Hearing Protection is one of the most basic safety tools(Earplug) you can own when you are a regular firearm user. Not only for daily users but for all those occasional users who like to shoot with them. While firing from a weapon, a firearm produces noises that are loud enough to cause hearing damage, especially when you are firing a lot of rounds continuously, and you might be having some other people who are creating even louder noise and sounds around you. Loud sounds also distract you from aiming at a target, and sometimes you are not able to concentrate on a particular target because of them.
If you’re not taking care of these, then long-term use of firearms without any sound protection may cause you to lose the partial hearing ability, tinnitus, and other issues. And this might need proper and full-time medical care to fix or avoid. With a good set of ear protection devices, it becomes much easy to ignore these problems. But here comes the question of who to differentiate between useful or harmful products. And this the reason why I am here to guide you on how to choose between these products and I’ll also tell you about my 10 Best choices as Ear protections available in the market.
Best Ear Protection For Shooting (Electronic and Passive)
1. Ear Buddy Foam Earplugs ( Disposable Earplugs)
It is a very traditional way to protect ears. Traditional earplugs fit inside the ear, forming a seal that blocks sound waves to enter the ears. They are found in various types. They came in a range of sizes, configurations, and materials. The material used in the making differs from foam to moldable polymers and cotton etc. Earplugs are taught to be more efficient in low – frequency sound waves.
The benefit of choosing an earplug is that they are the least expensive option than any other device. They are highly effective when using in a low-frequency sound range. They are available in bulks of pairs so that if in case you lost a pair, you can use the other one. This gives you a backup for the earplugs, and after using them, you can quickly dispose of them. This makes them environment friendly too. They are suitable for sound up to 30dBA and could be better in quality. Many models of this type of earplugs are reusable after washing. This makes them hygiene friendly and helps to prevent any kind of ear infection, as you can regularly wash them. Some models are made as custom fit, which gives a user to customize them according to their need. Some models are difficult to pair with muffs.
The most affordable bulk of earplugs, suitable and protective at 30dBA or better, is Ear Buddy Foam Earplugs. But always remember to compress them before plugging into ears. Compressing the earplugs makes them soft and comfortable to wear. It will cost around $20.
Passive earmuffs are like over-ear headphones that have foam pads that cover the head of the user. It forms a sealed cover around the entire ear that prevents sound from reaching into the ears.
Some people don’t like to wear an earmuff that covers the head, so some versions have back of the headwrap designs too. These muffs are convenient to put on and take off whenever you want. Passive earmuffs are famous for their comfort level and can be easily paired with earplugs. These are muffs that are durable, and one size fits all users usually.
2. 3M Peltor Optime 105
The 3M Peltor Optime 105 Earmuff is a muff is a set of full-sized hearing passive hearing protection with a noise reduction rating of 30 dBA. The Optime 105 is designed while keeping the hearing protection of user in mind. Designed to help block out loud noise on the range or workplace, these monsters will ensure the safety of your hearing as you go about your work. It features two full-sized and robust cups with enough padding attached by a black band that is used to work over the head.
Known for its adequate protection for noise exposures up to 105 dBA, the 3M Peltor Optime 105 is one of the best earmuff available in the market. The earmuffs are designed using double-shell technology that enhances its noise blocking ability. The headband is made of using stainless steel that makes the body durable and bending, warping resistant.
It is designed to use in the most noise environments where noise exposures are supposed to reach record 105dBA. The light weighted earmuff’s headband worked with the ear cups, which are comfortable for the wearer. The cuff cushions are filled with solid, liquid & foam that helps the earmuffs to fit against the user’s head comfortably. The noise reduction rating may overestimate the hearing protection that is said to be provided by the manufacturer, but the manufacturer only recommends reducing the noise reduction rating by 50%. The provided numbers are the maximum range.
3. Howard Leight Impact Sport
Designed for use at the range or hunt to keep yours protected. These amazing earmuffs protect your ears from loud noise and sound, and it makes sure to connects you to the environment at the same time.That makes it a multitasking product. There is a reason why the Howard Leight Impact Sport earmuffs are probably the most popular ear muffs of their kind, as they are dirt cheap and work very well. So anyone should try to grab the in top their basket. The Howard Leight Impact Sport costs around only $40.
The earmuffs are packed with built-in directional microphones that amplify range commands and other loud sound waves and noise to a safe range of 82dBA when electronic ear protection is on. This provides the user with more natural listening and enhances communication between two different users. Not necessary that both are using it or not.
The device’s amplification works automatically. It actively listens and shuts the amplification automatically when the sound waves reach 82dBA. For this, the devices have got a noise reduction rating of 22. It comes with airflow control that makes it comfortable enough to use for a long time without any hassle. You will barely feel any pain in your ears even after using it for hours and hours.The external audio jack lets you connect to the external media players. The battery delivers approx—three hundred fifty hours of usage, which is pretty good. The automatic shut off function helps in saving battery life.
