10 Best Shooting Ear Protections (2020): Tightest yet Comfy Earmuffs With Mind-Blowing NRR Ratings & Multimedia Options — Rigorously Tested & Reviewed With Buyer’s Guide
- Erik Himmel
If you are a shooter or work in high-noise areas like industrial zones or shooting ranges, you must not compromise on getting some form of ear protection. While taking shots, our delicate auditory organs are hit by a gush of sound waves that could range from an astounding 140 dB to 190 dB, far higher than the human tolerance level of 80dB. This explosive sound, transferred through the air and bodily vibrations, should be controlled by ear muffs or earplugs to avoid permanent ear damage and other health hazards.
Since it's important to maintain a safe exposure limit, I usually use budget-friendly and versatile safety earmuffs. You can find both active and passive noise canceling devices from renowned brands for the purpose, but do all models come at the golden combination point of price and value? Hopefully, this review and its final recommendation chart will answer to that question by suggesting the best shooting ear protection presently available on the market.
What You Will Get Here
- Best Shooting Ear Protection Comparison Chart (Updated 2020)
- Why you should trust us
- How did we pick these products?
- Our Top 10 Best Hearing Protection for Shooting
- Best Overall: Howard Leight by Honeywell
- Good value for money: 3M Peltor X-Series Over-the-Head Earmuffs
- Advanced choice: MSA Sordin Supreme Pro X
- A list of 7 other models we reviewed
- Other products we tested
- When you need ear protectors
- Things to consider when buying an ear protector
- Tips on protecting your ears when firing guns
- Ear protection applications
Best Shooting Ear Protection Comparison Chart (Updated 2020)
Howard Leight by HoneywellRead Full Review
3M Peltor X-Series Over-the-HeadRead Full Review
MSA Sordin Supreme Pro XRead Full Review
Walker’s Razor Slim Electronic Hearing ProtectionRead Full Review
Peltor Sport Tactical 300Read Full Review
AWESAFE Electronic Shooting EarmuffRead Full Review
Peltor 97451 3M Tactical Sport EarmuffRead Full Review
3M PeltorTacticalPro MT15H7F SVRead Full Review
Howard Leight (R-01902)Read Full Review
SureFire EP4 SonicRead Full Review
Why you should trust us
The Ranger Expert team consists of a group of dedicated gunsmiths and weapon masters with years of practical combat experience. Not only are we familiar with military-grade weaponry and tactical gear, but we keep pace with updated trends and technologies as well for accurate and flawless experience of firing guns.
Gun savants and athletes must squeeze the last drop from their gear to achieve the highest performance, and our team plays the role of catalyst here providing them with the right information on the latest gear through elaborate reviews and how-to blogs. Please take note that our endeavor is entirely devoid of monetary gains. We are here to share our knowledge with the world communities sharing a common interest; in this case, shooting gear.
To-that-end, our carefully crafted research encapsulates each and every possible detail of the device we review. We believe this buying guide can deliver all there is to learn about a 'true' top ear protection device. Hopefully, our hard work will be paid off if you can make your choice from our list.
How did we pick these products?
Our team went through several stages before coming up with the final list. Our expedition for hunting down the top ear protectors started with a 28-hour extensive online research for the highest rated products with maximum features from the most reliable brands. The initial list housed 30 products that we chose for field testing.
The field-tests were conducted by Ranger Expert team members and a group of volunteers some of whom were professional athletes and recreational shooters. Apart from field-testing data, we collected inputs from the real users of these products based on their effectiveness, noise reduction capacities, build qualities, comfort levels, noise-canceling options, performance in different weather conditions, and designs and then finalized this shortlist.
But we didn't stop there. We reached out to some of the leading industry experts to learn their thoughts on our final list. Our hands-on experience with these products helped us handpick each of them to fit into our top ten list. We hope you are going to find your pair from our list and this buyer's guide will provide you enough information to verify your choice.
Our Top 10 Best Hearing Protection for Shooting
Before testing, based on some vital factors and features, our experts sampled a good number of models from top manufacturers. However, there are products with specific provisions for beginners, avid shooters, hunter, and hobbyists. Now let's find out what we have in our list to answer to your frequently asked question: What is the best ear protection for shooting?
