Ever found yourself amid hails of gunfire at the range, cringing at every deafening shot? Shooting isn’t just about precision and skill; it also requires protective gear to stay safe and protect your senses. And among these, the best shooting ear protection stands out as a staple.
Your shooting experience will quickly turn into an ear-ringing good time without proper hearing protection.
This guide will help you navigate the maze of options for the best shooting ear protection with ease. From cost-effective choices that don’t skimp on quality to high-end selections boasting superior noise reduction – we’ve got it all covered here!
The sound of gunfire won’t haunt you anymore! Ready to make some noise while staying safe? Let’s get started…
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Best Shooting Ear Protection Quick List
🔻Read on to see all of the best shooting ear protection options out there!
Understanding the Importance of Ear Protection in Shooting
As an avid shooter, you are aware that a day at the range is quite loud and disruptive to your ears without protection. That noise isn’t just annoying—it’s dangerous too. Your ears are delicate instruments, and without proper protection, they will take serious damage.
Studies have shown prolonged exposure to sounds over 85 decibels (dB) can lead to hearing loss. To put this into perspective: a gunshot typically registers between 140-170 dB.
The Risks of Not Using Ear Protection
Hearing loss from gunfire is not immediate; it creeps up on you over time. But once your hearing is damaged, there’s no way to fix it completely.
In addition to permanent hearing loss called Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL), shooting without ear protection also puts shooters at risk for tinnitus—a constant ringing or buzzing in your ears—even after leaving the noisy environment.
Choosing Effective Ear Protection
All hearing protection isn’t created equal though. They come with a rating known as NRR – Noise Reduction Rating – which indicates how much sound they block out.
To protect against firearm noises specifically, we recommend choosing products with high NRRs such as those found here in our guide.
Necessity for All Shooters
No matter if you’re plinking cans on private property or engaging in advanced tactical drills—the best shooting ear protection should be considered non-negotiable. It’s not just a good practice, it’s essential to your long-term health and well-being.
Remember: when you’re shooting, your safety—and that includes the protection of your hearing—is in your hands. So make sure those ears are covered.
Best Shooting Ear Protection For Everyone
For the sake of safeguarding one’s hearing, selecting the ideal ear protection is essential. There are two major categories to consider and those are passive and electronic hearing protection.
Passive hearing protection is inserts or ear muffs that block off sound. Both bad and good sounds.
Electronic or active hearing protection amplifies ambient noise and blocks off sound above a certain decibel. So you get the best of both worlds minus they cost a little more.
Most of the best shooting ear protection on this list is electronic because they are leaps and bounds more beneficial than their passive counterparts.
Let’s explore some top-notch picks.
1. Howard Leight Impact Sport
The Howard Leight Impact Sports are high-quality ear protection designed for shooting enthusiasts. Whether you’re an experienced marksman or a beginner, these offer superior hearing protection while allowing ambient sounds to be heard at safe decibel levels.
- Noise Reduction: The earmuffs have an excellent noise reduction rating (NRR) of 22, providing effective protection against hazardous noise.
- Ambient Sound Amplification: They amplify low-level sounds up to four times, enhancing your situational awareness on the range or in the field.
- Durable Construction: Made with rugged materials that can withstand tough conditions and regular use without compromising comfort.
- Battery Life: Provides long-lasting performance with an automatic shut-off feature after 4 hours to conserve battery life.
The Howard Leight Impact Sport is reasonably priced considering its features and quality construction. Prices may vary depending on where you purchase them from but typically ranges between $40-$60 USD. For their reliability and effectiveness in protecting your hearing during shooting activities, it’s worth every penny spent!
Pros & Cons
- Excellent noise reduction capability.
- Amplifies low-level sounds.
- Durable construction.
- Long battery life with auto shut-off feature.
- Comfortable fit even over glasses or hats.
- Some users find them tight when worn initially; however, they tend to loosen over time.
- May need to double up hearing protection for indoor ranges and rifles.
- Not waterproof and will fail in heavy rain.
Overall, the Impact Sports are a top choice for the best shooting ear protection. They offer excellent value for the money and reliable performance in different shooting scenarios.
