- 1 Best Shooting Ear Protection 2020 – Detailed Reviews!
- 1.1 #1 – Peltor Sport Tactical Ear Protection
- 1.2 #2 – Walker’s Slim Electronic Muffs
- 1.3 #3 – Howard Leight by Honeywell Impact Earmuff
- 1.4 #4 – AVANTEK Professional Hearing Protection Ear Muffs
- 1.5 #5 – Fnova 34dB Highest NRR Safety Ear Muffs
- 1.6 #6 – Pro For Sho Ear Muffs
- 1.7 #7 – 3M Peltor Optime 105 Over the Head Earmuff
- 1.8 #8 – 3M PELTOR Earplug Kit
- 1.9 #9 – MSA Electronic Earmuff
- 1.10 #10 – Professional Safety Ear Muffs
- 1.11 #11 – WorkTunes Connect by 3M safety
- 1.12 #12 – 3M Peltor X1A Ear Muffs
- 1.13 #13 – Mack’s Ultra Soft Earplugs
- 1.14 #14 – SureFire EP4 Sonic Defenders Earplugs
- 1.15 #15 – HEAROS Xtreme Earplug
- 2 Shooting Ear Protection- Buyer’s guide
- 3 Conclusion
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Ear protection gear is by far the most common and important safety gear as the loud vibrations from a gunshot can kill little hair deep inside your ear and may cause permanent damage. It can also make you deaf forever. And you definitely don’t want that! Now, I present to you some of the best shooting ear protection gears available in the market while putting some light on their pros and cons and suggesting to you why they are included in this list. After going through the above buyer’s guide, it would be easy for you to choose the most suitable one for yourself.
Best Shooting Ear Protection 2020 – Detailed Reviews!
Peltor Electronic earmuffs are a set of tactical ear protectors that offer an NRR value of 26dB which is sufficient enough for shooting practices as you may need to listen to some important instructions here and there.
The Bluetooth connectivity of these earmuffs is actually the most attractive feature as it lets you listen to music or even make calls while on a shooting or hunting trip.
WHY IT IS SUGGESTED: These Peltor Earmuffs are made especially for professional shooters and hunters along with offering high-end features in an expensive price tag. Hence, you should try this product only if you can afford it easily or you can also check out some seasonal offers if you really like these earmuffs.
- Suitable for a professional setting
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Highly comfortable
- Clear voice tracking
Walker is a well-established brand name in the shooting accessories industry. Moreover, You can find a ton of high-quality products from Walker and this set of Razor slim electronic earmuffs is no exception.
These earmuffs offer a noise reduction of about 23dB and are made with ultra-thin rubber to provide extra comfort. There is a single knob volume control with makes this product stand out in the crowd and the high number of genuine reviews (nearly 4000) tells a lot about its popularity in the market.
WHY IT IS SUGGESTED: These Walker electronic earmuffs are among the best-selling earmuffs in the market. They provide optimum noise reduction and comfort in a value for money price.
- Available in many color options
- Ultra-thin rubberized cups
- Omni-directional speakers
- No. 1 bestseller on amazon
- Not suitable for extremely loud noises
Honeywell owned Howard Leight Company is known for providing trustworthy shooting-centric products. Honeywell Impact Sound Amplification Electronic earmuff protects you in challenging situations like a hunting trip or a shooting range.
Although the earmuffs are good quality, they provide a Noise reduction rating of only 22dB. The built-in directional microphones enhance the sound level to 82dB which lets you listen to important instructions apart from gunshot sounds. These earmuffs can last for a long duration (approx. 350 hours) in one set of fully charged batteries.
WHY IS SUGGESTED: These electronic earmuffs are suitable for travel enthusiasts as they last for so long that you even forget that they are electronic and require charging. They do provide a low NRR value, but it ensures that you hear the surrounding sounds with ease.
- Efficient sound-proofing for communication
- Multiple color options
- Pocket-friendly price
- Low NRR
These professional AVANTEK earmuffs have two layers of shell sealing protection along with 8 layers of protective material proving a signal-noise ratio (SNR) of 34dB and NRR of 28dB which is high enough for any shooting experience. The stylish design and adjustable headband that fits all age groups definitely sets it apart from other alternatives.
WHY IT IS SUGGESTED: The extraordinary fit and comfort these AVANTEK professional earmuffs offer are very attractive to many users. Moreover, They are durable and provide excellent noise reduction and protection to your ears.
