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Best Ear Protection For Shooting 2019 – Buying Guide & Reviews

Whether you’re down at the range, out hunting, or competition shooting – good ear protection surely is a must. Exposure to sudden loud noises can easily cause hearing loss and tinnitus if you don’t have the right protection in place.

Plus, being able to speak and listen to each other effectively in noisy gun shooting environments ensures better safety and communication.

So, here’s our solution to your needs…

In this article, we will run through 8 of our best choice of ear muffs for shooting. We’ll also look at 3 of our best choice earplugs ideal for shooting.

So now let’s see what’s on offer as we find the best ear protection for shooting for you…

best ear protection for shooting

Best Ear Muffs For Shooting


Best Earplugs For Shooting


1 Howard Leight by Honeywell R-01526-PK2 2-Pack Impact Sport Sound

First on the list is this pair of Howard Leight by Honeywell electronic earmuffs. They come in a classic green color and incorporate Impact Sport Sound Amplification. You also get two pairs in a pack with this particular deal.

Directional microphones…

Built into this set-up are directional microphones that amplify range commands and other ambient sounds to a reasonable volume level of 82 dB. This set-up lets you listen comfortably and clearly. Plus, you will be able to communicate effectively.

Additionally, these earmuffs will actively listen and then automatically turn off the amplification if the volume reaches over 82 dB. They utilize a noise reduction rating of 22 to deal with the amplification issues.

The ear cups…

Many of you will be shooting with rifles, and therefore will near earmuffs that don’t get in the way of your stock. These Honeywell earmuffs are made with a low profile allowing for rifle clock clearance.

The headband used is easily adjusted, fits safely and securely, and it can be folded away to be conveniently transported or stored away.

Additional options…

You can also utilize these earmuffs as headphones for your MP3 player or phone with the 3.5mm AUX input.

This set-up uses two AAA batteries, which are included, and the earmuffs will automatically shut themselves off after four hours to conserve battery life.

Overall, this is a great deal where you get two pairs of headphones that are reasonably priced and have some very well thought out features.

Howard Leight by Honeywell R-01526-PK2 2-Pack Impact Sport Sound
Our rating:4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Pros

  • Impact Sport Sound Amplification.
  • Two pairs included.
  • Directional microphones.
  • 82 dB volume level.
  • Low profile ear cups.
  • Secure and adjustable headband.
  • Can also be used as normal headphones.

Cons

  • Possibly better suited for outdoor shooting.

2 Peltor 97451 3M Tactical Sport Earmuff

Next up, we’re taking a look at the Peltor 97451 3M Tactical Sport Earmuffs made by 3M, which have a noise reduction rating of 20 dB.

ASIC digital chip technology…

Utilizing special digital chip technology allows these earmuffs to blank out sudden and dangerous impulse sounds, which is most likely beneficial for gunfire. However, the earmuffs are designed so that you can hear low-level noises quite clearly, such as commands from the gun range and general conversation.

Long-lasting comfort…

One of the stand out features of these 3M Tactical Sports Earmuffs is that they are made to be extremely comfortable when worn for long periods. They also adjust well to fit the particular shape of your head.

The earcups are also made to ergonomically fit around your ears with their contoured shape. There are also black and orange ear cup choices that you can interchange depending on your preference.

Battery-powered…

These Peltor earmuffs are made with an easily accessed external battery compartment that accepts two AAA batteries. The earmuffs will automatically shut off after a certain period to preserve battery life.

All-in-all these are a quality USA assembled set of earmuffs that should serve your purposes well on the range or out in the field. We also think these best ear protection for shooting earmuffs will be a very comfortable option to wear for long periods.

Peltor 97451 3M Tactical Sport Earmuff
Our rating:4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Pros

  • ASIC digital chip.
  • Comfortable design.
  • Contoured earcups.
  • 20 dB noise reduction.
  • Easy access battery compartment.
  • Automatic shut off.
  • Made in the USA.

Cons

  • Auto-shutdown time could be longer.

3 Howard Leight by Honeywell Impact Pro High Noise Reduction Rating Sound

Moving on, we’re now looking at these Howard Leight by Honeywell earmuffs made for extremely loud shooting environments, such as indoor shooting and covered shooting ranges.

Extremely high noise reduction…

At a noise reduction rating of 30 dB, these earmuffs should really reduce the loud impulse sounds of gunshots in more confined environments.

