Best Hearing Protection for Shooting: The Top 10 Hunters Prefer


Our ears are endlessly important tools we are equipped with, and most of us don't get replacement ears if we damage the ones we have. This is why it's so important to go the extra mile to ensure we keep our ears safe from harmful noises that could permanently damage them. Firearms often operate at around 140 dB, which is a very harmful volume for our ears. There are countless ways to keep our ears protected and the best hearing protection for shooting comes in many forms, from earplugs to earmuffs.

Which model should we use? Which product is the best for our ears and will keep them safe no matter if we are inside or out? Our team of experts has taken the guesswork out of searching for the right best hearing protection for shooting and has compiled the information they've researched into an easy-to-read, at-a-glance top ten list we are excited to share with you.

Hearing Protection for Shooting: FAQs

1. What Should I Look for in the Best Hearing Protection for Shooting?

2. What Is the Overall Price Range?

How We Reviewed

Female Shooter Wearing Walker's Razor Slim Electronic Muff

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Our team of experts has spent much time and effort researching and testing out different hearing protection models in order to offer this exclusive top ten list featuring only the best hearing protection for shooting. We reviewed these items based on the following parameters: their features, pros and cons, their pricing, where to buy them, and their overall noise reduction rating.

What We Reviewed

Male Shhoter Using the Walker's Razor Slim Electronic Muff

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  • Howard Leight by Honeywell R-01526-PK2
  • The Ear Buddy Premium Soft Foam Ear Plugs
  • Howard Leight by Honeywell R-01902
  • 3M Peltor Optime
  • Walkers Game Ear Alpha Quad
  • 3M Shotgunner II
  • Glock OEM Peltor Hearing Protection
  • Pro Ears Pro Tac Slim Gold
  • Walker's Razor Slim Electronic Hearing Protection Muffs
  • MSA Sordin Supreme Pro X
Howard Leight by Honeywell R-01526-PK2 2-Pack Impact Sport Sound...
  • Built-in directional microphones amplify range commands and other ambient sounds to a safe 82dB, providing more natural...
  • Actively listens and automatically shuts off amplification when ambient sound reaches 82 dB; Noise Reduction Rating...
  • Features low profile earcups for firearm stock clearance; adjustable headband for secure fit; compact folding design for...

Features 

This best hearing protection for shooting allows you to get two pairs of earmuffs for the price of one. Not only do the electronics built into these muffs have a noise reduction rating of 22 dB and major noise cancellation at 82 dB, but they also are comfortable and still allow the wearer to hold a conversation. The curve at the bottom of these muffs allows one to shoulder their firearm and wear safety glasses without anything getting in the way. These muffs are operated by two AA batteries and have a four-hour battery saving shut-off. They also plug into any media device for easy listening!

Noise Reduction Rating

These earmuffs have a noise reduction rating of 22 dB.

PROS

  • Stellar, long-lasting protection
  • Comes in a pack of two pairs 
  • Noise reduction rating of 22 dB and major noise cancellation of 82 dB 
  • Plugs into media devices for listening to music/podcasts 

CONS

  • Better for outdoor use 
  • Warranty is poor 
The Ear Buddy Premium Soft Foam Ear Plugs, Best Noise Cancelling...
  • BLOCK OUT THE NOISE, PROTECT YOUR HEARING, AND ENJOY A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP OR YOUR MONEY BACK! Our Noise Cancelling Ear...
  • SAY GOOD BYE TO CHEAP IMITATORS THAT CONSTANTLY FALL OUT OF YOUR EARS AND GIVE YOU HORRIFIC DISCOMFORT AND PAIN: When...
  • VERY IMPORTANT** For Optimum Results Ear Plugs Must Be Inserted EXACTLY As Directed; Follow The Simple Instructions As...

Features

This best hearing protection for shooting comes in a disposable form with fifty pairs that are made of foam. These have the advantage of being extremely comfortable and will conform to the ear without earaches or discomfort of any kind. Make sure you roll these between your fingers to fit them inside your ear and let them expand only when they're in your ear canal. This will ensure a custom fit that's comfortable and provides optimal protection.

Noise Reduction Rating

These earplugs have a noise reduction rating of 32 dB.