Howard Leight electronic earmuff by Honeywell Impact Sport is a lightweight device. It can reduce the impact of firearm sounds to 82 dB. When the AAA batteries die, this device will give basic ear protection, but can't amplify regular sounds. Let's discuss other amazing features that come with this protection aid.
Sound Amplification: Your safety is enhanced by using distortion-free amplification electronic earmuff. This device brings louder noise from firearm discharges to a safe 82 dB level. Also, it allows you to hear low-level range commands and conversation sounds. Apart from blocking hazardous sounds, this amplification feature uses built-in directional microphones to boost natural listening and communication.
NRR Rating: The electronic device has the NRR rating of 22 in both on and off modes. Like other models of Howard Leight electronic earmuffs, environmental sounds are filtered with ease. This device shuts off amplification when ambient noise reaches 82 dB, and the mechanism is automatic.
Easy-to-use AUX Input: You can enjoy MP3 player software with the earmuff's AUX Input. The media player from mobile phones can make you active while hunting in the wilderness. The power knob allows Howard Leight electronic earmuffs users to adjust volume after connecting the 3.5 mm cord in its external audio jack.
Adjustable Headband: This electronic earmuff has ultra-slim, added earcups, and an adjustable headband. Its foldable design allows adjustability for firearm stock clearance. Interference is less while taking aims for shots. Also, storage after use is convenient because these low profile earcups might be compact, but they fit in their boxes securely.
- Dimensions: 1 x 1 x 1 inches
- Weight: 1.6 pounds
- Power Source: Non-rechargeable AAA batteries
- NRR: 22 dB
- Brand/Model: Impact Sport R-01526
This electronic earmuff is ergonomically designed with patented airflow control technology that allows firearms' clearance while firing guns, and a snap-on lid for easy replacement of AAA batteries. Buyers will find it as a great product that helps to amplify ambient sounds to a safe level of 82 dB.
You can enjoy high levels of hearing protection without disregarding comfort. The 3M Peltor's X-Series Over-the-Head earmuffs have a bulky design and NRR ratings of 31 dB. It's the ideal product for users that operate in high noise exposure environments. Here are some interesting features that come with these over-the-head earmuffs.
31 dB Noise Reduction Rating: This 3M Peltor model is one of the highest attenuation earmuffs with an NRR rating of 31 dB. It offers versatile hearing protection for range fields and work environments. The X-Series Over-the-head hearing protection device can reduce any risk of damage from noises of heavy engineering, quarrying, foundry, and airplanes.
Twin Headband Design: Its twin headband design is designed for comfort. The twin headband design gives proper fit and balance while keeping your ears cool. So, users will find this ergonomically customized, newly designed spacer (on the headband) easy to use because these earcups tilt seamlessly.
Electrically Insulation: With non-conductive insulators on the metal parts of the headbands, users can use this device under wet conditions. There's a low risk of electrical shocks when using insulated (dielectric) wire headbands. So, these X-Series Over-the-Head earmuffs are safe.
Lightweight Design: This hearing protection device is a lightweight wire headband that doesn't exert undue pressure. Without being uncomfortably tight, wearers can adjust the earcups and enjoy customized fits. It's easy to transport these X5 earmuffs, and they don't add excessive weight to your backpack.
- Dimensions: 4.49 x 8.19 x 5.67 inches
- Weight: 8 ounces
- NRR: 31 dB
- Brand/Model: 3M Peltor X-Series
Needless to say, these earmuffs are great at blocking loud noises that are up to 31 dB. Like Peltor's SPORTTAC model, it's an active and intelligent device. Its twin headband design is appealing to users that love noise reducers with high-end features. Also, this model comes with easy-to-replace cushions that ensure the product's performance and durability.
Our experts were convinced of its professional-grade while reviewing these MSA Sordins Supreme Pro X earmuffs. As a premium edition, avid shooters will enjoy the black cups with fitted gel seals. Let's see other amazing features that make this US military grade earwear a part of our top ten products.