The AXIL TRACKR Blu’s are one of the best shooting ear protection options that offer the perfect blend of comfort, safety, and advanced technology. This high-quality hearing protector has been specifically designed for those who are into prepping, survival training, and tactical training.
They’re also ideal for anyone seeking to protect their ears from damaging noise levels while still being able to hear essential sounds in their environment.
These electronic earmuffs not only offer superior hearing protection but the TRACKR Blu models also come with added features like Bluetooth connectivity for an enhanced user experience.
- Dual-purpose design: The AXIL Trackr Blu provides both sound amplification for quiet sounds and noise suppression for loud noises above 85 dB.
- Bluetooth Connectivity: Allows you to connect your device wirelessly so you can listen to music or take calls without removing your ear protection.
- User-friendly controls: Features easy-to-use buttons on the side of each muff allowing volume control and switching between modes effortlessly.
- All-day Comfort: Lightweight design coupled with a soft padded headband ensures comfortable wear even during extended periods of use. Gel pads are also available
Pros & Cons
- High-quality sound amplification and noise suppression
- Bluetooth functionality for added convenience
- Durable construction designed to withstand rugged use
- Pricier than some other models on the market, but offers superior features and quality.
If you’re looking for one of the best shooting ear protection that doesn’t compromise on comfort or advanced features, then the AXIL TRACKT Blu’s are worth considering. They are a high-end design coupled with user-friendly operation making them an excellent choice for any tactical training or shooting.
The Walker’s Razor Slims are an advanced pair of earmuffs designed specifically for shooting enthusiasts. With their slim design and high noise reduction rating (NRR), they offer both comfort and excellent hearing protection.
- Noise Reduction: The Walker’s Razor Slim provides impressive sound dampening with an NRR of 23 dB, protecting your ears from harmful gunshot noises.
- Slim Design: Unlike bulky alternatives, these earmuffs are compact and lightweight, making them comfortable to wear during long hours at the range or in the field.
- Great Sound Quality: Equipped with full dynamic range HD speakers for clear balanced sound while amplifying conversations and commands without distortion.
The price point for Walker’s Razor Slim can vary depending on where you purchase them but typically they fall within $40-$60 range. Given their quality construction and superior performance features, they offer exceptional value compared to other products on the market.
Pros & Cons
- High NRR for excellent hearing protection
- Slim, comfortable design got a better cheek weld with rifles.
- Affordable price point
- A little tight fitting.
- May not fit larger heads comfortably.
In tactical training and shooting sports, Walker’s Razor Slim stands out as a top choice for the best shooting ear protection. Its blend of comfort, high-quality sound reduction technology, and affordability make it an excellent investment in your health and safety.
The MSA Sordin Supreme Pro X is a high-quality, reliable, and durable shooting ear protection device. This product is designed with the needs of tactical training enthusiasts in mind, offering superior sound reduction capabilities that are crucial for protecting your hearing during firearm use.
- Durable Construction: Made from high-quality materials ensuring long-lasting durability.
- Ambient Sound Amplification: Allows low-level sounds such as conversation or wildlife movement to be heard clearly without removing the headset.
- Noise Reduction Rating (NRR): Provides a Noise Reduction Rating of 18dB, effectively reducing harmful noises from gunfire or explosions while maintaining situational awareness.
- Battery Life: Offers approximately 600 hours of battery life on two AAA batteries which are included in the package.
This premium ear protection device can range anywhere between $200-$300 depending on where it’s purchased. However, considering its exceptional features and benefits – this investment will serve you well for many years ahead making it worth every penny spent!
Pros & Cons
- Solid construction ensures longevity and reliability under tough conditions.
- Fantastic audio quality allows for clear communication even when wearing them.
- Auxiliary input lets you connect external devices like a radio or phone.
- Proven performance.
- Price might be on the higher side for some people.
- The headset may feel tight and uncomfortable during prolonged use.
- Lower NRR rating for the price.
This product is perfect for those who are serious about their shooting training, tactical preparation, and overall ear safety. Whether you’re out at shooting ranges or hunting in the mountains, these electronic earmuffs will provide reliable protection without compromising your ability to hear essential sounds.
The 3M Peltor Sport Tactical 500 is a great option for the best shooting ear protection gear designed for men who engage in tactical training, firearms usage, and where loud noises are prevalent.
