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    Categories: Best Home Improvement

Best Electronic Ear Muffs for Shooting – Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

People need ear protection to reduce hearing loss caused by hazardously-loud environment-generated noises. Best electronic ear muffs protect hearing while allowing important communications, signals, sirens, and commands to be heard.

Workplace and recreational ear protection is regulated worldwide. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) mandates/regulates occupational health and safety in the US. They additionally require employees working in loud environments to wear ear muffs as part of their required protective personal equipment (PPE). Employers must provide workers ear protection for those exposed to noise intensity equal to, or exceeding, 90 dBA during an 8-hour shift.

NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) also imposes noise exposure regulations, including a graduated reduction in allowable exposure time for increases in noise volume. For example, 3 dBA doubles the severity of the noise, which reduces the permitted time exposed to the noise by half.

The European Union directive mandates that employers must provide hearing protection for their employees that work around noise(s) exceeding 85 dB(A) during an 8-hour period. The EU also mandates the 3 dB exchange rate.

Best Electronic Ear Muffs 2018

  • Howard Leight by Honeywell Impact Sport Sound Amplification Electronic Earmuff
  • Howard Leight by Honeywell Impact Pro Sound Amplification Electronic Earmuff (R-01902)
  • Howard Leight 1030110 Sync Noise-Blocking Stereo Earmuff
  • Honeywell R-01526-PK2 HowardLeight Electronic Earmuff, 2-Pack
  • Stanley Sync Stereo Earmuff with MP3 Connection (RST -63011)
  • 3M Peltor Tactical Sport Earmuff
  • Peltor Sport RangeGuard RG-OTH-4 Electronic Earmuff Hearing Protector, Ear Protection
  • 3M Peltor TacticalPro Electronic Earmuff MT 15H7F SV, Hearing Protection, Ear Protection
  • MSA Sordin Supreme Pro X, Neckband, Electronic Earmuff
  • MSA Sordin Supreme BASIC SOR75301, Electronic Earmuff Defenders Hearing Protection

Best Electronic Ear Muffs 2018 Comparison

NameDimensions, inchWeight, ozNoise Reduction Rating, DbAutomatic noise blocking/ amplificationBatteries 
Howard Leight Impact Sport Electronic Earmuff3.8x5x8.2
16.4
22+/+
2 AAA/ Auto shut-off 4h
Check Price
Howard Leight Impact Pro Electronic Earmuff2.5x2.5x2.5
15.8
30+/+
2 AAA/ Auto shut-off 4h
Check Price
Howard Leight 1030110 Stereo Earmuff 7.5х3.1х6.3
14.4
25NoNo Check Price
Howard Leight R-01526-PK2 Electronic Earmuff3.8x5x8.2
12
22+/+
2 AAA/ Auto shut-off 4h
Check Price
Stanley Sync Stereo Earmuff RST-6301110.4x8.3x4.7
15.2
25NoNo Check Price
3M Peltor Tactical Sport Electronic Earmuff12x8x4.5
19
20+/+
2 AAA/ Auto shut-off 4h
Check Price
Peltor Sport Range Guard RG-OTH-4 Electronic Earmuff4.2x5x8.8
12.8
21+/+
2 AAA/ Auto shut-off 4h
Check Price
3M Peltor Tactical Pro MT 15H7F SV Electronic Earmuff6x4x4
13.6
26+/+
2 AAA/ Auto shut-off 2h
Check Price
MSA Sordin Supreme Pro X Electronic Earmuff1.5x3x2.7
12.8
19+/+
2 AAA/ Auto shut-off
4h
Check Price
MSA Sordin Supreme BASIC SOR75301 Electronic Earmuff3.9x8.7x7.2
15.8
18+/+
2 AAA/ Auto shut-off 4h Check Price

Howard Leight by Honeywell Impact Sport Sound Amplification Electronic Earmuff – Best Low-profile Electronic Ear Muffs for the Money; Water-resistant; Recommended for Firearm Ranges, Hunting and Work


The low-profile, water-resistant Howard Leight Impact Sport electronic ear muff protects from damaging noise while connecting you to your surrounding environment. The Impact Sport’s low profile ear cup allows full firearm stock clearance. It is ideal for outdoor ranges, hunting, yard work, etc. It folds for easy storage.

The fully-adjustable Impact Sport ear muff is a patented air flow control technology that provides a slender ear cup and low profile that permits unhampered firearm stock clearance. The padded headband has a telescopic height adjustment to ensure a firm, comfortable fit for all sizes. Stainless steel spring arms minimize temple pressure.

