Walker's XCEL 500BT – Teaming up with your smartphone
Active earbuds are plentiful, but few offer you Bluetooth connectivity and as many interesting solutions – even in small details – as Walker's XCEL 500BT. In this hearing protector, Walker's moved the controls from the cup to the headband. This has the advantage that they are easier to feel without having to move the cup on the ear when looking for them. On the side are 2 large buttons for volume control, the smaller "on/off" button, and the mode selection button. On the rear side are the 3 Bluetooth buttons. One of them is for activating, pairing and controlling the Bluetooth connection, the other two for volume control. Why 4 buttons to control the volume? Because the Walker's XCEL 500BT allows you to either listen to the music via Bluetooth or block out the ambient noise – also helpful when writing these lines.
By the way, the sound quality is top: whether ambient noise or the favorite music from the smartphone, everything is reproduced very well and you did not want to put it down while listening to music. The voice quality during calls was also quite good. In order to always achieve the optimal sound result, the Walker's XCEL 500BT offers you 4 modes, which can be easily changed at the touch of a button and are confirmed with a voice prompt from the device. There are:
- Universal: for general ambient noise amplification.
- Clear Voice: for improved verbal communication in noisy environments
- High Frequency Boost: special tuning to hear hits on steel targets at long range
- Power Boost: sound amplification throughout the volume range
What else appealed: the Walker's XCEL 500BT automatically shuts off after 2, 4, or 6 hours, easily programmed with the push of a button. Setting up the Bluetooth connection was completed within seconds without any problems. And if you ever wanted to put the XCEL 500BT down, you can put it on 2 rubber feet underneath the cups. At STROBL.CZ, the Walker's XCEL 500BT is available for as little as €166.50 – a fair price for what's on offer.
In-ear hearing protection with smart box: Walker's Silencer R600
Most in-ear hearing protectors are passive, because it is not so easy to accommodate all the electronics in a small housing. Often there is also a lack of wearing comfort and it is easy to lose the small devices. The Walker's Silencer R600 does not have these disadvantages.
The small plugs protect your hearing from the sound of the shot, but let you hear all other ambient noise on the range without any problems. The volume can be adjusted separately for left and right. To increase the wearing comfort, the earplugs are made of soft foam – roll them briefly in your fingers before insertion, they'll fit perfectly to the ear canal. If they still pinch or leave a bit of air, the Silencer R600 comes with earplugs in sizes L and S. The same applies to the "fins" that are supposed to hold the Silencer R600 in the ear: they can simply be pulled over the device and adjusted to the shooter's ear.
A real highlight on the Walker's Silencer R600 is the storage box. What could possibly be so great about a storage box? In its precisely fitting recesses, the two hearing protectors can be stored in a magnetically secured manner and thus cannot be lost so quickly. At the same time, the box starts charging the integrated batteries of the Silencer R600 wirelessly. During the charging process, a red LED lights up on each of the earbuds. These are also still good to see through the partially transparent housing of the box. This works thanks to battery in the storage box even on the go and up to 4 times. If the battery is flat, it can be conveniently filled via USB cable.
Should a foreign object stick to the soft foam of the Silencer R600, Walker's has also thought of that and integrated a small cleaning brush in the storage box.
The Walker's Silencer R600 in combination with the storage box is a really well thought-out system and impresses with much more than the sound quality. At STROBL.CZ you can get the Walkers Silencer R600 for €312,31.