Written By Dru Yoder

Axil Hearing Protection Review – GS Extreme 2.0

Sitting in the duck blind, you tend to notice things on slow days. Sometimes, it’s a flaw in the decoy spread that causes you to rearrange the decoys for the twentieth time or a scar on the blind that reminds you of a hunt from the past. It could be a piece of gear that one of your partners has quietly collected without telling you. It may also be the absence of something that catches your eye or, worse, your ear. 


Science before pride…

Over the years, the elephant in the box has always been the use of hearing protection when hunting waterfowl. We’ve all heard the phrases from a friend we hunt with. They alter the sound of my calling. I can’t hear the birds calling back or the subtle sound of a wingbeat swinging behind me. They get in the way of me shouldering my gun. It’s uncomfortable! The list of excuses has been heard for decades. The ugly truth is hunters are among the highest percentage of individuals suffering from hearing damage and loss. A year-long study by the University of Wisconsin revealed that of the 3,753 hunters and shooters observed, 95% of hunters reported not using hearing protection during that year. That study also stated that noise-induced hearing damage starts to happen around 85 decibels. A .22 caliber round rates at 140 decibels, while a 12g shotgun can reach levels above 165 decibels, more than twice the threshold where damage occurs.

So many options, not enough time….

Searching for the proper setup is time-consuming and can sometimes be an expensive mistake. My goal was to find hearing protection that ticked all the right boxes. Comfort, Affordability, Functionality, and most importantly, Protection. I looked at ALL the options that ranged from the standard earmuff style units to expensive custom molded units costing thousands of dollars. I spoke with fellow hunters in my local areas and even contacted several forums and Facebook groups. One of the common answers I received was Axil hearing protection.  


Let’s put them to the test…

I reached out to Axil toward the beginning of this season and purchased a set of their newer GS Extreme 2.0 earbud-style units. Speaking with their knowledgeable sales staff, they would check many of the prerequisites I had on my list if not all. After a few days, I received my units. At first glance, I was impressed with their overall feel and what seemed like good quality. This all comes down to how they performed in the field.


The first thing I noticed about the GS Extreme 2.0 units was how they fit into my ears. Out of the box, they fit very well. The earpieces are connected with a lanyard-style, lightweight wire with two uniform small control packs. I liked this idea for a few reasons. If I needed to remove one of the ear pieces, I didn’t need to fumble with putting it in a pocket, dropping it, or storing it back in the case. The two small packs on the wire virtually disappear when wearing these. One of the packs has the power switch and +/- for the hearing protection, and the other houses the power and +/- for the Bluetooth audio connectivity. Included in the box were various additional size tips ranging from foam to rubber. The medium rubber inserts felt the best for my fit. Over the past season, I have documented an average of 4 hours of continuous wear time, with my longest time being nine and a half hours. This speaks VOLUMES to me on the fit. For an out-of-the-box product, I give these a 10/10 on comfort. You sometimes forget that they are even there!


The GS Extreme 2.0 units hold an MSRP of $199.99. This is the lowest price we found throughout the industry on an “In-Ear” style electronic protection that offered all of the benefits and options that the GS Extreme 2.0 units offered. You will find that directly from AXIL. You can usually jump on a promotion sale where the units can be had for up to 50% off at certain times of the year. 

Click here for the most up-to-date pricing and available promotions: AXIL GS Extreme 2.0 Hearing Protection

These can also be had from Amazon at reasonable prices, in most cases slightly less than retail. AXIL also offers a variety of different styles of ear protection, which can be viewed through the link above; click on ear bud or ear muff style options at the top.


Many features are packed into this product’s small frame and design. The hearing protection, sound enhancement, Bluetooth connectivity, and the ability to work seamlessly with my iPhone were huge pluses. The ability to utilize separate features individually or all together is massive! I COULD if I only wanted to have the noise cancellation on without using the enhancement. I could use the combination without Bluetooth if I wanted to use noise cancellation and hearing enhancement. When I needed to call a partner a bit distance away, I could turn the Bluetooth on and make that call without taking the units off. “Hey, Siri” worked perfectly without taking my phone out of my pocket. The ability to individually control volume on the hearing enhancement side vs. the Bluetooth side is fantastic. The simplicity yet super functional design of these is impressive! Unlike many of the more expensive units on the market, the AXIL units are USB rechargeable. This makes charging these easy and effortless.

Hearing Protection:

A company with over 50 years of experience, AXIL delivers top hearing enhancement, protection, & audio devices. From ultra-comfortable fitting processes, to stereo quality sound performance to reliable & durable engineering – AXIL continues to redefine the premium products in the market.

The GS Extreme 2.0 units boast a 29 SNR or Single Number Rating. A Single Number Rating (SNR) is a specification used to determine protection levels given by all hearing protection and provides an easy reference to compare the different types of hearing protection. While 30 SNR is the most desirable when operating LARGE firearms, bigger than what we’re using for hunting, a 29 SNR puts these units on the playing field with some of the most expensive units. Manufacturers like Tetra have a 20 SNR, while Walker Game Ear holds an industry-high 31 SNR. These two other options are significantly more expensive while not providing a significant advantage over the AXIL products. This pushes the performance per dollar ratio way in favor of the GS Extreme 2.0 units!

Closing Thoughts:

AXIL has done a tremendous job with its entire line of hearing protection products. They have provided exceptional customer service while feeding you a “sales pitch” on their products. As a valued reader, we always try to give it straight. Axil hit a home run with us on all aspects and “checked all the boxes” we were looking for. We will be excited to get our hands on their new AXIL XCOR Earbud Options. These look AMAZING!


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