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Top 10 Best Hearing Protection Buds For Shooting in 2022

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Before I discuss the finest hearing protection for shooting, allow me to say a few words. I would want to clarify why this topic is so crucial. Numerous elements of our daily lives can cause hearing loss. Although we may not know it, the activities we take today can benefit us in the future. This website focuses primarily on sound quality, but there are also a lot of articles detailing how sound works and how our bodies respond to sound.

List of the 10 Best Hearing Protection Buds For Shooting in 2022

1. SUREFIRE SONIC DEFENDERS – BEST EARPLUGS FOR SHOOTING

 1. SUREFIRE SONIC DEFENDERS - BEST EARPLUGS FOR SHOOTING

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Key attributes:

  • Military and Law Enforcement Confidence
  • Multiple color choices for tactical, hunting, and civilian applications
  • Port-plug hole for passive sound
  • Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 24dB (Decibels)

Surefire’s Sonic Defenders are among the most popular types of hearing protection for shooters. They are available in a variety of colors that make them ideal for the type of shooting you do and have a number of functional design characteristics that distinguish them from other ordinary earphones.

They are equipped with a polymer ear hook mechanism that secures them in place whether moving or under stress. They are by far the most secure earplugs available on the market. The triple-flange ear tips grab the inner ear and boost the NRR to 24 dB. They have a wire connecting the left and right plugs to prevent them from being separated. I feel that they sit quite flush to the ear and have a low profile, allowing me to combine them with earmuffs for optimal hearing protection.

The finest feature of the sonic defenders is the porthole with a closing cap that goes through them. When the cap is open, you can hear and speak normally, but when it is closed, it protects your ears from loud discharges. It implies you do not need to completely remove the earplugs when conversing.

2. HONEYWELL IMPACT SPORT – TOP SHOOTING EARMUFFS

 2. HONEYWELL IMPACT SPORT - TOP SHOOTING EARMUFFS

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Key attributes:

  • Slimline design is light and devoid of surplus mass
  • More than ten color options are available.
  • Gloves can be used to operate controls that are oversized and robust
  • Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 22DB (Decibels)

There are more advanced earmuffs on the market, but we recommend the Honeywell Impact Sport because it combines a high-quality build, effective hearing protection, and an inexpensive pricing. It is the most popular pair of shooting earmuffs on the market and is manufactured by one of the industry’s foremost experts in hearing safety devices.

It can also be used as a headphone and amplifies passive noises up to 85db, allowing you to hear range commands or conversations but not the high impact sounds of gunfire. The buttons for playback and volume are wide and strong, making it easier to operate with gloves, and I adore the close-to-the-head, low-profile design that does not impede targeting on guns.

The Impacts Sport features more color possibilities than any other brand of earbuds, allowing you to choose a pair that complements your shooting style or objective.

Please note that these are not Bluetooth earmuffs similar to the Walker’s model shown below. To listen to music, they must be wired to your smartphone and powered by AA batteries. I used these batteries for a month without ever having to replace the power source.

3. MACK’S ULTRA SOFT EARPLUGS – BEST FOAM EARPLUGS

 3. MACK'S ULTRA SOFT EARPLUGS - BEST FOAM EARPLUGS

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Key attributes:

  • Relaxing Polyurethane Foam
  • Single-Usage – Although inexpensive per use
  • Slightly difficult to use properly
  • Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 33DB (Decibels)

Mack’s Ultra Soft is the earplug with the highest NRR decrease while staying the most pleasant. When used properly, these minimize noise by 32dB. To properly insert them, you must roll them to compress them into a tube shape, elevate them from the top of your canal to straighten them, and insert them deeply. Then, place your finger in your ear for a few seconds as the earplug grows to fit your ear canals. People frequently use this type of earplug improperly, causing the foam to expand and diminish its effectiveness.

I do not believe these to be a permanent answer, but they are useful to have in your shooting or rifle bag as backup hearing protection. Additionally, they are really comfortable, therefore many people enjoy them. The link to purchase leads to a massive multipack of 50 pairs. That is enough for me to visit the shooting range once a week for a year, at a cost of approximately 20 cents per day if they are not reused.

