Ear Protection For Shooting: What You Should Know

Man hunting with ear protection from a blind

To perfect your shooting accuracy and become a skilled shooter, your hearing will need to be protected — every time you head to the shooting range. If you are wondering which type of ear protection is best, here are some important must-knows.

What ear protection options are available?

People who use guns regularly will be exposing their ears to loud noise . That is why they are often more likely to develop hearing loss or other hearing impairments than those who do not shoot.

Many firearms generate noise louder than 85 decibels. If you are exposing your ears to this level of sound, it could cause permanent damage. This could not only impact your gun use but some of the most important aspects of your natural life, including your job or family living.

It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner, a young adult, or an experienced shooter, keeping your ears covered while shooting is critical to keeping them protected from damage or total hearing loss. It also minimizes flinching, which could cause you to miss your target or injure yourself.

Ear Protection Options

Some of the most popular options for ear protection are earmuffs or ear defenders. With these, sound will be significantly reduced.

Shooting earplugs are great to use, too. They are crafted from moldable putty, foam material, or structured silicone. Earplugs that are custom molded to your ear also work, which allows for enhanced comfort and safety.

When you combine ear plugs with shooting ear muffs, you will have maximum protection from loud shooting noise.

One of the best and most popular choices for hearing protection, however, are noise-canceling electronic earmuffs. Unlike passive earmuffs, these electronic hearing protection muffs and devices use electronic technology that will reduce noise.

There are options for volume controls on the ear protection muffs, too. This helps reduce noise but also allows you to hear what is going on around you, which is important if you are hunting out in the elements.

Brands such as Peltor Sport Tactical 100, Howard Leight by Honeywell, and Walker’s Razor Slim are very popular.

Do you really need ear protection?

Shooting without proper ear protection should never be an option. It does not take much to cause permanent hearing loss when using a firearm. This is especially true if you are using the gun on a regular basis.

If you are planning to shoot indoors for target practice and are close to walls, this can amplify the sound even more. The sound bounces off structures and could cause even greater damage because it will resonate for longer in the air.

When you head out to find shooting ear protection, look at the Noise Reduction Rating (NRR). The higher the NRR Noise Reduction Rating, the more noise it blocks. You will want the highest NRR you can find for shooting. We recommend that ear protection should have an NRR rating of at least 30.

It is also important to do research on what kind of ear protection you need based on the rifle or firearm that you are using. If you plan on using a high-caliber rifle, you will need to invest in some higher quality ear protection that will always keep you protected.


When talking about ear protection, you can also muffle the sound at the source. Gun suppressors, often called silencers, not only reduce the noise of a gunshot but also provide valuable ear protection. By reducing the sound (not silencing it altogether) produced upon firing a gun, suppressors help prevent hearing damage commonly associated with repeated exposure to loud firearms.

They can significantly decrease the risk of hearing loss and tinnitus among shooters and those in close proximity. Integrating suppressors into shooting practices prioritizes personal safety and ear health. As such, they serve as a great accessory for both recreational shooters and professionals in various fields.

Safe Shooting

You only get one pair of ears in your lifetime, so treat them with care. Hearing well is a gift and preventing damage to your ears is an important part of enjoying hunting or target shooting.

If you need proper ear protection for shooting, we can help! We can answer your questions — in addition to helping you determine which option is right for your specific situation.

Our team at Sporting Systems can help get you set up with the right product that will keep your hearing intact. Our selection is unmatched, and we are dedicated to outstanding customer service. So don’t delay in browsing our selection!

We’re also experts in all manner of shooting and hunting and other gun-related activities. Above and beyond ear protection safety, we can also inform you on safety glasses and other gun safety products. Remember to ask us about gift cards!


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