3M Peltor WS Protac XPI

so i just ordered these:

there are reports that bluetooth streaming doesn’t work on these, and if i can’t get it to work i will send them back to Amazon.

but if there are no issues i will be using them just around the house as a replacement for my 3M Peltor X4 which broke after 8 years of use:

i always had these on at home just in case there is some loud noise like a door getting slammed or a spoon getting dropped on a plate or even just a toilet getting flushed can be pretty loud.

the new ones will be basically same as the old ones but with built in bluetooth headset that also allows for environmental awareness. what happens with dumb earmuffs is when you can’t hear somebody speak you take them off and then right at that moment they make some loud noise.

basically hearing protection only works if you don’t take it off. what environmental awareness and bluetooth headset features allow you to do is keep the hearing protection earmuff on at all times, without having to take it off to speak to others either face to face or over the phone. this way they are able to more effectively protect your hearing because, well, you actually have them on.

the other upgrade over the X4 is the padded headband. the headband on X4 is pretty hard, and while not a deal breaker you will certainly notice that it isn’t padded.

the Protac XPI are quite expensive, but that’s because they are made in Sweden. that said, if the bluetooth streaming doesn’t work they will go right back. at the price i’m paying i expect them to be perfect or they’re going back.

you obviously don’t need a boom mic to make phone calls but without a boom you need pretty good technology to isolate the speaker effectively.

Bose NC700 has such technology and has great call quality without a boom mic, but it is not realistic to expect to find such level of technology in a construction earmuff, so i decided to go for a model with a boom mic.

it’s kind of a low-tech solution ( versus beam steering arrays of digital microphones ) but hey if it works …

once i test them out i will do a write up comparing them to my Bose NC 700 noise canceling headphones.

both are top shelf products that provide noise reduction, phone calling and audio playback … in this way they are similar … but they are also very different as well.

very few people have any real understanding of exactly how they differ ( in anything other than style and color ) and hopefully i will be able to shed some light on that.

should get them on Monday. can hardly wait !

in fact i can’t wait.

so i will probably start my write up of the differences before they arrive.

i will do the theoretical analysis first and then once i test them i will add actual real world experiences to it.

got them in.

zero packaging protection, but i knew that from watching unboxing video.

time to read the manual.

i don’t know why i have to go to FCC website to read the manual and not 3M site, but here it is:

all right i got everything to work.

almost broke them twice - first installing batteries and then again when adjusting the microphone.

once i set everything up they are amazing although they grip my head so tight i can’t wear them for more than maybe half an hour LOL.

but i mainly just need them when cooking and half an hour is enough.

my Bose NC700 offer enough protection in most parts of the house, but they fall short in the kitchen - where these Peltors really shine.

i tested music, audiobooks, phone calls and ambient listening. everything works as it should.

even music is tolerable, but without any bass. speech range is very clear, as these are a high end communication headset which requires that. also the volume on media is very good as these are designed for loud environments.

if you don’t mind the monstrous clamping force of the headband and don’t need bass you will find these awesome.

noise attenuation is VERY STRONG. and sound is loud and clear. when i called somebody to test the mic they said it was loud and clear as well ( after i switched mic sensitivity to high - they could barely hear me on default mic sensitivity as these are meant for construction sites that are loud ).

i also couldn’t adjust mic to recommended position ( my head too big / mic too short ) but it works great for me as it is.

after some use i realized i don’t always need the active features and wearing out $500 active headset where a $30 passive headset will do is stupid.

plus i didn’t want to like get food into the microphones while eating and so on.

so i also ordered the 3M Peltor X4A to replace the ones that broke after 8 years.

i will be using both the active 3M Peltor WS Protac XPI and the passive 3M Peltor X4A.

will probably use passive 80% of the time, but i like to have the option to use the active features when i need to.