If you have ever shot a pistol, rifle, or shotgun, you would know that they make a really loud sound. This loud sound can be really dangerous & can damage your ear functionality over time. And using music earphones or headsets doesn’t protect your ears from hazardous and scary shooting noises. So what’s the solution? You must use an electronic earmuff during the shooting to protect your ear from damage!
Now, it makes sense to invest in good quality noise reduction electronic earmuffs if you regularly shoot at the range – I mean, what’s not to like about preventing yourself from going deaf due to gunshot sounds?
7 Best Electronic EarMuffs for Shooting
After extensive research, we have come up with seven noise canceling (noise reduction) electronic earmuffs that will protect your ears from the scary sounds of shooting:
|Product Name||NRR||Bluetooth||Battery||Best Feature|
|Peltor Sport Tactical 500 Smart Electronic||26 dB||Yes||2x AA battery||Best for Indoor shooting ranges|
|Howard Leight Leightning L3||30 dB||No||No battery (Passive)||Best passive hearing protection|
|Walkers Razor Bluetooth Quad||23 dB||Yes||2x AAA battery||Best over-ear protection for hunters|
|Walker's Razor Slim||23 dB||Yes||2x AAA battery||Best for all-day use (highly comfortable)|
|Caldwell E-MAX Low Profile Electronic||23 dB||No||2x AAA battery||Low profile with dual microphones|
|Peltor Sport Tactical 300 Smart Electronic||24 dB||No||2x AA battery or Rechargeable||Ideal for indoor & outdoor shooters + Hunters|
|Walker's Game Ear Kid's Muff||23 dB||No||No Battery (passive)||Best hearing protection for Kids|
1. Peltor Sport Tactical 500 Smart Electronic Hearing Protector
NRR: 26 dB, Bluetooth: Yes, Headband: Adjustable, Battery: 2x AA battery
The first headphone on our list is Peltor Sport Tactical 500, which offers 26 dB NRR, which is more than enough for complete ear protection when shooting in indoor ranges. Compared to shooting outside, the sound is way higher indoors, which requires a higher NRR earmuff and Peltor Sports Tactical 500 offers exactly that.
Besides that, it offers an adjustable headband, Bluetooth functionality, and dynamic suppression and is comfortable to use!
Compared to other products, it becomes clear that the noise reduction rating (NRR) of the Peltor Sport Tactical 500 is superior. And the higher the NRR, the greater the ear protection and noise cancellation you can expect! And with its “clear voice tracking feature” it can easily filter out noise while still allowing you to hear voices!
The only downside of this device is that it starts to get uncomfortable after a few hours of usage. But if we look at the average user, no one uses hearing protection devices for hours on end! At best, these are only used right before practicing shooting at indoor or outdoor shooting ranges.
In terms of features, price, and functionality, there is no doubt that Peltor Sport Tactical 500 Smart Electronic Hearing Protector offers everything one would need from it!
- You can easily connect it to your phone.
- Ideal for all types (indoor + outdoor) of hunters and shooters.
- Very comfortable to use.
- Connects with any smartphone.
- After using it for a few hours, a pressure point developers on top of the head.
2. Howard Leight Leightning L3
NRR: 30 dB, Headband: Padded, Bluetooth: No, Protection: Type Passive
Howard Leight is a subsidiary of Honeywell International and has been trusted branded when it comes to shooting sports products. One of their best product for hearing protection is the Howard Leight Leightning L3 – These are earmuffs and can be used for any shooting range. With its 30 dB NRR and passive ear protection, it is best for pistol shooters.
If you only plan to use pistols or other small firearms, you can’t find a better hearing protection device than the Howard Leight. It is highly durable, comfortable, and does an excellent job at noise reduction.
Many people will wonder why it is only useful for pistols when it offers 30 dB NRR – And the answer lies in its type of protection. It provides passive protection and, as such, doesn’t rely on any electronic technology at all. So if you only plan to use small firearms, then there is no need to purchase more expensive options.
But if you plan to use bigger firearms, it is not a good idea to go for this type of passive protection since it will not provide the required level of hearing protection.
- It is very comfortable to wear for hours at a time.
- 30 dB NRR ensures that you get full protection from firing noise.
- Highly durable due to the use of steel wire in its construction.
- Air Flow Control can effectively lower the noise level that reaches your ears.
- Snap-on type ear cushions allow for easy cleaning.
- Only suitable for pistol shooting.
- Not good for shotgun or rifle shooting.
3. Walkers Razor Bluetooth Quad
NRR: 23 dB, Battery: 2x AAA, Bluetooth: Yes, Microphones: 4 omnidirectional
The next product is Walker Razor Quar, which features four microphones. So besides offering superior ear protection, it also helps you to hear sounds from multiple directions. Generally, it can be difficult for hunters to use hearing protection devices because they can block other sounds. And in hunting, it is important to be able to hear sounds and be able to tell the direction from which the sound is coming.