The 3M Peltor Sport Tactical is more than just an ordinary pair of electronic earmuffs; it’s a technologically advanced sound amplification system that reduces harmful noise levels while enhancing low-level sounds such as conversation or ambient noises in a very clear way.
- Digital chip technology provides clear, clean sound reproduction without distortion.
- Ambient listening mode enhances situational awareness by amplifying low-level sounds up to four times.
- A noise reduction rating (NRR) of 26 dB offers excellent hearing protection in most shooting environments.
- Ergonomic three-button touchpad allows easy operation even when wearing gloves.
The price range for the 3M Peltor Tactical Sports vary depending on the retailer and specific model but the 500’s typically fall within $100-$150 bracket with some other models around $50.
Pros & Cons
- High-quality sound reproduction
- Ambient listening mode enhances situational awareness
- Durable construction suitable for rugged use.
- Slightly expensive compared to other earmuffs on the market.
Best Shooting Ear Protection: Budget-Friendly Options
Safety should always be your number one concern when shooting. But what if you’re on a tight budget? Fear not. Here are some wallet-friendly options for ear protection.
These hearing protection ear muffs come from the reputable brand of 3M under their line called ‘Peltor’. The model name is ‘Optime’, indicating its optimal performance in providing maximum hearing protection. It’s specifically engineered for those involved in shooting sports or tactical training where loud noises are prevalent.
Although unlike the Peltor Sports Tactical or Comtacs, they are not electronic so they only block sound and not amplify it.
- Noise Reduction: With an impressive NRR of up to 30dB, it significantly reduces harmful levels of noise.
- Durability: Its robust construction ensures long-lasting use even under rigorous conditions.
- User Comfort: Features soft foam cushioning that provides comfortable wear over extended periods.
- Versatility: Ideal not only for shooting but also suitable for industrial work environments with high decibel levels.
Pros & Cons
- Solid Noise Reduction Rating (NRR of 30)
- Durable build quality
- Comfortable for long-term use
- Affordable pricing.
- Bulkier design compared to some other models
- May not fit comfortably with certain shooting glasses or helmets.
- Limited capabilities being passive
3M Peltor Optime
Affordable, reliable and simple.
*Price accurate at time of writing
Also, be sure to look at the 3M Peltor Sport Shotgunner II which offers more low-profile ear cups.
When it comes to the best shooting ear protection, the Surefire EP3 Sonic Defenders stand out as a top choice for a reusable ear plug option. Designed with tactical training and firearm use in mind, these ear plugs offer superior noise reduction without compromising your ability to hear routine sounds or conversations.
- Noise Reduction: These earplugs have a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 24dB, effectively reducing loud gunshot noises and other damaging sound levels.
- Hear Safe Sounds: The patented EarLock retention rings and double-flange stem design allow safe sound levels to reach your ears so you can still communicate normally and stay aware of your surroundings.
- Durable & Comfortable: Made from hypoallergenic medical-grade polymer that’s soft, durable, and long-lasting for comfort throughout extended wear.
Pros & Cons
- Affordable price point compared to electronic earmuffs or custom-molded plugs
- Durable construction ensures longevity
- May not fit all ear sizes perfectly
- Some users may find them uncomfortable during extended use
When it comes to maybe not the best shooting ear protection, but definitely a go-to by many, are foam ear plugs. Mack’s Ultra Soft Foam Earplugs are a top choice for a substitution for ear muffs and are even sometimes added under ear muffs to double up hearing protection.
These high-quality ear plugs offer superior noise reduction and comfort, making them ideal for long hours at the range, in tactical training scenarios, or anywhere hearing protection is needed.
They are designed with super low-pressure foam for maximum comfort and an optimal noise reduction rating (NRR) of 33 decibels, these ear plugs provide excellent hearing protection while remaining comfortable during use.
- Noise Reduction Rate (NRR) of 33 decibels: This makes them suitable even in very loud environments such as gun ranges or construction sites.
- User-friendly: They’re easy to insert and remove without causing discomfort.
- Versatile: Besides shooting activities, they can be used while sleeping, studying, working or traveling on noisy planes.
