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Wearing Hearing Protection while Hunting Improves Your Odds

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Which are the best hunting earplugs?

For Hunting, the best ear plugs are Walker's Silencer Bluetooth Digital Earbuds.

However, this will depend on several things. If you use them a lot, for example, if it is your principal job, or perhaps just minor use. Also, if you want to use these ear plugs for other things, like listen to music, or Answer Your Phone.

There are earplug options available, for example: Convenient Fitting, Noise Reduction Rating (NRR), Long-Lasting, Flexibility, and if you want earplugs or headphones. As you can see, there is a lot in picking the best fit.

In A Hurry?

If require the Best Hearing Protection for this item, and do not want to read the entire article, below are my recommended ear protection.

Wearing Hearing Protection while Hunting Improves Your Odds

Indeed, we’d all love to preserve our sense of hearing during our entire life. Surely you have met or heard about someone that has a tough time having a conversation and can barely hear a thing, and certainly, no one wishes for that to happen.

Various things can damage your ears, but if you do loads of hunting with firearms, there’s one simple thing you can do to evade hearing loss and be certain you don’t have to wear hearing aids later in life: use hunting ear protection.

Any noise louder than 85 decibels can lead to permanent hearing loss. A single gunshot can cause hearing damage if it’s loud enough. In regard, a gunshot is about 130-180 decibels.

A single blast from a 12-gauge shotgun at close range is rated at 165 decibels (dB), louder than a loud rock concert (115dB) or a jet engine (140dB) The most audible suggested exposure using hearing protection is 140 dB, with the pain threshold beginning at 125 dB.

Hearing protection options for hunters

First and foremost, forget cotton balls, tissue, packing peanuts, or an old-shooter favorite, cigarette filters.

While they are better than nothing, they also offer peculiar protection.  At best, you’ll get a reduction of somewhere around 7dB. You should be looking for a minimum noise reduction of 15dB, preferably 30dB.

There are various kinds of hearing protection on the market, ranging from the most simple (foam earplugs) to far more complex (electronic earplugs or electronic ear muffs). Here are the different options, so let’s see how they compare.

  • Foam Ear Plugs

    They are presumably the most straightforward, the cheapest form of hearing protection to come by. They have certain advantages, particularly the fact that they’re affordable, small, and flexible enough to be used for many different applications. They also have an NRR (Noise Reduction Rating, more about it later) of 33, making them significantly reliable for blocking noise.

Although, they do come with certain drawbacks, the biggest of them being that they only protect the ear canal. This means that the sensitive bones of the ear are mainly left unprotected. The second issue is that foam earplugs dampen all types of noise, regardless of where it comes from, making it equally hard to hear a range master’s commands as it is a gunshot.

  • Ear Muffs

    With an NRR of 30, a pair of shooter’s earmuffs may seem like a downgrade from foam earplugs, but in many cases, they’re actually an upgrade. You just need to place them over the ears, they are incredibly easy to use, unlike foam earplugs. Besides protecting the ear canal, they also protect the entire ear. Earmuffs can be combined with earplugs for extra protection.

They also have certain drawbacks. Earmuffs can be uncomfortable when wearing headgear, such as helmets, beanies, or hats. Sometimes they can get in the way when you need to take aim, messing up the fit of the rifle or shotgun to the shoulder. Finally, like earplugs, they block out all noise levels, making it harder to find game or hear conversations when out in the woods.

  • Electronic Ear Muffs/Ear Plugs

    Electronic earmuffs and earplugs are similar to their non-electric counterparts. Despite that, their main advantage is that they only block louder noises (85-95 dB) while retaining the benefits of non-electric ear muffs or earplugs. Like most products, they do have some disadvantages, their major one being the cost. Electric ear muffs and earplugs are undoubtedly the priciest options out of all ear protection gadgets with a pair of electric earplugs coming in at 125$ and up.

  • Percussive Filters

    A percussive filter is like a custom-molded earplug that merges all the good of earplugs, earmuffs, and their electric cousins into one non-electric unit. They cancel out harmful noises and won’t lift off your ears during firing. One of their only drawbacks is that they don’t amplify sound, unlike electronic ear muffs or earplugs. That said, most percussive filters have two different NRR levels so that they can allow regular conversations to flow through the 10 NRR section while blocking out loud noises with the 32 NRR section.

