Protecting your ears while at the gun range or working heavy equipment can be one of the most important things you do. No one wants to lose their hearing early or suffer through tinnitus or ear ringing that lasts forever. While the work must go on, protecting your ears isn’t rocket science – you simply need to invest in the proper tools to protect one of your most important assets – your ears.
Shooting Ear Protection
Shooting ear protection is one of the most important tools you can have in your gun range bag. You only get one chance to protect your ears. It only takes one loud noise to damage your hearing for the rest of your life. Thankfully, it’s easier now than ever to protect your hearing with shooting ear protection. There are countless products on the market for shooting ear protection and this article will outline the best choices that will protect your ears.
Best Ear Protection for Shooting
As previously stated, shooting ear protection has drastically improved over the years. There are a lot of products that claim they are the best ear protection for shooting, but there are a lot of duds on the market. You have to be diligent in choosing the right ear protection for shooting and we will help you make the best decision.
Shooting Ear Muffs
The best shooting ear muffs you can find are not only for the gun range, but pull double-duty by protecting your ears through multiple other activities such as hunting, sawing, mowing the yard, using loud tools, running a tractor and anything that creates extremely loud noises. You never truly know how much extra stress loud noises can put on your ears, but you feel it as you get older. Most of us probably already have the constant ringing in our ears that never truly goes away and exposure to loud noises can make the condition worse. That’s where wearing military-grade ear muffs for noise protection can help.
Ear muffs for shooting are the best way to adequately protect your hearing and to prevent tinnitus and other hearing loss issues. However, there are a wide range of ear muffs for shooting on the market. You don’t want to use cheap shooting ear muffs because one extremely loud sound can spell doom for your hearing for the rest of your life.
You Need Hearing Protection for the Gun Range
We can’t stress enough the importance of using hearing protection for the gun range. It’s important to research your options and choose the one you will actually use when shooting. We prefer electronic earmuffs for the gun range out of the available choices because they do an incredible job at protecting your hearing and allowing you to hold a conversation and listen to instructions.
Here are 3 Reasons Why You Need Electronic Earmuffs:
- They protect your ears better than other options
- You can still communicate while wearing them
- You can hear everything around you and won’t miss important commands
Here are the Best Electronic Shooting Ear Muffs:
MSA Sordin Supreme Pro-X with LED Light
The MSA Sordin Supreme Pro X Electronic Ear Muffs are perfect for dealing with loud noises and they come with an LED lamp that can help illuminate the area where you are working. The Sordin Pro X comes equipped with 4 levels of sound protection/reduction that can protect your ears from the loudest noises. Not only do they block out unwanted noises, they also have integrated speakers located inside the headset that can amplify noises you want to hear such as voices or commands from the gun range. The MSA Sordin Supreme Ear Muffs are perfect for indoor and outdoor use as they can reduce surrounding noise by up to 25dB which can make all the difference in the world when protecting your hearing.
You can easily carry these in your rifle bag or gun range bag to keep them safe while transporting them.
Don’t be scared to take these bad boys in inclement weather, they’re water-proof and can handle some moisture. The ear muffs have two microphones implanted inside that do an excellent job at recreating 3D audio so you can always hear what’s going on around you. You never want to be in a situation where you can’t hear, especially when shooting or working with dangerous equipment. That’s how accidents happen, but the right electronic ear muffs can help. The Pro X from MSA Sordin comes in two colors: Mossy Oak which is orange and Full Camo for a more toned-down look.
Walker’s XCEL 500BT Bluetooth Shooting EarMuffs – 2 Pack
The Walker’s XCEL shooting ear muffs are perfect for hunting and practice at the range. They utilize variable dynamic sound suppression to protect your ears from loud noises and feature a 26dB noise reduction rating. These shooting ear muffs have one of the highest ratings possible and have received tons of high ratings.
The Bluetooth feature is a must when you want a quality pair of shooting earmuffs. You can play music through them and they do a great job at noise cancellation. You get 4 listening modes with the Bluetooth feature: speech clarity, hi-frequency, power boost, and universal to give you even more options. The Omni-Directional mics are high quality and give you amazing voice clarity while reducing surrounding noise.
The Walker’s XCEL 500BT Bluetooth shooting ear muffs are some of the best hearing protection you will find for the gun range, hunting or operating heavy machinery. You get two in a pack so you can provide one to your shooting buddy or stash an extra pair in your truck.
