Updated: August 04, 2020

Truly, people do not protect their hearing enough. Listening to loud music, the sound of traffic, the roaring crowd at a sporting event, or loud noises at work can do severe damage to a person’s auditory organs. This is why it makes sense that when you have the opportunity to protect your hearing that you should do so.

For those who like to go to the range or out to hunt and shoot, wearing hearing protection is simply a smart idea. This helps to protect your hearing so that you can enjoy the later years of your life without going “Huh?” all the time.

How to Make the Right Choice?

Getting hearing protection is a smart idea, but choosing the right option may be something that you are simply not aware of. You may not even be aware of what to look for, so a little bit of information about what are the very best options available could be quite helpful in helping you to make an informed decision.

  • Design. There are a couple of primary designs you are going to find, external and earplug. Earplug slide into your ear canal, something that is perfect for reducing noise but may not be the most comfortable feel for you. Then there are those who prefer the standards kind of earphones that slide over your ears with earmuffs.
  • Additional Functionality. Maybe what you are looking for in your ear protection is something that can be used beyond while you are firing your weapon. There are many great options out there that enable you to use the earphones while listening to music, watching movies, or while talking on the phone.
  • Noise Reduction Rating. Noise reduction rating, also known as NRR, is an important part of any product you choose. You want something that is going to provide at least a 23 dB noise reduction rating. The higher the rating the better.
  • Ambient Sound. While eliminating or reducing the sound of loud noises is important, you also may be looking for a product that enables you to hear ambience sounds better. This is important if you are going to be out hunting and you need to hear animals around you or if you are going to be at arrange and need to hear instructions.
  • Look. Look can include anything from if the headband is adjustable, to colors used, to materials that are used. You want to find a look that not only is functional, but which also fits your particular sense of style. You may be looking for a specific color, or to find ear protection that easily blends in.
  • Price. Price is important with any product you may be looking at, and this one is no exception. You want to choose an ear protection product that fits within your range yet still offers you the kind of features and quality that you need.

5 Best Ear Muffs for Shooting (Electronic & Passive)

#1 MSA Sordin Supreme Pro X Electronic Earmuff

MSA Sordin Supreme Pro X Electronic Earmuff Review Many who are involved in competitions choose this particular set of earphones. Not only do they provide you with an incredible sound quality, but the comfort level is something that can’t be beat.

There are many features to like about this choice. It starts with the fact that high decibel filters are used, which will lock out those sounds that can cause damage to your ears, such as gunfire, alarms, and sirens. However, they are built for you to be able to hear people talk and hear footsteps, even environmental sounds. It is a well designed set of headphones that give you the protection you need while ensuring that you still are able to function while out on the range.

Auxiliary equipment jacks are included as well. This allows you to plug your devices into the headset and it is lightweight, using a couple of AAA batteries to provide power without adding any real weight. It is extremely comfortable to have on your ears, as it comes with padded your cuffs that are tight but not strangling.

If you are a person who expects to spend long days out at the range where there is a great potential for shot after shot to be fired, you want something that is going to give you optimal your protection. This is truly the best option. These are made to give you a great level of comfort and safety whenever you are out firing your weapon or around others who are.

#2 3M Peltor Tactical Sport electronic earmuff

3M Peltor Tactical Sport electronic earmuff Review The problem with many different kinds of your protection you will buy is that they block out the vast majority of noises around you. This makes it difficult for you to be able to hear conversations or for you to receive instructions, something that can be dangerous while you were out of the range.

You want a set of protective headphones that give you the functionality you need while still protecting you from injury to your hearing. This is where this particular set of earmuffs becomes the perfect option. You will love the fact that it gives you the kind of amplification you need for sound you want to hear, while eliminating those that are dangerous to your hearing. Truly a spectacular technology that has the user’s long-term auditory health in mind.

In addition to being great at protecting your hearing, you will love how comfortable it is to where. This is a lightweight headset that does not fit to tight against your ears or your head. The cuffs are padded to provide additional comfort, and you will be so amazed at how easy it is to tune in the sounds you want while removing those you don’t.

The headset comes with an auto shut off, and can be worn all day with extreme comfort. It’s easy to set up and use, and easily allows you to connect into your devices. Plus, it is designed to remove wind sounds while using the microphone. It runs on just two AA batteries, giving you hundreds of hours of use before you need to replace the batteries. Truly a fantastic option for any serious gun enthusiast.

