Protect it or lose it. That’s Walker’s motto when it comes to hearing, and they’re correct. Hearing protection is a must if you’re going to spend time around firearms. There are a lot of options out there to fit various needs, from super high-end wireless earbuds to plain ol’ muffs and plugs. But, if you want a no-frills, capable pair of ultra-compact electronic muffs that simultaneously display your patriotism, look no further than Walker’s Razor Patriot series.
Walker’s Razor Patriot Series Muffs
Walker’s Razor slim electronic muffs are designed to safeguard hearing from loud noises like gunshots while still allowing normal conversation and amplifying soft sounds. The Razor designation refers to the company’s low-profile band and ear cups, which are more compact than traditional, bulkier muffs.
These muffs are neither digital nor Bluetooth, but they are user-friendly and capable. The bottom line for the hearing protection is the 23-decibel noise reduction rating. But two hi-gain, omnidirectional microphones also gather outside sound and broadcast it through full-dynamic-range HD speakers for balanced sound. Reaction time to sound-activated compression is only 0.02 seconds. The volume control knob, though recessed, is still easy to operate.
The Patriot series is even ready to accept a small Velcro patch as an addition to the normal Razor lineup. It is a limited-edition run that includes two drab American flag patches, putting patriotism not just on your sleeve but on your ear pro as well.
An audio input jack hides beneath a black rubber cover. A rubberized coating graces the exterior, with a comfort headband over a metal frame. The muffs run on two AAA batteries, with a pair of Duracells included. These Razor Patriots can be had in five base colors: battle brown, gray, black, flat dark earth, and olive drab green.
If the Patriot series isn’t to your liking, there are plenty of other variants in the Walker's family of hearing protection, including new digital Bluetooth, digital, rechargeable, and camouflaged versions. The standard Razors, like ours, will fit almost all adults, women included. Youth and very petite adults may opt for the Razor Compact.
For years now, we’ve been wearing, using, and plain abusing a pair of Howard Leight Impact Sport muffs. Though we’re in no way disappointed with those, it seemed like the time for a new pair. After hearing fellow shooters raving about their Walker's, we decided to give them a try. After we get some more use out of these new Razors, look for a head-to-head look at the two.
For now, we’ll focus on our new Walker’s, and it’s noticeable that the Razors' use not only one speaker but rather one on each earpiece. That’s both a positive and a negative, as the muffs seem to pick up conversational chat easily and in detail, but on windier days they are more prone to the howl of wind noise. Range commands and personal conversations are clear and concise without being overly tinny. The noise-shutoff time is amply fast to cover any gunfire, and the soft earpad material is comfortable for even the longest range days or hunts.
A clear positive is the low profile. Several times in the past, we’ve felt the need to switch from muffs to in-ear pro, sacrificing decibel blocking for a less bulky fit. While larger profile muffs can clunk on the stock of a long gun, we found Walker’s Razor slim design is not only less obtrusive in general, but also much easier to shoulder firearms. We almost forgot they were there.
Our particular pair of muffs from Guns.com shows off the added dose of patriotism, and we find that a welcome touch at a time when the flag is sorely needed. The Velcro design means they’re not permanent, allowing patch collectors to customize their ear pro. The choice of subdued color options makes the Razor Patriot not only part of the tactical family but hunter-friendly as well.
Our Walker’s Razor Patriots are not Bluetooth, digital, or rechargeable, but for what we need, that’s a good thing. They are affordable, reliable, and simple to use. In fact, at their price point, we’d rate them as one of the best buys in low-frills hearing protection, ideal for both range lovers and hunters.