We like this pair of Bluetooth shooting ear muffs because they’re made with high-quality materials, designed for heavy use, and have features that everyone can enjoy.
ActFire Electronic Shooting Earmuffs
If you’re looking for a great pair of electronic shooting ear muffs that are high-quality, but aren’t overly expensive, the Act Fire Electronic Earmuffs are a great place to start your search. This is a great pair of electronic shooting ear muffs that are simple to use and get the job done. Many users claim they cut out more noise than some of the more expensive pairs on the market. You can control them with one single button and won’t have to worry about confusion while trying to use them. You can plug them to your phone while using them so you can hear your phone just in case. ActFire earmuffs provide amazing noise reduction and can adjust your noise exposure by up to 23db which can do wonders for your long-term hearing. They also have the ability to amplify sound so you can hear noise around you. The stereo sound is a nice touch and can help you trace the location of the sounds you hear with ease. The ActFire electronic shooting ear muffs are equipped to help you communicate on the field and range better than regular ear muffs. You need to be able to hear what’s happening around you and these electronic ear muffs do exactly that.
Howard Leight Impact Sport Bolt Digitial Electronic Shooting Earmuff
You’ve likely heard of Howard Leight professional ear protection muffs and for good reasons – they’re highly regarded by those who use them. They come with a certain level of quality that people have come to respect. This version of their electronic shooting earmuff offers a super-fast attack time to protect your ears from overly loud and dangerous sounds. The digital compression circuitry hits it within .5 milliseconds and can compress any outside noise down to 82dB; NRR 22 which falls within the safe zone for your ears. You can’t beat that attack time as every millisecond counts. The Howard Leight’s also have 5x sound amplification to help you hear gun range commands, conversations with your team and animals you may be tracking in the woods. These amplified electronic earmuffs are perfect for the gun range and field. They reduce wind noise while tracking game and allow you to locate the location the sound came from. Perfect for hunters, but also great for those who work heavy equipment or just for cutting the lawn.
The Howard Leight’s Impact Sport are engineered with a low profile earcup that has rifle cutaways to increase your productivity in any shooting environment. They’re adjustable and come with a padded headband for additional comfort where it matters. You need to be comfortable while you wear your protective earmuffs or you won’t always wear them.
What you get:
- Howard Leight Impact Sport Bolt Digital Shooting Earmuffs
- Belt Clip
- 2 AAA Batteries
- AUX input
- 3.5 mm Connection Cord for MP3 and Scanners
- Auto Shut-Off (4-Hours)
Howard Leight Digital Electronic Earmuffs come with everything you need to get started. They have a wide selection to fit every need and price point that you may be looking for.
Walker’s Game Ear Razor Slim Electronic Muff
The Walker’s Razor Slim Muff is engineered with your unique needs in mind. They’re made with a low profile for minimalist design without compromising quality. They provide outstanding hearing protection while amplifying sounds you want to hear. The Walker’s Game Ear Electronic Earmuff has a noise reduction rating (NRR) of 23dB which will keep your ears protected without interfering with your ability to hear gun range commands or speak to your partners who are in close proximity. The slim design and ultra-low profile ear cups give you plenty of room to move around without interfering with your duties. Some users express difficulties using large electronic earmuffs comfortably and they can get in the way of shooting. The Walker’s Razor Slim Muff was designed with this in mind and made them with the lowest possible profile so as not to be too bulky when you move around.
The Walker’s Razor Slim Muff protective earwear also provides full dynamic range over HD speakers that will give you access to clear and well-balanced sound through both speakers. The engineering department have fine-tuned this product so that you will hear low noise, but still hear natural sound with clarity and precision. They have a single knob volume to keep things simple and a 0.02 second response time. The Walker’s also come with an audio input jack for those who like to connect an iPod, MP3 players or other hand-held radio. This is a great feature to have on protective ear muffs as you can listen to music or connect your phone so you can listen without removing your protective earwear. The Walker’s Razor Slim Muff is one to check out for both hardcore users as well as casual wearers who want a little extra protection.
