Best In-ear Electronic Hearing Protection for Shooting of 2020: Top 5 Picks

Last update: Sep 24, 2020

Guns are fun, but they are also dangerous in several ways. Today, shooting can be considered a sport that works for both indoor and outdoor environments.

However, regardless of the location where you’re shooting, apart from avoiding shooting your own foot, you also need to protect your ears. The reason is that loud noise from gunshots and damages your ear canals, and your hearing ability as a result.

Hearing protection is a good way to do this. Today, we will show you what the best in-ear electronic hearing protection for shooting should be like.

Here are the best in-ear electronic hearing protection for shooting you can buy in 2020:

  • Best Overall: 3M PELTOR Tactical Earplug TEP-100, 1 Kit EA/Case
  • Best for Long-Range Rifle Shooting: Walker's Razor Behind The Neck Hearing Protection Ear Buds
  • Best for Shooting Pistols: Walker's Game Ear Silencer Earbuds Rechargeable
  • Best for Calm Days: Walker's Silencer Digital Earbuds
  • Best for Professional Shooters: Etymotic GunsportPRO Earplugs
5 Best In-ear Electronic Hearing Protection For Shooting
Best Overall
3M PELTOR Tactical Earplug TEP-100, 1 Kit EA/Case
    Best for Long-Range Rifle Shooting
    Walker's Razor Behind The Neck Hearing Protection Ear Buds
      Best for Shooting Pistols
      Walker's Game Ear Silencer Earbuds Rechargeable
        Best for Calm Days
        Walker's Silencer Digital Earbuds
          Best for Professional Shooters
          Etymotic GunsportPRO Earplugs

            Best Overall: 3M PELTOR Tactical Earplug TEP-100, 1 Kit EA/Case

            3M PELTOR Tactical Earplug TEP-100, 1 Kit EA/Case
            3M PELTOR Tactical Earplug TEP-100, 1 Kit EA/Case
            9Outstanding
            Pros
            Cons
            • Feel hot

            So far so good, we’re very pleased with these in-ear electric heating protection. Whether shooting at an indoor range or outdoor, it offers wonderful protection. Compared to the plain foam in-ear plugs, this product is much better, especially in terms of noise cancellation.

            We love how snugly they fit in our ear canals. For beginners, this feeling might be a bit uncomfortable at first but once you accommodated to the sensation, it happens no more.

            The digital sound amplification is quite excellent that allow you to hear anything needed plus once they don’t detect any damaging noise.

            A big plus is the provided sturdy hard plastic case for protective storage when not in use.

            3M PELTOR Tactical Earplug TEP-100, 1 Kit EA/Case Specifications

            Weight

            3.52 ounces

            Noise Reduction Rating

            Skull Screw Communication Tip (30dB)

            Triple C Communication Tip (27dB)

            UltraFit Communication Tip (23dB)

            Battery Run Time

            16 hours

            Highlight Features

            excellent digital sound amplification; soft ear tips; added with a sturdy hard plastic case

            If your gun requires a closer than normal cheek weld, this 3M PELTOR TEP-100 is the best overall in-ear electronic hearing protection for you.

            Best for Long-Range Rifle Shooting: Walker's Razor Behind The Neck Hearing Protection Ear Buds

            Walker's Razor Behind The Neck Hearing Protection Ear Buds
            Walker's Razor Behind The Neck Hearing Protection Ear Buds
            9Outstanding
            Pros
            • Protect ears from loud noise effectively - Sound Activated Compression circuit, 31dB NRR, & Independent Volume Control
            • Enhance clear sounds - High gain omnidirectional microphones
            • Comfortable to wear - foam plugs
            Cons
            • Audio quality lacks bass range
            • A bit struggling to replace the foam

            For those who have taken up long-range shooting, the Walker's Razor Hearing Protection Ear Buds are your missing pieces.

            They overcome the common problem that ordinary earmuffs have – adding noise. This makes it hard to hear range commands by the range officer whereas allows some big caliber rifles shooting on the line.

