AXIL XCOR Digital Bluetooth Wireless Hearing Protection

When my AXIL XCOR hearing protection arrived, I was pretty excited to try them out. They were not the first AXIL products I’ve tried, but certainly the most advanced. Completely wireless (no cord connecting them to each other) with Bluetooth and touch control. They offer very advanced hearing protection, with the benefit of Bluetooth audio as well. Perhaps most important, they fit me well. I’m not a huge fan of earbuds, as most simply are not comfortable in my ears, especially for longer range sessions. With the AXIL XCOR, I’ve got comfort, protection, and performance. If you’re looking for high-performance earbuds, or suffer from poor fit, read on.

AXIL XCOR quick take

Compact, Bluetooth-enabled hearing protection with up to 29 dB of SNR/23 dB NRR. Fully digital with noise suppression, hearing enhancement, and the ability to listen to music or take phone calls. Touch Control for ease of use. Includes a compact case for storage and charging.

AXIL XCOR Digital Bluetooth Wireless Hearing Protection.
AXIL XCOR Digital Bluetooth Wireless Hearing Protection.

AXIL XCOR hearing protection and enhancement features

Rather than shut off sounds completely, AXIL’s Digital Hearing Protection compresses loud noises over 85 dB. The result is that you can still hear what’s going on around you, while the loudest noises are subdued. That alone would make the XCOR a good choice for ear pro. But they take it a step further with their Hear Controlâ„¢. This feature offers three levels of hearing enhancement. The lowest is for maximum protection, the middle is for natural hearing, and the highest offers 6x enhancement. Whether at the range or in the field, normal sounds can be amplified.

AXIL XCOR Digital Bluetooth Wireless Hearing Protection.
AXIL XCOR Digital Bluetooth Wireless Hearing Protection.

What’s in the box?

Inside the box is a zippered soft case. It contains a tiny hard case for charging and storing the XCOR earbuds. There’s the ubiquitous USB C charging cable, as well as multiple sets of foam and silicone tips. Also included is a comprehensive guide to fit and installation. It covers all the functions too. To give you an idea of just how small the case is, see the photo above, where it’s shown with a box of .22 LR ammo. It’s truly pocket-sized.

Box contents of the AXIL XCOR.
Box contents of the AXIL XCOR.

Fitting the AXIL XCOR

AXIL provides very thorough instructions for getting a good fit. Use the foam tips for the most sound reduction. First step is to determine the correct size, which may take some experimenting. Compress them, and push them in as far as they will go. Once they are in nice and deep, rotate the XCOR so that it sits inside the ear comfortably. With the XCOR off, I test to make sure they have a good seal, and no sound is sneaking past. Then I turn them on and do the clap test to make sure loud sounds are compressed. If you take the time to do it right, this only needs to be done once. And after a few times, installation is a matter of pinch, push, and twist.

Photo courtesy of AXIL.
Photo courtesy of AXIL.

XCOR sound controls

At first glance, the XCOR doesn’t seem to have much in the way of controls. Each one has a small rectangular button. This controls the Hear Controlâ„¢ volume settings, cycling through from low to high. There’s also a touch control area, which is the flat section with the AXIL logo. For phone calls, a double tap on either one will answer or end a call. Triple taps reject a call (I don’t need to discuss my car’s warranty at the range). During calls, a single tap on the right ear increases volume, while the left side reduces volume.

Photo courtesy of AXIL.
Photo courtesy of AXIL.

Music mode is similar for the volume controls, with right being up, and left down. A double tap to either will play or pause. To skip tracks either forward or backward, it’s a triple tap to their right or left ear, respectively. If all that sounds like a bit much, don’t worry. For shooting, I didn’t see any need to make any changes. For calls or music, it should only take a short time to memorize the controls, but you can always use your device controls as well.

Light notifications

Hidden just under the semi-translucent body of each XCOR is a small LED. It lights up either green or black (a sort of purple, but like a black light’s purple). Solid green for two seconds lets you know it’s on, and it will flash green when pairing via Bluetooth. It will flash green three times and then turn off when the Bluetooth connection completes. When the battery is low, the black light will flash every 30 seconds. Finally, it will be solid black for one second before it powers off.

AXIL XCOR Digital Bluetooth Wireless Hearing Protection.
AXIL XCOR Digital Bluetooth Wireless Hearing Protection.

Overall thoughts

First, I need to repeat that the fit of the XCOR is just outstanding. If they don’t fit well, they’re not going to protect hearing and they’re not going to be comfortable. So AXIL nailed that. The controls may seem a bit daunting at first, but it’s actually pretty simple to learn. And while I appreciate all the extra features, I don’t need to use them much. If I’m wearing ear pro, I’m not taking calls. But the audio quality when I tested some calls was great. And if I’m listening to music, it’s while running power tools, not shooting, so I’m not overly critical of sound quality. Yet they are not lacking there either.

When it comes to shooting, the AXIL XCOR really shines. No need to worry about your ear pro getting in the way of your rifle stock. No loss of situational awareness. Loud gunshots (7.62×39) and 9mm handguns were tamed, rimfire is just a distant pop.

As always, I’d like to thank AXIL for providing their XCOR earbuds for my testing and evaluation. I have been using their products for a few years now, and trust them to protect my hearing. We only get one set of ears, and if not protected, our hearing will diminish. Hearing damage is cumulative, and even moderately loud noises will damage hearing over time. If you’re interested in learning more, head over to Note that they have generously provided a coupon code to save you 15% off – just enter INDUSTRYSAVES at checkout.

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