Awesafe Electronic Shooting Earmuffs
If you’ve used Awesafe gear before, you know they’re not too pricey and still get the job done. The same can be said of the Awesafe Electronic Shooting Earmuffs. You can literally fire off a 50 Cal in an indoor range and still hear what your friends are saying about your mad shooting skills. If you’re price conscious, but still want a great pair of shooting ear muffs, Awesafe has you covered. This set comes with the required batteries and a nice storage container where you can store a few extra spare batteries and some ear plugs. Awesafe shooting earmuffs block harmful sounds and the amplification feature shuts off at 82dB to protect your ears. It comes equipped with a patented Air Flow Control technology that gives you even more noise reduction and the earmuffs are shockproof because we all know they’re going to take a beating. Not only are these electronic shooting earmuffs easy to store, but you can also connect them to an external MP3 player or other audio device for more uses. These are professional electronic shooting earmuffs, but can be used in other functions such as operating heavy machinery, cutting grass or when around noisy crowds.
Here’s just a few features the Awesafe Eelctronic Shooting Ear Muffs:
- Noise Reduction
- Compact storage
- Low energy Earmuffs with Auto Shut-Off
- Connects to External MP3 or other Audio Device
- Super Easy Maintenance
- Shockproof for Work
- You Can Custom Fit with Telescoping Headband and Padding
- Specifically Designed for Shooting
MSA Sordin Digital Supreme Pro X Headband Camo Protective Earmuff
The MSA Sordin Supreme Pro X is the US Military Earwear Standard Edition and was specifically developed to withstand a high-level of extreme conditions. They protect your ears with some of the best technology available and still allow you to hold a conversation and communicate with your shooting team or friends while at the gun range. The MSA Sordin Supreme PRO X accomplishes this task by reproducing a natural sound that is pleasing to your ears by compressing peak sounds to a tolerable level of 82db(A). You will still be able to pinpoint where the sounds originate from without the extra disturbing noises that can damage your ears.
Basically, these electronic shooting ear muffs allow you to protect your ears, while allowing you to hear better by amplifying sound but keeping out harmful noises that can be harsh. You don’t have to baby this pair of electronic ear muffs as they are made of steel and the circuit boards have been lacquered and are water resistant. You can wear these in inclement weather with no issues. They even have installed two splash proof microphones that will reproduce ambient sound inside the headset. The battery compartment is also waterproof which adds to the ruggedness of these earmuffs. You can also connect these electronic ear muffs to external sources such as MP3 players, radios and dog tracking devices to add to the things you can do with the MSA Sordin Digital Supreme Pro X Ear Muffs.
AKT1 Protective Earmuff with Electronic Amplification
The AKT1 protective shooting ear muffs provide up to 6x sound amplification and are super comfortable due to hand-sewn memory foam ear cushions. Shooting ear muffs must do their job at protecting your ears, but should also be comfortable enough to wear all day. These ear muffs also provide maximum breathability with the hand-stitched headband and mesh cutouts. Many of us shoot and work heavy equipment during the summer months and it’s nice to have a pair of electronic protective ear muffs that don’t force you to retain extra heat. These are extremely adjustable and can fit head sizes of S-XXL with no issues. The AKT1 shooting earmuffs have the capacity to block impact sounds that have an NRR of 25 and can amplify human voices to 85 db so you can hear conversations around you. They’re able to accomplish this by suppressing loud impact sounds that could potentially harm your ears, but then releasing them with lightning speed so you can effectively communicate with your partner and still maintain maximum hearing protection. Many electronic earmuffs amplify human voice and make it sound a bit robotic. These maintain natural speech and can amplify the sound up to 6x so you can hear commands.
You don’t need special batteries as these electronic ear muffs are powered by 2 AAA batteries that are included and can run your earmuffs for up to 400 hours. These do come equipped with the auto shutoff after 4 hours to save your battery power. Perfect for the gun range, hunting, police officers, military, yard work, running a tractor, musicians, concerts, racing cars, home repair projects and amplifying work environments where it may be difficult to hear.
The AKT1 gets compared to the Walker’s and Howard Leight shooting earmuffs often because they all offer surprisingly good noise reduction as well as voice amplification without breaking the bank.
Walker’s Safety Razor Slim Electronic Muff Blaze Orange
You know you’re getting a great product with Walker’s Safety Razor Earmuffs and this addition to their lineup of professional-grade hearing protective devices is up there with the best. These Walker Professional Hearing Protection Shooting Muffs give a noise reduction rating of 23dB and will protect your hearing around loud noises without interference from conversations or ambient sounds that you need to hear. These come equipped with a 3.5mm jack so you can plug into an MP3 player, hand held radio or iPod and listen to your favorite music or keep up to date with emergency broadcasting. These professional-grade electronic earmuffs aren’t just for the gun range, they have loads of uses that include lawn maintenance, running a loud tractor, crowded events, car shows and other applications where you would prefer to drown out the sound. The comfort headband allows you to easily wear these earmuffs all day long with no issues.