Noises When Hunting

The following infographic shows a list of the various noises when you are out and about. Any noise over 70-80db over a long period of time may cause damage to your hearing. A noise of over 120dB may cuase immediate harm to your ears

Things to Consider When Purchasing Hearing Protection for Hunting

There are various types of hunting hearing protection on the market. Because of such a broad choice, how a hunter or shooter needs to evaluate several different factors when picking out the type of hearing protection they’d like to buy. These are the factors that should be considered:

  • Amount of Use: Are you planning on just going out hunting or to a shooting range once in a blue moon? Or perhaps you are someone who hunts every season? If you plan to go very rarely, then more basic options might be the best choice. For a regular hunter, getting a pair of dedicated, custom hunting earplugs is often a better and more economical option in the long run.

  • Type of Use: The type of hearing protection you get depends on how you need to use it — specifically, what you need to hear at any given time. If you need to hear conversations or a range master’s commands, then foam earplugs may not be the best choice since these tend to dampen or block all sound regardless of the source. Other options allow the shooter to hear lower-decibel noises but then activating to muffle or dampen higher-decibel noises (usually anything over 85-95 dB).

  • The Product’s Noise Reduction Rating (NRR): Each type of hearing protection on the market has a Noise Reduction Rating stating how much the given kind of hearing protection will reduce sounds entering the ears. Each type of hearing protection has different NRRs, with foam plugs often having some of the lowest.

  • Comfort: A shooter’s comfort depends on personal preference. It’s up to the hunter to choose what they are most comfortable using and wearing, as different options give a hunter different levels of comfort.

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

Best Ear Plugs

The following are the best earplugs  (They go from low price to high price.)

Sale
Walker's Razor Quad Electronic Shooting Hearing Protection Muff (Camo)...
  • BUNDLE INCLUDES: Walker’s Razor Slim Electronic Quad Muff (RealTree Xtra) and Shooting Hearing Protection Case
  • ERGONOMIC DESIGN: This muff features four hi-gain omnidirectional microphones to assure that you don't miss anything and get crisp clear audio. It is engineered with ultra-low profile ear cups with rubberized coating
  • NOISE REDUCTION RATING (NRR): Delivering an impressive Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 23 dB, this muff is sure to protect your hearing, without interfering
  • SOUND QUALITY: The Razor Slim Muff features sound dampening composite housing for providing smoother and suppressed sound quality
  • SOUND ACTIVATED COMPRESSION: It is frequency tuned for natural sound clarity and also features sound activated compression, which will start after 0.02-second reaction time
Sordin Supreme PRO X - Adjustable Active Safety Ear Muffs Hearing...
  • Sordin military hearing protectors have the same technical specifications as the MSA Sordin series and are produced in the same factory in Sweden. In 2020 MSA Sordin ear defenders will be replaced by Sordin ear muffs.
  • The PRO X from Sordin comes with 4 levels (1:4) levels of sound amplification. Integrated speakers in the head set amplify quiet sounds and reproduce surrounding noise crystal clear.
  • The sound reduction rating of the headset is rated at SNR: 25dB, a mean value. This means that noise around you can be reduced by up to 25dB.
  • Each microphone has been water proofed, making the earmuffs perfect for outdoor use in the woods or field. It can also be used indoors at shooting ranges or noisy workplaces.
  • Two microphones in the ear muff recreate excellent 3D audio. You will not have to worry about losing your orientation in any noisy situation.
Walker's Silencer Bluetooth Digital Earbuds, Rechargeable, NRR23dB,...
  • Advanced digital circuit for delivering true crystal clear audio
  • Digital Bluetooth synch with mobile devices
  • Free control App- Allows complete control of your silencer BT from your smart phone: Adjust volume, monitor battery levels, control program settings
  • Rechargeable- No longer have to deal with carrying extra batteries
  • Four program settings 1-universal, 2-voice clarity, 3-hi frequency boost, 4-power boost

Last update on 2020-11-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

References

If you require more information, please check these references

Effectiveness of earmuffs in protecting hearing during shooting practice: a case-study , article, "www.tandfonline.com", retrieved on, Wed 28-October-2020

Determining Attenuation of Impulse Noise With an Electrical Equivalent of a Hearing Protection Device , article, "www.tandfonline.com", retrieved on, Wed 28-October-2020

Shooting habits of U.S. waterfowl hunters , article, "www.noiseandhealth.org", retrieved on, Wed 28-October-2020

Author: Nick

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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