4. WALKER’S SILENCER BT 2.0

 4. WALKER'S SILENCER BT 2.0

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Key attributes:

  • Well crafted and cozy
  • Can be used as a daily wireless earphone and for shooting.
  • The application contains a number of practical features
  • Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 24dB (Decibels)

Walker’s is well-known in the community and has been a pioneer in the development of truly wireless shooting earbuds. Their goal is on creating high-quality earbuds that effectively minimize noise and serve their intended purpose. I wasn’t a fan of their generation 1 tactical, but the silencer 2.0 addresses my complaints.

The Silencer 2.0 is constructed well and is comfy. In addition, they have an ear hook that secures the IEM in place during operation. Bluetooth 5.0 guarantees a longer battery life, a more robust connection, and a lower latency when viewing films, etc.

The software that works with Android and Apple devices (yes, you can even control them with an Apple watch) was my favorite feature. In the application, you may manage the left and right channel loudness, allowing you to play music on one side while hearing range commands on the other.

5. THE MOST POPULAR EARPLUGS: HOWARD LIGHT BY HONEYWELL LASER LITE EARPLUGS

 5. THE MOST POPULAR EARPLUGS: HOWARD LIGHT BY HONEYWELL LASER LITE EARPLUGS

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Key attributes:

  • Nearly available everywhere
  • Extremely comfy for extended durations
  • Their vibrant hues make them simple to locate in a purse or when dropped.
  • Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 33DB (Decibels)

I believe that anybody who has visited a shooting range or construction site has encountered a set of Howard Leight Laser Lite earplugs. For many, this is the gold standard, as it provides an excellent product at an affordable price. In fact, I recommend the laser lite earplugs for sleeping. Well, what makes them suitable for sleeping also makes them suitable for loud noises.

With a 33-decibel noise reduction, an excellent fit, and a soft foam that conforms to the contour of your ears, they are an inconspicuous and inexpensive alternative (when purchased in bulk) for hearing protection.

The brightly colored foam also makes it easier to locate the earplugs if they are dropped, unlike the earth-toned Macks earplugs discussed above. The reason I favor Mack’s rendition on this list has to do with its shape. I adore the flange (flared design) that makes them easy to handle, but folks with very narrow ear canals complain that it prevents a thorough insertion.

6. 3M PELTOR TEP-200 TACTICAL EAR PLUG – BEST WIRELESS EARBUDS FOR SHOOTING

 6. 3M PELTOR TEP-200 TACTICAL EAR PLUG - BEST WIRELESS EARBUDS FOR SHOOTING

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Key attributes:

  • Excellent construction quality
  • Physical control buttons can be operated while wearing gloves
  • Superior charging case
  • NRR (Noise Reduction Rating): 29DB with proper ear tips

Despite being a fan of the Walker’s Silencer 2.0, the 3M Pelator TEP-200 are my personal wireless earbuds for shooting. 3M manufactures a wide variety of tools and goods for the construction sector, so it should come as no surprise that they also manufacture hearing protection, given the prevalence of hearing loss among tool users. The construction of the 3M earmuffs in my workshop has never failed me, so I decided to try the Pelators, which are designed for the workplace and law enforcement. I am impressed for multiple reasons.

First, you have physical buttons as opposed to haptic touch controls, so you can control them even when wearing gloves. Second, the carrying case is of superior quality and allows for the transport of spare ear tips. Thirdly, the build quality and comfort are the greatest I’ve ever experienced in a device of this size, and when used with the proper tips, they feel exceptionally secure.

In the end, it was the TEP-200’s suggestions that ultimately convinced me to purchase the product. 3M offers a range of tip designs and shapes, making them more comfortable and effective hearing protectors. For optimal protection, I utilize the TEP with the Skull Screw Tips, which increases the NRR to 29 decibels, the best noise reduction of any true wireless earphone in the category.

7. WALKERS XCEL 500BT BLUETOOTH EARMUFFS

 7. WALKERS XCEL 500BT BLUETOOTH EARMUFFS

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Key attributes:

  • Superior comfort for extended use
  • Physically accessible control buttons
  • Superior construction quality
  • Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 26DB (Decibels)

The Walkers Xcell 500BT is the primary hearing protection device I use when shooting, and it falls under the age-old question, “Do I need it?” No. Did I truly desire it? Absolutely. This is the Rolls-Royce of earmuffs, and Walker’s put all they could into it.

