Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Will SightLines gel ear pads fit (my specific headset)?
A. Most likely. Because of the generous support of people around the world during a crowdfunding project in 2017, we were able to procure injection molds to make accurate clones of the various snap-in adapter plates used on the vast majority of headsets. If you visit the page for our ear pads and then scroll down to the section that discusses compatibility, you will find that our adhesive-backed ear pads fit many headsets without any adapter plates and many more with the use of our various adapter plates.
Q. Which adapter plates do I need for (my specific headset)?
A. First, please examine your headset and determine the manufacturer and model name or number. Then, visit the page for our ear pads and read the titles of the various adapter plates. The headset manufacturer name is in the title of the adapter plate. You can also click through the pictures that we've posted and see that many compatible headsets are listed right on the pictures for each type of adapter plate.
Additionally, you can read the description of the adapter plates and find out if your specific headset is compatible. Some headset manufacturers, over time, have decided to use different adapter plates, while others have stuck with one single type. For example, 3M™ PELTOR™ uses the HY79 / HY80 adapter plates with their line of ComTac™ military-style communications headsets, the HY10 adapter plates on their Optime™ industrial-style headsets, the HYX1 / HYX2 / etc adapter plates on their X-Series industrial-style headsets, and has chosen to use a very-similar-to-HY79 but slightly different (and completely incompatible) adapter plate on their Sport Tactical™ and Rangeguard™ line of shooting sports headsets (in this last case, fortunately, the pads can be peeled right off the underlying plate, any residue removed, and our pads can be added). We have done as best we can to make everything as clear as possible. If you are still confused, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. Are the pads and adapter plates assembled or do they come separate?
A. The ear pads and adapter plates arrive in separate packaging. It takes just a few seconds to remove the wax paper backing from the pads, line up the pads with the adapter plates, and lightly press the two together to activate the pressure-sensitive adhesive.
Q. Why do you use an adhesive to attach pads to adapter plates or directly to headsets? What kind is it? How strong is it? How durable is it? Is it permanent?
A. First, the adhesive we employ is the same type specified (as of 2018) for use by 3M™ PELTOR™ on military-issued ComTac™ communications headsets. We are following their example and using a proven system. We use a very specialized pressure-sensitive adhesive which is designed for extreme temperature range fluctuations. We have found that with just moderate application force, after 24 hours, the peel strength of the adhesive is strong enough to resist attempts at pad / plate separation unless significant, deliberate effort is used. Since our company's inception, we have had zero reports of our adhesive-backed pads accidentally coming off a customer's headset when properly applied. Do not try to add super glue or similar adhesives, as this can actually degrade the bonding strength. Our adhesive is not permanent, and our testing has shown that pads can be removed dozens of times -- even swapped between headsets -- without seriously degrading the bonding strength, as long as the adhesive portion is not compromised by dust, dirt, or other detritus.
Q. How do I install them?
A. Please visit our Install page for instructions.
Q. How do I care for and store SightLines gel ear pads?
A. Be sure to regularly clean the outer surface with a soapy rag or wet wipe as necessary, but do not submerge them, as the pads have a pinhole-sized air vent on the bottom to allow proper functioning at all altitudes and conditions. In addition, take care not to leave the ear pads crushed against any objects during storage, as this may cause permanent deformation. Before storing your headset, please consider twisting the two sides of your headset and allowing the pads to rest apart from each other or place a soft object between the pads.
Q. How do I use them?
A. Please watch this video:
Q. How soft are your gel-filled ear pads compared to competing gel-filled ear pads?
A. You should find our pads comparable in initial softness to competitor gel-filled products and much softer than traditional foam-filled pads. However, the real benefit of our premium, layered memory foam and silicone gel construction is that we engineered what we believe to be the optimum combination for long-duration comfort. In our testing, we found our design provided the highest level of sustained pressure relief versus other gel-filled pads, from initial donning through more than 16 hours of continued use. This testing was conducted without the use of our patented relief cuts for glasses arms to pass through, in order to present a level playing field. What we found is that competitor gel-filled ear pads tend to either use cheaper packaging foams (that do not have viscoelastic / memory foam characteristics) or a very tiny layer of memory foam which is quickly crushed and made useless. Our pads have been optimized with what we believe to be the perfect volume of high density memory foam and silicone gel. When combined with our patented relief cuts, we believe users can expect the highest level of comfort for a theoretically unlimited use time, as there is no pressure spike against the user's temples at all.