So if you want protection from firearm noises and love to hunt in the great outdoors, then you can’t go wrong with Walkers Razor Bluetooth Quad.
Although this product is a great choice for hunters, it doesn’t mean only hunters have to use it. You can also use it if you are involved in shooting at the ranges and want situational awareness. With its four different microphones, you can retain your situational awareness while getting top-notch hearing protection.
- Four omnidirectional microphones make it easy to tell the direction of the sound.
- Removable battery (2 x AAA)
- NRR rating of 23 makes it an effective device for blocking gunshot sounds.
- Not comfortable for long use.
4. Walker’s Razor Slim
NRR: 23 dB, Battery: 2x AAA, Bluetooth: Yes, Microphones: 4 omnidirectional, Headband: Padded
Walker’s Razor Slim also comes with four microphones, just like the “Walkers Razor Bluetooth Quad”, but with one big difference. The Walker’s Razor Slim ear muffs are more comfortable for long durations than the Walkers Razor Bluetooth Quad!
So if you want situational awareness, hearing protection, and being able to use them all day, then the best choice is Walker’s Razor Slim! Another good feature of the Walker’s Razor Slim is that it comes with an extendable headband – So you can adjust the headband according to head size, and it even reduces pressure to improve the comfort level.
For hearing protection to be used during shooting, it must have a minimum NRR of 22 or higher. And the Walker’s Razor Slim earmuffs offer 23 NRR, which makes a great choice. However, these ear muffs’ best selling point is that they are also comfortable to wear for a long time.
- Very comfortable to wear for long periods.
- Padded and adjustable headband.
- A total of 4 microphones in each direction.
- If you forget to turn it off, the batteries will die.
5. Caldwell E-MAX Low Profile Electronic Hearing Protection
NRR: 23 dB, Battery: 2x AAA, Microphones: 2, Type: Electronic
Caldwell E-Max Low Profile Electronic Hearing Protection is designed by Caldwell – A brand that has engineered its products for protection to ensure that you can take your shooting to the next level. With its 23 Noise reduction rating and comfortable design, you can easily use it all day.
And the best part is that it comes in different colors (pink, mossy oak break-up, and green) along with a removable battery option (2x AAA).
These ear muffs make it easy to be able to communicate with others. And the moment a loud noise like a gunshot is produced, it effectively blocks it and protects your hearing. So besides shooting, you can also use them for noise cancellation or other dangerous sounds.
- Its dual microphones allow you to hear crystal clear sounds while blocking out the gunshot noises.
- Built-in volume control makes it easy to adjust volumes on the go.
- Low profile
- No auto shut-off feature (You have to shut it off after usage).
6. Peltor Sport Tactical 300 Smart Electronic Hearing Protector
NRR: 24 dB, Technology: Dynamic Suppression Time, Battery: 2x AA or rechargeable battery, Headband: Vented & adjustable
Peltor Sport Tactical 300 is smart electronic hearing protection with 24 dB NRR – Due to its high NRR number, it is ideal to be used by outdoor shooters, indoor shooters, and even hunters. And it also comes with dynamic suppression time, which can automatically adjust the suppression time based on the energy level of gunshot noise.
It offers an NRR of 24 dB, which is more than enough for any shooting. Suppose you are looking for good hearing protection for shooting. In that case, going with the Peltor Sport Tactical can be a good choice considering it also utilizes dynamic suppression time to enhance your user experience.
- 24 dB NRR makes it ideal for any shooter.
- It only blocks the gunshot or other dangerous sounds while also allowing you to hear voices in the background.
- Also reduces wind noises.
- The headband is vented and adjustable.
- Not comfortable for long periods of use due to the headband material.
7. Walker’s Game Ear Kid’s Muff
NRR: 23 dB, Type: Passive, Colors: Available in 8 different colors, Suitable for: Kids (6 months – 8 years)
As the name implies, the Walker’s Game Ear Kid’s Muff is designed for young shooters. And when we talk about being prepared for young users, it is! With perfect size and highly comfortable design, it also offers 23 dB NRR protection which means it can effectively protect the hearing of young ones.
It also comes in many colors, so your young one can get a color of their choice. These ear muffs are ideal for outdoor shooting, but for indoor range, you will need to use additional foam plugs for greater protection.
If you are a young shooter or know someone who is a young shooter, then the Walker’s Game Ear Kid’s Muff can be the best choice with its comfortable design, different color options, and perfect fits! On top of that, it is also lightweight, which makes it easy to be used for long durations.
- Designed for the young ones.
- Ideal for outdoor shooting ranges.
- Additional foam plugs may be required for full protection.
How to choose the best noise-canceling earbuds for shooting
In the USA alone, more than 20 million workers are exposed to dangerous levels of noise at the workplace. And out of those 20 million workers, around 20% suffer from serious hearing loss. Furthermore, when we talk about an activity such as shooting, the danger of hearing loss becomes even more real!
