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Tactical ear protection. How to pick the right ear protection?

Single-use ear plugs are cheap and easy to use, but not as effective as others.

If you want the best protection, then you should look at foam earplugs. These are typically reusable and offer the highest protection level.

Foam ear plugs are by far the most effective ear protection. You can carry a lot and they will keep your hearing protected for hours or days on end. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes, so you can pick one that fits your ears best.

Keep reading to learn more about the best ways to protect your ears.

It’s good to know that there are different categories of ear protection. You can find whatever suits your needs, but some form of protection is always the best idea.

Here are some ways to choose the right tactical gear for you so you don’t have to worry about potential injuries.


Single-use earplugs are small and compact, and you can carry enough of them to even share with your friends.

On the downside, they don’t offer as much protection as other types and they might not fit perfectly in your ears. Still, if you want the cheapest option, this is it.

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

Custom Molded Earplugs.

These earplugs are obviously more expensive than single-use ones, but they’re also the most comfortable to wear and they offer protection against various noises such as gunshots or explosions.

You can also wear them for longer periods of time with no discomfort, since they’re made to fit perfectly into your ear canal.

Ear Muffs.

If you’re looking for a more stylish and formal option of protection, ear muffs are perfect for you. They’re comfortable and they’re great for more than just shooting or hunting. You can also wear them while working on a construction site or when you go on a car race.

Ear plugs come in many materials such as silicone, foam, wax, and cotton. Sometimes you can find high-end ear muffs made of soft leather which add to their durability and comfort even further. If you want to buy these devices online, then we recommend you check out some tactical forums before making the final decision because the users there are very experienced and they know what works best in different situations.

Does SWAT wear hearing protection?

This topic has been covered in various places by various sources. Yes, some SWAT teams do wear ear protection, but not all of them. In fact, most SWAT operations will have officers wearing no protective gear at all. This is because they’re not allowed to wear protective gear unless they’re inside the actual structure being searched.

As far as I know, a sound meter is a device used to measure sound levels and is commonly used by hearing aid technicians for examining ears and amplifying or changing sounds medically.

Do SWAT teams use suppressors?

Most of them don’t, but this isn’t because suppressors may not be used. As far as I know, there is no law that requires that SWAT teams use suppressors. On the other hand, some troops use them in their sniper rifles and maybe in some rifles and shotguns.

What about bullet-proof vests?

Bullet-proof vests are quite common, especially in the big department stores selling military equipment where you can buy things like Kevlar or leather vests, for example. They look really cool and they’re really expensive, but they’re not designed to protect your vital organs. They’re only padded and they weigh almost nothing.

What is the most common ear protection used by police officers?

The most common type of tactical ear protection used by civilians and police officers is the standard tympanum fitted with dual-sport foam. Civilians and police officers use this type of ear protection mostly because it’s cheap, easy to use, comfortable, and it offers good noise isolation.

Furthermore, the quality of these devices is also very good and many people prefer them compared to other types of tactical ear protection. However, some people still think that they’re not as comfortable nor durable as other types.

Can you shoot a shotgun without ear protection?

No, not unless you have to. You do not want to fire a shotgun without ear protection unless you have a hearing impairment. This is because shotgun blasts are very loud, and the average decibel level of a shotgun blast reaching 1 meter away is about 168, while the noise level of a rifle that’s being shot at the same distance is only about 120 decibels.

Are You Worried About Your Hearing?

If you’re like most people, you probably wouldn’t even think about protecting your hearing while you’re out in the woods. Instead, you’d probably think that it’s not something that needs to be taken into consideration while you’re out in nature.

Well, what if I told you that there are countless dangers around us every day and it’s only a matter of time before one of these hazards takes your hearing away?

It’s true. The fact of the matter is that hearing damage is not something that you can recover from on your own, and it’s never reversible. This means that once your hearing is damaged for good, it’s gone forever. This can be especially harmful to young people who are still in the early stages of their lives.

The World Health Organization has stated in a scientific study in 2002 in Geneva that “noise-induced hearing loss is a growing public health problem in the western world”. In other words, our society has created a hazardous environment where noise-induced hearing loss affects millions all over the globe every single year.