18 dB NRR Rating: This Sordin Supreme PRO X model helps to dampen and filter harmful noise to a level of 82 dB. Its built-in mechanism compresses peak, harmful sounds and makes the quieter without causing distractions. So, the 18 dB-rated NRR value amplifies safe noise four times than normal.
Low Battery Consumption: You can enjoy more battery life with two high-quality AAA batteries because this device has low consumption. The MSA Sordin Supreme Pro X can perform, and extend the battery life for 600 hours.
Foldable and Slim Design: The earcups produce great digital sound reproduction with built-in electronics. It's easy to use and store these electronic earmuffs because their slim neckband is foldable.
Compatibility: The Sordin Supreme PRO X premium edition is compatible with both right and left-handed shooters. With fitting black cups and gel seals, all users of this earwear will enjoy the comfort and shoot with different orientations.
- Dimensions: 10.6 x 7.9 x 4.7 inches
- Weight: 1.19 pounds
- Power Source: Non-rechargeable AAA batteries
- NRR: 18 dB
- Brand/Model: MSA Sordin Supreme Pro X – Premium Edition
This is an ideal ballistic earwear for avid shooters and hunters that need protection from noises. This MSA Sordin Supreme Pro X's battery compartment helps you enjoy outdoor shooting under rain or snow. The compartment is waterproof, are reduces the risk of electrical damage from moisture.
A list of 7 other models we reviewed
You can enjoy a low level of 23 dB protection while listening to conversations, and range commands. The Walker’s Razor Slim earmuffs have built-in sound amplification and suppression mechanisms. It's a high-performance electronic ear protection unit and hopefully, you'll be well-served with the following features of this model.
High-Quality Muffs: These Walker’s Razor Electronic Earmuffs have slim headbands that fit comfortably. Without compromising comfort, the Razor's ultra-thin rubberized cups can use built-in amplification properties to reduce noise. So, it's a choice for buyers to protect these low profile earcups or lose them.
23 dB NRR: The Noise Reduction Rating of 23 dB is impressive. This Razor slim electronic muff series can handle all-day gun firing while providing sound protection of over 89 dB at a 0.02-time response.
Natural Sound Clarity: The Razor slim electronic earwear comes with two Omni-directional microphones that provide crisp clear audio. Also, it's engineered with full dynamic range HD speakers. These built-in frequency-tuned audio mechanisms offer natural sound clarity.
Slim Folding Design: Walker's Razor ear protection devices have soft-padded headbands with metal wireframes. You can fold this electronic muff when it's not in use. Its slim profile is enhanced with a compact folding design for all-day comfort.
- Dimensions: 10.4 x 7.9 x 3.8 inches
- Weight: 1 pound
- Power Source: Non-rechargeable AAA batteries
- NRR: 23 dB
- Brand/Model: Walker’s Razor
The Omni Directional Mics in this slim model allows you to enjoy filtered sounds. It has ergonomic designs like the On/Off volume control knob. While wearing gloves, this volume control knob's raised ridges allow for tactile use. It's a comfortable device up for sale.
You can get optimized protection that offers easy operation for hunting, and range. The Peltor Sports Tactical 300 Electronic Hearing Protector has a low-profile design. It's ideal for shooting competitions, hunting, and uses SMART technologies to amplify low-level sounds. Let's discuss how the Peltor Sports Tactical 300 earwear can suppress harmful gunshot noise.
Easy Setup: This device allows for easy setup; it comes with intuitive buttons for seamless operation. You'll need clear communication, and voice guidance is a tracking system that improves speech intelligibility. The Clear Voice Tracking system works well without removing the Peltor Sports Headset. Also, you will enjoy less firearm interference because these low-profile cups are compatible with the butts of long guns.
Dynamic Suppression Time: This electronic ear protector adapts to the firearm and environmental noises. Its built-in Dynamic Suppression feature optimizes firing experience. Also its low-profile recessed microphones and 3M Smart technology help to reduce wind and fan noise.