PROS

  • 60-day money-back guarantee
  • Disposable 
  • Custom fit 
  • Clever foam construction 

CONS

  • Noise reduction is lacking compared to earmuffs
  • You can only use a pair once
Howard Leight by Honeywell Impact Pro High Noise Reduction Rating...
  • HIGH NOISE REDUCTION RATING (30 NRR): Designed for handgun and pistol shooters looking for high NRR; perfect for indoor...
  • AMPLIFIES AMBIENT NOISE UP TO 4X: Built-in directional microphones amplify range commands and other ambient sounds to a...
  • BLOCKS HAZARDOUS NOISE: Actively listens and automatically shuts off amplification when ambient sound reaches 82 dB;...

Features

This best hearing protection for shooting has a major noise cancellation for noises over 82 dB and a noise reduction rating of 30 dB. Recommended for trying out those higher-caliber firearms, these have a battery-saving feature that allows them to shut off automatically after four hours of continuous use. These can also plug into any mp3 media device for easy listening. These provide room for your safety glasses and they feature a unique folding design that makes them compact enough to travel along with you and all your hunting gear.

Noise Reduction Rating

These earmuffs have a noise reduction rating of 30 dB.

PROS

  • Low sounds (like a conversation) are amplified 
  • Major noise cancellation of 82 dB and noise reduction of 30 dB
  • Great for using high-caliber firearms 
  • Can plug into any media device 

CONS

  • MP3 function is quiet when in use 
  • These sit tightly to the ears and may be uncomfortable for some
3M H10A Peltor Optime 105 Over the Head Earmuff, Ear Protectors,...
  • Noise Reduction Rating of 30dB
  • Superior comfort, fit, and hearing protection
  • Patented twin-cup design

Features

This best hearing protection for shooting offer a great noise reduction rating of 30 dB and are over-the-ear muff models that are big in size, comfortable, and protective. They offer a superior fit with 3M-patented twin cup designs over each ear. These are available as an over-the-head model, behind-the-head, folding-adjustable, or helmet attachable so you can have the best fit for your needs no matter your indoor or outdoor activities.

Noise Reduction Rating

These earmuffs have a noise reduction rating of 30 dB.

PROS

  • Available in four different styles 
  • Superior comfort and protection
  • Twin cup designs 
  • Noise reduction rating of 30 dB

CONS

  • Big in size 
  • Bulky design 
Walkers Game Ear Alpha Quad with NXT Camo
  • 4 wind resistant, high frequency, stereo microphones for precise sound directionality
  • 9x Hearing Enhancement / Power - 50dB
  • 2 independent volume controls

Features

This best hearing protection for shooting manages to succeed in what we thought was impossible: no matter if you're inside or out with these earmuffs, you'll be able to clearly hear low resonating sounds such as human or animal voices while harmful loud noises are safely canceled from entering your ear canals. Each side of the earmuffs has the convenience of being fully and separately adjustable, but this may prove challenging for some who may have trouble calibrating them to equalize the sound throughout. Making sure you equalize both sides will ensure you can pinpoint the low resonating sounds.

Noise Reduction Rating

These earmuffs have a noise reduction rating of 24 dB.

PROS

  • Wind resistant 
  • Great for indoor and outdoor shooting 
  • Microbial resistant 
  • Noise reduction rating of 24 dB 

CONS

  • Short warranty period 
  • Product customer support is poor 
Peltor Sport Shotgunner II Low-Profile Hearing Protector, NRR 24 dB,...
  • Low profile, cut-away cup design for rifle and shotgun use
  • Adjustable headband and lightweight design for a comfortable fit
  • Folds for compact storage and portability

Features 

This best hearing protection for shooting comes in a low-profile earmuff design that's available in three noise reduction rating options—24, 27, or 30 dB—to meet your needs no matter your indoor or outdoor activities. These are highly ideal for use with rifles, shotguns, and other high-caliber firearms. They're foldable to make them easier to store and take with you on the go and they offer stellar protection you won't want to miss out on. They're lightweight yet substantial which makes them very comfortable even during extended wearing.

Noise Reduction Rating

These earmuffs have a noise reduction rating of 24 dB.