It provides NRR 22 noise protection in the on/off, mode. When the electronic ear protection is “on,” a built-in directional safety feature microphone amplifies ambient sounds. This amplification feature automatically turns “off” when loud impulsive sounds, such as firearm discharges, reach 82 dB. It has a single power/control switch and is powered by two AAA batteries that provide an estimated 350 hours of use. The Auto shutoff (after 4 hours) maximizes battery life.

The AUX external 3.5mm connection input audio jack lets you connect to any audio source.

The Impact Sport is recommended for those that need a low profile ear muff that does not interfere with firearm stock clearance, All models of Howard Leight earmuffs and safety eyewear are compatible with each other.
Pros
  • Water-resistant
  • Good dual protection with earplugs or hearing aid
  • Fits over glasses
  • Folds for easy storage
  • 1-yr. Honeywell Warranty
Cons
  • Sound is too loud at indoor ranges
  • Do not expose ear cups to rain/constant drizzle

Howard Leight by Honeywell Impact Pro Sound Amplification Electronic Earmuff (R-01902) – Best Low Cost Electronic Ear Muffs with Highest Rated Nrr 30; Designed for Pistol and Handgun Shooters and Indoor/Outdoor Ranges


The passive Howard Leight ImpactPro Sound Amplification electronic ear muff protects from damaging noise while connecting you to your surrounding environment. The Impact Pro is designed for pistol and handgun shooters. Suited for indoor and outdoor use. It is particularly ideal for indoor ranges. The patented Air Flow Control Technology amplification system allows you to hear important sounds and conversations. All models of Howard Leight earmuffs and safety eyewear are compatible with each other.

The ImpactPro has a padded headband with a telescopic height adjustment to ensure a firm, comfortable fit for all sizes. Rubberized pressure points prevent gunstock scratching.

It provides NRR 30 noise protection in the on/off, mode. When the electronic ear protection is “on,” a built-in directional safety feature microphone amplifies ambient sounds. This amplification feature automatically turns “off” when loud impulsive sounds, such as firearm discharges, reach 82 dB.

The ImpactPro has a single power and control switch. It is powered by two AAA batteries that provide an estimated 350 hours of use. The Auto shutoff (after 4 hours) maximizes battery life.

The AUX external 3.5mm connection input audio jack lets you connect to any audio source.

The ImpactPro has an exceptional amplification system and NRR rating, recommended for indoor pistol and handgun ranges. All models of Howard Leight earmuffs and safety eyewear are compatible with each other.
Pros
  • Good value for the money
  • More noise reduction than the Howard Leight Impact Sport model; exceptional NRR rating
  • Good dual protection with earplugs or hearing aid
  • 1-yr. Honeywell Warranty
Cons
  • Bulky; larger size may also hamper rifle use
  • Are not as compact as the Howard Leight Impact Sport model
  • Not very comfortable for extended wear

Howard Leight 1030110 Sync Noise-Blocking Stereo Electronic Earmuff – Best Cheap Ear Muffs for Ear Protection with Audio Input; Reduces dB for Music Listening; No Batteries Required


The Howard Leight Sync Stereo Earmuff plugs into a music device to enable listening to music in a noisy environment. Sync stereo ear muffs are passive, not noise cancellation, technology. They are headphones that provide a degree of dB reduction over an extensive audible spectrum.

The Sync’s Volume Management technology DJ-style ear cup design optimizes output stereo volume while providing hearing protection. It provides NRR 25 noise protection from most low- to medium-hazardous noise levels. It provides sounds to 82 dB from personal portable audio devices.

The Sync has no volume controls or power switches. No batteries are required since these are acoustical ear muff headphones powered and volume-controlled from the user’s personal listening device.

The Sync has a comfortable, easy-to-clean, padded headband with reinforced handholds and fork slides. The 3.5 mm input cable (included) lets you instantly connect to any audio source.

The Sync is recommended for those that desire basic, cost-effective, ear protection with optimized stereo music output.
Pros
  • Sturdy construction
  • Volume/power are controlled from your personal device
  • Fits over glasses
  • 1-yr. Honeywell Warranty
Cons
  • Does not work well with hearing aids
  • Limited adjustment
  • Not specifically built for comfort

Honeywell R-01526-PK2 Howard Leight Electronic Earmuff, 2-Pack (Classic Green) – Best Fully-adjustable Electronic Ear Muffs value under $100; Water-resistant; Recommended for Indoor/ Outdoor Ranges and Activities


The water-resistant, fully-adjustable Honeywell R-01526-P2 Howard Leight electronic ear muff protects from damaging noise while connecting you to the surrounding environment. Its low-profile ear cup allows full firearm stock clearance and is ideal for indoor/outdoor ranges, hunting, yard work, and other hazardously-noisy environments. It has a compact folding design for easy storage.