- Stylish design
- High NRR Value
- Durable and comfortable
- Adjustable headband
- Not a very popular brand in U.S
Fnova safety Earmuffs are an extraordinary pair of earmuffs providing an NRR of 34dB. The earmuffs employ two layers of noise dampening foam along with double shell sealing and high sealing cup design which ensures optimum noise reduction and ample protection to your ears. Professional Ear Defenders for Shooting, Adjustable Ear Protection/Shooting Hearing Protector Earmuffs Fits Adults to Kids. These earmuffs are pretty comfortable because of the soft cushioning and an adjustable headband.
WHY IT IS SUGGESTED: Fnova Earmuffs provide best in class ear protection, stylish design, durability, all packed in a pocket-friendly price. Moreover, they provide excellent after-sales service which might be rare for many brands out there.
- Multiple color options
- Very affordable
- Highest available NRR
- Exceptional after sales service
- High-pressure on the head and sides of ears
Pro for Sho ear muffs are among the very few earmuffs that provide a noise reduction rating (NRR) of 34dB which is the highest in the market. The foldable cup design and lightweight of these earmuffs makes them easy to carry during long travel plans.
The unique and fun color options are available in these earmuffs. Hence, they are a desirable option among the young generation.
WHY IT IS SUGGESTED: The Pro For Sho Earmuffs are one of the best earmuffs available out there in this price range, all thanks to its highest NRR value, comfortable fit, and a reasonable 90-day warranty period. They are definitely worth a try.
- Highest NRR(34dB)
- Foldable design
- Light on the pocket
- Fun colors available
- Highly popular in the American market
- Might feel uncomfortable after long usage
3M Peltor Optime is a great set of earmuffs with a patented twin-cup design and these earmuffs provide an optimum 30dB sound reduction and protect your ears from any serious damage. They are pretty comfortable to wear except for the extremely humid weather and they also offer an extraordinary fit to the ears.
WHY IT IS SUGGESTED: These 3M Peltor earmuffs are unbeatable in terms of sound reduction. You can definitely give these a try as they offer a quiet shooting experience along with good quality and a pocket-friendly price.
- High NRR rating
- Suitable for high-intensity noise
- Excellent brand image
- Extraordinary fit
- Many genuine positive reviews
- Can be uncomfortable in hot and humid weather
- Not the most durable
This is a 3M tactical earplug kit that includes a portable charging compartment, cord storage, charging status LED light, earplug clips, Micro B USB port for charging, and a sealing ring.
This comprehensive kit is a very good option for those covering large distances with their earplugs. Moreover, the earplugs offer a wide variety of features like one button operative, rechargeability, stylish design, and much more.
WHY IT IS SUGGESTED: This electronic earplug kit is a desirable option for many users because of its well thought upon features. But, the high-end price of these earplugs may not be liked by a huge segment of earplugs users as there are many other cheaper alternatives.
- Great brand image
- Comprehensive earplugs kit
- Lithium-ion battery
- Compact design
- Could be difficult to carry along
MSA Sordin Electronic Earmuffs are premium looking earmuffs with a leather headband and four levels (1:4) of sound amplification. Additionally, they are incredibly comfortable to use and have a battery life of 600 hours in one charging life.
However, the one major drawback of these earmuffs is the low NRR value which may not be desired by many active shooters.
WHY IT IS SUGGESTED: These MSA Electronic earmuffs are pretty comfortable to use and can last for a long duration during a shooting/hunting trip. However, they do offer a low NRR value and are not the cheapest to buy.
- Premium leather headband
- Excellent battery life
- SNR value of 25dB
- Incredible comfort
- Not the most affordable option
- Low NRR value
These Decibel Defense professional safety earmuffs offer the highest NRR of 37dB. The high popularity of these earmuffs can be gauged by nearly 3500 reviews and them being the “amazon’s choice”.
They are perfect for professional shooters as they are comfortable, durable and the best sound protection there is. They can be used for many occasions like construction works, mowing, fireworks and even during study-time for complete silence.
WHY IT IS SUGGESTED: These Decibel earmuffs are totally a value for money deal with a high NRR value, foldable compact design. Moreover, ample comfort in a budget-friendly price is what makes these a very desirable option available in the market.
- Extraordinary sound-proofing
- Great Comfort and fit
- Highly rated on Amazon
- Not a very recognized brand
Another popular ear protector from 3M safety is the WorkTunes connect which is an innovative set of earmuffs with Bluetooth connectivity, safe volume control setting, AM/FM connectivity, and a rotatory tuning dial.
These ear protectors offer an NRR value of 24dB which is sufficient for most of the shooting practices. It has all the essential features like compact foldable design, and you can even attend calls while using this device.