All-Day Comfort: This earpiece is ergonomically designed with soft, and conformable cushions. Adjustable ear protection gears with vented headbands improve comfort. While wearing hats, it’s convenient to use this lightweight hearing protector. It's also a great option for all-day comfort. You will have a good grip on the gun when your ears are well protected.
24 dB Noise Reduction Rating: Upgrading to ear protection devices with 24 dB can promote your health. While filtering louder sounds, the NRR value makes it easy to hear your range commands and follow up with conversations.
- Dimensions: 4.6 x 7.8 x 11.6 inches
- Weight: 1.29 pounds
- Noise Filtering: Clear Voice Tracking
- Power Source: Non-rechargeable AAA batteries
- NRR: 24 dB
- Brand/Model: Peltor Sports Tactical 300/ TAC300-OTH
The use of 3M Smart technologies by Peltor Sport has created a premium model of ear protectors. This device turns off after two hours and ensures the durability of the AAA batteries automatically. Our electronic ear protection device reviews show that Tactical 300's low-profile ear cups are ideal for rifle and shotgun noise reduction.
These high-quality electronic earmuffs by Awesafe are a great choice. When you are exposed to multiple gun firing sessions, the Awesfae filters and dampen the effects of sound. With a 22 dB NRR value, this electronic ear wear is ideal for hunting. Let's discuss other features that make Awesafe GF01 ear protector offer high performance.
22 dB Noise Reduction Rating (NRR): Without worrying about your auditory nerves, this Awesafe GF01 electronic protector has industry-leading NRR. It can help you to block hazardous sounds. The NRR value of 22 dB offers distortion-free amplification that shuts off at a safe level of 82 dB. Also, it uses Air Flow Control technology to minimize noise reduction across all frequencies.
Easy Maintenance: The Awesafe GF01 is durable, and doesn't need high maintenance. It has snap-in ear cushions that are replaceable and allows users to enjoy the extended performance of earmuffs.
Shockproof Design: Theses low profile earcups don't interfere with the butts of rifles. Also, this model has a convenient folding and shockproof design. The overall design of its soft interior and tough exterior are intended to enhance durability. You'll enjoy headphone functionality because of the audio jack that's compatible with MP3 player, mobile phones.
Custom Fit: Ear protection devices with adjustable headbands allow for convenient use. The padded, telescoping headband is attached to a pair of double-shell cups with noise dampening circuit boards. You can adjust the non-slip headband for all-day use.
- Dimensions: 5.9 x 5.9 x 5.9 inches
- Power Source: Non-rechargeable AAA batteries
- NRR: 22 dB
- Brand/Model: Awesafe GF01
The high-quality Awesafe GF01 over-the-head ear muffs are versatile. They have been engineered to work in any condition with loud noises. It' important to choose ear wears with double layers of noise dampening circuit boards. The dampening technology filters sound and ensure it reduces noise to a safe level with its 22 dB NRR value.
The Peltor 1570 3M Tactical Sports is one of the top rated hunting earmuffs. The soft, electronic earmuffs use digital chip and Sound amplification technologies. Users can hear low-level sounds while listening to range commands and conversations. Let's see what other features come with this ear wear.
ASIC Chip Technology: The 97451 3M electronic model prevents hearing loss, and activates fast shutoff and recovery time. The technology uses sensors to minimize the risk of dangerous impulse noises from rapid gunshots.
NRR 20 dB Value: As one of the top gun range ear aid, this electronic earmuff is an effective noise reducer. Its Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 20 dB and comfortable pads can dampen dangerous noise. Also, its built-in sound amplification system allows for the enhancement of low-level sounds.
Designed for All-day Comfort: As ear safety wears for shooters and hunters, this 97451 model of Peltor is designed to enhance comfort. It's excellent for indoor firing ranges too. It's ergonomic, contoured ear cups reduce heat and allows for all-day comfort. Also, this package comes with options of interchangeable orange and black ear-cup covers
Audio Support: Apart from being used as tactical hearing protection aid, it also supports MP3 players, dog trackers, and cell phones media apps. You can connect a 3.5mm cord the this device's audio jack, and listen to good music with AAA batteries. Also, this electronic ear muff will activate its auto shut-off after four hours of inactivity. This auto shut-off feature helps to increase the durability of both AAA batteries.
