Smart Ways How to Choose a Quality Ear Protection for Shooting

One of the common health problems that most cops suffer is a hearing loss; the culprit? Gunshot on the range! In fact, according to a research, 59 percent of 39 million adult American gun users who never wore ear protection during gun range had suffered from hearing problems.


Gunshots are loud; they can range from 140 dB (decibels) to 175 dB (decibels), which is potentially dangerous to healthy human hearing. According to medical experts, a healthy individual can take 0 to 120 dB in all frequencies and anything beyond that can be painful; this is one of the reasons why several professional hunters and target shooters do not fail to wear ear protector during shooting.

If you are planning to be a professional target shooter, it would be best if you wore quality ear protection for shooting; you may start looking for a reliable source where it is worth the read.

If you are having difficulties choosing which one would fit your shooting needs, below are top ways when purchasing ear protection for shooting:

1. Check the NRR (Noise Reduction Ratings)

Your first task when choosing the best ear protection is checking the earplugs’ or muffs’ NRR or noise reduction ratings; it is one of the essential consideration that you should never undervalue. NRR is a rating method to determine the efficacy of the ear protection device in reducing the ear’s exposure to ear-damaging-noise, which includes the sound of a continuous flow of gunshots.

If you check the market today, you will probably encounter earplugs or earmuffs with 0 to 33 dB; however, according to experts, a quality ear protection has NRR of 23 to 33 dB.

2. Choosing between earmuffs and earplugs

This is one of the most encountered challenges when choosing the right ear protection – choosing between earmuffs and earplugs. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages, it is your choice which one would make you feel comfortable.

Earmuffs’ Advantages:

  • Easy to fit
  • Comes with two sets – the electronic earmuffs and the passive earmuffs
    o    Electronic earmuffs – amplifies quieter sound; it allows you to hear your commander’s call. It comes with adjustable volume and integrated with microphones.
    o    Passive earmuffs – it is designed with foams that block any outside noise.
  • Best for cooler climates
  • Needs less maintenance


  • Warm and uncomfortable during summer
  • Easy to fit but efficient when protecting painful sound
  • May lose its efficacy when you try to wear goggles

Earplugs’ Advantages:

  • Offers better ear protection since it fits directly to the ear canal
  • Light to carry
  • Comfortable to use even if you wear eye protection


  • You need to find earplugs that fit perfectly to your ear canal
  • Not allowed to be used by people with an ear infection
  • Can be uncomfortable sometimes
  • Need to be kept inside a specially designed case for its protection

If you want better ear protection, professionals recommend using both.

3. It should be comfortable

One of the important factors when choosing the right ear protection for target shooting is its comfortability. Choose an ear protection that fits you perfectly and must be comfortable for better hearing protection.