Specifically, these protective earmuffs are made for use with handguns and pistols. We wouldn’t advise them for use with rifles because they don’t have such a slim profile to give you the space for positioning correctly.

Amplify the ambiance…

Honeywell has made sure to incorporate directional microphones, which amplify all the important sounds you need to hear up to 82 dB. Anything over 82 dB is automatically and rapidly shut out. Plus, any noise at 30 dB is passively blocked out as well.

Fit for your needs…

If you do choose to fire a rifle with ear protectors, there is a risk of experiencing something called “gunstock scratching.” This is where the stock can cause the earmuffs to scuff the side of your head with the recoil.

These Honeywell earmuffs have specially made rubberized pressure points to make sure that your head and ears are fully protected with any recoil. The super deluxe padding also adds to a comfortable shooting experience, along with the telescopic head adjustment system to make for a secure fit.

Howard Leight by Honeywell Impact Pro High Noise Reduction Rating Sound
Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Pros

  • For loud shooting environments.
  • 30 dB noise reduction rating.
  • 82 dB sound cut out.
  • Rubberized pressure points.
  • Telescopic adjustment.
  • Deluxe padding.
  • For handguns and pistols.

Cons

  • Not ideal for use with rifles.

4 Walker’s Game Ear Razor Slim Electronic Muff (Kryptek Camo) BUNDLED

Now we’re looking at these Walker’s Game Ear Razor Slim Electronic Muffs, which are made as a streamlined Kryptek Camo design. They also include clear lens shooting glasses in the package.

Razor Slim design…

If you’re looking for ear protection that doesn’t protrude so much out from your head, these Walker’s earmuffs have a “Razor Slim” design.

This low profile is also ideal for anyone shooting rifles, as it gives you more room to position your gun’s stock correctly.

As well, they have a noise reduction rating of 23 dB – which is more than adequate enough to deal with loud impulse sounds such as gunfire or even explosions.

The ear protectors will respond in a very quick 0.02 seconds to counteract the harsh impulse sound as it happens.

Hear what you need to hear…

Just like every good ear protection for shooting, these Walker’s ear muffs allow you to hear the quieter and less abrasive sounds.

Whether it’s conversations with friends at the range, or important range commands – these ear protectors will let you hear them clearly. This is because of the two Omni-directional microphones and wide dynamic range HD speakers that provide excellent sound quality.

Extra features…

You also get an audio jack built-in so you can play music if you want to. As well, there is a recessed volume control built into this set-up.

The headband is made to quite comfortable as well, and the protectors operate with two AAA batteries. It’s also worth mentioning that this product is designed and engineered in the USA.

Walker's Game Ear Razor Slim Electronic Muff (Kryptek Camo) BUNDLED
Our rating:4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Pros

  • Low profile design.
  • Easily used with rifles.
  • 23 dB noise reduction.
  • 0.02 second response time.
  • Omni-directional microphones.
  • HD speakers.
  • Built-in Audiojack.
  • Engineered in the USA.

Cons

  • May not muffle out wind noise so well.

5 3M Peltor TacticalPro Communications Headset MT15H7F SV

Now let’s take a look at the 3M Peltor TacticalPro Communications Headset, which has a multitude of applications for loud noise environments.

Amplifies clearly…

One of the most important aspects with ear protection, other than protecting your ears from loud noises, is that you can hear ambient sounds and voices around you.

This headset utilizes a specially designed frequency response that amplifies low-level sounds you need to hear. It even has voice recognition technology built-in to pick up people speaking around you.

Not only will this headset work well in a shooting environment, but also in industries where loud noises are expected – like in airports and factories, for example.

Powerful noise reduction…

With a 26 dB noise reduction rating, you can be assured that this headset should effectively block out the unwanted sudden loud noises that could otherwise seriously damage your hearing.

Additionally, the ear cups are filled with a special combination liquid to give you ultimate comfort when wearing this headset over long periods. This truly is a durable design that should this best ear protection for shooting headset last the test of time.

There’s also an audio jack built-in for radio connections, or if you want to listen to music with this headset.

3M Peltor TacticalPro Communications Headset MT15H7F SV
Our rating:4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)

Pros

  • Clear Amplification.
  • Unique frequency response.
  • Adaptable for multiple industries.
  • 26 dB noise reduction.
  • Durable design.
  • Gel-filled ear cups.
  • Voice recognition.

Cons

  • Not a low profile design.

