Those of us that need to wear hearing protection for either professional or recreational purposes are always on the lookout for the best ear muffs for noise reduction.
Today we’re going to look at some of the best earmuffs out there in detail. We’ll be taking a look at the top passive and electronic earmuffs on the market.
To narrow down our list we looked at the highest NRR earmuffs in both categories and then selected the models with the highest user ratings.
Whether you are looking for electronic or passive protection, you’ll find some of the best products on the market in this review and are sure to find a set of outstanding earmuffs that meet your needs.
The ClearArmor Safety Earmuffs are the #1 bestseller in the Safety Ear Protection Accessories category on Amazon. They also have the highest nrr rating for ear muffs we’ve seen with an NRR of 34.
For reference, an NRR of 34 is higher than most inner ear hearing protection such as foam earplugs and is more than enough protection for any environment you want to use them in.
ClearArmor also took comfort into account when designing these earmuffs. The headband has a cushy ½” of padding, more than enough to ensure all day comfort when working.
Customers have responded overwhelmingly positively to ClearArmor. They have over 6,000 reviews on Amazon with 86% being 5 stars and an impressive 4.7 star average.
If you are looking for passive earmuffs that will give you the highest level of protection possible then you won’t be disappointed with ClearArmor.
Howard Leight Impact Sports are the Amazon #1 Best Seller in the Shooting category. These are the first electronic earmuffs we will be looking at today.
The Impact Sports were designed specifically with the hunter or outdoor shooter in mind. They only provide an NRR of 22, but this is more than adequate for outdoor shooting.
The tradeoff for the lower NRR is that they have a slim design that won’t interfere while wearing other equipment or firing a gun.
The electronic portion of the earmuffs captures ambient noise using recessed microphones that are screened to eliminate wind noise. It then replicates that sound on internal microphones. Whenever there is a gunshot the sound amplification shuts off within milliseconds, protecting your hearing. That means that you can have your hearing protection when you need it, while still hearing the non-dangerous ambient noise around you.
In addition to the ambient sound amplification, these include a 3.5mm audio jack so you can play your favorite music or listen to other audio, such as a radio, while wearing them as well.
In terms of NRR, Pro For Sho are another of the best noise blocking earmuffs on the market with an outstanding 34db of protection. No matter if you will be wearing them while working on a noisy factory floor, mowing the lawn, or shooting a rifle, these headphones will give you the protection you need.
These are well padded in both the headband and ear pads for all day comfort. In terms of overall performance these are very similar to the ClearArmor earmuffs we looked at above, although with a slightly slimmer design.
These are extremely well reviewed by users with an average rating of 4.6 stars on Amazon out of more than 2,000 reviews.
The Howard Leight Impact Pros are the beefier cousin to the Impact sport and are one of the best earmuffs with electronic noise amplification for indoor shooting.
They boast an NRR of 30db, which is more than enough for most indoor shooting ranges. However these don’t need to be limited to shooting ranges. Their high NRR makes them useful in many commercial settings as well such as construction, light manufacturing or agricultural work.
The headband is less padded that some of the other commercial earmuffs such as the ClearArmor, but users don’t report significant comfort issues as a result.
These include the same sound amplification technology that you find on the Impact Sports, so expect high quality audio in addition to high NRR protection.
For some of us, we need the protection that earmuffs provide, but without the headband. Headbands can interfere with cranial protection such as hard hats, or for some of us it may just be a comfort issue.
This is where behind the head earmuff designs come into play. The Peltor Optimes are the best-rated ear muffs on Amazon that feature a behind the head design.
The Optimes provide an NRR of 28, which is not quite as much as the other passive earmuffs we’ve looked at today, but still very respectable and suitable for recreational and most commercial activities.
If you are looking to eliminate the headband, definitely take a closer look at the Peltor Optime and their behind the head design. It will give you the hearing protection you need, without interfering with your other protective equipment.
When you are trying to determine which of these outstanding products are the best ear muffs for you, remember to start with your protection needs first.
If you are working in an extremely loud environment, it may be that only the highest NRR hearing protection will do. If you are going to be using them for recreational purposes such as mowing the lawn or hunting, you may require less protection.
After you have determined how much protection you need you can look at other factors. If you want to be able to hear ambient noises, such as while hunting, then electronic hearing protection may be the way to go. If you need to wear other cranial protective equipment then look at behind the head earmuffs.
Don’t forget to take comfort into account either. Hearing protection won’t do you any good if it’s too uncomfortable to wear for a long period of time.
Once you’ve honed in on your specific needs, I think you’ll find that there are some outstanding options on this list that meet them.
Images sourced from Amazon.com