Hunting is such a task where the hunters need to have quite a few things with them. When you are using a firearm, you are exposing yourself to higher risk. Hunting in itself is a risky activity, but when you are using a gun for hunting the risk doubles up.
Shooting a firearm creates a loud noise, which is very harmful to the ears. Any sound above 85dB is bad for ears. So indulging yourself into an activity where you are exposing your ears to that level of sound for an extended period, then you are unconsciously losing your hearing power.
Firearms can make a loud noise somewhere between minimum 140dB to maximum 175dB. So, the calculation is pretty easy to understand, and it shows what a sudden loud sound of 140dB or more can do to your ears. Thus, you must invest in the best hunting ear protection device and wear it to protect your ears from loud gunfire sounds.
An ear protection device might seem to be two small muffs, but a good amount of technology is invested in that tiny device. The job is not only about protecting your ears from loud noises. You will have to hear properly even with the muffs on the ears.
During hunting, if you get to listen to both ambient sounds or noises from far away clearly, it becomes easy to stay alert. It means both the low and loud noises must be converted into normal, average sounds for human ears. So, the job of the device will be to enhance the low sounds which are below 85dB and reduce the loud noises above 85dB.
Thus, the best hunting ear protection will have to have a good Noise Reduction Rating and also will need to amplify the low sound. There are other essential features as well, which vary from device to device. We are reviewing quite a few of them for you.
1. Walkers Game Ear Clear Listening Device
This device is a micro elite translucent listening device made by Walker’s Game Ear. It claims to be the top of the line gsm product and has a completely-in-canal design where it perfectly fits the ears.
Suitable for anyone and everyone, the sound-reducing earmuff adjusts the sound of any surroundings into an average hearing level for the user. It comes in four listening modes- general, crowds, music/theater, and nature.
So, there are options to change the mode depending on the surroundings. With four channels 16-band graphic equalizer, it not only enhances the sound but also offers precise control on the audio. It also provides a clear sound. For selecting each programming, it features the Wand program.
It also features Sound Activated Compression (SAC) and Environmental Noise Suppression. The former immediately activates upon a loud noise above 90db, and the latter decreases the unwanted, annoying sound. Then there is the +22dB NRR which works on reducing at least 7.5dB from the loud noises. The given NRR works when worn with foam plugs.
Top of the line gsm product
Completely-in-canal ALD’s with Translucent housing
Sound reducing earmuff with SAC and noise suppression
+22dB Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) when worn with foam plugs
Four modes and channels, and 16-band graphic equalizer
We have another Walker’s Game Ear listening device, but this time with a higher Noise Reduction Rating. It has 29dB NRR, which means it reduces 11db from whatever loud surroundings you find yourself into.
Not only that, it features 50db of Hearing Enhancement and that’s great for hearing sounds from afar. You are going to hear even the meekest of noise with that level of sound enhancement. Such type proves to be the best hunting ear protection.
It has a quadraphonic sound system due to its use of four channels, so the user is getting to hear the surround sound from different directions. It guarantees crisp, clear sound quality due to the 20 Bit Audio Processor.
With the 8-band graphic equalizer, it enhances the surround sound a bit more. You also have automatic feedback control and adjustable frequency tuning.
This top of the line gsm product features Nano-Tech Waterproofing, which means its hydrophobic, and there is no chance of water intrusion in any part of the device. It also repels dirt.
Top of the line gsm product
Sound reducing earmuff with nano-tech waterproofing
3. SureFire EP4 Sonic Defenders Plus Filtered Earplugs
This one is ear protection made in the USA by SureFire with triple-flanged stems. The material used in it is hypoallergenic, medical-grade polymer, which is known for its softness and durability.
The adjustability of the listening device is top-notch as it stays sealed in the ear canals for long hours of constant moving. The reason is its Patented EarLock retention rings. The design utilizes all the seven contact points of the ear and locks the earpiece securely.
It doesn’t budge and fits the same way every time you wear it. It filters the sounds in a way where hazardous noise will not affect, and ambient sound will be maintained so that one can hear the conversation.
