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The Walker’s Slim Digital Razor Muffs amplify ambient sounds but instantly suppress the sound of most gunfire down to a much safer noise level. Basically, with the Slim Digital Razor Muffs, you can easily talk and communicate before and after shooting most firearms without damaging your ears.
Shooting enthusiasts already know about and often use high-quality digital ear protection, but many hunters haven’t yet moved to digital muffs or digital ear buds — which is why the slim Digital Razor Muffs are #2 in our guide to the best gifts for hunters this year. For hunters, the annual sight-in process is more pleasant when you can talk and hear things around you before and after shots. And it’s particularly better if you’re shooting with hunting partners.
The ability to talk easily and then shoot is safer and more enjoyable than shooting with standard ear plugs or muffs — and this is the whole point of this review. In my experience, the key question isn’t about whether the Walker’s Slim Digital Razor Muffs work — they do — it’s whether you can benefit from them. (You probably can.)
Critical for New Shooters & New Hunters?
I first purchased two sets of Walker’s Slim Digital Razor Muffs two years ago after a couple of missed opportunities with young hunters. The short story is this: If you’re hunting with a youth hunter or a new hunter, there are plenty of possible hunting situations where you really need to communicate quite a bit to get them safely into position to shoot.
In several elk and deer hunting instances, I needed to talk too loudly to make sure my young hunting partner didn’t blast an elk and a deer in the backside. Both animals spooked sooner than expected due to the extra loud whispers and movement I used trying to communicate before we ended up with a wounded animal on our hands.
If we’d been able to whisper with our audio enhanced through Walker’s Slim Digital Razor Muffs, we might have had a different outcome.
In hunts since then, with the Walker’s digital muffs, I’ve been able to ask questions and get answers while whispering. This is a game changer in some hunting situations:
Me: “Do you see the buck on the left?”
Young Hunter: “Yes.”
“Good. Wait for the doe to move out of the way before you shoot.”
That simple exchange can be the difference between success, failure, and a hunting violation. In another instance, a newbie hunting partner was setting his sights on his first whitetail spike buck when the spike finally turned broadside. At that point, it was clear that this was not a whitetail buck — it was a mule deer spike in a place where I’d never seen a mule deer before. I was able to call off the shot without spooking the buck — and turn the situation into a successful learning lesson as we watched the young mule deer buck continue feeding. We could marvel at how difficult it was to notice the differences between whitetail and mule deer spikes in early morning light . . . and not make a phone call to Fish & Game.
But How Well Do the Razor’s Work?
You can probably already guess that the Walker’s Slim Digital Razor Muffs work. But how well do they work? They’re surprisingly simple to use and surprisingly effective. They have a safe Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 23dB when it suppresses loud noises. This means that I can shoot a 12 gauge shotgun as well as sight in a hunting rifle and the shots sound like quiet muffled pops.
Walker’s says that its Slim Digital Razor Muffs use two Hi Gain Omni Directional Microphones and the output is tuned for natural sound clarity.
This doesn’t mean the output is particularly great. The quality of the sound . . . sounds processed. It doesn’t echo, but seems like something you might hear if you were talking inside of a large steel tube — with just a bit of mechanical hiss and very slight background static. And then at the higher volume levels you can hear yourself breathe, which is always weird.
Of course, the bane of all microphones is wind noise. When it’s windy out, the wind can be super annoying — so you’ll end up turning the volume down and talking a bit louder if you need to talk.
Actually, They’re Pretty Fantastic
OK, so you just heard that the audio quality isn’t that great . . . but that doesn’t mean the Walker’s Slim Digital Razor Muffs don’t work well. They work fantastically well. Just not as well as high-end digital electronic muffs that cost four or five times as much. For the price point, which is often well under $50, the performance value is truly great.
You can whisper . . . and still hear your hunting partner from 10 yards away.
When gunshots are fired, the audio processing is so fast it doesn’t seem as if anything is cutting out. What do I mean? Say, for example, that you’re shooting trap and talking with someone who’s off the line. When the shotgun is fired, the sound is compressed in a 0.02 second reaction time and normal noise levels seem to continue just fine. If there’s any lag, it’s very short, and I don’t notice it.
Can You Tell Where the Sounds Are Coming From?
I can’t. At least, I have a hard time discerning direction for sounds that are amplified by the electronics. Some higher-end, more expensive electronic muffs and buds can deliver better directional sounds — but the price points are typically quite a bit higher.
For me and my hunting partners, this means that we’re not walking through the woods with our muffs on our ears. Instead, we only put them over our ears when we think we’re getting into a shooting situation.
Competitive Alternatives & Options
Howard Leight Impact Sport Electronic Earmuff — The Howard Leight Impact Sport Electronic Earmuff is the biggest competitor to the Walker’s Slim Digital Razor Muffs. The Impact Sports have a similar low-profile design and a similar noise reduction capability. The Impact Sports have a 22dB NRR compared to the Razor Slim’s 23 dB NRR.
Walker’s Razor Electronic Quad Muffs — These earmuffs have a similar slim design as the Slim Digital Razor Muffs, but they have four omnidirectional microphones instead of two. The key benefit is they do an improved job of detecting and amplifying sounds from all directions.
MSA Sordin Supreme Pro X — The MSA Sordin Supreme Pro X are made in Sweden. In addition to excellent overall quality and comfortable gel seals for your ears, the Supreme Pro X is waterproof, which means you can use it while hunting in the rain.
The Verdict: ‘Can’t Go Wrong Price Point’
All-in-all, Walker’s Slim Digital Razor Muffs are fast and effective. They suppress the sound of gun shots down to safe levels and they let you communicate with other shooters or hunters. The ability to communicate before and immediately after a shot is particularly great whenever you’re working with inexperienced shooters and hunters. I believe Walker’s Slim Digital Razor Muffs can help you have a safer — and possibly more effective — hunting and shooting experience. Very highly recommended.