You Can Get Permanent Hearing Loss?

Yes, especially as you age. People who start working around loud noises at a younger age are more likely to suffer from permanent hearing loss and their hearing will deteriorate as they grow older.

However, there is hope. It’s rather simple, really. You only need to protect your ears from things like loud noises and sounds. There are also many other factors that can be potentially harmful to your ears, such as smoking, drinking, and listening to loud music without adequate protection, such as earbuds or headphones.

Who Is At Risk?

Everyone is at risk! There is no safe amount of noise that can be generated in our world and this includes the sound generated by the loud machinery and machines that we use in our daily lives.

The elderly are at an even higher risk, as they have more susceptible hearing because of their age-related stiffening of the bones. Also, if your family suffers from ear diseases or any type of allergies, then you will also be at a greater risk by being exposed to loud noises.

Warning Signs.

There are two major warning signs associated with hearing damage. The first one is ringing in the ears, or tinnitus.

You experience ringing in your ears when there is a temporary loss of hearing because of an increase in the volume of sound that is entering your ear canal. It’s usually followed by muffling, which is also known as temporary threshold shift (TTS).

This ringing will eventually go away if you stop exposing yourself to loud sounds. However, it can become permanent if you don’t take time out to rest your ears.

How Much Is Impaired Hearing Worth?

If you have a job where you have to expose yourself to loud noises, then ear protection is a must.

You’ll not only be able to protect your ears from the noise but also prevent hearing damage from the everyday sounds that surround you. In most cases, it is recommended that people protect their ears because this is where they experience the most destruction because of the damaging effects of loud sounds.

A study published in The Journal of Audiology reported that someone’s quality of life will decline by about 8% after developing hearing loss. This can be especially harmful for older people who already suffer from age-related conditions such as dementia and reduced hearing capabilities.

Getting The Right Ear Protectors.

Tactical ear protection requires the following things to be truly effective:


Comfort is vital in tactical ear protection because tactical ear protection must be worn long enough to act as an effective noise cancelling device. The last thing you want is your ears buzzing or your ears hurting for hours on end.

This is certainly not the desired state of affairs when you are trying to deal with dangerous situations. Reasonable people can disagree about what makes up “comfort”. The end-result should be that your tactical ear protection can be worn comfortably for long periods of time with no discomfort.

If you experience any discomfort, whether mental or physical, do not use them because they may not perform as advertised. Also, avoid these types of ear defenders if wearing glasses (and vice versa).


Durability is very important for tactical ear protection. As we mentioned above, reliability should be a paramount concern. Even if your tactical ear protection is comfortable and works as advertised, if it breaks down after only a couple of uses, then you’ve just wasted your money and time.

You should look for ear defenders that can withstand all kinds of potentially harsh environments; whether this means wet weather or dirt, sand, and dust particles. It would be best if the material used to make the ear protectors is also antibacterial because bacteria can make an already uncomfortable situation even worse.


Portability is also very important in tactical ear protection. You don’t want to lug around a big bag full of tactical ear protection, particularly if you will not use them.

If you don’t need to use them, leave them at home. However, if you feel it is necessary for your safety, then look into the advantages of small and portable hearing protection without compromising on quality and effectiveness.

While we can all agree that “quality over quantity” is an ideal situation, we do not want to compromise on quality and effectiveness just for the sake of having less bulk and weight. The best way to ensure high-quality tactical ear protection with minimal bulk and weight is to choose the right type of ear protector for your situation.


Fitting is very important in tactical ear protection. If your tactical ear protection does not fit your ears very well, then they are most likely ineffective. Your ear protectors must fit snugly without being too tight or too loose.

You can typically adjust most types of tactical ear protection to achieve the right fit. Again, ensure that you have the right type of fitting for the situation you are facing.

It is also important to note that many people will compromise on comfort in order to get tactical ear protection with an excellent fit. However, the best strategy is to look for both comfort and a great fit when picking out your ear protectors.

NRR Rating.

