Best Shooting Ear Protection

Whether you are a dedicated hunter or an amateur gun enthusiast who enjoys spending the occasional few hours at the shooting range, it is essential to have the right gear on hand. One of the most crucial pieces of equipment for any gun user is some form of ear protection. The decibel level that accompanies even a single, isolated gunshot can often be enough to significantly damage one’s hearing, sometimes permanently. Investing in a solid, comfortable pair of earmuffs or even disposable ear plugs can do a lot to mitigate these harmful effects.

There are three main categories of shooting ear protection available on the market today.

Ear Plugs:
The most basic form of ear protection available, these are simple, foam ear plugs that can be easily inserted and work well to cancel out a lot of the harmful noise associated with shooting. Ear plugs are cheap and readily available, making them one of the best shooting ear protection options on the market. However, they don't last very long and while they do work reasonably well, they also block out noises other than gunshots which can be dangerous, especially when you are out hunting in the woods.

Ear Muffs:
Like standard ear plugs, ear muffs are a passive form of ear protection. Considered to be one of the best shooting ear protection devices available today, ear muffs offer a higher level of noise cancellation than ear plugs, but are nonetheless affordable, especially when compared to their electronic counterparts. Composed of two full fitting ear cups connected by a band, ear muffs certainly offer the wearer more complete protection. However, by the same token, they also block out sounds other than gunshots, leaving users somewhat vulnerable.

Electronic Headsets:
The ultimate in noise mitigation devices, electronic ear muffs or headsets are far and away the very best shooting ear protection available to gun enthusiasts. Essentially the same as passive ear muffs, electronic headsets have the added advantage of allowing users to hear background noises, peripheral conversations, and pretty much all other sounds except for the report of gunfire. Many come with a variety of adjustable settings, including ambient sound control, meaning that you can customize your electronic headset to your exact level of comfort

In the list below, we review some of the best shooting ear protection devices available on the market today. There are a plethora of other ear muffs and protectors to choose from, but the list below should give you a good idea of what some of the best shooting ear protection products look like.


3M Peltor Bulls Eye 9 Hearing Protector

3M Peltor Bulls Eye 9 Hearing Protector
Part of Peltor’s highly rated passive ear protection line, the 3M Peltor Bull’s Eye 9 Hearing Protector is designed to offer comfort and a high level of noise reduction without breaking the bank. With a noise reduction rating of 25 decibels, this is one of the best shooting ear protection devices on the market given both its affordability and its superior lightweight construction. Featuring an adjustable headband as well as foam-lined ear cup domes equipped with pressure equalization capabilities, these ear muffs offer users a pronounced degree of comfort and protection.
Price: $15.99
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3M Peltor Tactical 6S Active Volume Hearing Protector

3M Peltor Tactical 6S
The new Peltor Tac 6 is comfortable to wear, and can be used for all types of shooting activities, construction work, and DIY projects. This unit is supplied with different colored, easy-to-change, headset cups that fill a practical function when hunting in teams. The color differentiation improves safety and makes the wearer easily visible to other hunters. In addition to being lightweight, the Tactical 6S is foldable that takes up less space in your backpack, shooting bag or jacket pocket. The headband conveniently adjusts for maximum comfort. Volume control is easily adjustable and it's equipped with an automatic shut-off function. Both a radio and dog tracker can be connected directly to the hearing protector.
Price: $125.00
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3M Peltor H10A Optime 105 Earmuff

3M Peltor H10A Optime 105 Earmuff
The 3M Peltor H10A Optime 105 Earmuff is one of the best shooting ear protection units offered by Peltor. While it is a passive ear protection device, it provides a high level of noise cancellation, with a noise reduction rating of 30 decibels. Featuring Peltor’s Proprietary Twin Cup design with dual cup wall attenuation, the H10A Optime 105 Earmuff is lightweight, completely adjustable with a stainless steel headband, and is designed to offer users a low pressure, high comfort fit at an affordable price.
Price: $19.96
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3M Peltor 97069 President Hearing Protector

3M Peltor 97069 President Hearing Protector
Designed to provide high levels of noise reduction and wearer comfort, the 3M Peltor 97069 President Hearing Protector is one of the best shooting ear protection devices Peltor has in its inventory. A passive hearing protector, the 97069 President model is lightweight, foldable, and features an adjustable headband along with gel-filled cushioned ear pieces that provide superior comfort and a noise reduction rating of 26 decibels. Affordable and easily portable, the President Hearing Protector is perfect for both amateur and professional marksmen.
Price: $76.00
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3M Peltor Ultimate 10 Hearing Protector

3M Peltor Ultimate 10 Hearing Protector
One of the best shooting ear protection devices from Peltor in terms of value for money, the 3M Peltor Ultimate 10 Hearing Protector comes with a soft padded headband with adjustable spokes leading to the pivoting, cushioned ear pieces. The ear pieces themselves are dual wall attenuated, giving users superior noise reduction of up to 30 decibels. Specially designed to be effective even when shooting large caliber rounds, the Ultimate 10 Hearing Protector is ideal for beginner and expert shooters alike, as well as law enforcement and military personnel.
Price: $24.40
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Peltor's X-Series Over-the-Head Earmuffs

Peltor's X-Series Over-the-Head Earmuffs
The very latest in noise reduction technology, Peltor’s X-Series Over-the-Head Earmuffs are designed to provide the highest possible level of comfort and adjustability, allowing users to essentially customize the fit to their specific needs. With a dual, lightweight wire headband and cushioned, pivoting ear pieces, the X-Series ear muffs offer the best shooting ear protection around when it comes to passive ear protectors. With an unbeatable noise reduction rate of 31 decibels, these earmuffs are perfect for shooting on and off the range and work well in other high decibel settings as well, such as construction sites.
Price: $11.79
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Choosing the best shooting ear protection for you often comes down to a question of price. While you could spend an arm and a leg for some of the most technologically advanced electronic ear muffs, many of the passive devices work just as well and often provide better value for money. It is also important to consider how and where you plan to use the device – for instance, professional hunters might prefer an electronic ear protection device over a passive one as it allows them to hear background noise while simultaneously reducing the sound of gunfire.