- Dimensions: 12 x 8.2 x 4.5 inches
- Weight 1.15 pounds
- Power Source: Non-rechargeable AAA batteries
- NRR: 20 dB
- Brand/Model: Peltor 97451 3M Tactical Sport
Usually, contoured ear cups and ergonomic design of these devices guarantee you all-day comfort. When you go hunting in the wild with your dog, this device allows wire connectivity to tracker the pet. Users of this product can also enjoy sound amplification and blocking of dangerous noise simultaneously.
This communications headset has a lot of features to be proud of when you're outdoors. The 3M Peltor TacticalPro Communications Headset can block hazardous noise instantly. Also, enjoying good music while taking rapid shots with firearms can soothe your nerves. So, let's see the amazing features that come with this craft.
Noise Reduction Rating of 26 dB: This two-way communication headset by Peltor has the NRR value of 26 dB, and it's effective for many loud-noise operations. As a versatile device that protects, this hearing gear fits heavy equipment operators, hunters, and airport workers.
High-end Applications: The Tactical Pro's 3-button touchpad is sensitive, and allows for easy control of volume after plugging the audio jack. It supports media, and radio connections. Also, the device comes with Omni-directional cup microphones. These built-in microphones enhance a 360-degree ambient listening of sounds.
Ergonomic Design: When the headband is worn, there's much firearm clearance. This communication headset design offers minimum temple pressure. It's ergonomically enhanced with durable materials like the liquid and gel-filled ear cushions.
Sound Clarity: Apart from dampening hazardous sounds, this headset's uses frequency response to amplify low-level sounds. Also, this device supports clear, ambient sound and boost voice recognition in noisy locations.
- Dimensions: 6 x 4 x 4 inches
- NRR Value: 26 dB
- Power Source: Non-rechargeable AAA batteries
- NRR: 20 dB
- Brand/Model: 3M Peltor MT15H7F SV
This device, equipped with a Noise Reduction Rating of 26 dB, offers safety against continuous gunfire sounds. It's a versatile device for outdoor enthusiasts that need a multipurpose headband. Airfield personnel, industrial workers, and individuals that are exposed to dangerous impulse noises can use this safety device.
The Impact Pro Sound Electronic Earmuff requires easy maintenance. Unlike its peers with similar features, this brand comes with snap-in ear cushions. You can make replacement of these ear cushions with ease and enjoy their extended performances. This earmuff device comes in eye-catching black and grey designs. Let's unveil other interesting features that make this Howard Leight R-01902 model a must-have.
Low Energy Earmuff: Do you want high-quality earmuff devices that can help you extend battery life? This Honeywell Impact Pro Sound R-01902 Model is a low-energy earmuff. The electronic noise reducer comes with an auto shut-off mechanism that activities the device's inactive mode after 4 hours. Also, there's a snap-on lid for easy replacement of the AAA batteries.
Impact Pro Sound Amplification: This electronic earmuff is intended for handgun shooters that need superior ear protection. As a safety feature, the sound application system helps to amplify low level sounds like conversations, and range commands.
NRR Value of 30 dB: When external ambient sound reaches 82 dB, this device will shut off amplification automatically. However, the R-01902 model has 30 dB Noise Reduction Rating value that supports natural listening and communication.
Media Player Support: While its built-in directional microphones amplify sounds, you can listen to external MP3 players by connecting a 3.5 mm cord in the audio jack. The Honeywell Impact Pro Sound electronic earmuff supports media players. It also comes with rubberized pressure points that prevent gunstock scratching while firing guns and listening to music simultaneously.
- Dimensions: 2.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 inches
- NRR Value: 30 dB
- Power Source: Non-rechargeable AAA batteries
- Brand/Model: Honeywell Impact Pro Sound R-01902
Howard Leight R-01902 has a sleek and compact design. Avid shooters of small firearms like handguns will enjoy optimum safety with this product. There's so much to be proud of when using this product, and its padded, foldable headband allows much ease of use.