We think the blaze orange is a nice touch so you can be spotted easier, especially for those who spend time in the woods. The Razor Electronic Muffs activate themselves instantly within 0.02 seconds and will protect your ears from random noises. The amplified sounds that filter into your headset allows you to hear things such as grass under your boots, birds chirping and your hunting partners talking without having to shout.
ProHear 036 Digital Electronic Shooting Ear Protection Muffs
The ProHear electronic shooting earmuffs are designed for tactical applications and comfort. You can wear these for a long time without headaches due to gel ear seals that are fit for your comfort. The ProHear shooting muffs easily increase your shooting time by reducing pressure from your head and decrease comfort as much as possible. These powerful earmuffs can reduce any noise over 82dB with a super-fast reaction time of 0.0005 seconds. You will still be able to maintain superior situational awareness and hear things around you that you want to hear. These simply block out loud noises coming at you that can permanently damage your hearing. ProHear provides up to 5X sound amplification by utilizing an advanced internal chip that allows you to hear animals and other environmental sounds while hunting or in the field. Adjust your sensitivity by using the volume adjustment button. These are what the industry terms “low energy earmuff” because they only require 2 AAA batteries and will auto shut-off after 4 hours to conserve your batteries.
One thing users report about the ProHear earmuffs are the fact that you can wear them for long periods due to the added comfort and you can still understand conversations while wearing them. That’s a big plus for anyone that hates constantly removing their ear protection to hear what someone right next to you is saying.
Howard Leight by Honeywell Shooting Earmuffs
Howard Leight by Honeywell did a great job with this addition to their professional hearing protection lineup. These military-grade shooting earmuffs have built-in directional microphones that do an outstanding job of protecting your ears while shooting and amplifying range commands. They do this by keeping ambient sounds at a safe zone of 82dB which gives you the chance to hear important conversations or nature sounds while still protecting your hearing. The Howard Leight’s actively listens to sounds around you and turns off the amplification with lighting speed once ambient or surrounding sound equals 82dB; NRR (Noise Reduction Rating) of 22. This keeps you in the game, but protects you from excessively loud sounds. All it takes is one extremely loud sound to wreck your hearing for life.
The Howard Leight by Honeywell Military-Grade Earmuffs comes with 2 AAA batteries that will you need. It features an automatic shutoff feature that saves your batteries with 4 hours of non-use. This will give you roughly 350 hours of battery life which is a long time for electronic shooting earmuffs.
This version of Howard Leight by Honeywell Electronic Shooting Earmuffs is an affordable option for those who still want a high-level of quality for their hearing protection.
MSA Sordin 75302-X-G Supreme Pro X Electronic Earmuff with Fitted Gel Seals
These are the Special Edition US Military Grade Earwear you’ve been looking for. The Sordin Supreme Pro X was engineered for extreme conditions and to conform to military specifications to ensure you have the best professional hearing protection on the market. You can easily hear ambient sounds and other people talking while wearing Sordin Supreme Pro X headsets. The military-grade design is great for those who work hard and expect the same from their gear. Each moving part of these electronic earmuffs are designed from steel and waterproofed. This includes the internal microphones, battery compartment and circuit boards. It’s important for your most used gear to be rugged and tough enough for a little bad weather just in case.
The MSA Sordin Supreme Pro X Earmuffs have two separate microphones that can reproduce clear and crisp ambient sound so you know exactly what’s going on around you. It’s exactly what you need in high-quality pair of military earmuffs. You also get a ton of battery life – over 600 hours to be exact. This is due to the built-in electronics and low battery consumption. You control the headset with a handy 3-button keypad that’s easy to maneuver and it has a low power mode to regulate battery usage and a battery warning so you know when to change them out. We suggest keeping extra batteries in your carry case because you don’t want to shoot a single day without professional hearing protection.
Opsmen Electronic Shooting Earmuffs
Opsmen provides a low-cost headset that’s on-par with other professional noise-canceling earmuffs. They’re battle tested and have been reviewed extensively. They easily suppress potentially harmful sound above 82 dB and utilizes lightning-fast attack time that comes in under 1 millisecond to prevent injury to your ears. Remember, all it takes is one super loud noise and you could have permanent ear damage. It’s crucial to have a pair of electronic earmuffs that can catch those sounds before they have the chance to harm you.