WHY IT IS SUGGESTED: These 3M safety WorkTunes Connect is a favorable set of earmuffs for the majority of professional shooters and hunters. Especially those who require an added advantage of Bluetooth connectivity and other technology-savvy features.
- Bluetooth connectivity
- AM/FM + MP3 connectivity
- Foldable compact design
- Comfortable to use
- Not loud enough
#12 – 3M Peltor X1A Ear Muffs
The last but not the least alternative in the list of best shooting ear protection is this 3M Peltor X-series which has a sleek and plain vanilla kind of design. The X-series is technologically advanced set of earmuffs with features like Dielectric headband with no exposed wires preventing any electrical hazards.
These earmuffs are specially made for professionals and commercial use only but still have a NRR value of 22dB only.
WHY IT IS SUGGESTED: As the X-series 3M Peltor earmuffs are made specifically for high-end professional or commercial use only, it cannot be used by many solo hunters. Additionally, the earmuffs are made of superior quality material and offer high durability, noise protection, and comfort.
- Universal fitting
- Highly comfortable
- Excellent brand value
- High durability
- Professional usage only
- Lower NRR
Mack’s Ultrasoft earplugs are foam earplugs that are ultra-comfortable for many activities like sleeping, studying, travel, concerts, loud events, and much more. Moreover, they are super easy and lightweight to carry during your long-distance shooting/hunting trips.
Although they are very comfortable, they might hurt your ears after a long usage for some of you out there. These earplugs come very handily as a back-up option when your regular earmuffs are short of charging or if some other issue arises.
WHY IT SUGGESTED: These Mack’s disposable ultra-soft earplugs are one of the best earplugs set available in the market. Due to the fact that it is an inexpensive option and a great backup option for long-distance travel endeavors.
- Very inexpensive
- Excellent backup option
- High NRR value (32 dB)
- Unnecessary pressure in ear canal for those who aren’t used to wearing earplugs
These SureFire in-ear plugs are pretty descent, modern-layered along with above-average protection for loud noises. It provides a sound reduction of about 24dB which is good enough for moderately intense shooting practices.
These are soft, adjustable and comfortable for wear for long durations. The lightweight and minimalist design make it easy to carry them with you without any hassle and difficult to lose easily.
WHY IT IS SUGGESTED: If you are looking for a good-quality in earplugs that are super comfortable to use and don’t get lost easily for a lightweight option, you can surely give these a shot. Moreover, they are a great travel-friendly option.
- Hypoallergenic comfortable material
- Excellent brand value
- Triple-flanged stems
- Not the most durable
- NRR could have been better
#15 – HEAROS Xtreme Earplug
Super soft hypoallergenic material makes these HEAROS Xtreme earplugs extremely desirable and comfortable to use by the majority of the users. The noise reduction rating of 33dB is high enough for many activities like shooting trips, concerts, studying, sleeping and much more.
Moreover, these earplugs are tested for your peace of mind according to ANSI specifications S319-1974.
WHY IT IS SUGGESTED: These HEAROS earplugs are super soft and very easy to carry and wear and come in a very cheap price range. Those who have a low budget and require ear protection once in a while should definitely give these a try.
- Highly comfortable
- Premium quality earplugs
- High NRR
- Inexpensive option
- May hurt your ears after long usage
Shooting Ear Protection- Buyer’s guide
Before getting your hands on ear protection gear, you must understand different aspects of a shooting ear protection gear. But if want to go straight to our list of best products, you can click it in the table of contents.
How loud is too loud?
For any normal human being, the sound intensity of 140dB is the hearing threshold up to which you can hear sound waves. But beyond that limit, a high-quality ear protection is an absolute necessity.
Even sound waves below 140dB can cause some level of discomfort. Below points can help you understand the sound levels and their intensities:
- Sound waves below 20dB are inaudible
- Sound waves between 20-40dB are soft sounds
- 40-60dB sound waves are moderately quiet
- Loud sound waves range from 30-90dB
- Sound waves beyond 100dB are dangerous for the ears
Noise reduction rating (NRR)
Noise reduction rating is the extent to which a set of ear protectors offer protection. A higher NRR will ensure better protection and a lesser one will provide lesser protection. It is the most important criteria to consider before buying any ear protection for your shooting needs. Some people even consider using cotton balls for protection but there are just minutely better than nothing. They could be providing a reduction of only 7dB.
Some common choices for ear protection are:
- Combination of the two
- Some techy alternative
As there are so many options available, it might get confusing to choose the suitable one but it is definitely an important choice to make.
A sound reduction of at least 15dB is needed but 30dB reduction is preferable. Many high-end earmuffs also offer an NRR of about 37dB as well.