6 Peltor Sport Tactical 100 Electronic Hearing Protector

Moving on now, let’s take a look at the Peltor Sport Tactical 100 Electronic Hearing Protector, which has been made for hunting and shooting.

Indoor and outdoor shooting…

For anyone looking for an adaptable ear protection solution that can be used at indoor shooting ranges, or outdoors – these Peltor Sport Tactical 100 protectors should fit the bill.

They use a cleverly designed variable suppression time technology that enables the protectors to deal with echoes and heavy reverb that often occurs in indoor environments.

Adaptive response…

The ear protectors also deal very well will varying frequencies, and will respond accordingly to amplify the sound of voices – such as gun range commands or conversations.

We particularly like the recessed microphones that are built into this design as they work to prevent wind noise. Plus, they will be well protected from potential bumps and knocks.

Quick as a flash…

The headband is adjusted quite easily and has adequate padding so it can be worn for long periods without much irritation. Plus, the set-up runs on two AAA batteries.

Overall, these are generally reasonably priced ear protectors from 3M that look great and have some strong, durable features that could definitely make these a worthwhile investment and one of the best ear protection for shooting.

Peltor Sport Tactical 100 Electronic Hearing Protector
Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Pros

  • Ideal for hunting and shooting.
  • Variable suppression technology.
  • Adaptive frequency response.
  • Padded headband.
  • Easily adjusted.
  • Reasonably priced.

Cons

  • Can be a little tight initially.

7 Caldwell E-Max Low Profile Electronic 20-23 NRR Hearing Protection

Now we’re looking at the Caldwell E-Max Low Profile Electronic 20-23 Hearing Protection, which can be used at the range or out on hunting trips.

A low profile design…

When shooting with a rifle, you need ample enough space to allow your stock to fit comfortably in place. Many ear protectors can protrude outwards too far, limiting your shooting abilities.

These Caldwell protectors are made with a low profile giving you excellent room to maneuver your rifle stock exactly where you want it. This, in turn, will allow you to get the accuracy you need on the range or if you are out hunting.

Noise reduction technology…

It’s important to have good noise reduction technology with modern ear protection. These Caldwell protectors use 23 dB of noise reduction to ensure that any loud explosive sounds are suppressed and not damaging to your hearing.

All the lower sounds that you might want to hear, such as a conversation, background ambiance, or range commands, will be heard clearly. This is because the protectors allow you to hear any sounds that are under 85 dB.

A portable solution…

We really like these ear protectors are made to be lightweight and can be folded away conveniently to a compact size for easy transport.

All-in-all, these are made to be incredibly comfortable and can be worn for long periods without much irritation. They use two AAA batteries, have an adjustable volume control, and include an audio jack.

Caldwell E-Max Low Profile Electronic 20-23 NRR Hearing Protection
Our rating:4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

Pros

  • Low profile design.
  • Extremely comfortable.
  • Ideal for hunting.
  • 23 dB noise reduction.
  • Portable design.
  • Adjustable volume.
  • Built-in audio jack.

Cons

  • No batteries included.

8 Howard Leight by Honeywell Impact Sport Sound Amplification Electronic Shooting Earmuff

Next up, we have the Howard Leight by Honeywell earmuffs that are specifically made for shooting. These are the Camo version, which is ideal for hunting; however, they are also available in a variety of other colors.

Directional microphone technology…

Making sure that you can hear important commands, conversation, and ambient noises while your ear protection is a must. These earmuffs allow all sound up to 82 dB to be heard clearly so you can maintain the awareness you need of your surroundings.

When loud shooting noises occur, this system utilizes its 22 dB noise reduction technology to prevent damage to your hearing.

Keep a low profile…

Many shooters tend to want a headset with low profile ear cups so that they can comfortably position their stock in place if they are using a rifle.

These Honeywell earmuffs give you the clearance you need to get your shots accurate without the obstructive annoyance of a headset.

The headband is made to be an incredibly secure fit, yet comfortable and adaptable for the size of your head. As well, the earmuffs can be folded to a very compact shape for easy transport and storage.

Finally, there is a 3.5mm AUX input built-in, and the earmuffs use two AAA batteries with an automatic shut-off feature after four hours of use. The battery life should be around 350 hours.

Howard Leight by Honeywell Impact Sport Sound
Our rating:4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Pros

  • Made for shooting.
  • Directional microphones.
  • 82 dB sound amplification.
  • 22 dB noise reduction.
  • Low profile design.
  • Secure fitting.
  • Foldable and portable.