The R-01526-P2 has a single power and control button. It is powered by two AAA batteries (easy access), that provide an estimated 350 hours of use. The Auto shutoff (after 4 hours) maximizes battery life.

The AUX external 3.5mm connection input audio jack lets you connect to any audio source.

The R-01526-P2 is recommended for inclement weather/outdoor use and for those that need a low profile ear muff that does not interfere with firearm stock clearance, All models of Howard Leight earmuffs and safety eyewear are compatible with each other.
Pros
  • Water-resistant
  • Good dual protection with earplugs or hearing aid
  • Fits over glasses
  • Batteries included
  • 1-yr. Honeywell Warranty
Cons
  • Hampered free swiveling causes an inadequate ear cup seal
  • Ear muffs should not be exposed to rain or constant drizzle

Stanley Sync Stereo Electronic Earmuff with MP3 Connection (RST-63011) – Best Inexpensive Ear Muffs for Home Defense; Slim, Lightweight, Professional-grade, Hi-fi Stereo Sound with Distinct Acoustical Bass Pro


The Stanley Sync Stereo Earmuff is lightweight hearing protection with professional-grade, high-fidelity stereo when connected to a personal audio device. A patent-pending acoustical bass chamber increases bass sounds usually absent from stereo ear muffs. It is well-suited for most jobsites/work areas. The patented Air Flow Control Technology optimizes attenuation over all frequencies.

The Stanley Sync’s patented Volume Management Technology optimizes output stereo volume while providing hearing protection. NRR 25 noise protection from most low- to medium-hazardous noise levels. It provides sounds to 82 dB from personal portable audio devices.

It has a slim, lightweight ear cup design. The patented Air Flow Control technology decreases sound across all frequencies without increasing the size or weight of the ear cup. The padded headband with reinforced fork slides ensures all-day wearing comfort.
There are no volume controls or power switch. No batteries are required since these are acoustical ear muff headphones powered and volume-controlled from the user’s personal listening device.

The AUX input jack connects to MP3 players, mobile phones and other personal listening devices. Multiple devices may be simultaneously connected.

The Stanley Sync lightweight, compact/portable ear muff is recommended for those on jobsites who will wear it for long periods.
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • The only product on our list with a specially made grind rails on the bottom of the deck
  • Durable
  • Long-wear comfort
  • Compact; folds for storage
Cons
  • Basic headphones
  • Must contact customer service for manufacturer’s warranty

3M Peltor Tactical Sport Electronic Earmuff – Best Electronic Ear Muffs with ASIC Digital Sound Amplification Technology; Ideal Hearing Protection for Hunting and Indoor/ Outdoor Pistol, Shotgun/ Rifle Shooting


The Peltor Tactical Sport electronic ear muff uses ASIC digital chip technology that fast shutoff/recovery while protecting from hazardously-loud impulse noises. This hearing protection has high-fidelity stereo and sound amplification to hear low-level range commands and conversation. It is ideal for hunting and indoor/outdoor pistol, shotgun/rifle shooting.

The Tactical Sport has ergonomically-designed, contoured, foam and liquid-filled ear cups and adjustable, fold-able, padded, stainless steel headband for all-day comfort.

The Tactical Sport provides NRR 20 noise protection in the on/off mode. When the electronic ear protection is “on,” a built-in directional microphone amplifies ambient sounds. It automatically turns “off” when loud impulsive sounds are detected. It has a single power and control switch and is powered by two AAA batteries. The Auto shutoff maximizes battery life.

The AUX external 3.5mm connection input audio jack lets you connect to any audio source.

The Tactical Sport is an upgrade version of the Sport RangeGuard model, and is recommended for hunting and indoor/outdoor shooting.
Pros
  • Distortion-free
  • 2nd set of ear cup covers
  • Compatible with the Peltor gel ear seals
  • Compact; folds for storage
  • Limited Warranty
Cons
  • Audio/communications cable is proprietary

Peltor Sport RangeGuard RG-OTH-4 Electronic Earmuff Hearing Protector, Ear Protection, NRR 21 dB, Ideal for Shooting and Hunting – Best Budget Advanced Electronic Ear Muffs; Improved Communication; Ideal Noise Canceling for Shooting, Duck Hunting, Ranges


The Peltor Sport RangeGuard electronic hearing protection ear muff offers advanced electronics and improvements that aid communication in a shooting environment while providing quality hearing protection, performance, and comfort. The Sport RangeGuard is excellent for hunting and indoor/outdoor shooting ranges.

