The Best Shooting Ear Protection Of 2023 | Great Days Outdoors

The Best Shooting Ear Protection Of 2023

Shooting ear protection should have a permanent place in your range bag. Your hearing is a valuable and delicate sense, and once damaged, it cannot be fully restored. Loud noises such as concert music, heavy equipment, and gunfire can all cause damage to the delicate structure of your inner ear. Once your hearing is gone, it is often gone for good!

Good ear protection also makes it easier to communicate with others and improves situational awareness. Electronic ear protection has become increasingly popular since it manages to simultaneously block loud noises while amplifying normal ones, allowing for safer and easier communication at the firing line, clay range, or in the blind.

Hearing protection can also give you a competitive edge. By reducing the stress on your body caused by high-decibel gunfire, it allows you to relax and focus on your breathing and trigger control. The result? Tighter groups.

Finally, wearing your hearing protection sets a good example for others. While you may think you’re fine with a little hearing loss on your end, how do you feel about the same for your kids? Children mimic their parents, and a kid who sees mom or dad wearing hearing protection is much more likely to take their own hearing seriously.

Best Passive Ear Protection For Shooting


AXIL TRACKR Passive shooting ear protection


  • 25 dB SNR hearing protection
  • Compact design gives you comfort in a small sized ear muff
  • Can fit easily in your bag
  • Comfortable headband with metal wire frame
  • Adjustable padded headband for comfortable fitDJUSTABLE PADDED HEADBAND FOR COMFORTABLE FIT
  • Low profile earcup
  • Snap-in ear cushions for ease of cleaning and replacement
  • Made in the USA

These earmuffs feature a compact design that allows for easy storage and portability. Their lightweight construction ensures that they can be comfortably worn for extended periods without causing discomfort or strain on the wearer. This is especially important for shooters who engage in long shooting sessions or participate in competitions that require prolonged use of hearing protection.


The compact design of the TRACKR Passive Earmuffs also makes them easy to carry in a range bag or backpack, allowing shooters to have them readily available whenever needed. Their foldable design further enhances portability and enables convenient storage in tight spaces.

Walker’s Razor Slim

Walker's Razor Slim shooting ear protection


  • Ultra low profile ear cups
  • Rubberized coating
  • Compact folding design
  • Comfort headband with metal wire frame
  • Sound dampening composite housing
  • 27 dB SNR hearing protection

Walker’s Razor Slim Passive Muffs are specifically designed for comfort, featuring ultralow-profile earcups with a nonslip rubberized coating. The sound-dampening composite housings provide excellent noise reduction with a rating of 27dB, ensuring reliable hearing protection. The comfort headband, equipped with a metal wire frame, allows for a personalized fit, and conveniently folds up for compact storage and portability.

Peltor Sport Shotgunner II

Peltor Sport Shotgunner II shooting ear protection


  • Low-profile cups with cut-outs are ideal for use with rifles and shotguns
  • Foldable for storage, protection and portability
  • Lightweight and comfortable for extended wear
  • Fully adjustable headband ergonomically engineered to reduce pressure points
  • Soft, conformable rings provide a better seal
  • Stylish, two-color design
  • 24 dB hearing protection

The Peltor Sport Shotgunner II Hearing Protector is thoughtfully designed to prioritize both safety and comfort. It effectively reduces sound levels, providing reliable passive hearing protection. With its low-profile cups and strategically placed cut-outs, the Shotgunner II is specifically tailored for use with rifles and shotguns, ensuring an optimal fit and performance.

Best Electronic Ear Protection For Shooting

AXIL TRACKR Electronic

AXIL TRACKR Electronic


  • 2 directional microphones
  • Full dynamic range
  • High-fidelity speakers for clear balanced sound
  • Low noise / frequency tuned for natural sound clarity
  • Single volume control
  • Sound dampening composite housing
  • Sound activated compression – 0.02 reaction time
  • Audio input jack
  • Recessed volume control knobs
  • Comfortable headband with metal wire frame
  • External battery door
  • Operates on 2 ‘AAA’ batteries – included
  • 25 dB SNR- hearing protection

TRACKR Electronic Earmuffs offer a compact and comfortable design suitable for various environments where both hearing and hearing protection are essential. These earmuffs prioritize comfort and size while providing the ability to hear and protect simultaneously. The advanced sound enhancement technology ensures clear and smooth sound, allowing users to hear desired sounds while effectively safeguarding their hearing from potentially damaging loud noises.

Walker’s Game Ear Ultimate Power

Walker's Game Ear Ultimate Power


  • Four Hi gain omni directional microphones
  • 9X hearing enhancement
  • Power – 50DB
  • Adjustable frequency tuning
  • 2 independent volume controls
  • Sound Activated Compression
  • 26 dB NRR
  • Compact folding design
  • Anti-microbial ear pads
  • Power source 2 Energizer ‘AAA’ batteries

The earmuffs feature four high-gain omni-directional microphones that are specifically tuned to reduce noise and enhance natural sound clarity. Each microphone has its own independent volume control and adjustable frequency tuning, allowing users to customize their listening experience. The compact folding design, along with the comfort headband and metal wire frame, ensures a secure and comfortable fit. The ear cups have a low-profile design and are made from a sound dampening composite housing, providing a noise reduction rating (NRR) of 27dB.

