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.
Buyer’s Guide: 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.
What Is The Best Ear Protection for Shooting?
Now that you have an idea of what kind of features to look for in the right your protection for yourself, it is time to turn to quality products to choose from. These should give you a really good idea of what would be good choices for you whether you like earplugs or a standard earmuffs option.
7 Best Ear Muffs for Shooting (Electronic & Passive)
#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
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
- 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
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.
5 Best Ear Plugs for Shooting
#1 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
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.
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.
#1 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.
#2 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.
#3 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.
#4 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.
#5 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.
#6 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.
#7 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.