TETRA’s company motto is “Hear the Hunt,” and it provides hearing protection and enhancement in the form of electronic ear pieces. One of its most popular products is the AlphaShield 60 Waterfowl series ($699). I’ve been using a pair and have found them to be effective and comfortable.
The founders of TETRA are audiologists, working in a clinic that specializes in hearing loss, and they are avid duck hunters, too. They developed the AlphaShield devices to enhance and amplify the common sounds of a duck blind while protecting the ears from the sudden blast of a shotgun and the ear-splitting squeals from a duck call. The AlphaShield devices even pick up the sounds of wings overhead and the distant quacks of passing ducks.
The development process was very involved and took a lot of time, but basically, the earbuds operate similarly to the hearing devices worn by musicians. TETRA calls its technology STO, which stands for Specialized Target Optimization. The devices are digitally programmed to isolate and enhance the exact frequencies needed to improve hearing for the specific hunting environment. They allow specific sounds to be heard while blocking out other hearing-damaging sounds.
The AlphaShield devices come with silicone and memory foam inserts in three sizes, so they don’t require an ear impression. However, a custom-molded version is available if the hunter desires it.
The AlphaShield 60s I’ve been using provide a noise reduction of 20dB, and each earbud is powered by a 10A battery. Each device has three volume settings (Normal, Boost, and Magnum), but it’s not necessary for both devices to be set on the same volume setting.
The AlphaShield 60 electronic hearing devices come with a waterproof carrying case; two smaller, pocket-sized soft cases; silicone tips (small, medium, and large); foam tips (small, medium, and large); a pack of batteries; and a cleaning tool.
Other models are offered that range in price from $999 to $1,099, but whichever ones you choose, these devices were conceptualized and developed by PhD audiologists who also happen to be passionate duck hunters, so you might say they were developed by the most discerning sportsmen you can imagine.
MSRP: $699 (AlphaShield 60); tetrahearing.com.