It is normal to find shooters walking into an active shooting activity without ear protective gear. But, do they understand the risks involved in the long run? How many hunters above 60 years still have good hearing?
Although hearing every shot to a duck, elk or deer is important, it erodes your hearing abilities, robing hunters one of their important senses. At times this goes to an extent where a hunter cannot properly engage in a conversation. The damages caused to the ears can either be temporary or permanent.
Why is hearing protection required?
Wearing ear protection does not only protect the hearing loss, but it also saves a hunter from using hearing aids in the future. However, good news to the hunters is that they can prevent themselves from permanent conditions like tinnitus and induced hearing loss.
Facts indicate that a single gunshot can cause a permanent hearing loss. Over 85 decibels of gunshot noise can cause has negative impact to a hunter’s hearing capabilities. Remember a normal shot ranges between 130 -180 decibels louder whether it is a give or take.
The NRR measurements
The effectiveness ofa hearing protection gear is based on the NRR (Noise Reduction Rating). Therefore,the higher the NRR, the higher the hearing protection you get from a device, resulting in the reduction of exposure to loud noise.
While Earplugs are better than hunting on naked ears, earmuffs are effective for shooting and hunting ear protection.
It is important to wear ear protection when exposed to noisy environments and when you enter any shooting range. Luckily there are better options available on the market to address the problem. This guide will make it easier for you to make the best choices that meet your needs.
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These electronic earmuffs are by far some of the most popular earmuffs you will see at the range. They work really well to block loud noises and amplify quiet sounds.
If you want to protect the eardrum from excessive pressure produced by the gunshots, I recommend Howard Leight Impact Sport. They come with a slim profile that cannot affect a hunter’s cheek weld when undertaking a long shot.
The product is fairly priced although their price is much higher than that of regular ear muffs or normal earplugs. However, they provide greater performance compared to other cheaper form of electronic hearing protection out there.
So, apart from protecting your ears, they improve your hearing abilities as well. Most hunters prefer them because they are easy and simple to use as they have an adjustable headband.
While, the inbuilt NRR 22 decibels, provides hearing protection under normal circumstances, you can enhance extra protection by combining them with earplugs.
Also, they allow the hunter to have normal conversations with their partner. Consequently, the user can hear little sounds like that made by an approaching deer. They are ideal for both waterfall and big game hunting.
- They come with comfortable ear pads
- They are relatively affordable
- Very comfortable
- They offer decent protection at 22 decibels NRR
- It is easy to connect to external MP3 players via AUX input for music
- It folds well for easy storage
- They are lightweight making easy to carry around
- They have excellent design to help airflow
- The volume knob allows hunters to adjust volume with ease
- Not really good for music enthusiasts
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This device is a comfortable design and has a noise reduction rate of 26 decibels. It cuts down all the unwanted sounds, as well as amplifying low sounds while you can still hear background sounds.
They are simple to fold around the cups making it compact and easy to store. Also, the adjustable headband features allow users to adjust to their desired sizes and fittings.It comes with soft ear cushions and a deep earcup design that provides comfort when worn over long hours. They are ideal for airport ground personnel, forklift drivers, industrial workers, and maintenance mechanics.
- It has an enhanced noise reduction rate of 26-30 decibels
- Fits very well and are comfortable
- Has a low-level noise amplification
- They are very diverse, so you don’t have worry about gun calibre
- They have smart listening capability for a good sound quality
- It comes with an auto shutdown function to save battery life
- They are simple to use but a bit bulky
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This product works really well compared to other options in the market. They have high range definition speakers that produce a superior sound.
Even though they have a higher noise reduction rating stand of 23 decibels, you can still hear sounds from outside the muffs. This sound is directed to the ear through the alumni directional microphones at a delay of .02 second.
The user can easily control the volume even when wearing gloves as it is featured with a ridged off and on control model. The razor slim Electronic Muff has the AAA batteries than prolong its battery life.
- It has a noise reduction rate of 23 decibels
- It has low profile ear cups
- They have a slim design making it easy to a carry
- Made good quality material
- It has mini directional microphones
- They have a good battery life
- The HD speakers can be really loud if not regulated
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The Honeywell Sync Wireless garget allows the hunter to talk and work wirelessly, ensuring safety to theirears. It is also possible to connect with other Bluetooth devices for calls and music.
The microphones are effective in noisy and louder environments as it picks only the voice of the user, thus ensuring clarity in the audio output. This device can also rotate to your back to avoid destruction when not in use.
The headband is made of tough steel that improves its durability hence its overall lifespan. Also, the ear cups and the headband have added padding for comfort and extra protection.
This hearing protection model limits the sound output to 82Db, thus protecting the headphones. It also comes with the airflow technology, which ensures noise is well managed across all frequencies.
The 32Db rating of SNR and a 25Db, NRR ensures proper hearing protection for you to continue enjoying your work and hobbies.
- It has a noise reduction of NRR 25Db
- They can connect with wireless devices
- It has a playback time of up to 16 hours
- The microphones can easily rotate
- Very good noise blocker
- Excellent for music lovers
- The headband steel increases the durability of the headphones
- Made of quality material
- The wireless connection might fail between a long distance
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This gadget offers the highest flexibility as you can easily connect to your audio device or phone through wired or wireless connections. While it is ideal for connecting your devices through Bluetooth for a wireless experience, you can switch to an audio cable when you need a more reliable connection.
The device comes with adjustable features to fit different head shapes and sizes. The headband has ventilations inform of cutouts to give you comfort when hunting for long hours. Also, the rubberlike shell texture around the ears provides a comfortable seal around your ears.
