Ear protection and eye protection are two things you should always have with you when you head to the shooting range.

Obviously, you should have a firearm and ammunition too. 🙂

In this article, we’re going to discuss the pros and cons of each of the following types of shooting ear protection (and we’ll also pick the best ear protection for shooting in each category).

And, if you’re looking to learn more about hearing loss from shooting, we’ll explore that at the end of this article.

Why The Right Ear Protection is Important

Eye protection is important (no eyes = no shooting), but any decent pair of eye protection will work. When it comes to ear protection, however, the right set of ear pro can really make a difference.

I suffer from shooting-related hearing loss and it’s not fun! I implore you to wear proper ear protection whenever you plan on shooting.

Even for home defense, why not have a good set of electronic ear muffs (below)? They’ll help you hear better in the moment and protect your ears. As a matter of fact, I wear electronic ear muffs while hunting too.

Ear Plugs – Simple Hearing Protection

Even if you decide to go with out pick for the best electronic ear protection below (you should), it is a GREAT idea to buy one of these ear plug sets to keep in your range bag.

Either you, or someone you’re at the range with, will forget their ear protection and it’s really nice to have some handy.

We recommend buying a package of these because, let’s face it, you don’t want standard ear plugs back after someone’s used them. Gross.

 

Best Ear Plugs for Shooting

Here are our picks for the best ear plugs for shooting. Skip down if you’re looking for ear muffs or electronic ear protection.

#1 – Radians Foam Ear Plugs

Our favorite ear plugs are the simple Radians Foam Ear Plugs.

For around $20, you can get a jar full of these ear plugs in individually wrapped packages – it makes it easy to keep a few in your range bag, vehicle, and anywhere else you might need a set.

 

#2 – PELTOR TRI-FLANGE REUSABLE EAR Plugs

Next up on our list of best ear plugs are the Peltor Tri-Flange Reausable Ear Plugs.

Personally, we think that foam ear plugs work better and are more comfortable… for one use only. If you’re looking to get more than one use out of your ear protection, these are our favorites.

They don’t fit all ear types, and they aren’t comfortable for all-day wear, but they are super handy if you’ll be taking your ear plugs in and out multiple times during your day of shooting (or multiple days).

 

#3 – Mack’s Ear Plugs

Next up on our list of best ear plugs are the Peltor Tri-Flange Reausable Ear Plugs.

Personally, we think that foam ear plugs work better and are more comfortable… for one use only. If you’re looking to get more than one use out of your ear protection, these are our favorites.

They don’t fit all ear types, and they aren’t comfortable for all-day wear, but they are super handy if you’ll be taking your ear plugs in and out multiple times during your day of shooting (or multiple days).

 

Ear Muffs for Shooting Hearing Protection

Ear muffs are a step up from ear plugs for hearing protection while shooting.  Ear muffs not only block out more sound (usually), they also are MUCH easier (and cleaner) to re-use and take on and off.

Ear muffs generally have a higher sound protection rating, but they are sometimes less convenient. Note…sometimes.

If you’re going to be around loud noises often, like working on a shooting range, then ear muffs are the way to go. They’re quieter and they are better for day after day use.

Also, ear muffs are quicker than ear plugs to put on and take off.

The only downsides to ear muffs over ear plugs for hearing protection are their higher cost and their larger size which makes them less convenient in some situations.

If you’re ready to upgrade even more, you’ve really got to check out electronic ear muffs (covered below). For now, we’re going to cover our favorite (non-electric) ear muffs.

 

 

 

 

Best Ear Muffs

#1 – Howard leight High Attenuation Ear Muffs

Our favorite ear muffs are Howard Leight High Attenuation Ear Muffs

They’re bulky, but they work!

 

#2 – Howard Leight Super Slimline

Next up are these Super Slim Ear Muffs.

They don’t have as high of a protection rating as the big-boys above, but they are much handier to keep in a range bag. This is not only because they are smaller overall, they also can be folded in on themselves (as pictured).

 

Best Electronic Ear Protection

Sure, ear plugs are great ear protection (you should always have some handy), and standard ear muffs are a great upgrade, but if you want the best ear protection, you really should get a set of electronic ear muffs.

Our favorite electronic ear protection is the Howard Leight Impact Sport.

I used the professional-grade peltor ear muffs in the military and I’ve gone through a few sets of the Peltor commercial grade electronic ear muffs as a sniper instructor.

The reason I’ve gone through a few sets is that they don’t hold up! Do you know what set lasts forever? These Howard Leight Impact Sports!

Seriously – I own more than one set of these because they are not only the best set of electronic ears I’ve ever used, they’re also the best value: 

#1 – Howard Leight Impact Sport

Here’s our hands-down favorite ear protection.

They are the loudest (in a good way), most comfortable, and their auto-shut off feature saves me on batteries (I often forget to turn off other sets and end up with dead batteries).

You’ll able to hear your surroundings better with these than you will without any ear protection (that’s the good way in which they’re louder)!

Get a set of these and you won’t be sorry…

 

 

 

Our favorite electronic ear muffs are so good, we don’t even recommend another set. 🙂

Hearing Loss From Shooting