#3 Howard Leight R-01526-PK2 Impact Sport Sound Amplification Electronic Earmuff

Howard Leight R-01526-PK2 Electronic Earmuff Review This is a unique set of headphones, perfect for any time you are outshooting. They are made with a low profile design that is sleek and comfortable to wear. Plus they have a very attractive look that will make it so you are comfortable wearing them anywhere you go.

The success of these headphones begins with the electronic earmuffs, which are designed with a built in microphone. This microphone helps to amplify sounds around you, especially low pitched sounds that will not cause damage to your ears, but are things that you want to hear while you are out at the range or hunting.

The headband is adjustable to add additional comfort. This makes it so that it doesn’t matter what size head you have, you can still get a comfortable and tight feel. The earmuffs are made to not slip, and the earmuffs are comfortable for long hours against your ears.

What you will like about this set of headphones that they are specifically built to eliminate noises above 82 dB. This prevents loud noises, such as gunshots, to cause any damage to your hearing. This also prevents hearing fatigue, yet still gives you the ability to hear low decibel sounds, like conversations.

They easily enable you to connect to any electronic device using an audio jack. The built-in microphone can be used for you to transmit your portion of the conversation so you can talk to friends and family over or messenger program. This is truly a fantastic product that you will feel comfortable wearing for long hours and know that your hearing is being protected the entire time.

#4 3M WorkTunes Connect Hearing Protector

3M WorkTunes Connect Hearing Protector Review This is a form of hearing protection that offers the best of both worlds. Not only does it give you the kind of protection you need from loud noises, but gives you the kind of functionality that really sets it apart from most other earphones you will find.

It starts with the fact that it enables you to be able to connect to your devices using Bluetooth technology. This eliminates cumbersome audio cables that can easily get tangled or broken. Plus, you don’t have to worry about poor quality sound transferring through a table, when you get the very best sound through the use of Bluetooth technology. Plus, it works up to 30 m away from your device.

In terms of noise protection, you will get great satisfaction out of the fact that it received a noise reduction rating of 24 dB. The speakers are high fidelity, giving you premium sound, and an integrated microphone is perfect for use while talking on the phone and allowing you to easily hear ambience sounds around you.

Because it does not, the cord, it is easy to maneuver around while at work or out on the range. The headband is flexible enabling you to adjust to fit your needs. The earmuffs are comfortable to wear and padded, while also blocking out loud sounds around you.

This is truly the kind of headphones you will find ideal for use in almost any circumstance. Plus, they easily recharge using a USB connector cable. A fantastic choice you won’t be disappointed that you purchased.

#5 Howard Leight R-01530 Sport Sound Amplification Electronic Shooting Earmuff

Howard Leight (R-01530) Electronic Shooting Earmuff Review This particular product has a lot of features that make it a worthwhile investment. If you are a person who loves to listen to music or to connect into your device so that you can talk or watch movies, then this is one you are going to love. It is a stereo headphone set that gives you quality sound and is perfect for multiple uses.

The directional microphone allows you to easily track sounds in any direction while you were out of the range or in the wild. It is built with technology that makes it easier to hear the kinds of sounds around you that are quiet yet distinguishable when you are out hunting. Yet, protects your hearing from sounds above 82 dB. These noises are instantly blocked so that you don’t have to fear hearing damage.

The NRR rating is 22 dB, allowing you to easily hear the be on sounds around you. This enables you do easily communicate with others, or to use the microphone during conversations on your phone.

You will like that it is built with a comfortable design. The headband and earmuffs are padded. The headband is made to be adjustable so that it comfortably fits on your head while giving you a secure fit is well. Plus, it is design with a beautiful teal color which gives a great look for any user, especially for women. No doubt you will find this to be a quality choice that will be the perfect option when you are out.

5 Best Ear Plugs for Shooting

#1 Westone DefendEar Digital Shooter Hearing Protection Ear Plug

Westone DefendEar Digital Shooter Hearing Protection Ear Plug Review Westone as long establish themselves as one of the leaders in digital hearing protection products, and this is one that will not disappoint you would all. In fact, it may be one of the very best products you will find that they have designed and made.

It starts with the fact that it comes with a noise reduction rating of 30 dB, one of the highest levels of protection you are going to find on the market. This will give you great protection for almost any caliber of weapon.