If you regularly visit the shooting ranges or are required to use firearms regularly, you seriously need to consider investing in a hearing protection device. But how can you choose the right noise-canceling hearing protection for shooting? Consider the following factors when selecting a noise-canceling headphones or earbuds for protection:
The first thing to look at is the NRR rating of the noise-canceling headphones or earplugs. Experts recommend that the minimum level of NRR (Noise education rating) is 22 regarding blocking the sound of firearms. Anything lower than this will expose you to ear damage or even hearing loss.
The next thing to check is the battery life and the type of battery being used. Most noise-canceling headphones for shooting come with either built-in or removable batteries. For either type, choose a hearing protection device that lasts longer!
If noise-canceling headphones or earbuds are uncomfortable enough to be used, it will only make it difficult for you. So, while you need to check the NRR level, battery, and other features, do not forget about the comfort!
Good noise-canceling headphones or earbuds must be comfortable enough to wear for a few hours.
Another important factor to consider is the availability of Bluetooth. If you need Bluetooth in your hearing protection devices, ensure that it comes with Bluetooth. And if possible, try to choose a hearing protection device with Bluetooth v5 or higher – This will ensure that your Bluetooth connection remains stable and provides a consistent speed.
However, there are also many great devices that offer superior protection without Bluetooth. So it is more of a personal choice rather than an absolute requirement!
We have listed the 7 best noise-canceling ear protection devices for shooting, and all of them are good at what they do. If you look at our comparison table, you will realize that each has a special feature that makes them unique & better than the others.
Suppose you are looking for noise-cancellation hearing protection that is best for indoor shooting ranges. In that case, the best choice is Peltor Sport Tactical 500 Smart Electronic which also offers Bluetooth support. And it also goes perfectly well for the outdoor shooting ranges as well!
Another great option that offers all-around hearing protection that can be used indoors and even in outdoor settings is the Peltor Sport Tactical 300 Smart Electronic. It is also a great choice for hunters due to its dynamic suppression time technology.
And when it comes to passive hearing protection for adults, the best choice is Howard Leight Leightning L3. And if you are looking for good passive protection for kids, the best option is Walker’s Game Ear Kid’s Muff which also comes in different colors.
For hunters who also want situational awareness and be able to tell the direction of the sound, the best hearing protection is Walkers Razor Bluetooth Quad which comes with four different microphones. And if you want additional comfort along with all the Walker’s Razor Bluetooth Quad features, you can choose the Walker’s Razor Slim (ideal for long usage periods).
As you can see, choosing the right type of noise-cancellation device for shooting depends on your use, budget, and what type of features you are looking for!
Can I use noise cancelling earbuds for shooting?
If you rely on normal noise-canceling earbuds, they will not offer the required level of protection. As you can see, normal noise-canceling earbuds are designed for continuous noise, such as heavy machinery, jet engines, lawn mower, fans, etc.
On the other hand, the noise from a gunshot is transient and requires special ear protection headphones specially designed for shooting.
What is ear protection best for a shooting range?
When choosing ear protection for a shooting range, you should aim to choose a headset that offers the highest NRR number possible. In general, headsets with a higher NRR number are generally more expensive. Still, they offer a greater degree of protection – So try to choose a noise-canceling headset for the shooting range that’s in your budget and provides the highest NRR number.
What decibel protection do you need for shooting?
The average sound rating of a firearm is around 140 dB approximately, and anything higher than 85 dB requires ear protection. To ensure that your ear remains protected from damage and even hearing loss, it is recommended that you get hearing protection with 22 NRR or higher. And if you can afford hearing protection even higher than this, it will be better for your hearing!
Can you use Bose noise cancelling headphones at a gun range?
The Bose noise-canceling headphones are designed to cancel out the sounds of lawn mowers, fans, and similar stuff. But, these headphones are designed to be used in a shooting range or for firing guns in any other setting – This device may offer some degree of protection, but it will not be enough to protect your ears completely.
Always choose a hearing protection device designed for shooting for the best results. So, you cannot use the Bose noise-canceling headphones at the gun range. Doing so may damage your hearing ability partially or even permanently.
What is the decibel level of a gunshot?
The decibel levels of a gunshot differ and depend a lot on the firearms being used. But on average, it is usually around 140 dB to 165 dB. The experts recommend a minimum NRR number of 22 or higher based on this range.
Are there any earplugs that block all noise?
Many devices can effectively block most of the sound, but no headphones or earplugs can block 100% of the noise. The reason for this lies in bone conduction – Your ears are not the only route for the nose to reach the cochlea; it can also reach through the skull!
And there is no point in trying to block all noise at all! The best choice is to use an electronic hearing protection that only blocks hazardous sounds while allowing one to hear voices and other non-dangerous sounds.
What does higher NRR mean in headphones?
A higher NRR rating in headphones means that it is more effective at reducing noise exposure. Currently, the highest NRR rating for earplugs is around 33, and for earmuffs, it is around 31.
For most people, headphones with an NRR of 23-25 will be more than enough and can be used for indoor or outdoor shooting ranges.