PROS

  • Available with different noise reduction ratings 
  • Low-profile, slim design 
  • Foldable for easier portability 
  • Comfortable for extended wearing

CONS

  • Not recommended for inside use 
  • Can make ears hot in warm weather 
Glock OEM Peltor Hearing Protection
  • Product Weight: 11 oz.
  • GLOCK Peltor Hearing Protector Muffs
  • AP60212

Features

This best hearing protection for shooting comes to us from a brand that's revered in its high-quality firearms and accessories. What these earmuffs lack in their noise reduction rating, they more than make up for in convenience and size. They're small but fit like a glove and they have the ability to fold into a much smaller size to make them easier to take with you on the go. They require no batteries either!

Noise Reduction Rating

These earmuffs have a noise reduction rating of 26 dB.

PROS

  • Stellar performance 
  • Low-budget alternative 
  • Trusted brand 
  • Compact size

CONS

  • Unavailable on Amazon 
  • Noise reduction rating is not as high as competition muffs 
Pro Ears - Pro Tac Slim Gold - Military Grade Hearing Protection and...
  • Made of highest quality material
  • Manufacturer: Pro Ears
  • Pro Ears Pro TAC SC ear muffs black gs-pts-l-b

Features

This best hearing protection for shooting boasts superior sound quality as well asshutoff. They have an impressive fast attack time of a mere 1.5 milliseconds to ensure your ears stay protected both indoors and outdoors. These are battery-operated and come with the batteries needed, and they also come with a standard 3.5 mm input jack for listening to music through any standard media device. Both sides are individually customizable to ensure you get the most comfort and protection offered.

Noise Reduction Rating

These earmuffs have a noise reduction rating of 28 dB.

PROS

  • Five-hour battery life 
  • Manufactured in the USA
  • Comes with a five-year warranty 
  • Great for both indoors and outdoors 

CONS

  • High in price compared to competition muffs 
  • Longevity issues 
Walker's Game Ear Razor Slim Electronic Muff (Kryptek Camo) BUNDLED...
  • “Razor” Ultra-Thin Rubberized Cups
  • Two Omni Directional Speakers
  • Provides Sound Activated Protection over 89 dB @ 0.02 Reaction Time

Features

This best hearing protection for shooting features a low profile with super-thin rubberized cups to ensure comfortability for hours on end. For safety reasons, these muffs will automatically shut off the sound feed 0.02 seconds after they detect any noise that's louder than 89 dB. These have over-the-top sound canceling abilities; they successfully suppress noise made by a .50 caliber firearm even if you're a mere three feet away. To add to your enjoyment and comfortability, these come with a standard headphone jack so you can listen to music as you practice.

Noise Reduction Rating

These earmuffs have a noise reduction rating of 23 dB.

PROS

  • Available in eleven different colors/styles 
  • Affordable price 
  • Thin and compact design 
  • Noise reduction rating of 23 dB 

CONS

  • Does not hold up to Howard Leight Honeywell model 
  • Ear cups are small and tight to the ears 
MSA Sordin Supreme Pro X - Standard Edition - Electronic Earmuff with...
  • Standard Edition - Equipped with foam-earseals
  • MSA Sordin Supreme Pro X - The US military earwear
  • Compresses harmful noise to 82dB. Amplifies safe noise x 4 times

Features

This best hearing protection for shooting comes with superior comfort as well as overall sound quality you'll be sure to enjoy. They come equipped with the MSA Sordin patented supreme GEL comfort ear seals for the best comfort you can get in noise reduction earmuffs. These are the official US military ear-wear so you know you're getting a quality product. They compress harmful noise to 82 dB and amplify safe noises up to four times so you can hear animals and hold conversations.

The ear cups are foldable and feature a slim design on both sides to accommodate both left and right-handed shooters. They have a battery life of a whopping 600 hours.

Noise Reduction Rating

These earmuffs have a noise reduction rating of 19 dB.

PROS

  • 600-hour battery life 
  • Supreme GEL comfort ear seals 
  • US military ear-wear 
  • Amplifies safe noises up to four times 

CONS

  • Most expensive on this list 

The Verdict

We hope our list of the best hearing protection for shooting has given you a few substantial ideas for your next practice session or hunting trip. Our ears are very important and we only get one pair, so we should take great lengths to protect the pair we have. For this reason, we highly recommend either of the Howard Leight by Honeywell models on our list. These have excellent repeat customer reviews and offer stellar specs as far as their noise reduction rating and their abilities to amplify low-frequency sounds. Check them out on Amazon today!

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