Swedish company Sordin AB is at the very top in the hearing protectors market for industrial, sports and professional use. Its flagship model, in the field of active protective headphones equipped with digital audio, has for many years undoubtedly been the Supreme line of headphones, initially designed for professional and military users, that has since aroused a huge interest from sportsmen and hunters alike.
The Supreme over-the-ear protectors combine a digital audio circuitry to the excellent level of protection from harmful impulsive sounds, that allows the user to continue to listen to ambient sounds and engage in conversations from the environment, without problems and without the feeling of isolation that normal passive headphones impose.
Video: with the Sordin Supreme Pro-X on the shooting range
Features of the Sordin Supreme Pro-X hearing protector
The Supreme Pro digital engine process the signal that comes from a pair of microphones and returns it inside the earmuffs via two speakers. The sound perceived by the user is a perfect stereoscopic reconstruction of the acoustic environment, but mediated by the digital circuitry, which unlike most similar products, does not "cut" the audio signal at the moment of firing, creating an annoying "vacuum effect," but simply compresses the peaks above 85 dB while keeping the "sound" of the environment perfectly intelligible.
The top of the line available today in Sordin's Supreme line is the Pro-X version, which also features IP67-certified waterproofing, allowing it to be used in extreme environmental conditions.
Sordin's entire Supreme Pro-X line was updated in 2023 with the introduction of the new Hear2 digital audio technology, which in addition to a general improvement in processing engine performance, adds the ability to select from four preset audio profiles optimized for specific activities.
The profiles are "Hunting", for hunting and normal use (this is the automatic profile when turned on), "Sporting", for sport shooting with lower amplification and compressed audio frequency range, ideal for use in shooting ranges and competitions, "Focus", featuring maximum ambient sound amplification for enhanced situational awareness (derived from professional users settings), and "Comms", for wireless communication – external microphones and digital audio are disabled and the 3.5 mm pin jack is the only audio input that is amplified.
Sordin Supreme Pro-X: how to operate the hearing protector
Batteries used by the Supreme Pro-X Ear Protectors are two AAA 1.5V cells, housed in a watertight compartment sealed by a screw-on cap, and allowing a battery life of more than 600 hours; at about 40 hours of remaining battery life, a warning tone can be heard inside the protectors.
The control panel is located on the left earcup, protected by an indentation. It includes three buttons for power and volume adjustment, which can be set to 6 different levels of 6 dB each: in the last 2 steps, the headphones amplify the sound level with respect to the environment. The power button works as such by pressing it for 3 seconds, but once the device is on, with momentary pressure it allows the user to select among the Hear2 profiles with the + and- buttons. Each operation is confirmed by a recorded message.
The model I wanted to test out of Sordin's Supreme Pro-X line is the "Neckband" version, plus the hygiene kit including Gel pads, for absolute comfort when using the headset with shooting glasses.
The Sordin Supreme Pro-X in the version with neckband
The key feature of the Neckband version is the replacement of the single upper stiff headband with a pair of headbands.
The stiff headband, supporting the earcups, is worn behind the nape of the neck, and the other headband, made of soft Nylon that can be adjusted with Velcro, can be placed at various points above the head, depending on the type of headgear we are using. In fact, thanks to how thin the cloth headband is, the ear protectors can be worn even under hard protection such as a ballistic helmet.
The comfort of the Neckband version is exceptional, balanced only by the extra care and time required to put them on and adjust them: the Supreme Pro X’s with the standard headband can be donned instantly.
I have used the Supreme Pro X exclusively since I received them, including during high powered firearms competitions and courses, such as the PRS long-distance shooting event in Montpelier, France, where calibers such as the .300 PRC and both Creedmoor calibers were used, with great satisfaction and comfort.
Conclusion about the Sordin Supreme Pro-X
The cost, about 275 euros including tax, is in line with the higher end of the professional active hearing protectors market; I strongly suggest to add the Hygiene kit with the Gel pads: once you try them, the Gel pads really become a must-have, wondering how you lived without them.
Sordin Supreme Pro-X Neckband specs and price
|Manufacturer:||Sordin AB, Värnamo (Sweden); www.sordin.com|
|Model:||Supreme Pro-X model 76302-X-S (Neckband)|
|Type:||Active hearing protectors|
|Attenuation:||24 dB SNR|
|Power Supply:||2 AAA alkaline batteries|
600 hours, with tone to indicate 40 hours of remaining battery life
|AUX In:||3.5 mm minijack input|
|Warranty:||5 years |
|Price:||275 euro, Hygienic Gel pads kit 40 euro (actual
price may vary due to VAT and local taxes)|