Hunters and shooters spend a lot of time around guns. As a result they know just how important it is to protect their hearing.
The average gunshot noise is around 140 decibels (db). This is well above the 85db safe limit for hearing and into the range where immediate hearing damage can occur. Because of this, if you are going to be around guns, whether shooting or not, hearing protection needs to be a priority.
At the same time, being able to hear sounds around you is also critical while shooting. If you are on a range you need to be able to hear the voices of those around you in order to be able to shoot safely. Or, if you are hunting you need to be able to hear the sound of your prey.
Electronic hearing protection has evolved to fill this critical need, protecting the shooters hearing when they need it, while still allowing ambient sounds that won’t harm hearing through.
It works by capturing external noises using microphones and replicating those noises on speakers within the earmuffs. If there is a gunshot that exceeds the safe hearing threshold it cuts off the amplification or lowers the noise level of the gunshot to a safe level.
Our Top 5 Picks for the Best Rated Electronic Earmuffs:
Electronic Ear Muffs have rapidly become a must have item among shooters. Let’s take a look at some of the top models in the electronic hearing protection reviews below.
Peltor is the original, and still most respected name in electronic hearing protection. The company built their reputation supplying electronic earmuffs for US Special Operation Command for use in some very tough environments.
They use a proprietary sound compression technology that is widely seen as the gold standard in the industry.
The Tactical Pros are the top of the line offering from Peltor for the commercial market. They offer a robust NRR of 26db, which offers excellent protection for both indoor and outdoor shooting.
The Tactical Pros are designed for all day comfort. They are well padded with deep ear cups and feature large ergonomic buttons for easy adjustments while wearing gloves.
These earmuffs are designed to work with radios as well. So if you will be wearing these while using a radio this is an awesome additional feature.
Howard Leight is the major competitor to Peltor in the electronic hearing protection market and makes a lot of high quality products.
The Impact Pros are their top of the line commercial earmuffs. They offer the highest NRR of all the hearing protection we’ll look at today with an outstanding 30db. This means you’ll be well protected no matter how loud the shooting environment you are in.
Howard Leight uses a clipping technology that shuts off the amplification within milliseconds whenever there is a gunshot. This is generally considered to be an inferior technology to the compression approach taken by Peltor, but still works very well in terms of overall protection.
The Impact Pros are very comfortable with large ear cups and plenty of padding. You’ll be able to wear these earmuffs for hours on end with no discomfort.
For all the features the Impact Pros provide they are the most competitively priced of all the earmuffs we’re looking at today in our electronic hearing protection review.
The Peltor Tactical 100s are the top of the line product from Peltor in the slimline earmuff subcategory.
Slimline earmuffs have a small physical profile and offer slightly less protection than the professional line earmuffs we just looked at.
The smaller physical profile makes them easier to fit in range bags and won’t interfere with other equipment you may be wearing while shooting.
Slimline earmuffs will only provide in the low 20s db of protection in terms of NRR so they are designed primarily for hunting and outdoor shooting. If you want to wear them for indoors shooting expect to need to double them up with inner ear hearing protection.
The Tactical 100s provide an NRR of 22db and feature recessed microphones that help decrease wind noise.
They also include a 3.5mm audio jack and audio mixing that allows you to listen to music or other audio input without loosing the ability to hear ambient sounds.
The Impact Sports are the slimline offering from Howard Leight. These are the top selling earmuffs in the Hunting and Shooting Earmuffs category on Amazon.
They offer an NRR of 22db, which makes them perfect for outdoor shooting activities. They feature directional microphones that are recessed and covered with foam to protect them from wind noise.
The Impact Sports have a long battery life and should last for over 300 hours on a single set of AAA batteries, they also include an automatic 4 hour shut off in case you should accidentally leave them on when not in use.
The Razor by Walker’s is an outstanding slimline earmuff. Designed from the ground up for the slimmest fit possible, these earmuffs won’t interfere with anything else while you are shooting.
They provide an NRR of 23db, one better than you get with either the Impact Sport or Tactical 100s, without adding any bulk.
One thing Walker did very well with these earmuffs was focus on style in addition to function. The Razors have a very aggressive profile that appeals to many shooters; they also come in a wide variety of colors to match individual preferences.
If you want to look good while still getting the best electronic hearing protection, look no further than the Razor. You can read more here about Walker's vs Howard Leight.
We’ve taken a look at a lot of outstanding products today. When you’re trying to determine which of these are the best electronic earmuffs for you remember to start with protection first.
Always determine how much protection you need and start by looking at products that meet your protection requirements. Purchasing a product that doesn’t provide a high enough NRR will lead to frustration at best and at worst may leave your hearing exposed to damaging noise.
After protection consider other factors that may be important to you such as style or comfort. No matter what your needs are, I think you’ll find that one of the products we’ve looked at today will give you the protection and features you are looking for.