Best of the Best – The Guide and Reviews
Hearing protection is basically a must if you are hunter, sport shooter, if you are working in law-enforcement, armed forces or doing anything that involves guns. Even if you want to go on a shooting range to have some fun with your friend you still need good ear protection.
The interactive chart of best ear protection below and the analysis that follows will help you decide what ear protection is best suitable for you.
Best Hearing Protection – Comparison Guide and Key
In the matrix above there are 7 columns:
- Hearing protection pictures
- Hearing protection brand and model name – (click to view more details or purchase)
- Type – Active (intelligent electronic level-dependent protection), Passive (constant, unchanging amount of sound reduction)
- NRR – Noise reduction rating
- Amplifier – Enhanced hearing (ambient sound magnification)
- Price – Approximate prices on Amazon.com. These change frequently based on availability, special promotions, and more. Generally speaking: $ = under $20, $$ = $20 to $50, $$$ = $50 to $100, $$$$ = $100 to 300$, $$$$$ = 300$ +
- Rating – The average user rating on Amazon.com. This can be very helpful in deciding if people are satisfied with their purchase.
Want to See More Ear Protection? Click Here to See Our Full List of 50 Best Ear Protection for Shooting Picks.
Why Best Ear Protection for Shooting?
Because you care for your health and you don’t want to lose your hearing. That’s why best ear protection for shooting resource is perfect for you. Learn and discover how to protect your hearing eficiently.
Shooting a gun makes a lot of noise. And that noise can and will harm your hearing, if you won’t use ear protection of some kind. You don’t want a hearing loss – I am sure of that.
Good and quality ear protection will lower the decibels so your ear won’t suffer damage from the gun noise. Protecting your hearing while shooting is one of the essential rules on shooting range.
Always use the best ear protection for shooting you can afford. Don’t be cheap on your health.
Best Hearing Protection Categories Explained
Electronic Ear Protection
These are active ear muffs with advanced electronic technology.
This kind of protection reduces gun fire noise down to level not harmful to human ear. But in the same time you can hear every other noise around you.
Electronic ear muffs dampen only the noise that can be damaging to your ear. Best ear protection for shooting ear muffs also have feature to amplify sound. This will make you much more aware of your surroundings. Great benefit in all situations. Comes in handy for hunting or at the shooting range (increased safety).
The best models will usually have several features included like:
- Separate volume control
- Battery saving feature
- Enhanced adjustability
- Ambient sound magnification (comes in handy especially for hunters)
Passive Ear Muffs
Passive ear muffs attached together with a headband or head piece of some kind. This model protects the entire ear from the noise around you.
Most passive ear protection models can be adjusted for different head sizes.
Only disadvantage for this models is that you can’t hear any sound at all. While with electronic ear protection models you can hear all the important noise around you.
Passive Ear Plugs
These are soft plugs that you place into the ear opening.
Usually made out of soft plastic or foam substance. Ear plugs don’t dampen high volume sound entirely.You can still hear a laud bang when you fire a gun. But it is still better then no protection.
Passive ear plugs are cheapest hearing protection. Cheapest, but also least effective because they can’t dampen the sound of gun fully.
If you intend to shoot on a regular basis we recommend you electronic ear protection models or passive ear muffs.
Use passive ear plugs only when shooting with your gun occasionally for short amount of time or in combination with ear muffs.
Review of the Top 5 Earmuffs for Shooting
One of the most important items any shooting hobbyist can have on hand is a pair of top-ranked ear muffs for best ear protection for shooting. Because shooting produces an excessive number of decibels, these ear muffs are absolutely critical when protecting the long-term integrity of a person’s hearing, as well as safeguarding the ears against near-immediate damage and severe pain. There are plenty of great options to choose from, but we already have our favorites. In our opinion these five ear muffs present the best combination of value, technology, and protection, for today’s enthusiasts. And remember. Best ear protection for shooting = healthy hearing.
Howard Leight R-01526 Impact Sport Electronic Earmuff
The R-01526 ear muff is one of the best electronic models on the market, largely due to the large number of features that come standard with each pair sold to consumers. An external audio jack makes it easy to hook up an MP3 player, smartphone, or even a tablet, so that shooting can be accompanied by the perfect playlist from start to finish. Despite this great way to supplement perfect silence with great music, the earmuffs also come with the ability to amplify low-decibel noises, like commands and conversation, making it easier to communicate without removing the earmuffs entirely.