Pros & Cons
- High noise reduction rating.
- User-friendly design for easy use.
- Versatile applications.
- Might be too small for people with larger ear canals.
- You have to put them in your ear.
- Not meant to be reused.
While they may not be the best shooting ear protection by features, their popularity and cheap price make them a solid choice if you don’t want to pay for much else.
Although, I recommend you do pay for something more. You’ll thank yourself in the long run.
Now onto our high-end options for the best shooting ear protection.
Best Shooting Ear Protection: High-End Options
When engaging in shooting activities, the equipment you have can make a huge difference. And if you’re serious about protecting your ears from high-decibel noise and want more features, investing in top-tier hearing protection is crucial. These options truly fit for the best shooting ear protection.
Let’s explore some of the top-notch ear protection options available that typically are also used with communications equipment and mounted to tactical helmets.
The 3M Peltor Comtac VI is a top-tier hearing protection device designed for shooting enthusiasts and tactical operators. These electronic ear defenders not only protect your ears from the damaging noise of gunfire but also allow you to hear ambient sounds clearly, ensuring safety and situational awareness during training or in real-world situations.
Their full name is the 3M PELTOR COMTAC Tactical Communication Headset. It comes with an environmental listening feature known as “talk-through” which allows for face-to-face voice conversation while wearing the headset. The design integrates seamlessly with helmets and other protective gear, making it ideal for military, law enforcement, hunting, and for us men who are preparing for some tough times ahead.
- Durable construction suitable for rugged environments.
- Noise-cancelling technology that protects against harmful sound levels while allowing normal conversations to be heard.
- Ambient listening capabilities enhance situational awareness by amplifying low-level sounds up to four times their original volume.
- Ergonomic design ensures comfortable wear even over long periods.
- Advanced environmental listening modes (Mission Audio Profiles or MAP) optimize auditory experience based on specific external conditions.
- NIB (Natural Interaction Behavior) wireless tech allows headsets to communicate directly with each other.
- IP68-rated noise-canceling mic is water and dust-proof, ensuring clear speech transmission isn’t noisy in harsh conditions.
The price range varies depending on where you purchase them from; however, they generally retail around $1000 USD (usually a lot less) due to their advanced features and high-quality build. This may seem steep compared to other shooting hearing protection, but remember that these are professional-grade devices used by militaries, law enforcement agencies, and serious civilian preppers worldwide – they’re worth every penny if protecting your hearing is a priority! PLUS: you can get a discount if you use my code “STRENGTH”!
Pros & Cons
- Sophisticated noise reduction technology enables clear communication in noisy environments.
- Talk-Through feature allows for face-to-face conversations without removing the headset.
- Comfortable and durable design suitable for long periods of use in rugged conditions.
- Pricier than basic ear protection.
- Battery life could be improved.
3M Peltor Comtac VI
Top of the line headset for comms and hearing protection used by professionals worldwide.
These also are commonly mounted to the best tactical bump and ballistic helmets with special adapter kits.
For men who are into tactical training, firearms, and survival prepping, the Liberator HP 2.0 from Safariland offers some of the best shooting ear protection available on the market today.
The Liberator HP 2.0 Headset offers high-quality electronic hearing protection that ensures your ears stay safe while you engage in firearm/tactical training exercises or any loud environments while providing single or dual communications abilities (for an extra charge).
- Dual-mode active noise reduction (ANR) technology for superior sound quality and speech intelligibility at low and high noise levels.
- Multimode audio input system for seamless integration with radios, intercoms, mobile devices etc.
- Rugged construction to withstand tough conditions making it perfect for outdoor use during tactical trainings or hunting trips.
- Gel cups provide comfort even when worn over long periods of time.
- Made in the U.S.A.
The price tag might be steep compared to other models on the market but given its advanced features and durable build quality; it’s an investment worth considering if you’re serious about preventing hearing damage.
The exact pricing can vary depending on what model you purchase from but expect to pay $350-$500 for the standard Liberator HP 2.0’s and somewhere around $1000-$2300 range for full comms setups.
Pros & Cons
- Excellent noise reduction capabilities with a high protection level.
- Durable and comfortable design.
- Multimode audio input system for seamless integration with other comms gear.