Best In-Ear Electronic Hearing Protection For Shooting




  • 19-29 dB SNR
  • USB-C charging
  • Water & dust resistant
  • Wind resistant
  • 5.2 Bluetooth
  • UP to 12 hours battery life → Hear Control Only
  • UP to 6 hours battery life → BT Audio Only
  • Up tp 4 hours battery life → Hear Control and BT Simultaneously

AXIL XCOR water-resistant earbuds are the ultimate all-in-one solution for individuals seeking hearing protection, enhancement, and Bluetooth streaming capabilities. These digital HearPRO buds provide a seamless and intuitive experience with touch controls. Designed for comfort, these earbuds feature Bluetooth technology, enabling effortless wireless connection to your device for streaming music, shows, and more. With AXIL XCOR, you can enjoy your favorite audio content wherever you go, making these earbuds your top choice for a versatile listening experience.


Decibullz Custom Molded Percussive Shooting Filters

Decibullz Custom Molded Percussive Shooting Filters shooting ear protection


  • 33 dB hearing protection
  • Secure custom fit
  • Full situational awareness
  • Earpieces easily shape to the exact fit of your ears
  • Re-moldable custom earpieces

The combination of Decibullz DIY Thermo-fit Molded Earpieces and advanced percussive impulse filter technology offers a remarkable solution. Decibullz Percussive Filters are designed to safeguard users from the intense sound pressure generated by gunshots, artillery fire, and explosions. These filters effectively suppress these loud noises to safe levels, ensuring protection against hearing damage. The customization process is straightforward—immersing the earpieces in warm water allows them to be easily shaped to fit your ears. If adjustments are required, the earpieces can be reheated and reshaped as needed. A notable advantage of Decibullz Filters is their independence from batteries, eliminating the need for electronic hearing protection.

Walker’s Silencer

Walker's Silencer


  • Stable left/right earbud connection
  • Touch button contols
  • Sound Activated Compression
  • Dynamic wind noise reduction
  • Variable gunshot suppression
  • Voice prompts
  • Auto shut off
  • Rechargeable Lithium Battery
  • 24 dB hearing protection

The rechargeable Silencer 2.0 buds offer a range of features including 24dB noise reduction, dynamic wind noise reduction, variable gunshot suppression, and an advanced digital circuit with auto shut-off. They come with a USB charging dock and integrated lithium battery for convenient charging on the go. The earbuds are charged by placing them in the carrying case, which can recharge the earbuds approximately four times before needing to be recharged itself. The set includes three sizes of Sure-Lock sizing fins and three sizes of foam tips for a customized and secure fit.

Shooting Ear Protection With Bluetooth


AXIL TRACKR Blu shooting ear protection


  • Sound enhancement, hearing protection, & 5.0 Bluetooth at the same time
  • Smooth, clear hearing enhancement sound quality
  • Autoblocker technology compresses loud sound over 82 dB
  • 27 dB SNR
  • Reduces wind noise
  • Sweat & water resistant
  • Sound activated compression – 0.02 second reaction time

Adjust the sound enhancement to your preferred level and experience clear hearing in any environment you desire. With AXIL technology, you can enjoy everything you want to hear while it automatically compresses harmful loud sounds, providing the hearing protection you need. This simultaneous protection and clarity ensure uninterrupted clear hearing. Additionally, you can take advantage of the 5.0 Bluetooth connectivity for audio streaming and hands-free communication.

Walker’s XCEL 500BT Digital Electronic Muff

Walker's XCEL 500BT Digital Electronic Muff shooting ear protection


  • Advanced digital circuit
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Variable dynamic sound suppression
  • Hi gain omni directional mic
  • Four listening modes
  • Voice mode navigation
  • Wind noise reduction
  • Auto shut off
  • New ergonomic head band design
  • Headband controls
  • Rubber bumpers on lower cup
  • 26 dB NRR
  • 2 ‘AAA’ batteries

The XCEL 500BT revolutionizes the shooting sports and hunting industries with its unparalleled combination of advanced sound processing, user-friendly menu navigation, and comprehensive electronic control features. It incorporates intelligent design and ergonomic considerations to provide an exceptional hearing protection and enhancement system that surpasses all previous standards.

Points To Consider In Ear Protection For Shooting Sports

When choosing ear protection for shooting sports, there are several important points to consider. 

Noise Reduction Rating (NRR): The NRR indicates the level of noise reduction provided by the ear protection. The higher the NRR, the better the protection. Look for ear protection with a high NRR to ensure adequate noise reduction for shooting activities.