Included in your plugs is an electronic circuit board which recognizes loud voices and muffles them so that they are reduced to a safe level. However, there is a digital amplification technology included in the earplugs which will help to accent on the noises, increasing their volume so that you can hear them clearly. In fact, it will amplify the soft sounds to a level up to 86 dB, making it easy for you to hear.

Because of the electronic circuit, you will find that it is easy to maintain conversations with those around you, or to hear the sounds of wild animals while you are out hunting. Yet, you do not have to be concerned with loud noises causing your damage. In fact, they may even be the perfect choice for you if you are in a job where protecting your hearing is essential.

The earplugs easily slide into your ear and are comfortable because of the foam padding around the plug. It doesn’t matter what size you are, you will find that they will fit in the ear canal of almost any user.

The earplugs are color-coded so that you know which one goes in your right ear and which in the left, and a pouch is included that enables you to store and protect your earphones when not being used.

#2 3M PELTOR TEP-100 Tactical Digital Earplug

3M PELTOR TEP-100 Tactical Digital Earplug Review If you are a person who prefers earplugs, then this is a sensational option. While they are not the best when it comes to NRR ratings, these plugs offer you a wide assortment of features that make it a spectacular product. One that you can count on to protect your ears from low caliber firearms while still offering you the kinds of advantages that make it a worthwhile investment.

It starts with the fact that these are water resistant, meaning that they will not break down if you are out in a humid environment or while it is raining. Amazingly, despite the fact that they use some rather sophisticated electronic technology, they are quite durable. You will be pleased with their resilience.

The earplugs, and attractive case, which easily slips into your pocket. It looks a bit bulky at first, but you will find that it easily breaks down to a portable option that enables you to wear them comfortably anywhere you go.

Many within law enforcement and the military use these here but for the simple fact that they were. They are reliable and come with some of the best hearing protection effect analogy that you will find. They eliminate large decibel sounds, but enable you to still here environmental sounds that are important for you to be able to safely maneuver. Lower volume sounds are amplified, so when you are outdoors hunting you can hear that deer rustling through the woods.

This is a very intuitive set of ear protection that you will find works in a wide variety of environments. It truly is a great choice for someone who prefers earbuds over other forms of ear protection.

#3 The Ear Buddy Premium Soft Foam Ear Plug

The Ear Buddy Premium Soft Foam Ear Plug Review What is interesting about this particular set of earplugs is that they have earned one of the highest ratings for those who find it difficult to fall asleep at night. The Ear Buddy comes with a noise reduction rating of 32 dB, making it ideal for a person who needs to block out unwanted sounds where they are trying to sleep.

That should tell you something about how good they are while you are out at the range or spending time hunting. You can be sure that loud noises are going to be blocked out, yet they are comfortable enough for you to wear for a prolonged period of time. If people are wearing these to sleep in and they are so highly rated, you can be sure that it will not be a challenge for you to wear them for eight, 10, or more hours a day.

This is ideal for those who are concerned about damage to their hearing caused by loud noises. Whether you are a person who works at a construction site, are going to be out at a concert, or you are going to spend long hours at the range, you are going to find that this is the perfect choice. Because of its design it is not uncomfortable to wear for prolonged periods, and easily slides into your ear.

A 60 day moneyback guarantee is provided, one of the best warranties you are going to find on the market today. These are such good earbuds, with 50 pairs included in one jar. No doubt you will find them to be a perfect choice if simple earplugs is all you are looking for.

#4 Flents Quiet Please Ear Plug

Flents Quiet Please Ear Plug Review Flents makes quality products, and these your plugs are one you will truly enjoy using. They block out the kinds of disruptive sounds that can cause your damage, which are perfectly designed to enable you to sleep peacefully, yet still give you the technology that enables you to hear Humvee and sounds.

These earplugs were specifically designed for gun enthusiasts, but these have become so effective that they are often used by construction workers and those who direct traffic. If loud noises are a concern for you in your job for personal life, you will find these to be a great choice.

These come with an NRR rating of 29 dB, protecting you from a wide variety of noises. This is why it is become one of the best earplugs on the market.

You get a comfortable fit with soft foam material that easily slides into your year without causing soreness or pain. They easily squeeze or roll into your year, making it so that anyone can use them. Yet, they don’t cause any kind of discomfort and don’t break down easily.