- U.S.A. made.
- High-end quality.
- Multiple color options
However, there are a few downsides to consider
- The high price tag might not be suitable for everyone’s budget.
- Longer lead time.
In the world of tactical training and survival prepping, every piece of gear matters. The Liberator HP 2.0 offers excellent hearing protection that can help you stay focused on your mission without worrying about damaging your ears in noisy environments.
Remember, investing in quality gear not only ensures better performance but also safeguards your health in the long run. Saving some cash might seem appealing now, but you’ll appreciate the value of premium equipment down the line.
Best Shooting Ear Protection: In-Ear Options
Want less bulk on your head but still the same level of hearing protection? These aren’t just another set of ear cups to sweat under. These are making waves in the shooting community as a solid alternative to electronic headsets. Check out these high-tech ear buds that are made for shooting and loud environments.
These ear buds are probably the best shooting ear protection that is truly a wireless option. They stand out in the market for their superior performance, high-quality design, and low profile/wireless appeal. Designed with state-of-the-art technology, they ensure maximum hearing protection while allowing clear communication and awareness of your surroundings during tactical training or any shooting activity.
Introducing the AXIL XCOR Ear Pro, an advanced piece of electronic ear protection designed to protect your ears from harmful noise levels associated with firearms. This isn’t just another pair of ear cups; they’re a cutting-edge set of wireless ear buds built for serious shooters who value their hearing health.
- Digital Compression Hearing Protection: Protects against damaging noise levels above 85dB.
- Natural Hearing Experience: The device enhances ambient sounds up to 6x, ensuring you don’t miss critical auditory cues during tactical situations or hunting trips.
- Sweat & Water Resistant: Built to withstand tough weather conditions and intense workouts, making it ideal for outdoor activities.
- Built-in Bluetooth Technology: Allows seamless connection with smartphones or other devices for music streaming or phone calls.
The AXIL XCOR comes at a competitive price point considering its robust features and premium build quality. It retails for $299 on the official Axil website. However, prices may vary depending on promotions or discounts available at different times throughout the year.
Pros & Cons
- Highest level of hearing protection.
- Enhanced ambient sound awareness.
- Durable and water-resistant design.
- Built-in Bluetooth technology for connectivity.
- Wireless earbuds.
- Doesn’t mess with cheek weld.
- Less bulky.
- Pricier than some other models on the market.
- Potential to lose them easily.
The AXIL XCOR is a solid investment for those seeking high-quality shooting ear protection. Its advanced features, coupled with its durability and convenience, make it an excellent choice for any man committed to preserving his hearing while enjoying shooting.
Feature-rich in ear hearing protection.
The AXIL GS Extreme 2.0 is an exceptional piece of shooting ear protection that offers a combination of comfort, convenience, and superior sound quality. Designed with the modern man in mind, it’s perfect for those who are passionate about prepping, survival training, or just enjoy recreational shooting.
- Dual-purpose design: The AXIL GS Extreme 2.0 serves as both high-definition stereo headphones and premium ear protection gear making it versatile for different situations.
- Sophisticated technology: It utilizes advanced digital processing to suppress harmful noises while amplifying safe ones allowing you to communicate freely without removing your device.
- User-friendly interface: This model comes with easy-to-use volume controls so you can adjust levels based on your preference or environment needs.
- Heavy-duty ear foam: Strong set of ear foam for a proper seal to protect hearing.
Pros & Cons
- Great hearing protection and excellent noise reduction rating.
- Comfortable fit even after prolonged use.
- Dual functionality (music player & hearing protector).
- Water and sweat-resistant design.
- Slightly more expensive than budget options.
- May require some time to adjust for first-time users.
AXIL GS Extreme 2.0
Affordable in-ear protection with lots of features and a decent NRR rating.
*Price accurate at time of writing
Overall, the AXIL GS Extreme 2.0 does a great job at providing an excellent balance of comfort, convenience, and high-quality sound protection making it a worthwhile investment for any man committed to maintaining his hearing while enjoying shooting activities.
Types of Shooting Ear Protection
When it comes to safeguarding your hearing on the shooting range, you’ve got plenty of options. Knowing the different types of shooting ear protection available can assist in making an educated selection and getting the most effective defense for your hearing.