It is a full Bluetooth headset with configurable sound profiles that allows you to amplify the sounds you desire while blocking the ones that would cause you harm. With the large control buttons on the side, they are easy to use with gloves, and I appreciate that they are situated on the headband and not the earcups. This assists me in preventing accidental button presses with my shoulder, rucksack, or rifle butt.

The comfort of these earmuffs has also been perfected by walkers, which is another reason for their greatness. I can wear them for hours without experiencing any discomfort from the clamping pressure, and the high-quality pads don’t seem to get as hot as cheaper types I’ve tried in the past. For many individuals, they will be too pricey, but after trying them, I don’t believe I can go back.

For me, the 500BT model is easier to recommend than the Firemax or cheaper Xcel 300.

8. RADIANS CUSTOM-FORMED EARPLUGS

 8. RADIANS CUSTOM-FORMED EARPLUGS

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Key attributes:

  • Radians Mold Their Own Custom Earplugs
  • An affordable and reusable substitute for disposable earplugs
  • Tailored fitting
  • Molding procedure might be challenging, but results can be exceptional if directions are adhered to.
  • Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 26DB (Decibels)

Radians are a do-it-yourself kit for creating custom-molded earplugs. Although they may not be as beautiful or polished as a custom set manufactured in a laboratory, they are a low-cost alternative that nonetheless does the task.

Many individuals struggle with the fit of universal earplugs and loathe wasting money on disposable choices, so this appears to be a suitable compromise. I was satisfied with the Radians kit after testing it. I combined two types of putty, inserted the gel into my ear canal and outer ear, and after ten minutes, the putty was sufficiently hard to remove.

People contemplating a purchase in this route may have also came across the Decibullz brand of custom-moldable plugs, but I believe the Radians offer a superior product at a lower price. With the Decibullz, just the outside ear section is molded, while the portion that goes into the ear canal remains a universal fit earplug. In addition, the approach for fitting the Radians is vastly improved and less prone to error.

9. PROHEAR EAR PROTECTION SAFETY MUFFS

 9. PROHEAR EAR PROTECTION SAFETY MUFFS

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Key attributes:

  • Best bargain earmuffs
  • Multiple Color Options
  • Extremely resilient, so resilient that they appear to survive forever
  • Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 26DB (Decibels)

In compiling this list of the greatest hearing protection, I aimed to provide a diverse selection of items. The Prohear Saftey Muffs are unique in both design and cost, which draws me to their attention. This inexpensive earmuff may lack the features of the Walker and Honeywell models listed above, but for the price, it is unbeatable.

When worn for short durations, they are remarkably pleasant despite their strength and durability. The earcups are lightweight and rest low on the head. It’s a simple answer to the problem, and I have a few sets at home that I can give to family and friends who don’t have their own hearing protection.

They are compact, have interchangeable parts, and are available in a variety of hues.

10. HONEYWELL QUIET BAND EARPLUGS

 10. HONEYWELL QUIET BAND EARPLUGS

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Key attributes:

  • Two Honeywell Quietband hearing protection devices
  • Honeywell Quiet Bands are a popular hearing protection option at shooting ranges across the nation.
  • Well-known and Dependable
  • Their highly visible hue makes them simple to find on the ground or in a backpack.
  • Correct fit is a little problematic
  • Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 25DB (Decibels)

While not my preferred style of hearing protection, the Howard Leight Quiet Band must be included on any list of the finest earplugs. It is just a plastic neckband with detachable earplugs. They come in a highly visible orange color and provide adequate noise attenuation when used properly.

These are the earplugs of choice for the YouTuber Hickok45, and they are also extremely popular among hunters. You may conceal them behind your head until it’s time to take the shot, and the color makes them simple to notice when you drop them, ensuring that you leave no trace behind.

A pack of three is pretty costly, and while I wouldn’t choose them as my primary protection, they are very helpful in some circumstances.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT WHEN SHOOTING TO USE HEARING PROTECTION?

As a gun owner and amateur competitive shooter, I understand the importance of hearing protection. Responsible gun owners understand the importance of practicing safe gun operation, and I spend a considerable amount of time at the shooting range maintaining my aim.

