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Hearing & Hunting: Best Hearing Protection For Shooting

A noise reduction rating is a measurement of how much noise the product reduces.

It helps you determine which product is best for you.

Get the best hearing protection you can afford to protect your ears from damage while shooting, hunting or during any noisy activities.

High-tech earmuffs are the way to go when shooting, hunting or during any noisy activities. Get yours today!

If you want more information, read this article!

Shooting earplugs: how to solve the problem of low-volume shooting?

It is a healthy necessity to protect your hearing while shooting isn't just a precaution but also a healthy condition. It is not wise going on a hunt or visiting the shooting range without a magnificent pair of protective earmuffs. Ever hear a ringing sound after a shooting?

Tinnitus. That means you are losing your hearing, one round at a time. Are you thinking of getting a suppressor craze or gun silencer while shooting? As much as playing secret agent is exceptional, a suppressor doesn't always make much noise reduction or protect your ears.

If you want to invest in rifles, handguns, shotguns, or any form of fun that makes ear-piercing sounds, it's definitely in your best interest to invest in proper sound protection.

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If you require the best hearing protection and do not want to read the entire article, below are my recommended products.

Features to Check For When Purchasing Hearing Protection for Shooting

Shooting - Noise Reduction Rating (NRR)

NRR is the Noise Reduction Rating piece of safety equipment. The higher the rating, the more ear coverage you get when shooting, hunting, or during any noisy activities that may damage your ears. Ear protection is rated by Noise Reduction Rating or NRR, a federal standard for noise attenuation. The higher the NRR, the more noise it attenuates, so you need to get the highest NRR you can for shooting.

Many people wear both earplugs and earmuffs when shooting. This would offer you even greater security. It's hard to impose a specific NRR number on this mix, but wearing earplugs together with shooting ear muffs with an NRR at a minimum of 23 should be acceptable for most people. But If you're already having trouble with your hearing, try consulting your doctor about it.

A higher NRR (30 or more) implies that you may go without the earplugs for many situations. There's even the comfort of only trying to recall putting on the earmuffs. If you are looking for a comfort aspect, select high NRR hearing aid.

The Hearing Protection Gear Budget

Earmuffs that protect the wearer's ears during shooting are a general selling category. That's good news for you since it means suppliers compete to provide excellent quality equipment at an affordable price.

With that said, you should not necessarily go for the least expensive choice. Pricing can vary in this category, particularly if you're choosing electronic gear. If this is your first pair of earmuffs for the shooting range or hunting, start with the one that costs less concerning your budget. You may think this is the only pair you need or consider more sophisticated models later.

Electronic vs. Passive Hearing Protection

They usually give the best hearing aid for the shooting in two variants: electronic or passive. Many users prefer electronics, but some can get adequate ear protection with passive muffs. In the end, what you select will depend on your needs and desires.

Be mindful that many of the electronic ear muffs come with some exciting features. According to confirmed consumers, this is your best choice, so consider the electronic versions. They can include any of the following features:

  • iPhone and MP3 player hookup capability
  • Directional microphones, so you can also hear important natural sounds while shielding your ears from louder, sudden noise.
  • Automatic noise shut-off when the sound reaches a particular dB level
  • All seasonal batteries (usually AAA) and easy USB recharge

They're not should-haves, but they go the extra step providing both safety and comfort. On the other extreme, passive (non-electronic; ear-covering) earmuffs also have a lower price point enticing function. Whatever sort of model you select, ensure that the essentials are protected, that the security is at a reasonable decibel level, and you are relaxed when wearing them.

Shooting - Fitting / Size

Some of what covers your ears whenever you wear earmuffs create a healthy, comfortable seal around your ear. If the gear is too big, dangerous ambient sound can come in. If it's too thin, you may be cramped, or the ear cups may not provide enough protection for your ears entirely.

Either electronic or passive, particularly ear muffs, would have the same basic designs. You may choose one type above the other, but you may typically want rounded edges and a scale that's a little longer than the width. Yeah, trendy designs look great, but the goal whenever you are shooting, or hunting is to make sure your hearing remains sharp for generations to follow, and that's what an "ear-shaped" cup does.

Another element of the hearing-protective gear is how the headband piece rests on your head. If you have a rather big or small head relative to the norm, you might have to test a few more pairs until you identify the right gear. The headband ought to be flexible to the extent that it takes the ear cups down an inch underneath the earlobes. It should be at a minimum and to the mid-neck of its peak.

Additional Features - Shooting

These days, electronic and passive ear muffs provide plenty of alarms and whistles. Of course, this relies on the precise model you select; what you need is the essentials (protection and comfort). But many people like extra functionality. Today's ear protection equipment can provide these features;

  • Auto-shut-off to preserve battery life
  • Lightweight products so you can use them comfortably for extended periods.
  • Resistance to the harm sustained by sweat / atmospheric pollutants
  • Hearing improvement during communications
  • An ergonomic construction of the cuff so there's no pressure against the selection
  • Built-in microphone
  • Regulation of stereo volume (Flexibility for each ear feature)
  • Antimicrobial products, since the gear is against the ears/skin/scalp.
  • Highly developed designs and technologies of ear pad for optimal protection.

