I made an interesting discovery. While I have good night vision for use in my LPOP, when I did a test run this weekend, I took my Howard Leight headphones with me to see how much “Audio Augmentation” would help in my ability to “hear before I see”.
I was stunned!
With the volume turned up, I am getting an easy 10 Db gain in audio sensitivity and this is as if someone turned on an audio floodlight. I could detect soft conversations 500′ away that were not detectable without the headphone. I heard many small animals that were also normally undetectable. However, more stunning was the ability to hear neighbors quietly walking 500′ away that I would normally only hear within 100′. I later asked my wife to come out and run some controlled tests, and I got similar results.
The net-net is my noise-protection headset will always go with me out to the LPOP so I gain superhuman hearing. A 5:1 improvement in detection range is a huge force multiplier; with as much impact in the dark as a good night vision system, it only 2-3% of the cost of night vision.
Plus my ears stay warm AND if I ever do have to shoot, my hearing will be intact.