Every once in a while you come across a special problem that demands a special solution. Â For me it seems like every problem is that problem. Â Enter John Willis and his company Special Operations Equipment. Â Â Here is the story. Â I recently picked up some dual comm noise canceling muffs to use for a special project. Â Now I like them. Â A lot. Â But there is aÂ problem. Â Since they are dual comm units they have a lead that comes from each ear piece that is designed to connect to a radio. Â Two leads, two radios, dual comm. Â Now on an average day at the range, I don’t need comms, let alone dual comms. So I immediately took of the wrap off of the head band to tuck the leads under and get them out of the way. Â No go. Â See, these cables are terminated in a T120 plug that is huge. Â About the diameter of a 20ga shotgun shell. Â To add to that, the cables are short. So the plugs end up under the band wrap. Â Just too much girth to get that wrap back on. Â Today we are going to take a look at how the SOE Peltor Wraps changed my life.
0231 – Special Operations Equipment Muff Wraps
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I dropped some coin on theses muffs but I felt like they were really prettyÂ reasonablyÂ priced compared to other electronic muffs that I have owned in the past. Â No doubt, I was correct. Â It is a statement as to how good they are and how well priced they are in that I will not overtly disclose which muffs I got, or where I got them from. Â See, I need another pair. Â One is none, two is one. Â You know this. Â As much as I like you folks, I can’t have you driving up the price of my gear. Â Once I get that second pair, I’ll review them and fill you in on the details. Â But I’m not here to talk about muffs. Â Instead I want to talk about how to make you muffs better.
Dual Comms Cables: gone
My big issue is the cables. Â When I need them, I need them. Â So I can’t just cut them off. Â I’m not likely to ever need dual comms, but at more than a $50 savings I was willing to deal with the extra cable and have the redundancy built in.
I cant simply let them dangle either. Â This could lead to a whole host of problems. Â There is nothing worse than having your hearing protection ripped off in the middle of a training exercise. Â A couple of stiff cables are hanging there, waiting to help snatch those muffs right off your face. Â Not good. Â Add the attention factor. Â My original plan was to use these muffs only when I needed them attached to a radio. Â But the first time I put them on I knew that wasn’t going to work. Â They were too good. Â They out performed hearing pro that is twice as expensive by a considerable margin. Â I have no intention of letting that performance go to waste. Â At the same time, I don’t need my pals Â and others tugging on cables and busting my chops. Â They need to be on the down low.
My first solution was to tuck them under the standard cotton wrap supplied by the manufacturer. Â No room. Â The giant plugs were a no go. Â I moved on to zip ties. Â the cable ties actually worked pretty well, but it put me in a situationÂ whereÂ I had a semiÂ permanentÂ system that needed a tool to release. Â Sure I always have a knife, but remember I can’t just cut those cables off. Â Next I tried velcro straps. Â This took care of the tools but it was time consuming and after a while the bulk of the velcro created pressure points. Â Arrrrrrrgh!
Leave it to SOE to solve problems. Â The Peltor Wraps have enough extra room to fit the huge T120 connectors under the wrap. Â This solves several issues. Â First, the plugs are out of the way. Â Second, they are hidden. Â Finally they are easy to get out when I need them.
Those of you that are like me and spend a lot of time on the range understand that comfort can be a big help. Â It allows you to focus on what you are supposed to be doing instead of whatever is bothering you. Â Don’t get me wrong, I can work through some uncomfortable situations, but why grunt through it when there is a solution. Â I fired off a message to John Willis and comfort was on the way. Â The mesh backing has enough padding to keep the band from irritating your scalp and at the same time, the bulk is kept to a minimum on the underside.
The foundation of the wraps is a comfortable synthetic mesh that gets the OEM cotton wrap away from my head. Â We just got done talking about layering and the last thing I want on my noggin of all places is cotton. Â Several other sets of muffs I own have padded vinyl head bands which can be equally uncomfortable especially at high temperature or intensity times when ventilation is an issue. Â The mesh on the SOE Muffs takes care of that issue as well.
Many folks consider SOE’s gear to be the highest quality gear on the market. Â I certainly cant argue with that. Â But John and his crew do something much moreÂ importantÂ that make quality gear. Â They solve problems. Â You will find SOE in some of the roughest places on some of the roughest men. Â These are the kind of folks that give frequent feedbackÂ whetherÂ you want it or not. Â Well SOE wants it. Â They put it into practice. Â They solve problems. Â My issues were not the biggest deal out there, however, if John is willing to put that much effort into designing a ear muff wrap to make sure it works it should be pretty clear how he will handle the rest of your rig.