This year at SHOT Show we got a sneak peek at Beretta‘s new “Off Shot” hearing protection line. Included in the lineup is active electronic ear pro with bluetooth connectivity, ambient sound amplification, a 32 dB NRR, and impressive [rechargeable] battery life. Oh, and that’s all jammed into a lightweight, in-ear earbud design. It ain’t cheap, but man does it sound awesome on paper.
Starting with the almost-$700 flagship product, we have the Bluetooth-enabled Off Shot ST-W model. All of these earbuds have been designed by a hearing aid manufacturer with many decades of experience, and are supposed to fit the ear flawlessly. The rubbery-foam part that actually goes into the ear canal can be swapped between small, medium, and large to achieve ideal comfort and full NRR.
There is also a smaller, lighter electronic version sans bluetooth (the ST-R) but with all of the other features you’d expect in active electronic ear pro including three different listening programs. All of these models are available in multiple colors and even with custom logos, and are corded not only for electronic purposes but also so they hang conveniently on the neck after removal.
The Mini Headset retails for $59 and offers standard hearing protection without electronics. They’re designed to be lightweight, simple, and extremely comfortable with that same, very-high dB reduction rating.
While I don’t necessarily think a $690 MSRP is out of bounds for what the ST-W and ST-R products are, that’s still a tough pill to swallow. I greatly prefer in-ear ear pro as muffs get uncomfortable on my large, stiff ears and get in the way on some long gun stocks. Digital active electronic earbuds with 32 NRR and bluetooth is extremely appealing. But $690 is a serious investment.