Practice, whether for competition or defense, necessitates the use of a considerable volume of ammunition in order to maintain proficiency. As a result, your eardrums are frequently subjected to percussive explosions from both your own weapon and the weapons of those in close proximity.

Not only should you wear hearing protection when you are the shooter, but also whenever others are firing around you. Different calibers and barrel lengths produce shock waves, explosions, and decibel levels that can easily cause hearing loss. Smaller firearms can be louder than their larger counterparts, so you must be prepared.

Due to the fact that gunshots belong to the type of sounds known as concussive explosion, you must treat this matter seriously. Imagine striking a gong or colliding two cymbals. This strong collision creates reverberation at high frequencies within the eardrum. A single bullet discharged can induce rips, damage the cochlea, and create ideal conditions for hearing loss or long-term tinnitus.

Hearing loss can develop at 85 dB (decibels), while the average 9mm handgun emits 160 dB and even suppressed weapons can operate at approximately 140 dB.

CAN I USE EARBUDS AS HEARING PROTECTION FOR SHOOTING?

Yes, earphones can be used as hearing protection when shooting. I subscribe to the double protection school of thought and utilize a mix of Titan Tactical earbuds and Walker’s Razor Slim Low Profile Earmuffs. While it is not recommended to rely solely on earphones to prevent hearing loss, I know many people who do so, contrary to the CDC’s recommendation for proper hearing protection when shooting.

If you fall into this category, be careful to use a reputable brand of hearing protection, such as Howard Leight, that tests their products according to the relevant ISO safety requirements. Each device should explicitly indicate the reduction in decibels that can be expected when wearing earbuds correctly.

This is crucial for maximizing the benefits and preventing permanent hearing loss. Following the model’s directions to the letter is required. Too frequently do I observe slackers at the range with dangling headphones that provide little security.

When I contact these individuals and inform them that their earbuds are improperly inserted, the typical response is that the earplugs are uncomfortable in the ear canal. When pressed further and asked why they do not use earmuffs, the response is that they are cumbersome and uncomfortable.

Unfortunately, this is one of the occasions in which you will have to choose one and employ it correctly. The experience of working with former troops who have hearing loss is terrible. If you can avoid it, you should do so regardless of the brief discomfort it may cause.

EARPLUGS VS EAR MUFF FOR SHOOTING

I’m still astonished that people view earplugs and earmuffs as either/or options. If possible, use both terms together.

Both of the two types of hearing protection for shooters discussed in the section above are advantageous.

Earplugs are a simple yet effective method for blocking out harmful external noise. They are inexpensive and portable. However, they are restricted in the amount of noise they can block and are susceptible to improper application, resulting in suboptimal results.

Earmuffs from reputable manufacturers are a more expensive option, but they can provide a greater level of noise reduction and are often easier to use because you merely need to cover your ears.

A further advantage of shooting with earmuffs is the availability of models that permit passthrough audio. This design permits some passive sounds, such as conversations and ambient noise, to enter the headset via the speakers, while suppressing high-impact ballistic sounds.

If you want to know my opinion on the finest noise protection solutions for shooting in specific settings like as hunting, range, and operation, as well as budget and luxury options, then read the “features” portion of the list below carefully to choose one that matches you. Please feel free to join the conversation on our Facebook or Instagram sites if you have any queries.

WIRELESS EARBUDS FOR SHOOTERS

People frequently inquire whether earbuds may be used while shooting and whether they provide hearing protection. I am also frequently asked to recommend the finest wireless earbuds for shooting.

While using in-ear monitors will lessen external noise, the most are not developed with ballistic noise explicitly in mind. In contrast, studio earphones from Shure and Etymotic, to name a couple, are developed for studio and stage use and are intended to block constant and ambient noises, such as audiences and other performers.

The good news is that the market for wireless earbuds built expressly for shooting is expanding rapidly. Walkers, Caldwell, and ISOtunes are the major manufacturers of wireless earphones for shooters. There are other brands that can provide fantastic products and have a solid reputation, such as 3M (a construction product manufacturer), which manufactures wireless earbuds for high-impact noises in law enforcement and the workplace.

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