SureFire earplugs flaunt a triple flanged design. This unit is reusable and can be worn with ear muffs. Without interfering with your hearing or conversations, EP4 Sonic Defenders Plus can filter and dampen hazardous noise. Let's discuss all the features it uses to protect your ears.
24 dB Noise Reduction Rating (NRR): This earplug pair have built-in filter caps. With the noise-reducing filter, hazardous sounds of over 85 dB can be reduced to a safe level. While filtering noise, this device helps you listen to ambient sound and conversation.
Durable Materials: Unlike regular earplugs that give skin irritations, this SureFire EP4 Sonic Defenders model is made from a hypoallergenic, medical-grade polymer material. It's a soft, and skin-friendly that's durable. Also, the triple-flanged stems have secure seals to optimize your daily noise management and comfort.
Low-profile Design: You can get dual protection from hazardous noise by combining earplugs with muffs. While using supplemental ear muffs, the SureFire EP4 Sonic Defenders Plus can stay securely in place. These earplugs use Patented EarLock retention rings. These rings can lock earpieces in place by using seven contact points. There no better wear these befitting earplugs with a low-profile design.
Apart from reducing noise, these military-grade Sonic Defenders Plus filtered earplugs are compatible with MP3 players. The earpiece device is compatible with radio communication systems. Simply remove the plastic inserts and replace with the earbud inserts.
- Weight: 1 pound
- NRR Value: 24 dB
- Power Source: Non
- Brand/Model: SureFire EP4 Sonic Defenders
Do you need earplugs for all-day protection? These Sonic Defenders earplugs can be worn with helmets, beanie hats, or supplemental hearing muffs. There's no excuse for allowing hazardous noise to affect your auditory nerves can cause partial deafness. So, we offer you a 24 dB Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) device for optimum protection.
Other products we tested
- 01Peltor Sport Tactical 500 Smart Electronic Hearing Protector with Bluetooth
- 02Browning Hearing Protector, HDR
- 03Fnova 34 dB Highest NRR Safety Ear Muffs
- 04Champion Traps and Targets 40974 Electronic Ear Muffs
- 05Mpow 035 Noise Reduction Safety Ear Muffs
- 06Pro For Sho 34dB Safety Ear Protection
- 073M PELTOR SportTac Headset
- 08Walker's Ultimate Power Muff, Black
When you need ear protectors
The noise of gunfire can affect your hearing, and keep you deaf partially if you are lucky! Tactical headsets with high resistance for ultra-sonic sounds should be your favorite if you're an avid shooter.
Usually, shooting and safety gears with filtered earplugs can handle 140-decibels (dB) from firearm calibers. The safe zone for humans is 85 dB, and it can lead to permanent hearing loss without using ear savers.
As a gun enthusiast, I like safety ear muffs that are rechargeable, offer connectivity, and have cool gadgets like MP3 or cell phone's receiver options.
Globally, organizations like the American National Standards and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration encourage the use of muffs from gunshot noise. Ear protection gears with higher ratings are available for hunters, rangers, and hobbyists. There are many military grade favorites like the electronic ear muffs with high-end features.
What's the noise reduction rating (NNR)?
Noise reduction devices have a noise reduction rating (NRR) values. It's a way of protecting shooters from sound exposure to any environment. Decibels (dB) is a unit for measuring sound, and products with higher NRR rating are ideal.
Occupational and health certified noise reducers have NRR numbers to show their degree of reduction for very loud, moderate, and faint sounds. Shooters and rangers choose their ear plugs from a list of devices that have reasonable NNR ratings and maintain the recommended decibels (dB) level.
Alternatively, you can conduct some research on sound after understanding how the rating system works. Firearm, rock concert and airplanes noises with over 120 dB is are painful, the noise can impart your hearing.
There are protectors for loud noises that are over 90 dB. Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) for vacuum cleaners and lawnmowers are often rated above 60 dB. Also, moderate noises at home or office have NRR value of between 40 and 50 dB.
Things to consider when buying an ear protector
While handling a firearm for ranging or recreation purpose, it requires every sense of responsibility to use it. Gun safety protocols include the use of ear protectors. So, you should consider these conditions before buying earplugs and earmuffs.