All noises above 84 decibels are still fully blocked by these electronic earmuffs, which ensures that shooting will not cause a significant amount of damage to the ear on shooting ranges or outside. With top ratings from major hobbyist publications and everyday users on Amazon.com, these earmuffs are a logical choice for those who value a great value, industry-leading features, and first-class protection from ear injuries and long-term hearing damage.
Howard Leight R-01902 Impact Pro Electronic Earmuff
Howard Leight seems to have mastered the art of manufacturing excellent electronic earmuffs, and its R-1902 model is no exception to that rule. The company’s higher-end pair of electronic earmuffs embraces an over-the-head style that is considered to be among the most popular with today’s shooting enthusiasts. The earmuffs are comfortable with rugged ear protection, designed to stay in place even in high temperatures or tough outdoor environments. Plenty of feature comforts are added to the mix as well, including a standard 3.5mm headphone jack compatible with all of today’s MP3 players and smartphones.
Conversation noises and commands are amplified by these electronic earmuffs, while noises over 84 decibels are precisely blocked. This allows for easy communication between two or more hobbyists, all while safeguarding against hearing loss, ear damage, or other injuries. To protect against unintentional battery drain that can eliminate the most useful features of the earmuffs, Howard Leight has paired this model with an automatic shut-off that engage four hours after the earmuffs were originally turned on. All told, the R-1902 offers great convenience and thoughtful features that will make them a no-brainer for most buyers.
3M Peltor SV Tactical Pro Hearing Protector
Long regarded as one of the chief American innovators for earmuffs, shooting products, and everyday gadgets, 3M has brought their expertise to electronic earmuffs in the form of the Peltor SV. Like the R-1902, these earmuffs are designed with a convenient, over-the-head design that allows them to be used in a diverse number of environments. That’s good news, especially given the advanced noise-cancellation technologies found in this particular model. They’re just a bit more sensitive than the Howard Leight options presented earlier, with on-demand noise blocking that cancels out all sounds above 82 decibels. Commands and conversations are still passed through, but everything else is blocked out in the interest of safety.
As with many electronic models currently on the market, the 3M variety offers an 3.5mm headphone jack that works with all MP3 players and smartphones. The company advertises this as a great opportunity for “360-degree sound,” and customers do note in their review that the audio quality is quite impressive. Paired with the automatic shut-off and efficiency features that save a great deal of battery life, these electronic earmuffs are a great choice for all hobbyists.
Caldwell E-Max Low Profile Electronic Muffs
Caldwell’s E-Max series of electronic earmuffs is perhaps one of the most refreshing options currently on the market. Unlike many of the company’s competitors, these earmuffs are decidedly low profile. In fact, the “low profile” designation is even in the E-Max brand name. Compared to options from Howard Leight and 3M, these earmuffs offer a thinner ear piece, a more compact over-the-head band, and a lighter overall weight. They’re one of the first models to concentrate heavily on reducing size and weight, making them largely an afterthought during shooting.
A dual-microphone setup allows for great clarity when listening to conversations and commands, and this microphone is shut off within 2 milliseconds when higher-decibel noises are present. One thing that might be of note is that the Caldwell earmuffs allow sounds up to 85 decibels. Competing options from other manufacturers typically reduce noise above either 82 or 84 decibels. Even so, consumers are likely to enjoy these slimmer, lighter earmuffs a great deal.
Pro Ears Tac Mag Gold NRR 33 Ear Muffs
The Tac Mag series from Pro Ears is one of the few electronic earmuff models to offer military-grade circuitry. For those who need unfailing durability and noise cancellation, there is perhaps no better model on the market. These earmuffs also feature a 3.5mm headphone jack for perfect compatibility with iPods, iPhones, and other MP3 players or smartphones currently on the market. Perhaps best of all, they’re designed to be as light as possible. A rated weight of just 13.5 ounces will have many hobbyists forgetting that they’re even wearing electronic ear protection at all.
Great Options for Avid Shooting Enthusiasts – Top notch protection from injury and hearing loss
Whether it’s a military-grade option or simply something low-profile, there are plenty of really great models on the market that can bring excellent earmuffs to every shooting enthusiast’s gear kit. As with any purchase designed to provide protection in the field, be sure to read consumer reviews of each earmuff set and be sure to understand the differences in decibel rating, measured weight, and included features, that could be a major deciding factor.
With careful shopping and research, it’s easy to buy a long-lasting pair of earmuffs that provides best ear protection for shooting.