It has a 24dB NRR with the filter caps inserted. Without the filter caps, it gives a feeling as if nothing is hanging from or implanted in your ears. Then, it has a low-profile design, so you can comfortably wear masks, helmets, other listening devices over it.
Made of hypoallergenic, medical-grade soft polymer
Those of you who are searching for a camo pattern ear protection, you have this one. This low profile ear cups with padded adjustable headband have a folding design and fits the noggin perfectly.
Though a bit bulky compared to the other earmuffs, still it is storage-friendly. Moreover, if you want a camo pattern, then you have to have a base large enough to put the design on it.
Ambient sound amplification and automatic noise blocking, it does both. With the built-in directional microphones, the ambient sounds are amplified, and the moment the sound reaches above 82db, it shuts off the amplification automatically. For reducing harmful loud noises, it has the NRR of 22dB.
It functions with two AAA batteries and has a battery life of approximately 350 hours. The device shut-off automatically after 4 hours, which is also beneficial to battery life. As it is a proper listening device with a connection cord of 3.5mm, thus can be used for listening to music and doing other stuff as well.
Automatically shuts off amplification when the sound reaches 82 dB
22dB Noise Reduction Rating
Low profile ear cups and adjustable headband
Automatically shuts off after 4 hours
Includes AUX input, 3.5 mm connection cord and 2 AAA batteries
If the previous one was bulky for you, but you want a Howard Leight product anyways, then they have even that. It is their Supra-aura protection Soft pod, which is as thin and portable as any listening device can ever be.
It comes with a good Noise Reduction Rating of 25dB. The NRR is impressive enough as it is going to reduce a lot from the loud, hurting noises and make it comforting to your ears.
It doesn’t fully seal the ear canals but partially rests there and make a proper balance between comfort and protection. The design of the band is patented and keeps the pod away from touching contaminants and surfaces.
The pod is manufactured and designed for those who occasionally find them in loud noise surroundings. Hunting with firearms is an excellent example of intermittent noise hazards. The earplugs only offer partial protection, so it’s a perfect hunting ear protection for such occasional noisy activities.
Lightweight and portable
Patented band design
Noise Reduction Rating of 25dB
Rests partially in the ear canal
Keep the much-needed balance between comfort and protection
6. Etymotic GunsportPRO Earplugs Designed for Hunters
It is an HD electronic earplugs which has used the most advanced technology to provide crisp, clear sound while protecting the ears from harmful noises. It uses high-definition balanced-armature sound drivers, high-sensitivity microphones and specially developed signal processing inside it.
You can hear everything as if you have nothing in the ears when there is no noise in the background. With just a flip, the sound from a far distance is amplified and bring into an average hearing level and simultaneously protects the ears from sudden blasts.
The change in its functioning is automatic as it features adaptive attenuation. Hearing is natural when sound levels are safe, but with the increase of the sound pressure level, it gradually adjusts and gets ready to protect the ears from noise hazards.
It comes with a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty and includes accessories like Zinc Air batteries, miscellaneous ear tips, protective case, filter removal tool, replacement filters, and neck cord.
Maintains natural hearing when there is no noise but immediately activates upon loud noise
Improves distance detection up to five times
25dB NRR with instant blast protection
Comes with batteries, ear tips, filter removal tool, case, cord and more
This one is an electronic earmuff that operates with two AAA batteries. The package includes the batteries in it. It is not just an ear protecting device but also a device for listening to an MP3 player, iPod or smartphone with the 3.55mm audio input jack.
It is very different from both the previous Walker’s Game Ear listening devices. The ultra-thin rubberized cups and soft-padded headband provides maximum comfort during long hours of wearing this snug fit ear device.
It has an NRR of 23dB and SAC with a reaction time of 0.02 second. Both of these features are essential for protecting the ears from loud, damaging noise of gunfire and heavy machinery. With such heavy protection, this still allows you to communicate with others, as you can clearly listen to what they are saying.
The two omnidirectional microphones with HD speakers increases the quality of the sound like no other. Whatever music or sound you are hearing through the speakers are crisp and clear.