Earmuffs, as their name suggests, are like the cozy muffs for your ears in winter. But they do more than just keep them warm; they provide a physical barrier against harmful noise levels. They’re comfortable to wear, easy to put on and take off, and generally come with adjustable headbands for a better fit.
They usually offer a high level of passive hearing protection by blocking outside noise at a lower price point.
The downside? Well, in hot weather conditions or prolonged use, earmuffs might not be ideal due to sweat and comfort. Plus when you’re wearing glasses or other headgear – things can get a little tricky.
Lastly, while they block dangerous noise from your ears, they also block out people talking which can be annoying on the range.
Moving onto earplugs, which are inserted directly into the ear canal making them less visible than earmuffs but also effective when it comes down to reducing noise exposure.
You’ll find different types out there – disposable foam plugs that mold easily into any shape ear canal; reusable ones made from silicone or rubber, and custom molded plugs tailored specifically for your ears. However, be aware that improper insertion could lessen their effectiveness so always insert carefully.
Electronic Hearing Protection Devices
A step up from traditional protective gear is electronic hearing protection devices. These don’t simply block out sound indiscriminately: instead, they amplify safe sounds while reducing hazardous ones using smart technology.
This means you can hear regular conversation or range commands clearly but when a gunshot is fired – boom, the noise gets instantly reduced to safer levels. Plus, many of these devices are also compatible with radios and other communication systems for added convenience.
These are known as active hearing protection as well.
Helmet Mounted Ear Protection
While not really a different kind of hearing protection, it is worth mentioning that many of the options mentioned have the ability to be mounted to your tactical helmet with special adapters.
This is becoming more and more common in the prepper and tactical training communities.
Factors to Consider When Choosing The Best Shooting Ear Protection
Your ear protection is a vital part of your shooting gear. But don’t just grab the first pair you come across without giving it some thought. Drawing on my years of experience, I can offer some guidance.
Noise Reduction Rating (NRR)
The Noise Reduction Rating, or NRR, is one critical factor when picking out ear protection for shooting. The higher the NRR number, the more sound that gets blocked out by your hearing protection device.
A good range to aim for is an NRR between 22 and 33 decibels. However, keep in mind that no amount of noise reduction can make up for poor fit or discomfort during use.
If your hearing protection isn’t comfortable enough to wear throughout long periods at the gun range or hunting grounds, they won’t be much help in protecting against hearing damage.
You need something lightweight but snug; this will let them stay put without adding unnecessary pressure on your ears or head.
We’re all about strength here at Men of Strength USA – including our gear. Your chosen set should hold up well under repeated use and varying weather conditions if you plan outdoor activities like hunting trips with friends.
The best shooting ear protection like the ones we listed are all durable options to choose from.
Like most things in life, with the best shooting ear protection, you get what you pay for. However, don’t let that scare you away from finding something affordable and reliable like we listed above. Most of the best shooting ear protection options are well within reach for most budgets.
FAQs About Best Shooting Ear Protection
What type of hearing protection is best for shooting?
Electronic earmuffs are often the top pick because they block loud noises while letting you hear ambient sounds and conversations.
What do Navy Seals use for ear protection?
Navy Seals typically use specialized tactical earplugs that provide a high noise reduction rating (NRR) without compromising situational awareness.
What is the highest NRR rating for shooting?
The highest NRR rating available in ear protection devices goes up to 33 decibels, giving you maximum defense against gunshot noise.
Which ear protection device is most effective?
Earmuffs offer superior coverage but may be bulky. Earplugs are compact and comfortable, whereas electronic options give an optimal balance between noise reduction and sound awareness.
Wrapping Up the Best Shooting Ear Protection
Scoring the best shooting ear protection isn’t rocket science. It’s about understanding your needs and aligning them with what’s out there.
Remember, quality trumps cost. A few extra bucks can buy comfort, durability, and peace of mind when that gunshot goes off.
High-end or budget-friendly – you have options galore. Pick what fits your wallet without compromising on safety.
Your ears deserve the best defense in a loud environment. So choose wisely and shoot safely!
The world of shooting won’t sound harsh anymore; it’ll be music to your protected ears!