Cons

  • Noise reduction could be more powerful.

Best Earplugs For Shooting

1 3M PELTOR TEP-100 Tactical Digital Earplug

First on our list of the best earplugs for shooting is these 3M Peltor TEP-100 Tactical Earplugs. They come along with a black case that contains a portable charging compartment.

Charge with ease…

In order to keep these earplugs functional, you will need to charge them from time to time. Therefore a Micro B USB charging port has been incorporated into the design to make charging incredibly easy.

The lithium-ion batteries should last for 16 hours of continuous use. You also will have the option of using disposable battery options, which could be useful as a backup choice.

The charging station itself can be charged by three AA batteries for an ultra-portable option, as well.

No obstructions…

One of the major benefits of using earplugs rather than overhead ear protectors is that you can easily wear headgear such as helmets, hard hats, face shields.

Additionally, you’ll have all the space you need to position your rifle stock exactly where you need when targeting, with no obstructions.

Another great feature is that the earpieces are IP67 waterproof. So if you are out on a hunting trip, you won’t need to worry about your ear protection failing in wet conditions.

Universal design…

The TEP-100 earpieces should fit most ear shapes and sizes, and they will provide 23 dB of noise reduction. They will also allow you to hear lower-level noise, such as conversations and background ambiance quite clearly, Making these one of the best ear protection for shooting currently available.

3M PELTOR TEP-100 Tactical Digital Earplug
Our rating:4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)

Pros

  • Portable charging.
  • 16-hour battery life.
  • IP67 waterproof.
  • Universal fit.
  • 23 dB noise reduction.
  • Amplify low-level noise.
  • Allow for headgear.

Cons

  • Low-level noise amplification could be stronger.

2 Mack’s Shooters Ear Seals Ear Plugs, 1 Pair

If you’re after a low budget option that will help protect your hearing down the range or out hunting – Mack’s Shooters Ear Seals Ear Plugs are a great value option. They come as a pair and are accompanied with a carry case.

The earplugs feature a specially made dual-durometer design, which makes them incredibly easy to insert and will comfortably sit in your ear canal throughout their use.

Detachable cord…

There is also a conveniently detachable neck cord that you can add onto the earplugs so that you can unplug when needed, yet have easy access when you want to put them back into your ears.

The plugs are easily washed and can be used not only for shooting but for multiple purposes like at loud events or in industrial environments.

Noise reduction…

The Mack’s earplugs offer you around 27 dB of noise reduction with the use of foam technology – without the need for batteries or charging units.

Mack's Shooters Ear Seals Ear Plugs, 1 Pair
Our rating:3.9 out of 5 stars (3.9 / 5)

Pros

  • Budget option.
  • 27 dB noise reduction.
  • Great for hunting.
  • Multiple uses.
  • Dual-durometer design.
  • Detachable cord.
  • Easily washed.
  • Carry case included.

Cons

  • Less effective than battery-powered earplugs.

3 Decibullz – Custom Molded Earplugs

The final set of best ear protection for shooting earplugs are these ones from Decibullz, which are custom molded and offer incredible comfort and some great features.

Mold to your exact ear shape…

Decibullz has come up with a unique way of allowing you to mold these earplugs perfectly to the shape of your ears.

Using a special thermoplastic, all you have to do is insert the plugs into boiling water and then let them cool down for a time. When they are cool enough, you can then insert them into your ears to make an absolute precision fit.

Plus, if you don’t manage to get the right fit the first time, you can follow the same process again to remold the plugs once more. With a perfect fit, you’ll have much better sound isolation, and the plugs are very unlikely to fall out.

Effective noise reduction…

As well as these plugs being molded in such a unique way, they also give you a strong 31 dB of noise reduction – which is ample enough to deal with loud shots and other loud impulse noises.

Decibullz - Custom Molded Earplugs
Our rating:3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

Pros

  • Mold perfectly to your ears.
  • 31 dB noise reduction.
  • For multiple uses.
  • Ideal for hunting.
  • Can be molded again.
  • Reasonably priced.
  • Multiple color options.

Cons

  • Don’t have electronic noise reduction.

Best Ear Protection For Shooting Buying Guide

So now we’ve run through all of our best ear protection options for shooting.

It’s quite clear that there are two choices you can go with either overhead ear muff style protectors, or in-ear plug style protectors. Both types have their pros and cons, and it just depends on what specific needs you require from your ear protection.