Type of Ear Protection: There are two main types of ear protection for shooting sports: earmuffs and earplugs. Earmuffs cover the entire ear and provide a higher level of noise reduction. Earplugs, on the other hand, are inserted into the ear canal and come in different forms such as foam, silicone, or custom-molded plugs. Some shooters prefer a combination of both earmuffs and earplugs for maximum protection.

shooting ear protection
Specially designed ear buds work great as shooting ear protection. (Photo courtesy of AXIL)

Comfort and Fit: Comfort is crucial when selecting ear protection, especially if you plan to wear it for extended periods. Look for ear protection that is adjustable, with padded headbands or cushions for earmuffs, and soft materials for earplugs. It’s important to find a snug fit to ensure proper noise isolation.

Durability and Quality: Shooting sports can be rough on ear protection, so choose products that are durable and made with high-quality materials. Look for earmuffs with a sturdy construction, reinforced hinges, and durable ear cushions. For earplugs, consider options that are moisture-resistant and designed to withstand repeated use.

Communication Requirements: If you participate in shooting sports that involve communication, such as team events or competitions, you may need ear protection that allows for clear communication. Look for models that offer built-in communication systems or have features that allow for external microphones or radios to be connected.

Remember, protecting your hearing is essential when participating in shooting sports. Hearing damage is cumulative and once your hearing is gone, it’s gone for good!

Shooting Ear Protection FAQs

What ear protection is best for the shooting range?

When it comes to selecting ear protection for the shooting range, the “best” choice depends on your individual preferences and specific requirements. However, there are a few options that are commonly recommended for shooting range use:

Electronic Earmuffs: Electronic earmuffs offer both hearing protection and the ability to amplify low-level sounds. They make it easier to carry on conversations or hear range commands, while automatically blocking out gunfire. This allows for clear communication and situational awareness. Electronic muffs are extremely convenient if you frequently shoot with others. They are also popular with hunters who want to protect their hearing while still being able to hear what’s going on around them in the field.

Passive Earmuffs: Passive earmuffs are a more traditional option and provide effective noise reduction by using sound-absorbing materials. They don’t offer amplification or active noise cancellation, but they provide reliable protection against loud noises. Look for models with a high NRR and comfortable fit.

Disposable Foam Earplugs: Foam earplugs are a popular and affordable choice for shooting range use. They are inserted into the ear canal, offering good noise reduction. Foam earplugs are compact, portable, and often come in bulk packages. Make sure to properly insert them for a secure fit.

Custom-Molded Earplugs: For those seeking a personalized fit and enhanced comfort, custom-molded earplugs are an option. These earplugs are made from impressions of your ear canal, providing a precise fit and excellent noise reduction. They are durable and reusable, offering long-term value.

Combination of Earmuffs and Earplugs: For maximum protection in extremely loud shooting environments, combining earmuffs and earplugs is recommended. This provides a dual layer of noise reduction, significantly reducing the risk of hearing damage.

Remember, regardless of the type of ear protection you choose, prioritize comfort, proper fit, and adequate noise reduction (high NRR) to ensure your hearing is effectively protected.

Why Should You Use Ear Protection When Shooting a Firearm?

Shooting a gun without hearing protection exposes you to repeated high-decibel noise signatures. Gunshots can exceed 140db. Exposure to such intense noise, even briefly, can cause immediate and cumulative damage to the delicate structures of the inner ear. This damage can result in permanent hearing loss.

Shooting ear protection should definitely be worn when doing any type of sport shooting.

Inner ear damage typically manifests as tinnitus (persistent ringing in the ears), hyperacusis (normal sounds become painfully loud), or plain old hearing loss (difficulty hearing normal sounds). By the time you begin to notice symptoms of hearing loss, it is usually too late to reverse it. This is why it’s important to wear your hearing protection every time you go to the range.

Aside from physical hearing loss, your shooting performance suffers as well! Shooting guns without hearing protection can be physically and mentally exhausting. Loud gunshots make it hard to focus on your breathing and a slow, deliberate trigger pull. Shooting without hearing protection often results in increased flinching as your body anticipates the stress of the blast. Add it all together, and your groups can get measurably worse as the session goes on.

Can you shoot a .22 without ear protection?

No! While it’s easy to mistakenly intuit that the diminutive .22lr cartridge shouldn’t damage your ears (it doesn’t seem nearly as loud as other rounds) that isn’t the case. Standard-velocity .22lr ammunition routinely produces 120db, enough to cause hearing damage. It’s also worth remembering that most people will shoot much more .22lr ammo in a session due to its relatively cheap cost. So definitely wear your hearing protection when you go plinking!

Final Thoughts On Shooting Ear Protection

Remember, your hearing is a valuable asset and once damaged, it cannot be fully restored. Prioritize your hearing health and increase your range performance by investing in high-quality shooting ear protection and making it an essential part of your shooting gear. Do it for yourself, your friends, and your family!

Full Disclosure: This post may include affiliate links. There’s no extra charge to our readers for using these.

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