Loud noises can severely damage your hearing. It is not uncommon for those who spend a lot of time around guns without ear protection to develop problems like hearing loss, tinnitus, or other hearing-related issues. Whether you are on the range or in the field hunting, having the best shooting ear protection is essential for saving your hearing. We have compiled a comprehensive list of 10 of the best ear protection products.

Comparison Table

Product FAQ

man holding a gun

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1. What Is the Best Shooting Ear Protection?

2. What Is Decibel Level?

3. Why Is Ear Protection Important?

4. What Types Of Ear Protection Are Available?

5. What Level Do Firearms Operate At?

6. What Is a Noise Reduction Rating?

How We Reviewed

We reviewed each form of ear protection based on price, decibel range, and overall form and function. Each of these has high-quality construction, an affordable price, and is suitable for shooting ranges of all types. We chose the ones with the best features and most versatility for their price.

Overall Price Range

The overall price range for the best shooting ear protection varies wildly. They can cost less than $5 or all the way up to over $200. The reasons for the differences in price include the type of protection, decibel levels, electronics, features such as microphones, and overall protection level.

What We Reviewed

3M Peltor TacticalPro Communications Headset MT15H7F SV, Hearing...
  • Amplifies low-level sounds while suppressing dangerous impulse noises
  • Protects hearing with a Noise Reduction Rating of 26 dB
  • Offers clear, ambient sound and voice recognition in noisy environments

Features

The 3M Peltor TacticalPro Communications Headset MT15H7F SV makes the best shooting ear protection list because of its extensive features and reputation. They protect up to 85dB while letting you communicate at a lower decibel range. These are great for ranges with constant gunfire and for larger caliber weapons. The Peltor TacticalPro Headset is a bit bulky for a headset, but it remains comfortable for up to six hours of continuous use.


PROS

  • Multidirectional hearing
  • Two-way communication
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Electric sound amplification
  • Battle-tested

CONS

  • Short battery life
  • Bulky and heavy yet comfortable


3M Disposable Earplugs, 7-Pair

3M Disposable Earplugs, 7-Pair
  • Pliable design slowly expands, conforming to your ear canal to help block out hazardous noise
  • Soft, smooth design enhances comfort for longer wear
  • Easy to insert and remove

Features

The 3M Disposable Earplugs made the best shooting ear protection list due to their simplicity and low cost. They are as basic as they come, but they do offer 32dB of protection. For around $5 for seven pairs, you can afford to use a full earmuff over them for added protection. These are also multipurpose earplugs, great for the shooting range, hunting, and any other time you might be around prolonged, high-decibel noise such as mowing the lawn.


PROS

  • Extremely inexpensive
  • You can lend them to others if needed without breaking the bank
  • Trusted brand name
  • Virtually invisible when they are inserted

CONS

  • May be difficult to remove


Walkers Game Ear Alpha Quad With NXT Camo

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

The Walkers Game Ear Alpha Quad with NXT Camo made this best shooting ear protection because they are versatile. Although they were originally designed for hunting, they work just as well on the range. At a 24dB range, these are perfect for both hunting rifles and smaller firearms. Each earpiece adjusts independently, allowing you to use them to decrease or amplify the sounds around you. Four built-in microphones allow you to pick up almost any sound while still canceling louder noises.


PROS

  • Wind resistant
  • Four microphones
  • Audio enhancement features
  • Lightweight

CONS

  • Only one design


Pro For Sho 34dB Shooting Ear Protection

Pro For Sho 34dB Shooting Ear Protection - Special Designed Ear Muffs...
  • 34dB - Highest Hearing Protection Ratio Earmuffs Help Silence Your World " In A Snap "
  • SOLID, LIGHTWEIGHT - Specifically resigned to address the limitations of conventional ear muffs
  • COMPACT & EASILY CARRIED - Perfect for carrying in bags without weight or bulk

Features

The Pro For Sho Shooting Ear Protection earmuffs made this best shooting ear protection list because they offer an economical solution for those who need ear protection but do not want to pay a hefty price. At a 34dB rating, these earmuffs are more than adequate to protect your hearing. Unfortunately, that is all they do. If you are looking for a simple bare-bones model that won't break the bank, the Pro For Sho is the way to go.


PROS

  • Plenty of protection
  • Certified protection
  • Very low cost for an earmuff style
  • Lightweight and adjustable

CONS

  • Barebones model
  • No electronics or noise-canceling technology


ClearArmor 141001 Shooters Hearing Protection Safety Ear Muffs

ClearArmor 141001 Shooters Hearing Protection Safety Ear Muffs...
  • SonicSeal - ClearArmor's exclusive sound technology provides better protection to save your hearing.
  • Comfortable, premium quality, lightweight, super soft ear ring foam for maximum long wear comfort.
  • Padded head band adjusts to fit most head sizes . . . Industrial grade. . . Engineered to last

Features

The ClearArmor 141001 Shooters Hearing Protection Safety Ear Muffs make the best shooting ear protection list because it offers superior protection for your hearing. Its padded adjustable headband offers a level of comfort that other brands do not. The headphones are completely adjustable and have extra padding so they remain comfortable for those long shooting sessions. These earmuffs do not contain electronics and have a very sturdy construction, making them a no-nonsense option for the shooting range.


