Frequently Asked Questions - Etymotic ER125 GSP

What makes the GunSport PRO different from other Hearing Protection Devices (HPDs)?

There are two types of hearing protection devices: passive and active. Passive HPDs, such as earmuffs and foam earplugs, offer users adequate protection, but greatly reduce their sound detection and localization capabilities. As detection and localization are the two key attributes to auditory situational awareness, many hunters choose not to wear passive hearing protection.

Unlike their passive counterparts, the GSP-15 are active hearing protection/enhancement devices (HPEDs). This means that they use electronic circuitry to restore the situational awareness that is generally lost by the obstruction of the ear canal. In comparison to other active HPEDs, the GSPs provide the best sound detection and localization capabilities on the market, often at a fraction of the price. As an added benefit, a switch is provided to allow users to toggle between natural and 5X enhanced hearing, as the user deems necessary.

What is "adaptive attenuation"?

In acoustics, to attenuate sound means to reduce it. Think of ‘adaptive’ as being able to change with the environment. The GSP-15 earplugs contain circuitry that automatically changes as sound levels change. When sound levels are safe, hearing is natural, as if nothing is in the ears. In the LO switch position, as the sound pressure level (SPL) increases, the circuitry gradually changes from natural hearing to 15-dB attenuation to protect from continuous loud noises. Once the input SPL reaches about 120 dB, the attenuation gradually increases to the maximum blast protection of between 35-dB and 40-dB.

Why is there no on/off switch?

Both GunSport Pro models use standard #10 hearing aid batteries. Because these batteries begin losing their charge as soon as their tab is removed, and cannot be turned off to save energy, there is no on/off switch. After all, why include one more thing to break?

How long do batteries last?

Battery life:#10 hearing aid batteries tend to last about 10 Days after the tab is removed.

  • Do not remove the battery tabs until ready to use GSP earplugs, because zinc air batteries may self-discharge in about 4 weeks whether they are used or not. Discharge rate varies with temperature and humidity.
  • After a tab is removed, it may take a few seconds for air to enter the vent holes and activate the battery.
  • It is sometimes possible to prolong the life of the battery by placing the tab back over the air holes, but results vary.

Recommendation: Always carry spare batteries.

Where can I find batteries?

Each device uses one #10 battery, a very commonly used hearing aid battery. #10 batteries are easy to find in pharmacies, super centers or RadioShack.

Is the battery life affected by the mode (LO or HI)?

No, the mode being used does not affect battery life.

Will the GunSport PRO still provide protection when the batteries run out?

Yes. When the batteries run out, the GunSport Pro becomes a passive HPD. It does not offer any enhancement of situational awareness, but will still provide full protection from both impulse and steady-state noises.

What are the best eartips to use with the GunSport PRO?

Ears come in different shapes and sizes. To obtain optimal sound quality and noise isolation, eartips must be properly sealed in the ear canal. GSP-15 are packaged with 5 pairs of eartips. We recommend experimenting to see which eartips provides the most comfortable and effective seal for you.

What are filters, and what are they used for?

GunSport Pro electronic earplugs are equipped with special filters that enhance sound quality and prevent ear wax and other agents from entering the receivers. If a filter becomes clogged, and sounds are no longer audible, it should be replaced. The frequency and need to change filters varies widely among users.

Do I need custom molds for the GunSport Pro?

GunSport Pro earplugs come with a large supply of ready-fit eartips. Additional sizes are available as accessories. Customization is an option, but in general it is not difficult to obtain a comfortable seal with the eartips provided.

Where can I order replacement eartips, filters and other accessories?

Purchase eartips, filters and other accessories online or call Customer Service toll free at 888-389-6684.

What does NRR mean?

The US Environmental Protection Agency requires manufacturers to print a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) on all non-custom earplugs. The formula used to determine NRR includes an adjustment for individual variability and for those persons who do not wear hearing protection as instructed. NRR is computed from laboratory data that are usually not representative of the values attained in the real world by actual users. In the case of Etymotic electronic earplugs, the rating does not accurately represent the maximum sound reduction provided.

Will I hear distortion in the GunSport Pro when a firearm is discharged?

Peak sound pressure levels above 120 dB are simply reduced to safe levels by the output limitation of the circuit. Because these bursts are so short – on the order of a few milliseconds – the transients are safe. Since this reduction is essentially instantaneous, the users’ hearing is completely protected from intense transients. The nearly instantaneous recovery time of the circuit ensures that there is no loss of fidelity. All the while, ongoing sounds are natural, so you are never “off the air.”

What makes the GunSport Pro earplugs high fidelity?

The GunSport Pro earplugs contain high-definition transducers, balanced-armature drivers and high-sensitivity microphones. The bandwidth (40 Hz – 16 kHz) is unprecedented, and the sound quality exceeds that of all known electronic earplugs and modern digital hearing aid devices.

What is that funny ticking, or motorboating sound I hear in my GSP earplugs?

The ticking, or motorboating sound, is called LOBAT™, a special feature that warns you when a battery is at the end of its life. The performance of the GunSport Pro does not change when the sound is present. If heard, users tend to have enough warning to change batteries at a convenient time. If not, the GSP will continue to provide full passive protection for the user.