4. Walker’s Razor Slim Electronic Muff
The Walker’s razor slim Electronic Earmuffs are designed in a way to give the best hearing protection and sound amplification without compromising the quality and durability.The razor slim earmuff has got a noise reduction rating of 23dBA, which Impressive. The promises that razor series are sure to protect your hearing ability without interfering with your shooting. The razor series earmuffs use the new comfortable headband for all-day shooting, which is available in different color options.
These earmuffs come with two hi-gain omnidirectional microphones that can record the outdoor sounds and broadcasts ultra-clear and balanced sound into your ears. It contains a sound activate compression feature which has a blazing fast 0.002 second reaction time, which is less than the time your eyes take to blink ones. This ensures that the hearing is always protected. The earmuff operates on 2-AAA batteries, which are included in the device.
The Walker’s Razor Slim Electronic Earmuff is designed while keeping the younger shooters and small head peoples in mind. The slim design and small headband are suitable and best for them. If you are the one who has been suffered because you haven’t found a fitting earmuff yet, then this one is for you, my friend. These earmuffs provide you the sound activating protection over 89 dBA, which means you don’t need to worry about your hearing. But never wear it at home, you can’t dare to ignore your mom—the earmuff costs around $130, which may add a little more Burdon to your pocket.
5. Pro Ear’s Pro Tac Slim Gold
Pro Ear’s Pro Tac Slim Gold is known for its well made premium hearing protection. Their products are handmade in the USA. Their electronic hearing protection and passive safety ear muffs re what you need for a dangerously loud environment. The hearing protections are made while keeping quality in mind.
The Pro Ear’s Pro Tac Slim Gold weighs only 11.1 oz, which makes it one of the most light-weighted earmuffs. The earmuffs have got the noise reduction rating of 28dBA, which is the most protection available in the market. For regular use, it gives up to 250 hours of battery life, which is quite good. The Pro Tac Slim Gold earmuffs use gold connectors and high-quality amplifiers that enhance the natural quality of the sound.
Most electronic earmuffs are controlled using a single circuit board, but this earmuff uses a dual circuit board. A circuit board in each cup means that no wires will be hung up during force entry. If, in any case, your one circuit is damaged, then the second one will keep in the race. The Pro Ear’s earmuffs come with 8X sound amplification, which allows you to hear the target very fast.
The earmuff’s automatic shut off after 4 hours of no use feature enhances the battery performance. It comes with leather ear seals and memory foams that are specially designed to give extra comfort and allows you to wear in any weather condition or climate. Each pair of ear muffs has an easily adjustable, padded headband to ensure the best possible fit resulting in better performance. No plastic, no vinyl, no sweat. This earmuff costs around $250.
6. MSA Sordin Supreme Pro X
The MSA Sordin Supreme Pro X is is the name that you can trust blindly. It is used by the military in extreme conditions. Upon user review, we found that these headsets offer stunning digital sound reproduction. These earmuffs can be used to communicate with your colleagues, co-workers, and friends while shooting at any place with loud sounds and noises. Supreme pro X will give the superb sound quality that allows you to hear better when wearing these earmuffs to protect your ears.
This prevents the harmful sound and noise from letting in. Max sound limit is compressed to the level of 82dBA, which means you can use it in too much loud sound surrounding areas without worrying too much. It promises perfect hearing without any distracting noise.
The muff cups are uniquely designed for both left and right-hand shooters. Also, the microphone is fully waterproof and well shielded, which offers optimum sound direction location.The battery compartment of this earmuff is water-resistant and uses 2-AAA batteries. The battery life is about 600 hours, which is better than the previous one. It has an earphone jack that allows you to connect it to external media players and radio systems while it has a low noise reduction rating of 19dBA only.
7. Peltor Sport Tactical 500 Smart Electronic Hearing Protect
The Peltor Sport tactical 500 Smart Electronic hearing Protection has got a decent noise reduction rating of 26 dBA for passive sound protection. Which is one of the best in the market and fourth highest in this list? Max noise exposure is 68dBA, which quite good. This earmuff can suppress the gunshot noise and amplifies low sounds by using 3M smart techniques, which look pretty decent and promising.
The microphone of this device is durable enough toprevent damage and reduce wind noise. The earmuff supports Bluetooth technology to connect to mobile devices for playing music and make calls. The dynamic suppression measures energy in gunshot noise and automatically adjusts the echoes and comforts.