1. Electronic v. passive
There are two basic categories; electronic and passive. Both of these hearing gears can handle certain needs.
Electronic hearing protector is suitable for soldiers that handle firearms during training and combat. Usually, electronic models with rechargeable batteries allow the wearer to hear ambient sounds and enjoy the MP3 player. Other electronic models also have automatic noise-reducing mechanisms when sound exceed a certain dB level.
Passive noise reducers only have basic features like muffs for protecting ears. These earmuffs are often foldable to make storage easy after enjoying the outdoors. Usually, they offer little convenience while protecting your ears. Passive earmuffs are non-electronic, but they have ear-covering and non-attractive features. Regardless of the choice, the model should come with basic strength for specific decibel levels and give comfort during wear.
The NRR is a measurement for noise reduction efficiency of all ear protection devices. Rifles, handguns, and shotguns have suitable hearing protectors with different Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) values.
This rating helps you choose the right ear protector that can reduce surrounding decibels (dB) to a safe level. However, there's no noise reducing device that guarantees 100% safety.
When sounds are amplified, hearing aids can reduce their negative effects to below 40 dB. Usually, louder sound from guns requires a higher dB rating from hearing protectors. Otherwise, exposure to deafening sounds will impact your eardrums negatively.
To enjoy the convenience factor, try to choose nose controlling devices with higher NRR. On the average, decent earplugs have NRR ratings of between 23-33dB, on average.
|134||22 LR Rifle|
|140||Jet engine’s take-off noise|
|156||44 Special Revolver|
|164||44 Magnum Revolver|
3. Size and fittings
According to gun experts, shooters can use double protection by wearing earplugs or earbuds before the earmuffs. Large size protecting gear are easy to transport because they have portable storage cases. Fit and sizes are important because the wearer might be disorganized if the gear is too small.
The average noise reduction efficiency ratings are 50% and 70% for earplugs and earmuffs respectively. Ideally, the size of each muff should be convenient for long use. There's no need to purchase large ear muffs when you have very small ears. They might become too big to fit your ears and fail to work desirably against high decibels noise.
4. Material and durability
Hearing enhancement and noise reducers are durable when they have strong materials. Generally, lightweight materials serve a longer period of usage and are ideal for outdoor use. These materials should offer higher resistance to the intensity of sunlight, and the effects of weather.
Also, materials with great resistance to sweat often have antimicrobial properties. So, a good pair of ear muffs must be durable if it's worth your investment.
Apart from the internal ergonomic cuff design, the external cover of headbands can attract buyers. Usually, thin-padded headbands appear cool in appearance even with built-in double-shell earmuffs. Their appearance might be stylish but doesn't imply high-quality padding designs.
Instead of scaring animals by wearing noise reducers with bright colors, hunters can wear earplugs and earmuffs with camouflage covers. You can also find other colors including pink, red, purple and white for women. Ensure that all features align with your purpose of firing a gun before buying the preferred product.
Headbands are comfortable when they have adjustable and special features. They could come with advanced ear pad shapes and MP3s for listening to music while at the range.
You can use the stereo volume control (on each ear) to adjust sound and speak clearly with the microphone despite the loud noise. Consider earmuffs with built-in double-shells of quality foams. They can reduce the accumulation of heat around your ears and enhance comfort.
7. Earmuffs vs. earplugs
Earmuffs and earplugs help to avoid audio-related complications and hearing loss problems. Both devices can be worn during ranging, and firing competitions.
However, earplugs don’t interfere with your shoulder or the butt of guns when you take aims to shoot. Usually, earplugs are designs with connective strings that allow free movements. Categories of this device include custom, electronic, disposable, and reusable shooter earplugs.
Earmuffs with higher NRR ratings offer better results against deafening sounds. Our extensive buyer’s guide shows different earmuff products for users. The best electronic ear muffs also have electronic noise-canceling functions that ensure military-grade performance working against loud machinery and sounds from higher caliber ballistic firearms.
8. Additional features
Some passive noise reducers have pivoting ear cups and flexible handles. Apart from handling the noise from shots, they are versatile and offer full protection during other tasks and help aim at the target precisely.
