Walker Razor Slims are a set of compact, slim cup, electronic muffs at the $40-$60 price range. While Walker also sells a quad microphone version that is otherwise very similar, the headset is primarily competing in the value-priced segment with the Howard Leight Impact Sports. So how do they compare?
Both the Howard Leight Impact Sport and the Walker Razors are slim cup designs that fold down tight. They sacrifice a bit of noise attenuation, offering about 23 NRR compared with 28 NRR you’d find on bulkier earmuffs or the 32 NRR you’d find on a pair of earplugs. But for that sacrifice, you get a compact set of earmuffs that collapse in to a nice, tight package that’s easy to store in a glovebox, truck center console, or range bag.
(Very) Basic Electronics
The electronics used in the Walker Razors are very basic. They squeal bad when you take them off your head, there’s decent hiss and the odd soft background crackle when you crank them up to the top volume, the microphones don’t have any fuzzy foam stuff on them to prevent wind from completely overwhelming the mics, and the quality of audio is overall pretty poor. It does have 2 mics that independently feed each side, but it’s still very hard to locate the source of sound even compared with other inexpensive eMuffs. Just listening to music in my living room, I can’t tell where the music is coming from at all. The sound quality itself is also pretty poor compared with other eMuffs.
Now, plug in the headset via the audio jack to some tunes and BOOM. Your world is completely different. Now you can hear fantastic quality music right in the headset. So I think the culprit is clear: these things have really crappy microphones.
It’s not a great story here. They do amplify sound quite a bit, so you can hear more, but the quality of sound is so poor that you’d rather not be wearing them in any kind of hunting area. You may be able to hear a branch crack in the woods, but you won’t have any idea which direction it came from. That all said, even crappy eMuff audio can be fine for the shooting range and since they amplify so well, you could wear a set of earplugs as well. And if you’re just going to go to the range and listen to tunes as you shoot, these are pretty decent for that.
Shots are attenuated, but the speakers never cut out. Older electronic muffs would just chop all audio for a half second while a shot rang out, while pretty much all modern muffs compress the high volume audio.
The 2 AAA batteries are easily accessible in the top outside compartment of the right earcup. Super convenient. The simple dial adjustment turns on the unit and sets the volume. Unlike the Howard Leight Impact Sports however, they do not have an auto-off. This is a big negative in my opinion, because I or my kids frequently forget to turn off ear pro and I don’t think stone dead batteries should be the result. An auto-shutoff circuit is easy and cheap to do, and I don’t like that it was omitted in this design.
I think the headband materials they chose to put on the Walker Razors make a lot of sense. The top is a nice soft material while the bottom is slick and easy to wash, and it’s padded nicely enough that you’re not going to be bothered on the top of your head.
They exert a lot of pressure on the sides of your head, which is good for getting a good seal, but I couldn’t wear them very long with eye protection on. The tight pressure along with point pressure from eyepro was just too much.
Now the good part of that pressure: I could shoot with a rifle and not break the seal when I got a good cheek rest. Normally, I use ear plus and eMuffs to crank up the audio, but I could just use these . . .if I could stand the headaches I got from the pressure at my temples.
I bought this set of eMuffs because I thought they’d be better than my aging Sport Ear M4 Axils for my kid and offer better attenuation than my Caldwell eMuffs. I had already upgraded to a set of Peltor Tactical Sports for myself and they’re just far better than any of the other eMuffs I own.
I can’t recommend these for hunting because if you run into any wind, they’re unusable, and they’re just awful for locating where sounds are coming from.
If you’re going to use them to head to the range and jam out to some tunes, they’re OK. Try a set of Howard Leight Impact Sports to compare and wear both for an hour.