Hearing protection when shooting

When shooting, one of the most important safety features to have is hearing protection. Hearing damage from gunfire can be permanent, leading to mild hearing loss or even the permanent onset of tinnitus. Even if you don't consider yourself a gun-owner, knowing these three features for purchasing hearing protection for shooting might just make you buy them for your own sake!

Comfort level

Does the ear plug feel comfortable and soft in your ear? If it's too firm, it may cause discomfort not only during target practice but also when you're shooting in competition.

Ambient Sound Enhancement

If you want to be able to hear ambient sounds while preserving your hearing, make sure the plugs you buy do not cut off all sounds. The plugs should be able to enhance, not defeat, ambient sound so that you can hear your instructor or other shooters, yet still preserve and protect your hearing from loud bangs.

Easy To Use And Install The Plug In Your Ears

The best ear protection for shooting has a simple design with a firmer tip which allows for easy insertion into the ear canal. Also, the earplugs should be easy to clean and store, whether they are reusable or disposable.

The best hearing protection for shooting should be comfortable and easy to use while protecting your ears from gunfire. Make sure you find a pair that is not only affective but also easy to use so that you can enjoy yourself with or without a gun!


How long will they last? Often people don't realize that the earplugs can get dirty or damaged by the sweat and oil in your ears. That's why it is best to buy reusable pairs that are waterproof and durable. Many earplugs will fit into appropriate containers for storage. Find a pair of reusable ear plugs that are comfortable, easy to use, and long-lasting.

Quick And Easy Installation

When you are preparing to fire rounds at a target, taking off and putting on earplugs is a waste of time. The best pair will be simple to insert quickly. If they are not easy to use, then you may end up not using them because of the hassle. Make sure that the hearing protection for shooting that you purchase is easy to use so that it's always with you when and where it's needed!

Variety Of Colors To Choose From

Yes, color might matter when it comes to your earplugs! We need all kinds of colors for our hair, clothes, and equipment. Why not have some fun with your ear plugs, too? Choose a color that goes with your mood or shooting attire.


Usually the best hearing protection for shooting is not expensive, but you should know that living well costs a lot of money. However, when it comes to the safety of our ears and hearing, you shouldn't compromise on quality just to save money. Make sure you choose the right pair with all the features you need and then make an informed decision on whether it is worth spending more money for quality or not.


Sound reduction is specifically designed to block out irritating sounds during shooting. The better the percentage of sound reduction, the more you can enjoy your shooting experience without hearing loud noises from other hunters or participants.


That's right, fit! The earplugs must be made to fit in your ear canal so that they don't fall out when you are running. Feel free to feel around in your ear canal with an ear flush cleaner to see how deep the plugs will go. You want them to rest directly against the eardrum, not play around with your eardrum in their attempt to find a place to fit into; this would likely cause pain and discomfort later on.

Earplugs for Shooting With A Wax Protection

Prevent wax build-up in your ears. Once the secretions are removed from your ears, the hearing protection earplugs can be used. To prevent this, use a wax protection earplug that comes with a small rubber bud inside the custom made plug.

Earplugs that Allow You To Hear Others While Shooting

It's easy to lose your concentration when you're shooting because of all the noise around you. Loud noises can also cause permanent damage to your hearing. Choose earplugs that preserve natural sounds while reducing loud bangs so that you can still hear others in the area (like instructors and other shooters).

Noise Cancelling

To achieve an effective noise cancellation, you can choose a good pair of earplugs based on their color. White noise is very effective for cancelling out all gun noises without muffling other sounds. Black-colored earplugs are best for medium-sized guns with shorter and quieter noises. Red colors block out low-frequency noises like shotgun pellets and firecrackers while allowing you to hear people speak and other high frequency noises.


In addition to the features mentioned above, the quality of the hearing protection also matters. The best one is commonly made from rubber or silicone materials because these materials have excellent sound cancelling capabilities and they are more durable than plastic materials in general. If you need more protection, opt for a pair that features a sealing wax.

Choosing Best Hearing Protection for Shooting

Now that you know what to look for in a pair of earplugs to use when shooting, it's time to get down to the nitty gritty and choose your favorites! We've selected the best earplugs for shooting based on their characteristics and recommended them as best choices.


Hearing Protection For Shooting - Summary

It would be best to consider any of the above features to effectively and efficiently protect your hearing. Hearing protection muffs for the shooting is a great option, and each features their unique benefits and will be critical to your hearing's longevity.

The bottom line is that you can never shoot without a hearing aid, and we fully advise you to use this knowledge to make a well-informed selection.

