10 Best Ear Protection for Shooting in 2020 – Reviews

Equipped with the latest SonicSeal sound technology, the ClearArmor 141001 Shooters Hearing Protection Safety Ear Muffs provide you with optimum protection against loud sounds and noises. Made from premium grade materials, these earmuffs are light in weight and compact in size, and extremely durable. Equipped with an ultra-soft foam ear-ring, the set ensures you experience comfort no matter how long you wear them. The headband is cushioned and can be adjusted to fit your head size, giving you the best, most snug fit. Built to last and certified to meet all necessary ANSI safety standards, these protective ear muffs are ideal for everyday use, indoors and outdoors.

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Finding The Best Ear Protection for Shooting

You should be aware by now that the sound of gunfire can severely damage your hearing if you lack the proper equipment to keep your eardrums safe. We’re talking here about ear protection for shooting, the type of protection every responsible gun owner should own. Having come a long way since the day of standard wax plugs, these headsets and earmuffs are built to some pretty impressive standards and can be expected to keep your eardrums safe at all times by dealing with percussive vibrations of any kind. While it is still safe to consider your exposure to such noises before everything else, you should also invest in a set of ear protection equipment if you haven’t already.

Understanding NNR

Having a look around, you are likely to discover that most ear protection equipment comes with a noise reduction rating (NNR). This refers to the degree to which such equipment can reduce the dB levels of any noise source, be it a gun or something else. For the most part, occupational and health certified noise reducers usually have the NNR values written on the packaging to show their noise reduction capabilities. It should be said that firearm noises usually produce sounds around the 120 dB margin, which is quite a painful and dangerous noise level to experience without proper protection.

What To Consider When Buying Ear Protection for Shooting

The handling of firearms comes with many hazards to your health and safety, with noise being just one of them. It is well known that gun safety protocols include the use of proper ear protection, so you should consider such items to represent a much-needed addition to your inventory rather than an optional piece of equipment. You should be aware, however, that regardless of their design, there is no such thing as a perfect ear protection device, nor should you expect such a thing. Still, you are better off knowing everything you can about what you’re getting rather than simply buying whatever earmuffs you first set your eyes on.

  • Electronic Vs Passive – When it comes to ear protection for shooting, there are two main categories for ear protection devices – electronic and passive. While electronic hearing protection is more suitable for soldiers and police officers who handle firearms on a daily basis for work and training, passive versions usually involve muffs and plugs and are more suitable for casual gun owners. A good rule of thumb when choosing between electronic and passive is to always ensure that whatever item you choose comes with basic protection strength and that it meets even the most basic of comfort standards.
  • NNR – As we already pointed out, NNR refers to the noise reduction efficiency of a noise reduction set and should always be considered prior to purchase. In fact, the NNR rating is bound to help you choose between seemingly similar earmuffs, plugs, and headsets. Bear in mind that none of the ear protection sets the market has to offer can deliver a 100% protection against loud noises, the technology simply isn’t there yet. Still, you should probably go for earplugs with an NNR rating of between 23 to 33 dB just to be on the safe side.
  • Size – The size and fit of a pair of earmuffs or plugs are imperative for determining their overall efficiency. The main reason why you want a large set of earplugs is that they are easy to carry and they commonly have portable storage cases to top it off. It goes without saying that you shouldn’t really be using large earplugs if you have particularly small ears. If, however, your earplugs aren’t sufficiently tight around the edges, then they will most likely deliver lesser protection against noise.
  • Material – One should also consider the material construction of a set of ear plugs or muffs when buying a set, it goes without question. This is because lightweight materials are usually more durable long-term and they also withstand the hazards of outdoor use better. To be more precise, lighter materials are better when exposed to direct sunlight and humidity. On a related note, you should also look for earplugs made from materials with greater resistance to sweat as they possess greater antimicrobial properties.
  • Design – While not essential to the functioning of the plugs themselves, the design can greatly enhance the aesthetics of the set visually. This can backfire if you’re a hunter, however, as brightly colored accessories are known to scare away potential prey. This is also valid when talking about equipment that uses headbands and colored strips of any kind. Try to remember that flashy earplugs aren’t necessarily useful, nor can they be expected to perform better based on looks alone.
  • Comfort – The comfort issue is paramount for any sort of equipment that touches your skin, whether straps, gloves, bands, plugs, or apparel. For the most part, ear protection equipment is designed to be reasonably comfortable and to allow the user a certain degree of mobility. Interestingly enough, some of the more high-end devices even come equipped with practical features that can accommodate regular headphones so that you might listen to your favorite music.

Earmuffs or Earplugs?

Upon realizing that they require ear protection for shooting, some people immediately start to ponder about whether they need earmuffs or earplugs. For the most part, this is a fairly valid question to have and one that doesn’t have a definite answer. Perhaps the main advantage earplugs have over muffs is that they do not interfere with your shoulder or the butt of a rifle whenever you take aim. Earmuffs, on the other hand, offer a slightly higher NRR rating because of their design, even though they are somewhat bulkier overall.

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