Ear Trumpets vs. Hunting Horns

Here are some clues that indicate this is a hunting horn or possibly a duck caller and not a real ear trumpet.

  1. First, consider the shape of the bell. The bells of devices used to produce sound are typically flared out at a wide angle. Devices used to gather sound typically flare out at a much narrower angle.
  2. Second, notice the earpiece. Devices meant to blow on (horns) have a nice rounded mouthpiece. The mouthpiece is also larger than an ear trumpet earpiece so it would not fit into an ear canal. Ear trumpets typically have a little "ball" at the tip of the earpiece.
  3. Third, notice the angle of the earpiece to the body. Horns made to be blown (hunting horns) have a straight shaft so you can blow on them, but keep the bell of the horn facing forward. Ear horns have a curve just before the ear tip so you can stick them in your ear and yet still have the bell facing forward to collect the sound.
  4. Fourth, notice the chain or cord, or rings for them in they are missing. Hunting horns had chains or cords so they could hang around the person's neck when not being used. Ear trumpets typically do not have such rings or chains.
  5. Fifth, examine the supposed earpiece. Horns often have a reed in them that vibrates to produce the sound when you blow on them. Ear trumpets never have a reed as they are just collecting sound, not producing it.
  6. Note: you can hold a hunting horn up to your ear and hear with it. Don't be fooled. Just because it is billed as "working", and you can hear some sound though it does not make it the real McCoy—it is still a hunting horn.


Conclusion: These are all real horns alright. They are just real hunting horns, not real ear trumpets. Quite often you'll see real hunting horns billed as ear trumpets or ear horns. Now that you are aware of the differences between them, don't be fooled!


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