The Best Hearing Protection for Shooting

You know it’s important to wear hearing protection when you shoot, but you also need to be confident that it’s the right hearing protection. Loud impulse noises like gunfire won’t just hurt your ears but can permanently damage your hearing over time.  

How does ear protection work? 

Good earplugs and earmuffs reduce the level of sound that reaches your inner ear. Fit is also essential here—protection that does not fit properly won’t protect your hearing that well. 

Here are some of our favorite tools for hearing protection to get you started. 

ear plugsTru-Spec GI Earplugs with Case 

Keep your ears safe on a budget with Tru-Spec GI Earplugs with Case. These tried-and-true, genuine US military issue earplugs deliver superior protection and comfort during target practice. They’re made to fit your ears comfortably without slipping out. The included plastic case helps to prevent contamination, and the chain attached to the case allows you to fasten your earplugs to a belt, zipper, or any other loop so they’re always close at hand.  

Surefire Sonic Defenders Plus Filtered Flanged Earplugs 

surefire ear plugsWhen you’re at the shooting range or on the job, you want a highly protective tool like the Surefire EP4 Sonic Defenders Plus Filtered Flanged Earplugs. The great thing about these earplugs is that they protect your hearing without interfering with your ability to hear ambient sounds or conversation. 

Designed with a triple-flanged stem that fits larger ear canals, the EP4 Sonic Defender ear plugs come with attached filter caps, which can be inserted into the ear for additional noise protection and blocking out lower-level sounds. When filter caps are inserted, they have a 24dB Noise Reduction Rating (NRR), and they can even lower potentially dangerous noise levels that are above 85dB.  

The Surefire Sonic Defenders are made from hypoallergenic, medical-grade polymer that is soft to the touch, durable and long-lasting. Every set comes with a convenient carrying case and lanyard. 

Surefire EP3 Sonic Defenders – Earplugs Hearing Protectors 

shooting range ear plugsLike the EP4 Sonic Defenders, the Surefire EP3 Sonic Defenders have a low-profile design, patented EarLock retention rings that lock the earplugs into place, and a 24dB NRR for reliable hearing protection. But for those with smaller ear canals, the EP3’s shorter two-flange stem may provide a better fit than the EP4’s three-flange stem.  

The soft two-flange stem, hypoallergenic polymer and choice of Small, Medium, or Large sizes help to ensure a comfortable and protective fit. Check out this in-depth review of the EP3 Sonic Defenders for more details.  

3M PELTOR™ SwatTac™ VI NIB Headset – Single Lead, Foldable 

peltor headsetMaybe you’re searching for hearing protection that is more top-of-the-line to round out your arsenal of tactical gear. We recommend the 3M™ PELTOR™ SwatTac™ VI NIB Headset.  

Ideal for law enforcement or military members, this single lead tactical headset uses an omni-directional boom microphone with IP68 noise-cancelling technology for level-dependent hearing protection. Natural Interaction Behavior (NIB) enables peer-to-peer communication for up to 4 team members. It’s compatible with 6-pin NATO/Motorola radios and most tactical helmets. 

We love this headset because in addition to its protective and communications capabilities, its foldable rubberized headband and 150 hours of battery life make it easy to use on the go.  

Enhance your target practice with reliable hearing protection that has the fit and features you need.  

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