NRR Rating matters in tactical ear protection. The rating shows how much noise the ear protectors can block. As with most safety equipment, the higher the rating, the better. The rating will be in decibels, so look for a rating of 30 or above.


Pay close attention to what material your tactical ear protection is made of. You want to avoid synthetic materials for comfort because they may cause sweating and itching during use, which can be quite undesirable when worn for long periods of time.

Polypropylene is a very common material used in most kinds of tactical ear protection, particularly foam ear defenders, because it is comfortable yet tough enough to withstand most kinds of conditions without cracking or discolouration.


Size is also very important. Yes, you want ear protectors that are good quality, but they need to fit snug without being too tight or too loose.

You can typically adjust most types of tactical ear protection to achieve the right fit. However, make sure that you have the right type of fitting for the situation you are facing.


Price is always an important factor in anything we buy, including our tactical ear protection. We don’t want to spend too much on something we may not even need.

But on the other hand, we certainly wouldn’t want to skimp and risk our hearing and other important parts of our body because we think it is absolutely necessary to go for cheap ear defenders if we find them, particularly if your life depends on your tactical ear protection.

Hearing Loss Caused By 3 Things.

Decibel Level * Distance * Time

Hearing Loss Caused By three items Decibel Level, Distance and Time.

1) Decibel Level.

Decibel Level is a number that shows the loudness of a sound. The higher the number, the louder the sound is. Hearing loss can also be caused by sudden exposure to a very loud noise, even for a short time.

2) Distance.

Hearing loss can also be caused by how close you are to a loud noise source. The closer you are to it, the more damage you will get. In order to prevent hearing loss because of proximity to a loud noise source, you just have to move away from it or reduce its volume.

3) Time.

The human ear can be damaged by prolonged exposure to any loud sound, not just by a really loud one. As long as you are exposed to a continuous noise of 85 dB or more for an average of 8 hours a day, you are at risk of hearing loss.

Therefore, it is important to reduce the volume of your audio devices. The time that it takes for hearing loss to set in varies from person to person, but it usually takes years before you notice problems.


There you have it; everything you wanted to know about tactical ear protection, and much more! You now understand the importance of your ears and how to protect them. Now that you have read this article, we hope you will take the time to learn as much about tactical ear protection as possible and how to use it effectively so that you can use your hearing properly.

There are many things to consider when picking the right type of tactical ear protection for you.

However, if we’ve missed anything regarding tactical ear protection or if we need to add anything else to this well-written article, please let us know!

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

Peltor Sport Tactical 500 Smart Electronic Hearing Protector with Bluetooth Wireless Technology, NRR...
  • NRR: 26 dB noise reduction rating
  • IDEAL FOR both indoor and outdoor shooters and hunters
  • BLUETOOTH WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY to stream music and make calls
  • DYNAMIC SUPPRESSION TIME measures the energy in gunshot noise and automatically sets suppression time for reduced echoes and increased comfort
  • CLEAR VOICE TRACKING seeks voice within background noise and actively filters noise for improved speech intelligibility
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

Last update on 2023-11-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Other Questions

How do tactical headsets work?

Tactical headsets are commonly used by law enforcement and military personnel to communicate while on the job. They allow users to hear each other clearly and transmit sound without being heard by opponents. Tactical headsets use specialized speakers that produce a higher-quality audio signal than regular headphones.

This allows users to talk over longer distances without losing clarity or volume, making them ideal for emergency situations.

Do military dogs wear ear protection?

Military dogs are specially trained to help their handlers in many ways, one of which is protecting them from danger. But what about the dogs themselves? Do they wear ear protection to keep them safe? It turns out that some military dogs do and some don't. Ear protection can be a life-saving measure for military animals, and it's something that should be considered for any dog that spends a lot of time outdoors.

U.S. Army has developed the Canine Auditory Protection System, or CAPS

Are ear defenders better than earplugs?

Are ear defenders better than earplugs? Earplug are better as they fit into the ear canal. They also provide more protection against noise and dust.

Ear defenders have a flap that seals the ear canal, but earplugs do not.


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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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