An electronic ear muff can activate the auto-shutoff mode after a period being idle. Also, they can amplify low-level noises, and offer clear audio to wearers that enjoy built-in music players.
9. Your budget
More expensive models claim to reduce the risk of auditory system damage. The price factor might decide your choice, but you can buy inexpensive models of noise reducers without sacrificing NRR ratings or quality.
While searching for the top ear plugs, choose what gives value for money. It's wise to get what your budget can cover before settling for advanced models later.
Tips on protecting your ears when firing guns
It's not enough to know how you can select cheap ear muffs without understanding how to use the device. Here are helpful tips of advice that can ensure your safety.
- Avoid continuous exposure to noise that is over 140 dB. This level of hazardous noise can cause permanent ear damage.
- Include noise controlling aids (earmuffs and earplugs) as part of your work[lace personal protective equipment
- Maintain the safety culture of having disposable earplugs everywhere you go, and use a good ear protection possible.
- While using big-bore guns, you can use a combination of electronic ear muffs, and earplugs
- Use smaller caliber rifles to hunt smaller games, and single shot-firearms instead of lever-action guns.
- When ranging or hunting with your group, avoid blasting sounds from the rapid shots of firearms
- Electronic earmuffs are preferable because they can filter and dampen sounds automatically
Ear protection applications
Noise controlling devices are used in different sectors and situations. Generally, the aim here to preserve mental and physical welfare. Here are common noisy environments that noise reduction devices are necessary.
Usually, the military is the first sector that tests protective gear. These earpieces with new technologies often have electronic features. The military protects soldiers; so, it's essential to use high-quality gears. So, noise controlling aids are designed for use during combat or training with tanks and helicopters.
2. Gun firing
Avid shooters and hunters use high-caliber weapons with deafening sounds. Usually, electronic hearing protectors with noise-canceling features are ideal for shooters. You can use high-quality earmuffs, and decent earplugs together if you are exposed to loud sounds on range fields.
3. Recreation and sports
Children love to play race cars games and watch exciting movies in the cinema. So, the risk of damaging their eardrums is high when they don't use a noise controlling device. However, you can ensure they use cheap earplugs or electronic noise-canceling protectors while having fun. Also, clay pigeon shooting, field firing, and other similar recreational activities must be carried out with proper ear gear.
Industrial noise pollution can cause discomfort and gradual loss of hearing when you avoid using protecting devices. However, it's standard practice in the workplace that produces consistent noise above 50 dBs. The sound of tools and machinery of certain workplaces can be very loud, but electronic noise controlling devices can make a difference.
Hopefully, you might have found some exciting features of ear wear from our review. Even after prolonged use, you should have the foresight of getting another product that will be durable and well fitted.
The Tactical 300 Electronic Hearing Protector by Peltor Sport is a decent Earmuff for avid shooters. It's built-in Dynamic Suppression and 3M Smart technologies can optimize your gun firing experience.
Allow the use of technology to make your outdoor events in noisy environments safe. Arguably, this model is one of the most effective ear muffs. There's low-profile ear wear for beginners with low budgets. Buy the SureFire EP4 Sonic Defenders Earplugs with filter caps. This pair of the earpiece is military-grade tested, and durable.
Unlike regular low-quality brands of earplugs, the EP4 Sonic Defenders doesn't give skin irritation after prolonged use. Instead, these earplugs are made from hypoallergenic, medical-grade polymer materials. Alternatively, the EP4 Sonic Defenders Earplugs can be worn with ear muffs.
There's no limit to using dual protection, earplugs can be custom molded or moldable for using with muffs. All features of the products that we've reviewed here are accurate and these products compatible with rifles, shotguns, quality revolvers, and other firearms. While confirming this information to be aligned with manufacturers' claims, our experts also analyzed their disadvantages.
These products are some of the best shooting ear protection devices that can optimize the experience of outdoor enthusiasts. I trust that your buying decision will be swift and easy. Additionally, after enjoying our top 10 hearing protection devices, I look forward to your feedback.