Best ear protection for shooting

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Going to the shooting range is a common practice among Americans. If anything, American love to take out their guns at the range and shoot some targets. It is fun, it can relax you and make you forget about the outside world for a few hours, and you can also blow out some steam. It is perfectly understandable. However, that does not mean you have to forget all about safety issues. That is one of the most important aspects.

Safety has a wide range when it comes to shooting. You need to follow some rules to protect yourself and others. However, you must also think about protecting your ears. As studies suggest, hearing loss due to shooting is an actual thing. That is why the best idea, in this case, is to invest in the best ear protection for shooting you can afford.

The benefits of ear protection for shooting

There are several options you can choose from. However, the best ear protection for shooting is the electronic ear muffs. There are several benefits you can enjoy, and they are as follows:

  • Your ears will be protected – if you do not use ear protection, in a few years, you will feel the signs of progressive hearing loss. Most people say that it cannot happen to them, but it happens more often than you think. Moreover, individuals who lose their hearing due to shooting noise suffer from asymmetry. That means you will go deaf in a single ear, usually the one on the side you hold the gun. You may be tempted to think that it is not a big deal, but in certain situations, that can be dangerous. I do not believe that I have to tell you that losing your hearing is bad for you, do I?
  • They have a microphone – why do you need a microphone for a pair of ear muffs that should protect you from loud noises? Because it is convenient, that is why. For example, let’s say that you go to the shooting range with a friend or member of your family. While you are shooting, the ear muffs will protect your ears, but the microphone will prevent you from taking the muffs off when you are done. That way you can hear your friend talking without removing the ear protection. 
  • Some of the models have a jack – you can connect your ear muffs to a device, and you can use them as headphones. This is an issue of preference, but many people buy this kind of model. It is not recommended that you listen to music while you are shooting, but if you use the ear muffs on other occasions, that feature may come in handy.

If you think about it, there are other benefits as well. However, I believe that the most important all is that ear protection will prevent you from going deaf. After all, that is the primary purpose of a pair of ear muffs for shooting. Going to the range is fun, but going deaf in 5 years is not.

How to choose the best ear protection for shooting

The manufacturers that produce ear muffs for shooting like to add all kinds of features. Most of them are valuable, but they can get confusing at some point. That is because you may get lost and forget about what is important. Here are the primary things you should look at when it comes to buying the best ear protection.

  • Type – I am talking mostly about electronic ear muffs because they are the most popular, and I believe they are the best at the job of protecting your ears, but there are other types as well. So, there are the muffs, which I have already explained why they are ideal, but there are also ear plugs. They are easy to insert and cheaper than the muffs, but they have one flaw. They block everything from getting in. So if you go hunting, for example, when you need to talk to the other hunters, you have to take the earplugs out. That is not very convenient.
  • Durability – ear protection is not expensive, but that does not mean you need to buy a product every few weeks. Sometimes, durability is the primary reason people purchase a particular product. This feature is mostly dictated by the materials used in the manufacturing process. The thing you need to keep in mind is that a pair of ear muffs should last a very long time when you use them in normal conditions. But how can you tell if a product is durable or not? Simple! Do some research! You can read some reviews and find out what other people who have already bought the product have to say about it.
  • Brand – some people remain loyal to a single brand, and it is very easy to see why. If you have bought a pair of ear muffs from a particular manufacturer and they served you well for a long time, there is no reason to go to another brand, is there? However, there are exceptions, and if you know that some other brand is better, you should go for it. You may have a better experience in the future.
  • Comfort – this aspect is also significant. There is nothing worse than wearing ear protection that hurts your ears. There is not much protection there if you think about it. Before making a purchase, look at the specifications. They will tell you everything you need to know. First, see if they fit the size of your head, and then look at the padding. The more pads there are, the more comfortable you will feel. As long as the muffs are soft, you should be more than comfortable.
  • Noise cancellation – various models come whit several helpful features. I suppose you have heard about noise cancellation before. It is entirely different from soundproofing and is characterized by active noise control. However, keep in mind that noise-canceling ear protection needs batteries for it to work, and they tend to be more expensive. They are worth it, though.
  • Price – ear protection is not expensive. You can get your hands on a pair of high-quality ear muffs for under 40$. But if you go for noise canceling, that will cost you more. It is up to you and your budget which option you choose.