PROS

  • Highly rated
  • Specifically designed for people who enjoy shooting
  • 34dB protective range
  • Padded headband for comfort
  • Swivel cup for the perfect fit

CONS

  • No extra features


Howard Leight by Honeywell Impact Sport Sound Amplification Electronic Shooting Earmuff

Howard Leight by Honeywell Impact Sport Sound Amplification Electronic...
  • Built-in directional microphones amplify range commands and other ambient sounds to a safe 82 dB, 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

The Howard Leight Sport Sound Amplification Electronic Shooting Earmuff makes this best shooting ear protection list because of its advanced features. On top of superior noise-canceling protection for high-caliber shooting, it doubles as headphones. The 3.5 mm jack fits most MP3 cords. You can shoot while listening to music and still hear range commands through the multidirectional microphone.

PROS

  • Electronic noise-canceling
  • Sound Amplification
  • Dual purpose, double as headphones
  • Microphone amplifies sounds such as range commands even while playing music
  • Automatic shut-off to conserve battery

CONS

  • May be bulkier than other types of earmuffs and earplugs
  • Runs off AAA batteries, which may have a short life


Otis Technology Ear Shield Hearing Protection

Otis EarShield 26 dB Hearing Protection FG-ESH-26
  • Improves communication
  • Eliminated stock interference
  • Cool and comfortable

Features

The Otis Technology Ear Shield Hearing Protection device provides an interesting new take on classic earmuff design. These are an earmuff-earplug hybrid of sorts. It is important to note that these are not meant for long-term use despite being rated for 31dB. The Ear Shield has a unique look for the hearing- and fashion-conscious.


PROS

  • 31dB of protection
  • Unique look
  • Plug style utilizes the best of both worlds
  • Easily affordable

CONS

  • Not suitable for high-caliber weapons
  • Can become uncomfortable with long periods of use


SureFire EP4 Sonic Defenders Plus Filtered Earplugs

SureFire EP4 Sonic Defenders Plus filtered Earplugs, triple flanged...
  • 24dB Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) with filter caps inserted, Hear safe sound levels (with filter caps out) as if you...
  • Soft, adjustable, triple-flanged stems provide secure seals in ear canals and all-day comfort
  • Low-profile design allows you to keep them in place while wearing a mask, helmet, hat, or while using supplemental...

Features

The SureFire EP4 Sonic Defenders Plus are one of the best-filtered earplugs that you can get. As far as earplugs go, these are considered to be midrange at 24dB. These earplugs come with a few unique features that make them great. The earpiece has a hole through it, which can be plugged with the convenient stoppers that are attached.

This allows you to remove these plugs and have lower decibel hearing for the times you are not shooting and need to have a conversation. This means that the plugs still provide protection from the high-decibel sounds of a busy shooting range while still listening to conversations at less damaging levels. When you are ready, you simply pop the stoppers back in and you are ready to shoot without damaging your ears.


PROS

  • Retention rings to prevent slippage
  • Stoppers / filter caps
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Soft and durable

CONS

  • Do not work against high caliber weapons
  • Stoppers can break off if handled too roughly


Professional Safety Ear Muffs by Decibel Defense

Professional Safety Ear Muffs by Decibel Defense - 37dB NRR - The...
  • BEST SAFETY EAR MUFFS AVAILABLE: Decibel Defense are the QUIETEST & MOST COMFORTABLE hearing protection you have ever...
  • MAXIMUM HEARING PROTECTION: Our ANSI S3.19 & CE EN 352-1 Certified Ear Protection tests at an NRR of 37 Decibels!...
  • AS YOU FEEL THE STURDY CONSTRUCTION OF OUR PROFESSIONAL EAR PROTECTION - you will know you have just received an...

Features

Decibel Defense Professional Safety Ear Muffs are one of the best ear protection mechanisms for under $. They protect your ears up to 37 dB and are made for those who are active on the range. As an added bonus, their colorful appearance gives them personality. They come in multiple colors because different people have different styles. The Professional Safety Ear Muffs by Decibel Defense are one of the best shooting ear protection earmuffs for their price.


PROS

  • Come in seven different colors
  • Money-back guarantee
  • Sturdy construction

CONS

  • May block ambient noise
  • Despite testing, they might not always protect up to the dB rating but still provide excellent protection


Mack's Shooters Ear Seals Ear Plugs

Mack's Shooters Ear Seals Ear Plugs, 1 Pair
  • Necessity at the range or in loud environment
  • Comes with detachable cord
  • Noise Reduction Rating - 27 dB Foam

Features

Mack's Shooters Ear Seals Ear Plugs have a unique design and perform well on the range. They are known to have a comfortable fit along with superior ear protection. They feature a noise reduction rating of 27dB. They are washable, durable, and may be reused in multiple shooting sessions.

They are not as fancy as some of the others on the market, but they do the job with no fuss. These have excellent louder sound blocking capability but still allow lower decibel noises like conversation or instructor directions to come through. You can wear these and still be aware of what is going on around you.


PROS

  • 27dB Noise Reduction
  • Low decibel audibility
  • Small and easily stored
  • Unique no-frills design
  • Detachable cord connecting the earplugs

CONS

  • Without the cord, they can be difficult to remove quickly
  • To reach full effectiveness, you need to wear earmuffs
  • Without the cord, they can easily be lost

The Verdict

blue ear muffs

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The best shooting ear protection is one that is comfortable for you, protects your hearing, and fits in your budget. All the above ear protection devices will protect your hearing and look good on the range. Each of the items on this best shooting ear protection list was designed with someone who actively shoots in mind and will provide adequate ear protection for all of your weapon's range needs. Please keep in mind, wearing ear protection is extremely important to prevent hearing loss.

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