The Opsman Professional Earmuffs have 360-degree full environment perception which allows you to hear everything around you and track human voices with precision. You have 3-levels of sound you can choose from depending on what you want to hear. The Opsman Electronic Earmuffs are anti-sweat, ergonomic for fit and provide a high-level of noise reduction. They take 2 AAA batteries that give you roughly 300 solid hours of operation. The Opsman comes with a backup auto shut-off to preserve your batteries and keep your gear working longer. These military-grade earmuffs are perfect for the gun range, hunting and tracking, running a loud tractor, chainsaw, or crowded environments.
Zohan EM054 Electronic Ear Muffs (2-Pair)
Zohan makes a quality electronic ear muff that get the job done. We like this one because it comes as a 2-pack and can serve as an extra to lend to a friend. While they may not be as robust as other entries on this list, you do have the benefit of getting two quality electronic earmuffs for around $50. These will muffle out loud bangs at the gun range and protect your ears, while still allowing you to hold a casual conversation with someone right next to you. These are often compared to the Howard Leight Impact Sport as they hold many similarities. The Noise Reduction Rating on the Zohan earmuffs is 22dB.
The Zohan electronic earmuffs have an AUX that allows you to plug your MP3 or radio into so you can listen to music with them as well. You can’t beat these for the price if you’re looking to save a few bucks and have an extra earmuff to loan out.
Walker’s Razor Slim Electronic Muff
The Razor thin muffs by Walker’s lean more towards the minimalist side of professional-grade earmuffs, but they offer a ton of quality. Designed to have a low profile so they fit nice while shooting, these are the type of shooting earmuffs you can wear all day long. While the Walker’s Razor Slim Electronic Muffs may look minimal, we can assure you they do not skimp on quality. These military-grade earmuffs provide top-tier noise reduction while amplifying sounds around you that you want to hear. The Walker’s Razor thin muffs give you a protective barrier with an (NRR) noise reduction rating of 23dB which is perfect for the shooting range or other loud activities. The comfort headband is a nice touch that makes these electronic shooting earmuffs even more comfortable.
Here’s a few quick stats you get with the Walker’s Razor thin muffs:
- Omni Directional Mics
- Super Comfortable Headband for All-Day Use
- Audio Input Jack for MP3 Players or Music
- Easy On/Off Volume Control
- Slim Fold Design for Easy Carry and Storage
If you’re looking for a compact pair of military-grade shooting earmuffs, the Walker’s Razor Slim Electronic Muff will meet most people’s specifications without costing an arm and a leg. It’s hard to find a good slim earmuff that has everything you need, but we believe these earmuffs by Walker’s does a great job at providing a high-quality product.
Peltor 97451 3M Tactical Sport Earmuff
The Peltor is hard to beat for the price. They come highly recommended by long-time shooters because they do a great job at protecting your hearing while shooting firearms. The Peltor Earmuffs are known for their amazing fit. They seal and fit better on your ears than most brands. You can easily hear what’s going on around you which is essential. The Peltor shooting earmuffs have a NRR of 20dB and ergonomically designed ear cups which gives you a little extra protection. They’re powered by 2 AAA batteries and features an auto shut-off to save battery life. The Peltor earmuff does come with an audio jack for MP3 players for music, cell phones and dog trackers, however, some users have stated the jack does not fit their MP3 players properly. Thankfully, you can easily change the jack to fit your player if that’s an issue for you.
Overall, the Peltor Tactical Sport Earmuff has high reviews and users report phenomenal quality from this pair of shooting earmuffs.
Electronic Shooting EarMuffs Buying Guide + FAQ
How to Choose the Best Hearing Protection for Shooting or Operating Loud Equipment
If you shoot guns, you know you need hearing protection. We all know someone who has damaged their hearing beyond repair through shooting guns or working around heavy machinery without wearing proper protection.
Hearing protection has come a long way and you have plenty of choices on the market. It’s important that you understand each option so you can make an educated decision when it comes to choosing the best hearing protection for shooting.
Your hearing can easily be damaged by repetitive loud noises or one extremely loud noise. You have to be sure to adequately protect your hearing every time or you could lose hearing over the years.
There are basically 3 main types of hearing protection to choose from:
- Passive earmuffs: These simply fit over your ears and form a protective barrier that will shield your ears from loud noises. You can find these in any sporting goods store and they usually don’t cost too much. Passive earmuffs have improved over the years and many offer a high NRR that can provide a level of protection. Keep in mind, it may be nearly impossible to hold a conversation while wearing passive earmuffs.
