I lost a lot of hearing in the war. Earplugs are usually uncomfortable, and make communication with your team nearly impossible. Because of this, a lot of troops don't wear them as much as they should. Communication in combat is crucial. If you can't hear your team, then you don't know what is going on, and confusion kills. Unfortunately, you can't call "time out" in combat so you can put your earplugs in. In the very near past, the choice was either save your hearing, or communicate with and understand your team. Surefire has a solution.
I picked up a pair of Sonic Defenders from my favorite gun stuff site recently. I went shooting with a buddy of mine and gave the Defenders a workout. I shot a shorty 20ga. shotgun, my 1911A1, and a Taurus PT1911 for a total of about a hundred rounds. First of all, the Defenders use no batteries, and don't weigh any more than traditional reusable plugs. In addition, you can convert them to standard ear plugs by inserting a removable stopper into the hole that allows you to hear. I put them in and noticed that they did muffle wind noise, and a little bit of "normal" sounds. However, they allowed me to engage comfortably in conversation with my friend, and even use my cell phone with them in. In fact, I could still hear so well that I cringed at the thought of our two pistols barking at the same time. As we walked to the "range" (a desolate area of my friend's property), I noticed that the Surefire plugs were very comfortable, and didn't slip out of place. I had just about forgotten I was wearing them as my friend pulled up his shotgun and shot twice. The Surefire plugs muffled the noise to a very comfortable level. This is a product that does what it claims to do. I give them the FGN Seal of Approval.