The low profile Sport RangeGuard ear cup design quashes impulsive shotgun and rifle noise while amplifying voices for clear communication. Ear cup microphones are recessed to reduce wind noise. The redesigned padded headband and slim, rubberized, foam ear cup seals ensure a firm, comfortable fit.

The Sport RangeGuard provides NRR 21 noise protection in the on/off mode. It has an improved single power and control button. It is powered by two AAA batteries (easy access door with tether), that provide an estimated 350 hours of use. The Auto shutoff (after 4 hours) maximizes battery life.

The AUX external 3.5mm connection input audio jack lets you connect to any audio source including 2-way radios.

This ear muff is particularly recommended for those that liked the original Peltor Sport RangeGuard prior to its current improvements and technology that aids communication.
Pros
  • Easy-access battery compartment
  • Folding headband
  • Somewhat water-resistant
  • Long-wear comfort
Cons
  • Batteries not included
  • Must contact customer service for manufacturer’s warranty
  • Not recommended for continuous loud noises

3M Peltor TacticalPro Electronic Earmuff Communications Headset MT15H7F SV; Hearing Protection; Ear Protection; NRR 26 dB Excellent for heavy equipment operators; airport workers; shooting and industrial workers – Best Electronic Ear Muffs with Microphone for Price; Excellent for Heavy Equipment Operators, Airport Workers, Shooting and Industrial Workers


The 3M Peltor TacticalPro is a 2-way communications headset that has a NRR of 26. It response amplifies low-level noise and sounds while simultaneously suppressing hazardous impulse noises (i.e. gunshots, sirens, etc.). Headsets are available in folding steel, padded headband, neckband, and hard hat-adaptable.

Fully-adjustable, over-sized ear cups with patented liquid gel-filled ear cushions provide comfortable NRR 26 noise protection. Stainless steel spring arms minimize temple pressure. A directional locator microphone in each ear cup allows stereo hearing.

The 3M TacticalPro design incorporates an ergonomic 3-button on/off, up/down volume control to aid mild- to moderate-hearing loss. Controls are easily operated with/without gloves. It is powered by two AA batteries in an easy access external housing, and provide 270+ hours of use. The Auto shutoff (after 2 hours) maximizes battery life.

The 3M TacticalPro is recommended for use with portable radios. The Standard Peltor J22 audio input jack allows you to plug in, listen, and communicate using your smartphone or FMRS two-way radio.
Pros
  • Comfortable for extended wear
  • Heavy-duty
  • Low-battery warning
  • Seals well with glasses
  • Good dual protection with earplugs or hearing aid
  • 1-yr. (Limited) Warranty
Cons
  • Short battery life
  • Audio jack cable not included
  • Liquid-fill is sensitive to high temps/heat

MSA Sordin Supreme Pro X with green cups – Neckband – Best Military Electronic Ear Muffs with Best Response Time; Waterproofed Slim-Design; ASIC Digital Sound Amplification Technology


The MSA Supreme Pro-X neckband design uses ASIC digital chip technology that provides high amplification and fast shutoff/recovery while protecting from hazardously-loud impulse noises. All moving parts are steel. Microphones are well-shielded and waterproofed for maximum sound direction location. Circuit boards are also lacquer-protected. The Supreme Pro-X is designed to be worn under ballistic helmets.

The Supreme Pro-X ear cups are slim, lightweight, gel with seal inserts. They are designed to fit right- or left-handed shooters. The removable headband is washable.

The Supreme Pro-X provides NRR 19 noise protection in the on/off mode. It has a waterproof battery compartment that accommodates two AAA batteries, which provide an estimated 300 hours of use. The Auto shutoff maximizes battery life.

The AUX external 3.5mm connection input audio jack lets you connect to any audio source including communication radios and dog-tracking devices.

The Supreme Pro-X is recommended for those that need waterproofed, high tech ear protection that comfortably fits under a ballistic helmet.
Pros
  • Ear cups fit right-hand and left-hand shooters
  • Weather resistant
  • Waterproofed components
  • 5-yr. Warranty on electronics
Cons
  • Must contact customer service for manufacturer’s warranty
  • Do not fold up

MSA Sordin Supreme BASIC with AUX Input and grey Leather-Band SOR75301 – Best Tactical Electronic Ear Muffs Conforms to International Specs; Good in Extreme Conditions; Ideal for Outdoor Ranges, Hunting, Shooting, and Special Forces


The MSA Sordin Supreme BASIC electronic earmuff hearing protection protects from damaging noise while connecting to the surrounding environment. These ear muffs conform to international mil-specifications and other extreme conditions. They are ideal for outdoor ranges, hunting, shooting, and special forces.