- Basic earplugs: Foam earplugs are extremely cheap and you can buy a handful at a time. They actually give you decent protection if you’re in a bind and need one immediately. In fact, many of them have a NRR or noise reduction rating of 33dB which will protect you as long as they are inserted correctly.
- Electronic earmuffs: These are the best in our opinion. They give you plenty of protection from loud noises and you can still hold a conversation. You can hear everything around you and aren’t muffled like you are with the other options. It’s easy to talk to the person next to you and are considered safer to use at gun ranges because you can easily hear commands. Electronic earmuffs work by suppressing sound that reaches a certain level. You can stay alert to all noises around you and they will protect your ears the moment a loud noise is detected.
Now that you see the different types of hearing protection for shooting guns, you also need to know how to choose the best brand or model:
Price: While you can’t put a price on your long-term hearing, it’s understandable that price is always a consideration when choosing shooting range gear. Foam earplugs will be the cheapest, followed by passive earmuffs with electronic earmuffs being the most expensive.
Fit: If your hearing protection doesn’t fit, it won’t work effectively. Foam earplugs are self-explanatory, but you still need to ensure you have a good seal for them to do their job correctly. You can’t just stuff them in and expect them to work. You must roll them between your fingers and insert them into your ear canal. They will expand and create a seal.
Earmuffs feature adjustable earcups and headbands with extra padding to help get a better fit. Children and women may have a harder time choosing a perfect fit, but they make earmuffs designed to fit smaller heads.
NRR or Noise Reduction Rating: Hearing protection for the gun range will have a number NRR number assigned to it that signifies how it ranks. You will want to find hearing protection with a high NRR rating to give you the best hearing protection while shooting or operating loud equipment.
Are Electronic Ear Muffs Worth It?
Electronic earmuffs are designed to reduce potentially harmful sounds that can cause permanent hearing damage, while at the same time allowing you to hear what’s going on around you. They can amplify sounds that you want to hear such as conversation, gun range commands, animals and other work noises. Hearing damage can be a lifelong ailment and is easy to sustain when shooting, working with heavy equipment or even just cutting your grass on a Sunday morning. Electronic earmuffs help protect your ears
Electronic earmuffs fit snug and comfortable while allowing you to perform your job or just practice at the shooting range. Most of them are compact and lightweight and don’t impede your ability to move and shoot. They are considered essential by most avid marksmen or casual gun range goers.
Are Electronic Earmuffs Better Than Passive Earmuffs?
You may be wondering if electronic earmuffs work better than passive earmuffs and if they’re worth the extra money. Passive earmuffs are simple, cheap and work in some situations where you need something to protect your ears for a few minutes. However, they don’t protect your ears all that well and you can’t have a conversation while wearing them.
Electronic earmuffs, on the other hand, use technology to protect your hearing and to allow you to carry on a conversation while wearing them. This is an important aspect of electronic earmuffs because you need to be able to speak while doing certain activities such as shooting or working with loud machinery.
Electronic earmuffs reduce loud noise that can damage your hearing and amplify other sounds such as voices. They’re able to distinguish between the two. Passive earmuffs can’t do this and is one of the main reasons people opt for electronic earmuffs.
How Are Electronic Shooting Ear Muffs Rated?
Electronic shooting ear muffs use the NRR rating or Noise Reduction Rating system. A high NRR rating means the electronic ear muffs have a higher efficiency noise reduction rating. Most electronic earmuffs fall within the NRR 22 range and will adequately protect your ears from loud sounds such as gunshots, lawnmowers, tractors and more.
Is a Higher dB Rating Better for Earmuffs?
An electronic earmuff’s hearing protection effectiveness is rated using the NRR or Noise Reduction Rating. Electronic earmuffs with higher NRR numbers usually have a higher capacity to reduce noise. We recommend purchasing electronic earmuffs that have a high NRR.
Can You Shoot a Gun Without Hearing Protection?
While most of us have fired guns without hearing protection in the past, it’s not recommended due to the potential for long-term hearing damage. No firearm is safe to shoot without some type of hearing protection. You may be able to shoot guns for years with no issue, but you may eventually experience tinnitus or ringing in your ears if you do not protect them. If you feel your ears have adapted to shooting guns, this isn’t true and you potentially have simply lost hearing and it may never come back.
