Our selection of the 6 Best Ear Protection for Shooting Safely
After over 100 hours of research, review, and discussion with manufacturers, we have concluded that the below are the 6 best hearing protection muffs/plugs for shooting currently on the market.
We could have listed more headsets, but the below 6 are the best shooting ear protection reviews we produced after our market research, and felt they were enough for you to make an informed decision.
Why Shooting Ear Protection is Important?
To keep your hearing in peak shape for years to come, it is important that you wear ear protection when you are around anything that may generate loud noise.
Noise damage can happen in a number of ways, and I can tell you from my personal experience that not wearing proper shooting ear protection is one of the easiest ways to do so.
As such, I’d say that ear protection for shooting is a necessary precaution when you are out in the field. It can help to prevent hearing loss, which comes as a result of being exposed to loud noises over time.
There are many different types of ear protection available on the market today, but not all of them are created equally. The below sections examine some of the most popular ear protectors for shooting and discuss their strengths and weaknesses so that you can make an informed decision about which one best suits your needs.
Towards the end of the article, you’ll also find various reasons why shooting ear protection is important and why you want the best shooting ear protection. I will explore the dangers of not wearing ear protection. I’ll also provide tips on how to find the right type of ear protection for you and your current hobby.
What is the best hearing protection for shooting that fits in the ear?
Well, you’ll be disappointed to hear this. The best hearing protection is to ensure that you don’t forget to wear your hearing earmuffs. And the best earmuffs on the market are the ones that allow you to cancel gunshots. But they are also the ones that do no cancel ambient noise such as people speaking or walking.
Below, I’ve provided a good set of these hearing protection “headphones” you can choose from. They all include the two most important features: (a) noise cancellation of the shooting and (b) allow ambient noise to be available to your hearing so that you can still feel what’s going on around you. Now, I leave it up to you to choose one of the best ear protection for shooters.
#1. Howard Leight Max1 9 Pairs of Earmuffs – Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) = 29 dB
The Howard Leight Max1 9 Pairs of Earmuffs is a quality earmuffs with an NRR of 29 dB. The noise reduction rating, or NRR, can be hard to understand but it is very important to have a product that has a high rating.
An NRR of 30-34 dB will reduce sound by about 20-25 dB which means that the sudden loud noises will be reduced by half and still have some protection for lower-level noise.
An NRR of 25-29dB provides protection from loud sounds like gunshots but less protection from other louder noises. For example, if someone was mowing the lawn they would not have enough protection so it would be best to purchase something with a higher rating such as 30dB or more.
These earmuffs are designed to offer a level of safety that many other headsets on the market lack. With an emphasis on preventing hearing damage while still providing all the features you need, these earmuffs are great for your needs.
Designed specifically for shooters, Howard Leight’s low-profile design eliminates large, bulky headsets. With slim-fit padded ear cuffs and compact weight, the headset is perfect for long days at the range or hunting season.
Featuring digitized noise cancellation technology, these earmuffs lower the loudness of incoming noise without distorting the sound. They automatically block any sound and noise above 82 dB while amplifying ambient noises. These are, basically, the best shooting electronic ear protection device around.
#2. The 3M Peltor Optime 105 Over-the-Head Earmuff Headphones – Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) = 31 dB
The 3M Peltor Optime 105 Over-the-Head Earmuff Headphones are the best noise-canceling earmuffs headphones on the market associated at a great price. With these earmuffs, you can enjoy your day out shooting without worrying about losing your hearing and, as a bonus, they are easy to wear.
They are lightweight and comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. When you’ll try these, you’ll also find that you’ll have great ear seals to provide full protection against dangerous shooting noise.
This Peltor kit is designed for delivering a clear voice followed by good suppression of other dangerous noise. This makes it perfect for those in stressful environments.
The Peltor Optime 105 comes with a headband that’s adjustable and padded. In addition to this, the cushioned ear cuffs ensure maximum comfort and sound reduction. You also get a personalized fit. The 3M qualifies as the best ear protection shooting range.
#3. Caldwell E-Max Unisex Electronic Hearing Protectors – Noise Reduction Rating (NRT) = 31 B
The Caldwell E-Max Unisex Electronic Hearing Protectors are the best shooters ear protection for those who want to protect their hearing while still being able to listen to music (yes you can with these), whether it is from headphones or from a speaker.
The E-Max Hearing Protectors come with a 3.5mm headphone jack that can be used with any audio device that outputs sound via 3.5mm cables. The headphones can also be disconnected from the device (iPhone, mp3 player) and worn around the neck, so they are hands-free and ready when you need them again.
The Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of the hearing protectors is 23dB (some say 25dB), which is enough to reduce the sound level of most nasty noises by about half.
Caldwell E-Max is a great product for shooters; they are noise canceling and amplify ambient sound. They are high-quality electronic hearing protectors that can be used in a variety of settings.
Shooting enthusiasts can use these electronic hearing protectors in many different settings. The product is highly durable and provides maximum protection to the ears, which makes it an amazing investment for people who work in noisy environments or love shooting guns.
Next up is an ultra-comfortable option featuring a cushioned headband and premium padded ear cuffs, Caldwell E-Max Low Profile Electronic Hearing Protection.
In essence, the padded, sealed ear cuff design will let you listen to your favorite music without disturbing the environment and blocking out any strong shooting noise. The slim design offers great comfort.
The set has a low-profile and light design that’s also really comfortable to use. Plus when not in use, they fold up really small and can fit inside of gun totes.
#4. MSA Sordin DIGITAL SUPREME PRO X Headband Leather
The Sordin Supreme Pro X is a military-grade headset that has been tested and certified to be water-resistant, and it comes with a whopping three-year warranty. The headset can also be worn as a headband. I personally love the MSA Sordin and as such, I call it the best ear protection for shooting guns.
The Sordin Supreme Pro X is the perfect choice for those who are looking for a high-quality headset that will last during their shooting time.
With gel-padded ear cuffs, the Pro X is among the most comfortable and effective variations of this kind of product. It outperforms its competitors, delivering superior sound quality that’s free of distractions and disruptive input.
With dual-controlled microphones, the headset is designed to reproduce ambient sound without the choppy interference present, safeguarding your hearing by muting loud incoming noise to 18 decibels while amplifying muted ambient sound from the surrounding environment
The Sordin Supreme Pro X is built for rugged performance with steel components and splash-free microphone construction, meaning it will last a long time even under tough conditions.
#5. 3M Peltor X5A Over-the-Head EarMuffs
The Peltor X5A Over-the-Head EarMuffs are designed to offer reliable hearing protection. They feature a rotating ear cup that swivels 90 degrees for convenient use in either orientation. They also include a noise reduction rating of 27 dB and can be worn with other personal protective equipment for maximum protection.
In essence, these are top-class noise-canceling earmuffs offering protection for hazardous sounds and disruptive frequencies with high attenuation technology. They prevent damaging soundwaves from reaching your ears – even if they’re loud. The coils in the ear protect you from the noise, yet let you hear what’s going on around you.
Cushioned with high-quality comfort foam and featuring a comfortable, wide-set design to keep the headphones stable, 3M Peltor X5A Over-the-Head Earmuff delivers up to 30 NRR for increased protection. The large size is designed to fit different head shapes & ear sizes.
The 3M Peltor X5A earmuffs are lightweight, have a twin headband and internal stainless components to keep them cool and avoid any heat build-up.
#6. Walker’s Razor Slim Electronic Muff
Modern electronics fans will love the Razor Slim Electronic Muff’s design, with its lightweight & slim-fitting features. Noise reduction rating is 23 dB and audio comes equipped with dynamic range HD speakers.
The Razor protects your hearing by utilizing sound-activated compression and omnidirectional microphones. The fast 0.02 second response time safeguards you when you’re shooting while having fun in an outdoor environment.
This amazing little device is ultra-thin and features a foldable design for easy storage anywhere.
Why Is Hearing Shooting Safety Important?
Shooting guns is a common activity in the United States. There are many different rules and regulations that should be followed when shooting guns. Some of the most important is gun safety, correct ammunition, and how to store your weapon if you have it in your possession.
From my own perspective, safety should be the number one priority if you are going to shoot with a rifle or other shooting device. You should keep in mind all the safety precautions and follow them at all times.
One of the most disregarded safety features in the shooting world is hearing. If you are entering the shooting world, then I would advise that you take the protection of your hearing very seriously. You definitely do not wish to lose some of your hearing, or worse become deaf. That’s why you need the best ear protection for shooting.
Before you head out to the range or start shooting, there are things that you need to know about gun hearing safety. You want to protect yourself while also not endangering other people or animals around you. So, you should get one of the best in-ear electronic hearing protection for shooting and wear it at all times during shooting sessions.
What Should You Look for in a Good Shooting Ear Protection?
There are plenty of options for ear protection, but not all offer the same level of protection. When choosing which to buy, there are a few things to consider.
Some people are looking for ear protection that is lightweight while others want something that provides good hearing protection and comfort. But some do not want to block out all noises so it is important to find a balance between those two factors. The best ear protection should also be comfortable and provide hearing protection from loud noises.
