Hearing protection, AKA “ear pro” is a big deal. Trust me, my ears are ringing as I type this. I’ve done several ear pro reviews here and will continue to bring you both my reviews and that of others. In this installment, we’ll review the Walkers Silencer Bluetooth earbuds.
Ear Pro Review Criteria
If you’re new here you might not know how we test hearing protection. Our ear pro reviews are generally based on hours-long excursions wearing it rather than 30 minutes at the range. In this case, I spent three March nights hog hunting in Texas. Figure 7:00 pm starts and 4:00 am finishes. That’s nine hours with them on and active most of the time.
Pros for in-ear hearing protection like the Walkers Silencers abound. In most places wearing muffs in the Summer will prove sweaty hot. That’s no fun. Wear whatever eye protection you like, sunglasses or your prescription, and you don’t degrade your hearing protection when using earbud-style ear pro.
And what about when wearing a helmet for night vision goggles? You’ll need special muffs and mounts to make that work, but with something like these Walkers Silencer Bluetooth earbuds, you’re good to go.
If hearing protection devices aren’t comfortable, you probably won’t wear them. Or maybe you might not use them effectively. My great friend and Pro Staffer Jared Hilton hates earbud-style ear pro. His loss, come the searing temps of summer…
That aside, getting in-ear hearing protection to be comfortable can be a challenge. The Walkers Silencer Bluetooth earbuds ship with enough options to suit most people. For your ear canal, they provide “ear tips” in small, medium and large. This is where you expect me to extol those, right? Well, I hate to disappoint you…
Many people find those ear tips acceptable. I find them too hard for my liking. Fortunately, a whole industry exists offering lots of ear tip options. I prefer some softer green ones I found.
Besides the ear canal sizing, you get the small, medium and large options for external fitment as well. Walkers calls these Sure-Lock™ sizing fins. They provide a hook (or fin) to keep the ear pro from sneaking out of your ear. When you have the correct size for your ear, they are quite comfortable. I’d say they are as stiff as the stiffest cartilage in your ear. Kind of makes sense when you think about it.
Walkers Silencer Bluetooth Hearing Protection Performance
As with all electronic ear pro, the Walkers Silencers are designed to quiet loud sharp noises while at the same time allowing lower noises (like a conversation) through. Volume is intuitively adjusted up and down with the button on the outside of each earbud. It took me a few tries to get good at finding those with gloved hands, but I got it sorted. Without gloves, it’s easy.
Walkers also equipped the Silencers with multiple modes that are easily switched between. I used the Clear Voice mode for the most part and it worked nicely.
- Universal: Standard audio profile, no adjustments are made to incoming audio
- Clear Voice: Advanced profile designed to better isolate human voices
- High-Frequency Boost: Hearing profile designed to boost frequencies above 1kHz
- Power Boost: Income audio is boosted twice as loud as Universal mode.
The Silencer earbuds also feature Automatic High Volume Suppression designed to limit loud noise output. Importantly, the hardware knows the difference between sustained loud noise and transient or momentary loud noises. I wore these driving the Tomcars (which were louder than I expected when holding the throttle wide open) but could still carry on a conversation. In my opinion, this is a huge win and something I wouldn’t want to do without.
As you might imagine, wind noise could be an issue for anything using a microphone. The Walkers Silencer earbuds have programming to mitigate that, but it’s not perfect.
When filming with a good budget I work with some very high-end mics that do well outdoors, even in the wind. They can easily cost $1500 before you get them fully set up for use in the wind. MSRP on the Walkers Silencer Bluetooth Rechargeable earbuds that I got is only $299. Knowing the difference I can largely forgive the issue with wind. I wonder, however, about gluing some microphone foam over to the outsides of these…
Rechargeable Ear Pro
The great debate in powering devices outdoors rages on. Some prefer a supply of normal batteries at their fingertips, others prefer rechargeable batteries. As long the rechargeable ones last as long as I need them and I have the means to recharge, that’s probably my preference.
Rated for 14 hours of use or four hours of Bluetooth streaming, the Silencer Bluetooth model never gave me a low battery indication, though I used them for hours on end as mentioned above. Another win for the Walkers.
The Walkers Silencer kit includes a charging dock with its own internal lithium battery. Honestly, this is genius to me, storing the earbuds while they charge.
Walkers Silencer – Bluetooth or Not?
You can get the Walkers Silencers without Bluetooth and save $50, but I’d spend the money on the connectivity. While driving in an open-air Tomcar I was able to take calls. The ability to go hands-free and communicate is, for me, a big deal.
Some of you will enjoy pumping music through these at your backyard range while plinking or training. I’m pretty sure I’ll like using these for watching movies on long flights.
If you go Bluetooth with your Walkers Silencer ear pro you get a free connectivity app. At first, I thought that was a bit of a joke. I want the ability to control my ear pro independent of an app. I like the phone connectivity, but I don’t want to pull out my phone when I want to adjust my ear pro.
However, the app does some cool things that would be a pain to attempt with three-button controls in your ear. The one that got my attention was the ability to set the auto-off shutdown. It took just a moment, and that eliminated any frustration you might experience from an arbitrary limit set by the manufacturer.
Walkers Silencer Bluetooth Review Conclusions
Are they perfect? No. Will you need to work on getting just the right fit for in-ear comfort? Maybe, I did. Will you find the wind annoying? It depends… Am I happy enough with these to make them my current fist choice from the stack of ear pro I now own? Yes. The 26 dB noise reduction rating is competitive if not better than others in the category. Hearing damage is no joke folks. Invest in good ear pro.