Earplugs v/s Earmuffs.
Earplugs come in a wide array of designs and types. Broadly there are two subsequent types:
- Disposable Earplugs: Disposable foam earplugs are the contemporary in-ear plugs. They come in multiple sizes and materials but there are some inevitable pros and cons associated with them.
- Least expensive
- Moldable custom fit
- Compact size
- Washable or reusable options available
- Easy to store in small places
- Uncomfortable for uncommon ear canals
- Silences other surrounding noises as well
- Easily gets lost
- May get severely dirty in certain surrounding
- Traditional earplugs: These are the more common option among the shooters of different genres. These passive earplugs come with a headband attached to foam pads that provide protection to your ears by creating a shield over them.
- Better overall protection
- Easy to wear
- Reusable upto many uses
- Highly durable
- Worth the money invested
- Can feel heavy on the head/ears
- May interfere cheek weld
- Not the best noise cancellation
- Cause discomfort in humid weather
- Costlier than in-ear plugs
- Anyone with hats or long hair?
The type of ear protection you use depends on many factors and the most important one should be the purpose for which you use them. So make sure, you are clear about the purpose and frequency of usage you require and then accordingly make the buying decision.
A comfortable fit is important
Wearing a more comfortable set of ear protectors can make a lot of difference during a shooting practice. You would need your earmuffs to sit comfortably either over your head or in the ears to wear them for longer durations.
Whether the ear protectors are in-earplugs or over the head earmuffs, they are offered in a general shape and design with slight modifications here and there. Some earmuffs come with an adjustable or foldable design which them a travel-friendly option. You can even find some earmuffs with a universal fit where you can even share your earmuffs with someone else after slightly adjusting the size of the headband.
If you are someone with long hair, wears a cap or spectacles, or have a larger than average head size, wearing an earmuff might cause some discomfort for you and the in-earplugs would be a preferable option. In-ear plugs also come handy when you need sound reduction to have a peaceful sleep, you can comfortably wear those for the whole night without any issue.
As there are loads of brands and local manufacturers who produce shooting ear protection gears, it means you have a great amount of variety to choose from. Shooting ear protection gears can cost you as low as $15 and as high as $1000. You must define a price range you are aiming for before evaluating all the available options as it will help you save some time
The high number of sellers does make sure that they compete amongst them to offer a lower price but you shouldn’t just straight away go for the cheapest one available. You can try the cheapest one if you are buying any protective gear for the first time to understand the feel of wearing them for hours. Then accordingly you can choose a more advanced and better option for yourself.
Other features you might want to look into:
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Volume control
- Auto-shutoff for battery saving
- Resistance against humidity or dirt
- Lightweight material
- Built-in microphone to attend calls
I believe the importance of a high quality shooting ear protection has been stressed enough in the above article and you will not regret buying them ever! I have tried to make an all-inclusive buyer’s guide and products reviews (all used and checked by our team of experts). Just make sure you are carefully checking the reviews and specs of any ear protection gear before buying it online.
Do comment down below if you have any suggestions or questions related to any earmuff or earplugs available in the market.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What are shooting earmuffs used for?
Earmuffs are over the head ear protection tools that restrict the level of sound waves up to a certain extent. They are available in a wide variety of designs and features offered in different price brackets. All the professional or amateur shooters and hunters generally use them religiously.
Do earmuffs block out sound?
Earmuffs do block out sound to some extent but not completely. There are only a few of the models that offer that feature of complete sound blockage but are not preferred by many as you may need to listen to some important sounds while attenuating the unnecessary ones.
Which is a better option between earmuffs and earplugs?
Earmuffs provide over the head protection while earplugs are placed inside the ears to attenuate the sound levels. Both the options work great individually but the comfort level of both the protective gears varies greatly from person to person, some find it easy to wear in-ear plugs and others find it comfortable to wear earmuffs while shooting.
Do earmuffs expire after a certain time?
The foam inside the earmuffs do get torn after many uses but the good-quality ones are pretty durable and can easily be used for at least 6 months of regular usage. You should often clean them with mild soap and water regularly to increase their shelf life.
How much does a good pair of earmuffs cost?
The price range of earmuffs varies greatly from brand to brand or because of the offered features. With some new innovations coming along the way, some earmuffs are getting costlier with each passing day. Generally, earmuffs can cost you from as low as 15 dollars and go as high as 1000 dollars.
Find out our other tactical product reviews:
If you find any products that are not in this 15 best shooting ear protection that you would like reviewed, please feel free to send us a message on our contact us page and you can comment below.