FSL Gunblock Ear Defenders by Future Sound Lab

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Like many of our senses, we sometimes take our hearing for granted. Until we start to lose it through age or abuse. When I got a chance to try out FLS’s Gunblock Ear Defenders, what with the sometimes painful din that envelops our house once in a while, I was all in.

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See, these ear muffs are good for a lot more than just the shooting range. However, from my experience, a NRR rating of 25 or greater will be adequate for the casual shooter. These FSL Ear Defenders (these are passive ear muffs, BTW, not the electronic active type) have an NRR rating of 26dB (to determine the actual amount of decibel deduction applied (when decibels are measured dBA which is the most common), you take the NRR number (in dB), subtract seven, and then divide by two). And please bear in mind that a single gunshot can render permanent and irreversible hearing damage, so this isn’t a thing you can do without at the range. And while it does provide adequate protection for those activities, These FLS Ear Defenders don’t entirely block out all sound, so you can still hear the person standing next to you. I didn’t get a chance to try them out there yet, but I did get to try them with other various sundry household noises that can be, over long periods of time, just as damaging. Like trying to garden when hubby is mowing the lawn. Or using the string trimmer, or the hedge trimmer, or that demon blower. Sure, he has his headphones that are noise-canceling, so he’s going to be just fine. Me? I’m left with ringing in my ears the rest of the night. Or at least I was until these FSL Ear Defenders.  These are more than adequate for all of these activities.

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The plastic bodies and bands are high impact and made to last. While some might thing the band over the head being plastic is bad, I’ve found that the metal ones tend to bend and lose a little shape over time, whereas plastic, while flexible, will almost always return to shape and keep them firmly over your ears. I have a normal sized head and had no issues putting them on and keeping them on. Hubby has a giant pumpkin head (7 5/8″ fitted cap), and while they were snug, he could get them over his ears just fine. Whether, over time, they’d squeeze too much is up for debate, but for ten minutes on his head they provided no discomfort. And when not in use they fold up for easy compact storage between uses. FSL even provides a 3-year warranty, and lifetime support, so you can buy them with confidence knowing your going to be taken care of.

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A caveat here, though: FSL products seem to only be sold through iHeadphones on Amazon, and iHeadphones has absolutely atrocious customer service and does not stand behind anything they sell at all. Which is very troubling, because I really, really like FSL products. They’re decent quality, and outstanding value, and work as advertised, but having to buy them through iHeadphones, for me, would be a dealbreaker. But, I’ve never had any issues with FSL products, so I’ll let you decide if shopping with iHeadphones is worth it.

 

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from FSL.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

FSL Xylem In-Ear Monitors

 

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So I’ve had quite a few headphones I’ve reviewed on here. Most are completely adequate, with passable sound and mostly work with all my devices with minimal hiccups. I was ready to lump Future Sound Lab’s wooden in-ear monitors with them; All sizzle and very little steak. I was wrong. FSL earbuds are the goods. Let me share why.

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FSL uses a solid piece of eco-friendly wood for each ear, which is sonically superior to plastic and metal. It’s drivers deliver solid, quality sound with good bass response and sharp, clear highs. I would say they easily have superior sound than earbuds I’ve paid twice as much for. The wire is thin, but not so prone to tangles as some products out there. The microphone pics up voices well and does a decent job of filtering out ambient noise. The gold-plated 3.5mm connector snaps in solidly to all my devices, from laptops to tablets to phones to MP3 players. The controls work with every mobile device I own, which is a first. FSL even includes 3 different sizes of silicone tips to accommodate pretty much every ear size.

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The hits don’t stop there, though. FSL includes a neat self-closing neoprene case to carry my earbuds everywhere, and keep them shmutz free. Because let’s be honest, nothing is nastier than sticking earbuds in your ear with all manner of crud stuck to the silicone tips. But wait, there’s more! FSL believes so much in the quality of their in-ear monitors, the back them with a 3-year warranty and lifetime support for customers. Now that is impressive. Good luck getting anything more than 90 days of warranty from most consumer electronics. For under $13, you are seriously getting more than your money’s worth. I can’t tell you how many earbuds I’ve tried in this price range and been horribly disappointed more times than I can count. These are the best ones in this price range I’ve tried, and better than sets costing twice as much. I’m glad I got to try them, and I recommend them highly.

Connect with FSL:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from FSL.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

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