just applied the same design principles used in their designated military systems to give civilian users communication capabilities. To test the usability of the concept, I went to a range where live fire was going and called my brother. Sure enough, it worked perfectly. The attenuation cut out the crack of the guns while I could hear my brother uninterrupted and the noise cancelling microphone allowed my brother to hear me. I’ve never been able to take a call during live fire before!
If you follow the cords from the ear buds back down towards the control box they meet at the microphone and phone control button. You know the button, the one you press to answer a call or play music. Silynx made sure it does both.
If your workout routine involves shooting, the Clarus Pro has to be your new favorite piece of gear. And, yes, the Hear Thru system works even when you’re playing your music. You can rock out, pull triggers and listen to a trainer yell at you all at the same time – if you can multitask at that level! Admittedly the sound quality isn’t on par with a new pair of headphones from Axel Audio, but it’s not bad for the form factor.
The military pedigree here is obvious. The Clarus Pro is a super rugged piece of equipment. It will take beating, a dunking and work in more extreme temperatures than I ever hope to see. The cables are ruggedized. Even the $20 storage case the Clarus Pro comes in is reinforced and sealed with an o-ring.
Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) is measured in decibel reduction. The most common muff style ear pro I see at ranges is the Howard Leight Impact Sport. I own a pair, and they are rated at 22 decibel NRR. The Silynx Clarus Pro is rated better at 25 decibel NRR.
Ambient noise reduction is made possible through the use of memory foam ear tips that fit between your ear and the standard plastic stem of the Clarus Pro. A variety pack of sizes is included with your purchase. There are other aftermarket ear tips available if you prefer.
Short of shooting at an indoor range I’ve run the Silynx Clarus Pro headset pretty thoroughly. I’ve spent hours researching them and pounding Silynx with questions. These are now my go-to ear pro. The cable connection to the control box will cause some people to hesitate, pointing out the extra effort required to manage the cable. While that would be legitimate, it’s not much extra effort and it provides extra insurance against loss. If you haven’t thought about that it’s probably because you haven’t lost a nice compact $350 set of in-ear hearing protection before. I have. The truth is that the $250 Clarus Pro has now replaced that more expensive kit. Silynx has other headsets and I’m told an optional cable to connect the Clarus Pro to FRS band walkie talkies is in the works.
You only get one set of ears. Protect them well.
Read more on silencers, the other kind of hearing protection >>>