This was not an impulsive purchase or one that was motivated by the latest and greatest on the market. I had originally planned to purchase the SoundGear Phantom hearing protection during the spring of 2020, but since nearly everything was paused and backordered during this time, the Phantoms were affected as well and the release date was uncertain.
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Since I routinely checked monthly with the company, I am almost certain the customer service department knew my name, voice and probably caller ID. Finally, I was told that the earbuds were being released within the next 30 days, but since I had molds on file with them, I could go ahead and place my order with my audiologist. Chuckling, I thanked them for entertaining my impatient excitement, and immediately called my doctor to order them.
They are the original hearing protection bud that I wanted when I purchased the Walker Silencer BT 2.0 buds I reviewed in 2020 for “Women’s Outdoors News.” My requirement list stayed nearly the same:
The SoundGear Phantom website lists the following features that attracted me initially:
I received my hearing protection about 7-to-10 days after speaking with SoundGear and my audiologist. I was shocked at the quick turnaround. The journey really began on August 17, 2021, when I picked them up and tried them on the for the first time. Let me run down the list of field tests I ran them through:
They were easy to pair to my iPhone X and pairing was simple, but not quite like pairing a typical Bluetooth device. You must connect them to the accessibility options in your settings and install them as hearing devices. They provide detailed and straight forward instructions. Once connected, you can create customized settings that I am still learning, but the factory preset options are nice.
I am pretty much in love with these earbuds; they complement my activities better than expected and their customer service is amazing (and patient!). They kept me informed for an entire year … and I am not talking automated responses, but phone calls and emails on their product status.
An unexpected bonus is they offer the ability to partially control the Phantoms via my Apple watch. The wind noise cancellation was incredible! Even while walking through high plains wind gusts to post up for dove, I could hear everyone in the field, and they did not have to yell. The battery life is not an estimate, the units work 24 hours if you are not streaming with them on.
Bonus features I like include the following qualities:
As of this moment, I do not have any cons to report, other than they are pricey at $1399. They have met and exceeded all my needs. Something else I learned while researching their products is that they are a partner and national sponsor of Pheasants and Quail Forever, making financial contributions to wildlife and habitat conservation.
I strongly recommend that before you purchase the Phantoms that you see your audiologist and check with health insurance and reimbursement benefits, as there may be some cost assistance available.