The noise level of a gunshot can damage your hearing if you don’t wear proper hearing protection. Repeated or prolonged exposure to noise of 85 decibels or above can cause hearing damage, and guns fire at 140 to 170 decibels depending on the gun, so it’s vital to protect your ears.
When you are exposed to loud noise such as a gunshot, the structures and hair-like cells in your inner ear will be damaged. This results in noise-induced hearing loss that is typically incurable.
The degree of hearing protection is gauged by Noise Reduction Rating (NRR), a measurement for noise reduction efficiency of all ear protection devices. This rating helps you choose the right ear protector that can reduce surrounding decibels (dB) to a safe level. Hearing protection for guns comes in the form of earmuffs, earplugs and percussive ear filters. It is recommended to double up on earplugs and earmuffs if you want maximum protection. Here are our recommendations of ear protectors for shooting ear protection.
1. Custom Molded Percussive Shooting Filters by Decibullz
The Custom Molded Percussive Shooting Filters are great for protecting users from the peak sound pressure of gunshots and explosions while also suppressing them to safe levels. Users can still hear ambient noises even when a percussive noise is not present. The filters are ANSI IPIL certified up to 166 dB with a max NRR of 31.
For $74.99, these amazing moldable earpieces allow for a comfortable and personalized fit while also using an intelligent passthrough to reduce peak sound pressure. The Decibullz Percussive Filters protect users from the peak sound pressure of gunshots, artillery fire, and explosions, suppressing them to safe levels and protecting users from hearing damage.
These custom re-moldable earpieces are simple to use – place the earpieces under warm water for 3-5 minutes until the earpieces are soft, then re-shape to your liking. Also, Decibullz earpieces actually do not require any batteries.
2. Howard Leights Impact Sport by Honeywell
The Howard Leights Impact Sport Earmuffs are great, ergonomic earmuffs that offer good protection for your ears. For $54, you get a pack of 2 earmuffs with an NRR rating of 22 dB. These sport earmuffs offer built-in multi-directional microphones, which allow ambient and background noise at 82 dB, a safe range of noise levels, which allows you to hear low-level range commands and conversation sounds.
The design of these earmuffs is made with comfort and adjustability in mind. This electronic earmuff has ultra-slim, added earcups, and an adjustable headband. Its foldable design allows adjustability for firearm stock clearance.
They are powered by 2 AAA batteries, and they feature automatic shut-off after 4 hours of non-use. They can be easily stored with their foldable design. Additionally, you can attach your phone or an MP3 player to the headphones to listen to music while you shoot.
3. EP3 Sonic Defenders
The EP3 Sonic Defenders are patented double-flanged, filtered earplugs. With different sized and quantity sets available on their website, the price ranges from $13.95 for one set to $325 for 25 sets. They provide hearing protection with a 25 dB NRR.
They are made with comfort in mind as they are made with a soft, durable, hypoallergenic polymer. They have filter caps you can choose to have in or out. Having it open allows you to hear range commands and regular talking while still providing you with hearing protection.
The EP3 Sonic Defenders are better for those who shoot in outdoor ranges. However, if you’re shooting indoors or shooting magnums, it is recommended that you double up and also use earmuffs with these for proper protection.
4. 3M Peltor Optime 105
The 3M Peltor Optime 105 are very protective earmuffs. For $40, these double-shell and durable earmuffs have an NRR of 30 dB. They offer effective hearing protection for noise exposure up to 105 dB.
It offers a stainless steel headband, which resists bending and warping and distributes weight for a low-pressure fit. It’s not heavy, but may be cumbersome with rifles and shotguns. If you’re shooting handguns or at an indoor range, these are a good choice of hearing protection.
5. Walker Razor Slim Electronic Muffs
The Walker Razor Slim Electronic Muffs are sleek, low-profile designed earmuffs that offer an NRR of 23 dB. For $45 – $80 depending on the sale site, these muffs offer two hi-gain omnidirectional microphones that pick up outside noise and broadcast it through full dynamic range HD speakers for an ultra-clear, balanced sound.
They are powered by 2 AAA batteries, which are included with your purchase. The Patriot Series Razor ear muffs also feature a velcro attachment on the headband that is compatible with your favorite patch. It has a slim folding design as well, making it easy to store.
6. MSA Sordin Supreme Pro X
The MSA Sordin Supreme Pro X is used and popular among law enforcement. For $270 depending on the sale site, these earmuffs offer a 19 dB NRR. However, if worn correctly, they can be good for a 27 dB noise reduction.
With a black headband and ear cups with fitted gel seals, they can be comfortably worn for hours. Peak sounds are compressed to a level of 82 dB and quieter sounds are not dampened. There are also separate microphones that reproduce ambient sounds. Within the headset is an aux input for connection to external radios and other electronic devices. You will have a perfect situational hearing without any distracting noise.
Two AAA batteries are required and are included. The built-in electronics make it possible to combine very low battery consumption with high performance for over 600 hours of battery life. A compact three-button keypad grants control of all electronic functions.
Thank you for reading about ear protectors for shooting ear protection. We hope that this was informative and helped you better understand the benefits of using hearing protection while shooting guns.
AudioCardio is a technology company focused on hearing health and wellness. Learn how AudioCardio can help maintain and strengthen your hearing with your favorite headphones or hearing aids at www.audiocardio.com.