The best shooting ear protection device would be one that has the perfect balance of all these factors – lightweight, both soundproofing and noise reduction, comfortable and fashionable as well.
Tips for Choosing the Right Ear Protection for Shooting Sports
As I mentioned above, we got to make sure that we are choosing the right ear protection for shooting sports. We don’t want to end up with a hearing loss because of our sport.
There are a few things to consider when you are looking for ear protection for shooting sports: Budget, Style, Level of Protection, Comfort, and Safety.
The first step in selecting the best earplugs for shooting sports is to know what type of environment you will be in. If you will be using firearms or high-powered rifles, you need to purchase earplugs that are rated for high sound levels.
Again, if you are indoor, then you need the best ear protection for indoor shooting range. If you need to be able to hear whatever is happening around you without having the loud sound of the shooting, then you need to go for shooting noise cancellation only.
Obviously, your budget will impact your choice but do not underspend on this as if you lose some of your hearing, you’ll never going to have it back. So invest wisely.
The style is also important. I like the slim design and folded type head cancellation devices. Others like the bulky one.
I prefer the electronic type noise cancellation devices, which filter the loud noises but allow the lower sounds to go through, so I can still hear my friend calling me.
Comfort is key, so I always choose a well-padded headphones. And the most important of all, I always go for the best ear protection for shooting. Nothing less than that.
Noise Cancellation Effectiveness for best in-ear shooting protection
It’s not enough for ear protection to be excellent at muffling sounds; it also needs to be effective at canceling sounds. Hearing protection that cancels out sounds between 4 – 15 decibels requires the use of two separate mechanisms: a free-form inner structure that blocks out sound or acoustic shock, and an outer shell that forces out the sound.
There are many types of ear protection for shooting available. You can choose earmuffs that reduce the sound around you while protecting your ears against a specific acoustic event, or you can select a more general type of earmuff that blocks out all sound.
Most ear protection muffs have a feature that prevents hearing loss during gunshot noises at a specific noise level. So select the noise level you want to target wisely. That’s why I personally always chose an electronic noise correction and cancellation muff with the best shooting ear protection electronic possible.
The term Noise Cancellation Effectiveness is pretty new in the industry. It refers to the effectiveness of the noise reduction system to keep out the sounds of potentially dangerous sounds. If you hear, for example, a hunter firing a gun nearby, it’s possible to counteract the unwanted sound by turning off the earmuffs. Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) is an important factor to consider.
For instance, if you’re wondering how much noise reduction your new hearing protection offers, the first step to determining the NRR is to calculate the decibel (dB) level for the worst noise you’ll hear when wearing the equipment.
For example, to measure the decibel level for a gunshot, shoot a rubber ball at a cloth target. With your normal foam earmuffs, you’d hear the average of around 120dB. However, in some cases, that sound may exceed 200dB, which means your hearing would be significantly affected.
Add on features (Bluetooth sync and MP3 streaming)
There are noise cancellation headsets that allow you to listen to music via Bluetooth connection or a direct wire to your favorite MP3 device.
Some of our top ear protection picks come with this innovative Bluetooth feature for streaming music. So if you’re wearing a Bluetooth noise cancellation headset, then you can simply pair it with a compatible device (iPhone, etc.). This works like a treat with the below MP3 devices.
If you’re serious about hunting, you probably already have an MP3 player. You may even be planning to buy a new one as you start to plan for the fall season. I tend to believe that this is an excess feature that is not really needed. But friends cannot do without it. If I am in the wild or at a shooting center, why on earth I would want to listen to music. I want to enjoy the shooting, and not dance. Anyway, you’ll find that some of the best in-ear protection for shooting comes with the MP3 feature.
Conclusion: Choose the Right Ear Protection for Your Shooting Needs
Now I am sure you know that ear protection is vital for shooting and that the best electronic ear protection for shooters is what prefer to go for (though you can choose without this feature). It can help to protect your hearing from loud noises and also help to prevent the damage that comes from shooting. There are many different types of ear protection that you can choose from. This article has provided some of the more popular ear protectors for shooting and discuss their pros and cons.
Our overall conclusion is that if you are really serious about your shooting then you definitely need to wear the best ear protection for shooting.
Note that each one of these top-rated hearing protection earmuffs has been evaluated based on the following criteria: noise cancellation effectiveness, ease of use, noise reduction rating, customer satisfaction, and more. We also looked at add-on features including Bluetooth sync and MP3 streaming. As hunting season approaches, an extensive range of choices for hearing protection is available. If you’ve grown accustomed to ordinary foam plugs, the benefits of opting for a new pair of quality ear protection muff, along with their affordable price points, may take you by surprise.