|Kill That Cough|
Since the Cough Muffler was the first one obtained, it's only fair to feature it first in this review.
How well does the Cough Muffler, in fact, muffle coughs? Pretty dang well, in my opinion, and it's the quietest of the two. It's of a simple design, what I call a "tube-within-a-can" design. The tube is filled with, and wrapped in, a fibrous material not unlike polyfill pillow batting. Expelled air is directed back into the face of the cougher, which seems both good and bad... while it directs any remaining sound towards the hunter (and therefore away from any game), it also blows any present germs back in your face... maybe that's a moot point and maybe it isn't, but I thought it worthy of mention.
Ease of use
The Cough Muffler and the Silencer both have their strong and weak points, as with any differing designs. The Cough Muffler has a bigger mouthpiece, which I found useful when experiencing fairly strong coughs, as it allows more air to flow through the device. I had no trouble using it, but it takes a little getting used to... expect some air to leak around the mouthpiece at your lips until you get used to coughing into a tube.
Head-on view of the Cough Muffler. Air from the coughs blows back at you through the small holes around the mouthpiece.
Both of these devices require cleaning after use, for obvious reasons. To clean the Cough Muffler, simply pull it apart, remove the filter material, and wash it. The downside of this is that you need to wait for the material to dry completely before reassembly, unless you buy a spare filter so you can alternate them. The packaging instructs one to "replace filter after approximately 4 weeks of use if needed," but no criteria are provided for determining if it's "needed" or not.
Above, the Cough Muffler partially disassembled. Below, fully disassembled for cleaning. The fiber material wraps around the central tube (see above) when assembled. The two parts are held together via friction by way of plastic lugs on the tube.
(All photos by Russ Chastain, world rights reserved)
The Cough Muffler is somewhat bulkier (and a little heavier) than the Silencer, and lacks an easy way to carry it. There's no cord or strap included for wearing around your neck, and no provision is made for attaching one of your own. This leaves pockets as the best place to keep the Muffler (fairly large pockets, that is).
Now, let's talk about the other cough killer: the Silencer.