This gadget applies the dynamic suppression time to measure the energy of each gunshot noise to set the suppression time, which eventually reduces echoes, thus increasing overall comfort. Based on the NRR, the device protects 26Db, which is an ideal range for you to enjoy shooting or hunting at the range.
By using the device, you have the option of switching between the 2 AA batteries and the Li-on rechargeable battery. You can, therefore, choose the charging option that fits your needs. Also, you can replace your AA batteries when they run out of power or recharge your rechargeable battery to save more time ad money.
The lightweight design and the low profile of these headphones ensure no distractions when shooting. Also, thee cut out design provides a resting place for the gunstock at the lower part of the ear cup. This design allows the aiming down of the gun with the stock without a feeling of awkwardness.
- It provides flexible battery options
- It supports both wired and non-wired connections to your audio devices
- It has durable microphones
- It gives a playback time of up to 42 hours
- Has hearing protection of NRR, 26 Db
- You might experience occasional echo
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These earmuffs provide you with hearing protection in all noisy environments. You can also perform activities like landscaping work, lawn mowing, and machine operation without risking your years to induced hearing loss.
These earmuffs have an NRR rating of 29 Db, which provides very high noise protection. The NRR from this device is tied with the Mpow HP102A.
This device supports FM radio, which is a unique feature of it. There is, therefore, the best choice for people who like listening to their favorite radio when carrying their everyday chores. You don’t need to connect to a device as it has a high sensitive inbuilt antenna and a channel memory which allows you to access your programs by scanning your radios frequencies.
This earmuff allows you to have a wireless or a wired connection to your phone. You can choose to connect with either your Bluetooth or a standard jack cable for a wired connection. Additionally, Bluetooth syncing will allow you to connect two different devices at the same time.
- It offers the highest hearing protection
- It provides flexible options for wireless and wired connections
- It can connect two different devices at the same time via Bluetooth
- It has a playback time of around 10 to 12 hours
- It has a voice that produce alerts
- Has many features that might confuse a novice user
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This earmuff comes with soft ear pads and PU leather that is friendly to the skin. It offers a comfortable snug fit since the earpads rest easily around the ears.
Also, it features an adjustable headband that accommodates users of different head sizes and shapes. This feature allows the headphone to distribute its weight which eventually reduces pressure on the head.
This headphone reduces noise to its lowest level, the reason why it has an SNR rating of 36Db, and an NNR rating of 29Db. Also, the foam pads offer a tight fit around the ear, ensuring blockage of excess noise into the year.
This device features precise controls and buttons that allow you to navigate and adjust to your desired audio connections and volume. You can also answer your calls when necessary.
As a user, you have the option of connecting your audio device or mobile phone via a 3.5mm audio input or Bluetooth. This flexibility allows you to connect your devices to your preferences.
- It offers a playback time of 30 hours continuously.
- Is has an adjustable headband
- The PU leather and the soft foam ear pads provide comfortability
- It supports both wireless and wired connections to audio devices
- It offers hearing protection of NRR to 29 DB and SNR of 36 DB.
- It may not provide maximum hearing protection if worn wrongly
Here’s Factors to Consider when Choosing the Best Electronic Hearing Protection for Hunting: A Buyers Guide
The above recommendations can be a great place to start for beginners. Also, you should consider the following factors before buying a hearing protector.
Noise Reduction Rating
The main function of hearing devices is to reduce noise from the outside environment. Always ensure that the noise reduction rating is included in the description. The NRR measurement determines how well the hearing protection device protects against excessive sound levels. This higher rating is also ideal for people with sensitive ears, damaged areas, or those exposed to high levels of sound.
Ear Muff’s Size and Weight
The electronic muffs should be compact and less bulky. The cup needs to be to its minimal size to accommodate most users.
You can find ultra-slim cuffs on the market although they might be expensive. Another factor to put into consideration is the head size. However, these devices are unisex and can, therefore, accommodate a wide range of measurements.always go for earmuffs equipped with an adjustable band because they will help you to get the smallest or the largest size to fit your needs.
Important features contribute to comfortability include, the texture of the foam that makes the headband and also the weight of the headset. Very tight ear muffs do not offer comfortability and may result in neck ache, headache or slip offs when less expected.
Electronic earmuffs come in square, oval, and rectangular shapes. Users feel better on one form than the other.
Electronic ear devices are very much affordable. Also, make sure you get the value for money when you go for the expensive category. At this stage, you can always experiment with the cheaper ones before upgrading to the most expensive ones.
Key Additional Features
You should target those devices with additional features like convenience, comfort, and protection. Other detailed additional features include; building a microphone, antimicrobial materials to prevent allergic reactions since the device will be against the skin.
Water Resistance – Ear muffs that are water-resistant are durable as they can withstand harsh weather conditions and any other form of dampness that may be caused by sweating. Prolonged exposure of these devices to moisture may reduce their functionality.
Foldable Ear Muffs –foldable devices are easy to carry around as they also occupy less space. It also means that they are not prone to breakage when bent accidentally.
Microphone – devices that come with microphones allow you to connect to other external audio devices. You can switch to your favorite channels.
Color choices – Although black is the common color of muffs, manufacturers have now produced different colors to fit your style and preferences.
Protective Case – Every user needs a protective case to store your device or to protect it when traveling.
Warranties, guarantees, and return policy
For you to feel confident, you need to ensure that return policies and guarantees are included in the purchase. This policy should indicate the actual dates when these policies expire.