WON Landing Page OCT 2022

Review: SoundGear Phantom Ear Protection

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.  

Sponsored by wildHERness

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.  

SoundGear Stock Photo
SoundGear Stock Photo

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:

  • Rechargeable internal battery
  • Ease of use
  • iPhone and Android Bluetooth pairing capability

The SoundGear Phantom website lists the following features that attracted me initially:

  • Pre-programmed to the most common hearing loss range (Normal to Moderate)
  • Up to 30 dB of Gain/Amplification (based on hearing needs)
  • 22 dB Noise Reduction Rating (NRR)
  • For Phantom IPIL data see the Hearing Protection Guide
  • 2.4 GHz technology for audio streaming
  • Lithium-ion rechargeable battery and custom charger — included!
  • 23 hours of battery life including 4 hours of streaming
  • Uses: Hunting, Tactical Shooting, USPSA, 3-Gun, Sporting Clays, Trap, Industry and Skeet
  • Advantage Wind Noise Management *** 
  • Retail Price $1399
Phantom out the box

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:

  • Dove opening weekend
  • Waterfowl opening weekend
  • Indoor shooting range
  • Outdoor shooting range 
  • Shooting event in an underground cave
  • Sneaking and listening to podcasts and Zoom events at work 
  • Phone calls 
  • Audio book listening
  • Music
  • Plane travel 
  • Wind tested
  • Rain tested
  • Whitetail hunting
  • Pheasant hunting
  • Crowd noises 

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. 

Pairing 1
Pairing 2
Pairing 3
Pairing 4

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:

  • The case is not just a storage unit, it is also a cordless charging station. You can get a solid 48-to-72 hours of basic use.
  • Phone access is not needed to power on/off or adjust.
  • These are custom molded to fit YOUR ears, so they are comfortable.
  • They have a serial number and your name programed to them in case of loss. If they are turned into a SoundGear or hearing doctor, they could be returned to you.
  • They have a 1-year warranty and quick repair turnaround.  I already broke one and they fixed it within 7-to-10 days.
  • You have four colors to currently choose from: black, clear, red and blue.
  • They will power on as soon as you remove from the base and turn off when placed back on the base.  You can also manually turn them off.
  • They come with a detachable lanyard.
SoundGear Stock Photo 2

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.

Sharenda SoundGear in the Field
  • About Sharenda Birts

    Sharenda Birts is the Director of Community Affairs and one of the 4 founding members of wildHERness, a diverse group of outdoorswomen passionate about providing females with a connection to the outdoors through workshops, events, mentoring and community service. Her passion for the outdoors began when she began to learn how to safely handle a firearm and clean it. She does not come from a family background of firearms or outdoorsman and did not have any exposure to the outdoors until she joined a sporting clays league that persuaded her to attend a pheasant hunt. Although Sharenda is a new hunter, she is passionate about sharing her adventures to inspire other city born-and-raised minority women – with the message that they, too, can learn how to explore the outdoors, no matter what their ages. Sharenda is an NRA certified pistol, shotgun, and metallic cartridge reloading instructor who comes from a background with 25 years in the banking and equity investment industry. She also admits to being addicted to clay sports, along with upland and waterfowl hunting. Sharenda’s gearing up for angling and fly-tying in the near future.