Please Note: Just because an ear defender is marked, for example, "Gunshot" - it will still cover other things, like "explosions"

Howard Leight by Honeywell Impact Sport Sound Amplification Electronic Shooting Earmuff, Green
  • Built-in directional microphones amplify range commands and other ambient sounds to a safe 82 dB, providing more natural listening and enhanced communication
  • Actively listens and automatically shuts off amplification when ambient sound reaches 82 dB; Noise Reduction Rating (NRR): 22
  • Features low profile earcups for firearm stock clearance; adjustable headband for secure fit; compact folding design for convenient storage; classic green color
  • Includes AUX input and 3.5 mm connection cord for MP3 players and scanners. Integrated power/volume knob
  • Includes 2 AAA batteries; automatic shut-off feature after 4 hours increases battery life; approximately 350 hours of battery life; works well and long with Polaroid AAA Batteries
Walker's Razor Bluetooth Behind The Neck Hearing Protection Ear Buds with sound amplification and...
  • Behind-the-neck design doesn't interfere with your weapon, allowing for complete focus
  • Bluetooth Technology for phone calls or streaming audio
  • Sound Activated Compression circuit (SAC) provides a no-fail system for protecting your ears from harmful muzzle blast
  • Powered by rechargeable LIPO battery 250mAH battery for 10 hours of use
  • High gain omni-directional microphones for clear sound enhancement
Pro Ears - Predator Gold - Hearing Protection and Amplfication - NRR 26 - Contoured Ear Muffs -...
  • WHAT SETS US APART FROM THE REST? For starters, Pro Ears offers the only ear muffs with dual, fully-enclosed military-grade circuitboards with gold connectors.
  • WHY'S THIS IMPORTANT? It allows the incredible ability of independent volume control. Set each ear level separately to best suit your individual hearing needs whether to compensate for hearing loss in one ear or increase situational awareness.
  • PROPRIETARY SOUND TECHNOLOGY: World's only DLSC Technology with Full Spectrum Sound to protect hearing while letting you hear softer sounds. Eliminates "tinny" sound.
  • INDUSTRY-LEADING METRICS: The Pro Mag Gold Series has a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 26 and a lightning fast 1.5ms response time, which greatly enhances your situational awareness while simultaneously protecting your hearing from loud noise.
  • COMFORT & CONVENIENCE: Modularly designed ProForm Leather ear seals and visco-elastic foam padded, easily adjustable headbands enhance comfort while auto-shutoff, low-battery indicator and 3.5mm input jacks provide unmatched functionality.

Last update on 2023-06-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Other Questions

What hearing protection do professional shooters use?

Wearing proper ear protection while shooting can make a lot of difference, especially when you are firing off big-bore rifles and pistols, which can produce noise as high as 175 dB. This could mean potential hearing damage or permanent hearing loss. Shooters nowadays use various types of hearing protection including earmuffs, earmolds and earplugs.

There are earplugs available which are specially designed for shooters which offer noise suppression. They not only tackle the loud noise produced by the firearms, but also reduce the echo. Silicon and foam earplugs are considered a superb choice for hunters or police officers and military personnel.  


How many dB is a gunshot?

The typical gunshot decibel is between 140 and 165 dB, which is very unsafe for your ears and loud enough to cause hearing loss. 70 dB or below is the tolerable decibel for the human ear.

All sounds above 85 dB can prove to be damaging to the ears and it can lead to hearing damage if you are exposed to it for a prolonged period of time, which is why it is important to use good ear protection such as earplugs. Specially made earplugs for hunters and military personnel provide noise suppression and reduces the severity of the loud noise keeping your hearing safe.


How do soldiers not go deaf?

Soldiers have to constantly be surrounded by loud noise because of their job. A Bradley Fighting Vehicle clattering over asphalt is130 decibels, the boom of an AT4 anti-tank weapon is 187 decibels, and the thrum of a Black Hawk helicopter is 106 decibels which is quite a lot because the tolerable level for human ears is 70dB so anything above that can prove dangerous.

Exposure to such loud noises for a long period can even result in permanent hearing loss. The only reason soldiers don’t go deaf is because they use some sort of ear protection. Earplugs are a great tool that provide protection against loud noise by reducing it by 30-some decibels, which is quite significant.

Shooting - References

If you require more information, please check these references

Preventing Hearing Loss Among Children and Adolescents , article, "jamanetwork.com", retrieved on, Sun 01-November-2020

Does sport hunting benefit conservation , article, "books.google.com", retrieved on, Sun 01-November-2020

Insider Tips for Hunting Waterfowl , article, "books.google.com", retrieved on, Sun 01-November-2020


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Nick Le Page

Experience : Hi, I am Nick, and I have suffered with ear problems my whole life, mainly tinnitus. I have tried a lot of products to help protect my ears over this period, and several devices to block out the constant ringing

“Are you having problems hearing? If so, those around you already know it. Hearing loss is no laughing matter, so don’t be a punchline.”

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