Ultra-thin, low profile rubberized cups
Built-in omnidirectional microphones
23dB Noise Reduction Rating
0.02 second response time with activated protection over 89dB
Includes two AAA batteries
Can’t wear a mask, eye frames or helmet with this one
Rooth Protective Earpiece might look like a pair of tiny ear muffs which could be lost any given time. But it works phenomenally well in protecting the ear from loud fire shot noises which makes it an apt hunting ear protection.
It has used soft, durable, non-toxic, high-quality silicon in its construction. The material is also anti-tensile, waterproof, and against bacteria. Thus more than safe for your ears. The safety level is stamped and confirmed by the UL, FDA certification used by the military and NATO.
It features an advanced patent-pending pulse filter. What this feature does is attenuating even the highest peak of a firing shot sound to a harmless level, maintaining the clarity of normal level sounds of the surroundings.
So, you have clarity in hearing conversation even with high-level protection from loud noises. It provides passive protection from constant, uncomfortable, harmful noises with its 25dB NRR. It includes a carrying case so that you can maintain the hygiene and also safely store it when not in use.
Silicone, soft and non-toxic earplug
Noise Reduction Rating of 25dB
Waterproof, anti-tensile, antibacterial and anti-moisture
Passed safety certification used by the military and NATO such as UL, FDA
It’s an electronic earmuff featuring rubberized pressure points, super deluxe padded headband, and telescopic height adjustment. A device with the highest NRR among all the rest we have mentioned in our review.
It is designed and built keeping the handgun and pistol shooters who are searching for high NRR in mind. It has an NRR of 30dB, which is ideal for extremely loud shooting environments.
With the built-in directional microphones, it amplifies the ambient sound up to 4x bringing it close to 82dB. So, the range commands and mild noises of the prey walking around are clear to hear.
The device actively listens to every noise, meek or moderate and the moment it crosses 82dB, it automatically shuts off, and passively blocks the noise at 30dB.
It runs with 2 AAA batteries with 350 hours of battery life. The automatic shut-off system after 4 hours helps save battery life to a huge extent. It includes a 3.5mm connection cord for using it with the MP3 players and scanners.
Super deluxe padded headband with adjustable telescopic height
Rubberized pressure points
Increases ambient sounds to a safe 82 dB and automatically shuts off
30db NRR, and blocks out noise at 30dB
Includes connection cord, AAA batteries with 350 hours battery life
This low-profile hearing protection has a 23dB NRR with two microphones providing authentic stereo sound. The microphones amplify the low sounds below 85dB, and such amplification makes communication, range commands, and environmental sounds comfortable.
The moment it reaches above 85 dB the microphones in each cup shuts off for a split second. It protects the shooter’s hearing capability from the sudden loud blast. The amplifiers also help the hunter to determine the direction of the sound accurately.
The lightweight design goes easy on the noggin during long hours. Its headband is padded and comfortable, and the cushioned ear cups are adjustable. Due to the snug fit, it cancels the noise efficiently, and the user can target with the gun accurately.
It withstands every impact and is foldable as well. It runs on two AAA batteries. The audio jack allows you to listen to music on your phone and MP3 player, with adjustable volume control.
Low-profile, lightweight design with stereo sound quality
A padded headband and cushioned ear cups for a snug, comfortable fit
As we can very well see, all the listening devices are different not only in terms of look but features as well. Still, they have similarities in the basics, and that is the protection of the ears. Protecting yourself is in your hand, and when the shield has so many benefits to it that too at such an affordable price, you must not skip using it.
Thus, the next time you are going to hunt your prey with the gun, make sure you are wearing the best hunting ear protection. Otherwise, you are going to have permanent hearing issues. Many hunters among you might be wondering what’s the point of ear protection when it is about two-three bullet firing. Obviously, it is not going to happen in a day.
The effect will be visible after a few hunting sessions, and once you are affected, you will fail to do anything to cure the permanent damage. Keep in mind, hearing a sound level of more than 145db is loud enough to affect your ears and cause permanent damage. So, be wise and protect your ears.
Hi, I am John Campbell, an outdoor enthusiast. Just like you, I value the habitat, heritage and tradition of great outdoors. I do my best to make sure the correct research, writing, and photo are shown on Tacticalgearslab.com. Indeed, I am committed to preserving a great online experience for you.