A bright voice tracking feature seeks voice within the background noise and actively filters the noise to improve speaking ability. It is easy to use and comfortable. The headband is adjustable according to need and much comfortable to wear for a whole long day session. The earmuff runs on 2-AA batteries, which can be changed when needed. For its design and features, the earmuff is best suitable for both indoor and outdoor shooting. It costs about $120 online.
8. SureFire EP4 Sonic Defenders Plus
The Surefire EP4 Sonic Defenders Plus is a great choice to protect your hearing. It also gives you the ability to hear routine sounds, which makes it a perfect option.
The earplugs have got a decent noise reduction rating of 24 dBA with inserted filter caps in it. It helps lower down the potentially dangerous noise levels above 85 dBA, which is max. The Earplugs are available in all sizes-small, medium, and large. Well, in my view, the medium is the best fit.
It protects you from hearing dangerous noise levels, which include sudden noise impulses like gunshots. It allows you to hear safe sounds. The Surefire Defenders features unique ear lock outer rings, which locks the earplug in place with seven different unique grab points. Its small size and low profile design allow for comfortable wearing under a hat or helmet. Its lightweight design makes it comfortable for wearing it during a full day-long session. It is made using a hypoallergenic, medical-grade polymer, which makes it soft, durable, and long-lasting. Price varies for different size versions.
9. Decibel Defense Professional Safety Ear Muff
Decibel Defense is a company that promises you to provide the best products in the market and challenges you to prove them wrong and get your money back with the product if their earmuff is not the best one. The Decibel Defense Professional Safety ear Muffs has got a massive noise reduction rating of 37 dBA. These are the best safety earmuffs ever and perfect for shooting range. Ultra-comfortable headband with smooth padded cell design makes it so comfortable that you can wear it hours long session at the shooting range. It is foldable so that you can keep it in your gun bag easily.
In terms of noise reduction, it has got a rating of 37dBA, which allows it to make gunshots much quieter without getting rid of all background sounds. It is a non-electronic ear muff, so it can be used anywhere without having any cable or batteries as power sources because it is not an electronic device, which makes it very easy to operate as it doesn’t have many digital functions. This earmuff doesn’t cost much. It is priced about $30 only.
10. Transparent Armor 141001 Shooters Hearing Protection
The Clear Armor 141001 shooters hearing protection has got a Noise Reduction Rating of 34dBA, which is higher than many other models in the list. Transparent Armor’s 141001 series is a powerhouse of noise reduction. They also don’t need any kind of power source to operate, but it also makes them featureless. But don’t worry about the features because it is still a worthy candidate for the list.
And the only thing that makes it worthy for the list is their practicality and quality. Transparent Armor’s exclusive sonic seal technology used in the earmuff provides better protection to save your ears. The design and material used to build the devices make it durable. And featurelessness also means that there are very fewer chances of breaking down. Its adjustable headband makes it comfortable to wear for the users. But there is no sound amplification in these devices so that you cannot be able to hear low sounds. The ear cups use noise-dampening foam that helps to push the overall noise reduction rating to 34dBA. Overall, if you’re not looking for an earmuff with electronic circuits, it’s the right choice. It is priced at about only $15.
Essential Aspects/Factors to Look For While Buying An Ear Muff
Choosing ear protection depends on various factors like sound or noise level, workplace, and comfort as we know that where we are going to use them, so we’ll consider the workplace as a factor in this. So, these are the key aspects that decide if ear protection is right for you or not.
Always look for if the noise level and frequency are in dB and Hz. Before buying any random earmuffs make to check that whether it will be enough noise to reduce your exposure to a safe noise level.The study shows that the level under the earmuffs should be under 85 dBA and not more than that. Therefore most of the industry noise exposures are around 95 dBA. To know the protection level needed, just subtract 85 dBA from the noise level dBA.
When it comes to ear protection devices, there are many products in the market. So when it comes to quality, we must consider two elements: one is adequate protection, and the second is communication safety as we know that every human ear is of different size, shape, and depth. So it makes sense that ear protection should be more comfortable and more effective, and it must be custom fit. Product quality also depends on the material being used for making the product. Make sure that the material is good, not causing the product weighting high.
It is always good to look for guarantees for Fit and Comfort. When it comes to custom Ear Protection Devices, fit and comfort are the most important things for the user. So while choosing the product, always check that, is there any type of FIT warranty that allows for the individual to ensure the ear protection is safe? If yes, then you can buy it. Always make sure that the product is custom fit and not too heavy in weight. Bulky products are not ideal for wearing for a long-lasting session while shooting; they make the shooter tired that decreases their efficiency.
As of now, we have a rough idea of how to choose a good and suitable Ear Protection Device. Now we have some choices of ours for you. Please read the full article before making any decision. So here we go…
So these are some of the best hearing protection devices for the shooters in our views. You may have used any of them, and some may not have. Please let us know if you have any suggestions regarding this article in the comments.