The Supreme BASIC provides NRR 18 noise protection in the on/off, mode. It is a plastic and metal ear muff with a slim, lightweight ear cup design that provides good amplification and reduces noise over decibels. An ergonomic 3-button on/off, up/down volume control aids mild- to moderate-hearing loss.

It provides NRR 18 noise protection in the on/off, mode. When the electronic ear protection is “on,” built-in directional microphones amplify ambient sounds. This amplification feature automatically turns “off” when loud impulsive sounds, such as firearm discharges, reach 82 dB.

It is powered by two AAA batteries that provide an estimated 150+ hours of use. The Auto shutoff that maximizes battery life.

The AUX external 3.5mm input jack connects to audio devices as well as to other Sordin external devices.

The lightweight Supreme BASIC is recommended for those international/special forces that operate in extreme conditions worldwide.
Pros
  • Low-battery warning system
  • Batteries included
  • 1-yr. Warranty on electronics
Cons
  • Must contact customer service for manufacturer’s warranty
  • Not waterproof
  • Do not seal over glasses

Best Electronic Ear Muffs – Buyer’s Guide

Technologies have made hearing protection more durable, comfortable, and perform more effectively. Air flow control technology optimizes attenuation across all frequencies.
ACIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) technology provides fast shutoff/recovery while protecting from hazardously-loud impulse noises. Microphones, contoured foam and gel filler, waterproof circuit boards, and stainless steel components add to electronic ear muff performance, comfort, and durability.

Who should buy electronic ear muffs?

Those that work around/with heavy equipment, power tools, firearms, lawn equipment, etc. should wear hearing protection. Even those with some current hearing loss benefit from wearing ear muffs. Those that connect to audio devices can still communicate and hear signals, sirens, and other important environment sounds.

ALL workers (regardless of hearing loss) must wear hearing protective devices (HPD), although they tend to reduce the ability to discern where a sound is coming from. HPDs should accommodate the worker’s comfort, noise exposure, and extent of hearing loss, as well as verbal/non-verbal communication demands. Hearing aids are not a substitute for hearing protectors.

Why is it important to choose the right one?

Each type of ear protection’s usefulness is based on the unit’s acoustical properties and materials they are made from. Personal hearing protection items are classified as passive, active, or dual protection. Earmuffs typically provide less reduction for sounds at low-frequency (<500 Hz). Earplugs are more effective for low-frequency noise reduction.

  • Passive Protection – Earplugs/ear muffs designed to block noise up to a certain frequency are passive ear protection. Each can provide attenuation from 10 dB to 40 dB. Earplugs are only effective if they are properly inserted/worn. Ear muffs are easily put on and removed and ensure more consistent noise attenuation.
    Passive ear muffs are as efficient as the materials they are made of. Hard plastic-coated, cupped foam ear muffs effectively block sound according to foam thickness and dampening properties. Communication microphones are included in some passive ear muff designs.
  • Active Protection – Active noise reduction earmuffs incorporate electronic pass-through hearing protection devices (EPHPs) that cancel out low frequency noise. Internal circuit, microphone, and speaker cancel specific noise frequencies while allowing remaining sounds to be heard.
  • Dual Protection – Ear muffs typically provide noise reduction up to 103 dBC. Earplugs may also be required when the intensity and duration exceeds that. They may be used simultaneously when the worker is exposed to noise exceeding 105 dBA during an 8-hour period. Shooting firearms generates extremely high impulses of 140+ dB.
    Dual hearing protection devices with electronic/communication enhance signals and communications that benefit those with hearing loss.

What to look for when buying electronic ear muffs

  • Proper Fit – The ear muff should cover the outer ear and make a snug seal against the head. Adjust the headband to a length so sound/noise does not leak under the cushions. Placing ear muffs over hair or glasses reduces overall sound block effectiveness.
  • Sound Transmission – Earmuff materials help determine the device’s effectiveness. Sound transmission (through the earmuff material) above 1000 Hz reduces overall effectiveness.
  • Vibrations – The ear canal and air trapped inside the ear muff cup vibrate in extremely loud, low frequency, environments, which reduces the overall hearing protection effectiveness.

The seal between the ear cup and skin is broken during extensive wear and head movement, which may require periodic adjustment.
Aaron Hicks :