Are Electronic Shooting Ear Muffs Good for Other Things?
Electronic shooting ear muffs aren’t just for shooting, they protect your ears during other potentially loud activities. Many people use them for yard work, concerts, fairs, running tractors, farm equipment, loud and crowded places or other activities where they wish to tune out loud noises. Also, you can connect an MP3 player or other handheld radio to your electronic shooting ear muff and play music. They make great headphones when not used for shooting or yard work. Electronic shooting ear muffs are a great piece of gear to have around the shop or in your vehicle.
Are Ear Plugs or Ear Muffs Better for Shooting?
You’ve likely searched for the best ear protection for shooting and have come across countless articles about ear plugs versus ear muffs for shooting. Both types of hearing protection have their advantages and disadvantages, but we can all agree that using either one is better than nothing.
Ear muffs have their advantages when it comes to comfort and convenience. They easily fit over the entirety of your ears which many professionals believe provides more protection for your hearing. You’ve probably noticed that ear plugs usually have higher NRR ratings than electronic earmuffs which can be confusing since earmuffs cover your ears. While ear plugs may have a higher NRR rating in most cases, they tend to leave gaps that could let in noise and thus lower their ability to adequately protect you.
However, ear plugs can be found cheaper and are easy to carry. You can simply stick them in your pocket and go. They are absolutely better than having nothing on hand, but it is recommended that you eventually get a high-quality pair of electronic ear muffs to ensure you’re protected.
Can You Wear Ear Muffs and Ear Plugs at the Same Time?
Many shooters wear both ear plugs and electronic ear muffs at the same time. While you may not need to do this, there is nothing wrong with doubling up on both types of hearing protection. This could be beneficial if you shoot for hours at a time.
Which Brands are the Best Electronic Noise Cancelling Ear Muffs for Shooting?
There are countless brands on the market that all claim to do the same thing, so it’s easy to see how it can be tough to make an informed decision when it comes to electronic shooting earmuffs. The main features you want for your electronic earmuffs include:
- Comfort and fit
- User reviews
- NRR rating or Noise Reduction Rating
- Amplification of ambient sounds and voices
- Auto shut-off to preserve battery life
- Audio jack for MP3 players, dog trackers and cell phones
- Ergonomic design
There are numerous brands that always make a great electronic shooting earmuff, you just have to consider the features they have and the amount of money you want to spend. If you care about quality, but want to save a few bucks, check out Walker’s Razor Electronic Muffs and Howard Leight Impact Muffs as they are each great bargains. The ACT Fire Shooting Earmuffs can also be added to this list of high-quality, yet affordable electronic earmuffs.
If you’re OK spending a few more dollars, check out the MSA Sordin lineup of electronic earmuffs as they give you a ton of features.
Benefits of Electronic Ear Protection
Gone are the days when your only options were earplugs and ear muffs to protect your ears. Electronic ear protection is the way to go because they use technology to protect your ears better than any other product on the market. Electronic hearing protection for shooters will protect your hearing in the long run.
Electronic Ear Muffs
A good pair of electronic ear muffs can also make communicating at the gun range less of a burden. Many gun enthusiasts also refer to electronic ear muffs as noise-canceling headphones for shooting. Cheap ear muffs or ear plugs make conversation and listening to instructions difficult. Most electronic ear muffs are designed to allow you to better communicate with your partners and can create a safer environment for everyone around. You won’t have to continually remove your ear muffs to hear what’s being said.
You will definitely want to keep a pair of high-quality electronic earmuffs in your gun range bag.
Here’s a quick rundown of the top attributes a good pair of electronic shooting ear muffs can provide:
The main purpose of shooting ear muffs is to reduce noise to protect your ears. They do so with amazing efficiency and can help protect your ears from long term damage, especially if you operate heavy equipment or visit the shooting range often.
On the flip side of the same coin, electronic ear muffs amplify the sound around you. Old ear muffs only block out sound, but electronic ear muffs can actually amplify what you hear such as voices, game and more.
Stereo sound is a great addition to amplified ear muffs. It can help you in identifying the location of the sounds you hear and assist you in tracking.
Communicating with your range buddies is a safety concern. You need to be able to hear what people around you are saying and to hear orders that could save your life or others around you. The worst thing you can do is miss an important range command that jeopardizes the safety of yourself or others.
Jerome is an avid outdoorsman who moonlights as an attorney when he’s not creating the world’s greatest online content.