Safety First…

Before we look at the two clear options, we’d just like to mention how important it is to protect your ears – especially if you are a regular shooter. With sudden exposure to loud bangs, you will, if not instantly, eventually develop some form of hearing loss.

ear protection for shooting

As well, hearing loss tinnitus can develop where you get a ringing or whirring sound in one or both of your ears. And just think, with hearing loss, your ability to hear commands from the range, or important information in conversation while you’re hunting will be impaired.

Make the right choice and choose some good ear protection to keep yourself safe, as well as others around you.

With that being said, let’s run through our buyer’s guide so that we can hopefully inform you on which type of ear protection could suit your particular needs the best…

Benefits Of Ear Muff Style Protection

If you choose ear muff type protection for shooting, you are definitely going to benefit from a lot more features and technology with your purchase.

Earmuff protectors will have room to incorporate more powerful sound reduction technology, microphones, and amplifying technology. With all this you are likely to have incredibly clear and audible low-level sounds, with powerful prevention of loud impulse sounds like gunshots

The downside to overhead ear protection is that it can be bulky and cumbersome. As well this type of protection can sometimes obstruct your rifle stock when you are targeting. However, many ear muff style protectors have been made with low profiles to help alleviate the rifle stock issue. Also, many are made to fold away easily and can be very portable.

Best Ear Muffs For Hunting

If hunting is your priority, there are a few ear muff choices on our list that should suit your needs very well. We think the key features that good hunting ear muffs should have are that they are low profile, portable, durable, and possibly camouflaged if possible.

Our favorite ear muffs for hunting are the…

These earmuffs offer you great value for money and incorporate all the great features you would want to aid you in your hunting expeditions.

However, we think it’s also worth mentioning the Howard Leight by Honeywell Impact Sport Sound Amplification earmuffs, and the Peltor Sport Tactical 100 ear protectors as great hunting choices.

Earmuffs For The Range

If you require ear protection specifically for the range, you may want to think about getting ear muffs that can reduce a good level of noise. This is because you’ll be hearing not only your own shots on the range but many from others who are shooting.

Additionally, if you are shooting at an indoor range, the sound of shots will be amplified through the echoes and reverb of the space you are shooting in. So again, strong noise reduction is a must.

best ear protection for shooting reviews

Out of all the ear muffs we have reviewed, we think the…

…is a perfect choice to deal with the louder and more frequent sounds that you might experience on the range.

Another great choice would be the…

These earmuffs are great for the range and give you low profile ear cups so you can have rifle stock clearance.

Best Budget Ear Muffs For Shooters…

Finally, we thought it would be good to mention our best budget ear muffs for shooting, which are the…

These earmuffs are very reasonably priced and come with some strong features.

Benefits Of Earplugs For Shooting

While ear muffs usually offer more comprehensive noise reduction in electronic form, they can be cumbersome and annoying to wear over long periods.

Earplugs are a great solution for protecting your ears while shooting, without having to carry extra weight. They also give you full clearance for your rifle stock when you are hunting or targeting at the range.

Plus, you can take them anywhere as they are extremely lightweight and, therefore, very portable. As well, they can be useful for all sorts of applications such as festivals with loud music and industrial areas.

Battery-free Earplugs…

If you’re not too fussed about having electronic noise reduction technology and don’t want to bother with charging your ear protection, there is a viable option.

Our best choice battery-free earplugs for shooting are the…

These earplugs offer you a solid 27 dB of noise reduction without the need for batteries. Instead, these plugs use a unique foam to give you the noise reduction you need on the range or out on a hunting trip.

When you need to hear a conversation or commands from the gun range, you can simply unplug the earplugs, which will remain attached to a cord.

Amazing Earplug Technology

Finally, we have to mention the…

These earplugs are an incredible advancement in-ear protection technology that offers you a massive 31 dB of noise reduction.

We love how they’ve managed to create a simple to follow process whereby the plugs will mold perfectly to the shape of your ears. And if they don’t fit the first time, you can retry the process to get it just right.

Best Ear Protection For Shooting Conclusion – Parting Shots

We’d now like to thank you for checking out our article on the best choice ear protection for shooting.

There are obviously a great number of options available on the market today to choose from. However, we tried to make sure that we could find you a high quality and excellent value selection to choose from.

Remember to consider what you really will use your ear protection for and make sure to check all the specifications before you buy it.

Ultimately, safety and good functionality should be at the forefront of choosing good ear protection, and then, of course, it has to be comfortable too.

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