What is the best ear protection for shooting?

There are countless options on the market but do not buy the first pair of earmuffs you find. You can end up with a low-quality product, and you do not want that. The best thing you could do is read some online reviews. That way you will know if a particular product is worth the investment or not. To save you some trouble, here are three excellent suggestions.

Howard Leight Impact Sport OD Electric Ear Muffs

The ear protection from Howard Leight is one of the most popular products when it comes to shooting. That is because the manufacturer produces high-quality products at an affordable price. This model has tens of thousands of buyers, and according to them, this is one of the best ear protection for shooting on the market. It is not difficult to see why, so let’s take a look at the features.

The Impact Sport OD model comes with ambient sound amplification and an automatic noise-blocking feature. Each noise that exceeds 82 dB will be blocked, for the safety and comfort of your ears. You can use them when you go hunting, but they can also be used on the shooting range. The good thing about these is that you can still hear what other people are saying, but only the loud noises are blocked. This is precisely what you need.

The ear cups are slim, so they are also suitable for women. The headband is adjustable, so it will fit a vast variety of sizes, and the design is foldable. Once you are done with them, you can just fold them to save some space in your bag. The ear muffs are very comfortable. The headband and the ear cups are padded so that all you feel is a soft cushion. The product also features an aux input Jack and cord so that you can connect the ear muffs to a music device. The muffs use 3 AAA batteries, but they also feature auto shut-off to save energy.

Pro For Sho 34 dB Shooting Ear Protection

While this product is mostly bought as ear protection for shooting, people buy this model for a variety of reasons. They are ideal for the shooting range or when you go hunting, but you can also use them while you are handling a power saw or any other power tool that makes a lot of noise. Students use these when they want to study but cannot because of the surrounding noise. The point is that the Pro For Sho is ideal for anything with an uncomfortable level of dB. There is no audio, so there is no need for batteries. The product relies on soundproofing alone.

This model can protect you against any noise that exceeds 34 dB. Just put them on, and the surrounding world will become silent. They are lightweight, but they are also sturdy. The manufacturer used high-quality materials for maximum durability. They have a foldable design that will allow you to store them anywhere.

The Pro For Sho is a comfortable product. It is a size fits all kind of product because of its adjustability, and the padded design will prevent you from experiencing headaches. You can find these ear muffs in several colors, and you will enjoy them for a very long time. So far, there have been thousands of satisfied customers, and that chain is not about to break now.

ClearArmor 1410001 Shooter’s Hearing Protection 

The ClearArmor ear protection is yet another product that cannot disappoint. It has one of the highest Noise Reduction Rating, and it is ANSI-certified (American standards), and CE EN-certified (European standards). That makes them suitable for anyone who is looking for certifications. It is also one of the best products you can buy when it comes to noise canceling. These ear muffs do not use batteries, but the materials they are made of are of the highest quality, and your ears will be safe at all times. 

Several protective layers will keep your hearing safe. You will not hear anything, and even the vibrations are stopped. The ClearArmor is one size fits all because of its adjustability. The compact design will make storage more efficient, and the pads make the ear cups very comfortable. The headband also provides comfort. 

These ear muffs are highly durable. The manufacturer used only premium materials, which makes these muffs one of the most sturdy you can find. If you choose to purchase them,  you will be enjoying ear protection for a very long time.

My recommendation

It is challenging to choose from three excellent products, and I take the hearing loss very seriously. As should you. However, because we have the possibility of actively canceling noise, I will go with the Howard Leight Impact Sport OD Electric Ear Muffs. From where I stand, they are the best ear protection for shooting you can find. They are the best for anything, not only shooting.


Hearing loss is one of those things that are irreversible. You do not want to play with that, which is why I strongly recommend that you add a pair of protective ear muffs to your tactical gear. It is a small investment for your physical integrity. It does not matter which model you choose as long as you have your ears safe and secure inside a pair of ear cups.

Updated on January 6, 2023