One of the most essential accessories for gun enthusiasts who love to spend hours in the gun range is the ear muffs. The best shooting ear muffs acts as hearing protection which is a must due to the obviously loud environment in a gun range. But how do you choose the best ear muffs anyway? Read on below.
Tips on How to Choose the Right Ear Muffs
Gun fire is extremely loud and can cause damage to one’s hearing over time. If you want to maintain clear hearing but also love going to the gun range to fire off some rounds then you need to take the proper precautions. The solution to this issue is via ear muffs. We are not talking about the cotton and soft variety here, we are talking about those specifically designed to isolate noise. Keep in mind that just because you went a couple of times to the shooting range and did not use any hearing protection it doesn’t mean that you can handle the noise. Damage accumulates overtime which means you will feel the effects a couple of years in the future.
So, what do you need to look for in a shooting range ear muff? First of all, the noise reduction rating should be the first thing you look for, the best shooting ear muffs have exceptionally high NRR rating or Noise Reduction Rating. At the moment, several shooting range ear muffs offer up to 33 NRR protections to loud noise. While NRR is not exactly a perfect measuring for sound attenuation it is the accepted standards in this field. Choose a shooting range ear muff that offers the highest level of NRR.
Two Types of Hearing Protection – Passive Earmuffs and Electronic Headsets
The second important aspect you should know about is the fact that there are two types of hearing protection to choose from: passive earmuffs and electronic headsets. Both have their own strengths and weaknesses so best you arm yourself with knowledge before making a decision.
If you are looking for comfort then the passive earmuffs are your go to hearing protection aid. It comes in three variations which are the cap mounted, behind the neck and over the head earmuffs. These are the most common ones used on the gun range as they are affordable and simple yet offers exceptionally high NRR.
The electronic headsets are on par with the passive ear muffs in terms of NRR but also some with additional features. Its biggest advantage is its ability to protect your hearing from loud noise while still allowing you to hear low level sounds. This means you can still have a conversation with a person even when wearing this protection. It also has volume controls, auto shut off and distortion free amplification. The downside to electronic headsets is that they are quite expensive and will require batteries.
Those are the basics of choosing shooting range ear muffs. To further help you choose one for you trip to the gun range we have also compiled a list of the best shooting ear muffs available to the public today.
Best Shooting Ear Muffs — Top 5
This is an electronic ear muff that features high quality noise reduction capabilities and is quite comfortable to wear as well. It has an NRR 22 rating and can automatically isolate noise that goes above 82 dB. The headband is made from good quality material that prevents it from bending and being deformed which is a common problem with several headsets.
This electronic ear muff also has an automatic 4 hour shut off period so that you can save battery life in the instance that you forgot to turn it off. The volume control knob can also be used to help amplify conversations while still keeping your hearing protected from dangerously loud noise.
Clear Armor Shooting Range Ear Muffs – $24.85
The Clear Armor Shooting Range Ear Muffs utilize the over the head design and uses high grade material to ensure its longevity in the field. This is a passive earmuff as such uses noise dampening materials to block out loud noises. It uses 2 layers of proprietary noise dampening foam and a close back and completely solid cup design that are about ¼ inches thick. It also does away with using glue on any of its mechanism and only uses screw to keep things together.
As for comfort, this one has a 1/2″ inch padded headband combined with synthetic leather which makes cleaning easy. It also feels snug and will hug over the head quite nicely. This is a compact passive ear muffs that is a great choice for those looking to go on the gun range.
Walkers EXT Range Shooting Ear Muffs – $15.61
The Walker EXT ear muffs have made a solid reputation as being one of the premier GSM products in the market. This is a passive ear muff that has a rating of 34 NRR which is the optimum noise reduction protection available today.
The EXT design allows users to fold it into a more compact form and allow for easy transportation and will fit in all range bags. In the comfort department it uses a padded headband and is equipped with soft PVC ear pads. This is an ultra lightweight shooting range ear muffs that you can bring anywhere with ease.
The Honeywell Impact Electronic Ear Muffs is a high quality and impressive shooting range hearing protection device. It uses directional microphones that can amplify range commands and ambient sound to a safer 82 dB which allows for a more natural hearing experience. It also automatically shuts off its amplification capabilities once the sound reaches 82 dB and can passively isolate noise at 30 dB.
As for the comfort this ear muffs deliver it uses pressure points that are rubberized to prevent gun stock scratches. The adjustable padded headbands will help you find that perfect snug fit. The product includes 2 AAA batteries and a 3.5mm connection cord for MP3 players and scanners. It has auto shut off feature that will activate after 4 hours which helps increase batter life. It has an NRR rating of 30.
3M Peltor H10A Optime 105 Ear Muffs – $15.86
The 3M Peltor is a heavy duty ear muff designed to protect and block out excessively dangerous loud noises which can damage your hearing. It has an NRR rating of 30 dB and is defined by its superior comfort and fit.
It uses the standard twin cup design which helps encircle your ears perfectly and forming a cup that would keep noise out. This one is recommended for areas that have extremely loud noises making it a perfect fit for gun enthusiasts who want to enjoy the gun range.
Having the best shooting ear muffs is a must if you are planning on going to the gun range, even more so if you are planning on going their regularly. These ear muffs are not only great for use in the gun range but anywhere else where loud noise is a problem. Protect your hearing while enjoying a little target practice with a great quality ear muff.