This is your standard earplug, making is something that most people would be used to wearing if they have ever had a person who snored loudly in the same room with them. You will be quite impressed at how effective they are, especially considering how comfortable they are aware. No doubt you will find yourself using them in a wide variety of circumstances.

#5 Mack’s Ultra Soft Foam Earplug

Mack's Ultra Soft Foam Earplug Review This is another disposable earplug that is a perfect option for any gun enthusiast. It comes with one of the highest noise reduction ratings at 32 decibels, which is fairly significant considering that most, with a rating of 28 dB at best.

They are built with a very soft material, making it so that they easily slide into your ears and feel comfortable while in your ear canal. They will easily roll or pinched between your fingers, making it so that it is not difficult to slide into the canal and all.

These are such an effective choice and so comfortable to wear that many choose to wear them in a variety of situations. For example, those who face the challenge of trying to sleep with someone who snores quite loud, find that these are the ideal earplugs. The plug is made of a low-pressure material that is tapered and made with foam so soreness is not an issue, even if you are wearing them for long hours.

Of course, you are specifically buying these so that they help you to reduce noise while out hunting or shooting. They are perfect, even for those who will be around high caliber rifles. Although, the manufacturer recommends that prolonged time along such weapons should mean that the user chooses to go with earmuffs instead to provide them with the protection that is needed.

10 Best Shooting Ear Protections Compared

Ear ProtectionProsCons
#1 MSA Sordin Supreme Pro X Electronic Earmuff
  • Comes with high decibel filters that protect you from loud sounds that can damage your ears
  • Built to be comfortable to wear for prolonged periods of time
  • Comes with an exhilarating equipment Jack to allow you to easily connect into your devices
  • Through use of just two AAA batteries you are able to get a prolonged lifespan, even as much as 200 hours without replacing the batteries
  • Still provides you with the ability to hear natural sounds around you, such as people talking or traffic noises with extreme clarity
  • When using the auxiliary Jack, you do not receive stereo sound
  • Because of the way that sound is transmitted into the headphones, you are unable to hold simultaneous conversations
#2 3M Peltor Tactical Sport electronic earmuff
  • Uses just two AA batteries to give you a long-lasting experience at an inexpensive option for energy
  • Dear cuff pads allow for comfortable cushion all day long
  • Comes with a 3.5 mm audio jack that is compatible with most mobile devices and two way radios
  • Built with technology that removes unwanted sounds while allowing you to hear the things you need
  • While a great headset, these are not made to last more than 18 months
  • The audio jack is not made with a particularly good material
#3 Howard Leight R-01526-PK2 Impact Sport Sound Amplification Electronic Earmuff
  • Offered at a price that makes it affordable
  • Can easily slide inside your pocket and is built to be comfortable and durable
  • Reliability is something you will love about these headphones as they protect you from noises that can harm your hearing
  • Uses just two AAA batteries to give you long-lasting use
  • Extremely lightweight and comfortable to wear for long hours
  • You will find at times that you receive a clunking sound through the headphones depending upon the direction you are looking
  • Really built for outdoor use, as the sound is far too loud when used indoors, like at a range
#4 3M WorkTunes Connect Hearing Protector
  • Allows you to connect to your device using Bluetooth technology
  • Comes with an NRR rating of 24 dB
  • High fidelity speakers give you fantastic sound
  • Comfortable and easy to wear for prolonged periods of time
  • The Bluetooth connection can be limiting at times, sketchy as well, as you may find your conversations cut off
  • Will not connect with every type of device
#5 Howard Leight Impact Sport Sound Amplification Electronic Shooting Earmuff (R-01530)
  • Comes with an NRR rating of 22 dB
  • Designed with a built-in directional microphone which enables you to be able to hear ambience sounds easily
  • Connect to your portable device using the 3.5 mm connection cord
  • Will automatically shut down after four hours of inactivity
  • Folds easily to slide into just about any case or bag with ease
  • Some find the headphones to be too tight around their head
  • Can be uncomfortable to wear over prolonged periods of time
  • Much more effective outdoors that it is in indoor ranges
#6 Westone DefendEar Digital Shooter Hearing Protection Ear Plug
  • Technology enables you to hear ambience sounds easily while still protecting your hearing from loud sounds
  • Easily slides into your ear canal
  • Comes with a noise reduction rating of 30 decibels
  • Durable construction ensures that it will last
  • The battery door can be difficult to release, and can be broken quite easily
  • Not known for their great customer service
#7 3M PELTOR TEP-100 Tactical Digital Earplug
  • Works well in environments where sounds are fluctuating
  • Comes with additional accessories that allow you to use with a wide variety of electronic devices
  • Lightweight and comfortable to wear
  • Water resistant and durable
  • A lot more costly than many other comparable options
  • Not as effective in the wild as you would help
#8 The Ear Buddy Premium Soft Foam Ear Plug
  • Provides an NRR of 32 dB
  • The perfect earplugs to be used in a wide array of circumstances where you may be around loud noises
  • Comfortable for wearing for long hours at a time
  • Comes in a jar of 50 pairs
  • May not be as comfortable as you are hoping for
  • If you don’t properly place them inside your ears you will find that the noise reduction is limited at best
#9 Flents Quiet Please Ear Plug
  • Provides you with 50 different pairs of the earplugs in one jar, giving you many months of protection.
  • Easily fit within your ear canal while still providing you with a great deal of comfort.
  • Some of the best earplugs you are going to find.
  • Comes with a warranty.
  • Provides an NRR rating of 29 dB.
  • Does not block out really loud sounds.
  • If you are not used to wearing earplugs, can take some time to be comfortable wearing them.
  • You need to make sure your hands are thoroughly cleaned before you try to slide them into your ears. They can get gross looking if you don’t do this.
#10 Mack’s Ultra Soft Foam Earplug
  • This is a great set of earplugs that can be used in a wide variety of circumstances, including during shooting, riding a motorcycle, using loud power tools, or even at a concert
  • Offers noise reduction up to 32 dB, one of the highest ratings you will find for earplugs
  • Molded technology makes this one of the most comfortable earplugs to have in your ears, especially four continuous hours
  • A jar comes with 50 pairs of earplugs in one container
  • There is a warranty that is provided
  • Some find these earplugs a little too soft
  • To get them to securely sit in place you may have to push them deep within your ear canal