Q. I heard you originally had a clip-in style of gel ear pads for Howard Leight® and similar (clone or knockoff) headsets. Why do you not offer that style any more?
A. It is true that we initially offered a clip-in style of pads for those headsets, but it was our mistake, and some customers were affected. The way the clip-in style appears to work is that ear pads must have a semi-rigid backing plate to slide underneath series of locking tabs on the headset. If the ear pad backing plate is sized too large, the ear pad tends to bulge outward, and if the backing plate is sized too small, the ear pad is able to very slightly shake around on the headset. We attempted to find the sweet spot in terms of dimensional accuracy for this backing plate, but it was difficult to do so when some headsets didn't have the exact locking tab dimensions as others. This sometimes led to situations where our backing plate was too small and our gel ear pads could shake on the headset. While the clip-in style is fine for very light, foam-filled ear pads that have very little momentum, our gel-filled pads are significantly heavier and had the tendency to vibrate and completely detach from the headset during times when the headset was situated in a shaking, moving vehicle, or jostled around in a bag during rough transport. After feedback from customers, we were able to both diagnose the issue and determine a solution. This involved moving to the pressure-sensitive adhesive system, which provides a much more secure attachment method. As detailed in another answer on this page, our adhesive has proven itself ~100% reliable since it was introduced. At the same time, the adhesive-backed method provides universal compatibility with our existing line of adapter plates, and this allows customers to purchase one type of ear pad and use them on any headset they wish, instead of being locked into the Howard Leight® style of attachment method.
Q. Are your products actually made in the United States?
A. All of our products and even our packaging materials are sourced and manufactured in the U.S.A. The pad materials are sourced from companies in Indiana, Ohio, and other locations as necessary, while the packaging (clamshells and paper inserts) is sourced right near our home town of Grand Rapids, Michigan. The manufacturing and assembly of our ear pads takes place at our partner facility in Canton, Ohio, by highly-skilled workers. All products are fully Berry Amendment and TAA compliant.
Q. Do you sell in bulk (10+ pairs) to government agencies?
A. Yes, we have a standard discount available for bulk government orders. Please email us at email@example.com or call 616-226-3551 for more details. We will only accept PO's from official government email accounts. Our normal warranty is included.
Q. Do you have a warranty?
A. Yes, we have a Limited Warranty. SightLines™ ear pads are warranted to be free from defects in material and workmanship for one (1) year from date of Seller’s invoice. Notice to Seller of any defect must be made within 13 months of Seller’s invoice or this warranty is waived. On receipt of timely notice, Seller will remedy any defect within a reasonable time. This warranty does not cover normal wear and tear nor damage caused by Buyer’s misuse, neglect, or abuse. Seller shall determine, in its sole discretion, whether the alleged defect is normal wear and tear or caused by Buyer’s misuse, neglect, or abuse.
Q. Do you have a discount program?
A. Yes. If you are:
- Active duty military or a military veteran (discharged under honorable or other-than-dishonorable conditions)
- Active or retired firefighter
- Active or retired law enforcement
- Active or retired emergency medical services worker (or similarly working the front lines in the medical world)
- Active or retired security professional
- Active defensive tactics (and related) instructor
please drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with the exact subject SERVICE DISCOUNT REQUESTED and a note about your qualifications, we will happily provide a discount code. We support qualifying individuals from both inside and outside the U.S.A. Please give us some time to respond after you send your request.
Q. Do you sell in any retail (brick and mortar) stores?
A. Yes, please visit our DEALERS page.