Most Frequently Asked Questions

Before closing this article, we wanted to answer some of the more common questions related to the purchase of your protection products.

What is NRR & NRR Rating?

NRR stands for noise reduction rating. The higher the rating the better the noise reduction that is provided. For your standard ear protection products you are going to find that this rate somewhere between 23 dB up to 33 dB. The higher the rating, such as 30, would be better at reducing noise than what you would find in a decibel rating of 24.

What are ear muffs?

Earmuffs are almost exactly what they sound like. These are headphones that go over your head and have cups that go over your ears much like a person would wear standard earphones during the wintertime.

What types of hearing protection devices should you use when shooting?

It really depends upon whether you like earmuffs or earplugs. If you are a person who feels more comfortable with having earplugs directly in the canal of your ear, then these are the right choices for you. However, if you are person who finds that to be uncomfortable, then earmuffs may be your choice. Plus, you are likely to find that the technology and earmuffs is a lot more advanced so that you get additional features available for you.

Are ear plugs or ear muffs better?

Again, this is a matter of personal choice. However, earmuffs did give you a lot of additional accessories and options. For example, you are likely to find that earmuffs enable you to connect to your smart phone, tablet, or other electronic device, allowing you to listen to music or talk on the phone while wearing your headphones. They also come with microphones that will draw in ambience noise, increase its decibel level so that you can hear conversations and noises around you.

When to wear ear protection?

Truthfully you should be wearing ear protection in any situation where the noise is loud. Whether it is at a concert, working at a construction site, walking the streets where there is loud and heavy traffic, or out at the range, if the noise is loud then you should be protecting your ears. Damage to your auditory organs cannot be repaired, so preventing damage from occurring is important.

How to regain hearing after shooting?

For experienced hunters, they have come away from the range or hunting often with their hearing slightly reduced. It’s something that frequently happens to people that go to loud concerts, where sound seemed muffled for a day or two afterward. If this happens to you, it will likely go away after a few days. Where real damage occurs is when you allow this kind of excessive noise to occur day after day.

Where to buy ear muffs?

There are a number of great options where you can buy your earmuffs. Many choose to buy them online or from a hunting or gun store. It is really where you have found the product you want at a cost that fits your budget.

Michel Pedneault

Michel Pedneault

Michel Pedneault has been blogging for more than three decades. He is one of the former lead writer of Tribunnews.com. He wrote thousand of reviews on various tools & gears. He is fond of travelling, adventures and discovering new things. You can reach him at twitter @pedneault

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