            With these earbuds, once in the pit, it degrades the gun shooting sounds phenomenally well while still allows you to hear conversations.

            The cutout is also very sensitive (dropping a magazine on the tailgate will trigger it). Besides, foam plugs go along way towards making them comfortable enough to wear all day.

            Walker's Razor Behind The Neck Hearing Protection Ear Buds Specifications

            Weight

            1.76 ounces

            Noise Reduction Rating

            10 hours

            Battery Run Time

            10 hours

            Highlight Features

            Sound Activated Compression circuit, 31dB NRR, & Independent Volume Control; High gain omnidirectional microphones

            The Walker's Razor Hearing Protection Ear Buds are our top pick for short-range rifle shooting.

            Best for Shooting Pistols: Walker's Game Ear Silencer Earbuds Rechargeable

            Walker's Game Ear Silencer Earbuds Rechargeable
            Walker's Game Ear Silencer Earbuds Rechargeable
            9Outstanding
            Pros
            • Comfortable for prolonged wear - foam tips
            • Give a good fit - three different size adaptors
            • Reliable - Designed and engineered in America
            • Long-lasting batteries
            Cons
            • Tricky to detect the direction of something coming from while hunting
            • The wind is slightly amplified on windy days

            If you’re shooting .22s or suppressed small-caliber pistols, we highly recommend the Walker's Game Ear Silencer Earbuds.

            These are very comfortable for prolonged wear.

            There are three different size adaptors to choose from and once getting them fitted properly, they do a good job at noise cancellation. On the other hand, conversations are possible with these earbuds. The electronic portion makes the sound very clear.

            Our experts also like its rechargeable batteries as they last very well as far as charge goes and you can easily get 5 sessions out of them before recharge is needed.

            Walker's Game Ear Silencer Earbuds Rechargeable Specifications

            Weight

            7.5 ounces

            Noise Reduction Rating

            23dB

            Battery Run Time

            4-6 hours

            Highlight Features

            foam tips; three different size adaptors; Designed and engineered in America; Long-lasting batteries

            For those who are tired of having the traditional earmuffs bothering your ears when worn for 3-4 hours shooting pistols at a time, then this is a great replacement.

            Best for Calm Days: Walker's Silencer Digital Earbuds

            Walker's Silencer Digital Earbuds
            Walker's Silencer Digital Earbuds
            8.6Great
            Pros
            • Simple storage and transport - Carry Case
            • Require less charging time – long-lasting battery with a runtime of 80 hours
            • Able to reduce noise by 25dB - SAC ability
            • Enhance and protect digital hearing - independent Volume control on each earbud
            Cons
            • Bad when walking through bushes
            • The big foam tip isn’t moderately tight to offer a good fit
            • A bit little tricky to get into the ear canal

            Our testers have endorsed the excellent performance of these earbuds in noise cancellation during calm days. After walking around with them for five hours, we didn’t feel like we just had to rip them out.

            They work pretty well in picking up conversations and letting the sounds come through naturally whereas suppressing shooting noise efficiently.

            The batteries last a reasonable length of time (we only changed them a couple times all season). Meanwhile, the tool included really makes changing the batteries a breeze.

            Walker's Silencer Digital Earbuds Specifications

            Weight

            1.6 ounces

            Noise Reduction Rating

            85dB

            Battery Run Time

            80 hours.

            Highlight Features

            the battery lasts up to 80 hours; SAC ability; independent Volume control on each earbud

            If you intend to go deer hunting on calm days and need a good in-ear electronic hearing protection, this is it.

            Best for Professional Shooters: Etymotic GunsportPRO Earplugs

            Etymotic GunsportPRO Earplugs
            Etymotic GunsportPRO Earplugs
            8.6Great
            Pros
            • Enhance awareness but still protect the ears from blasts - 5x improving distance detection
            • Extra convenience – provide #10 Zinc Air batteries, a neck cord, a carrying case, and filter removal tool and replacement filters
            Cons
            • Easily come loose

            The Etymotic GunsportPRO Earplugs are our proud choice for shooting experts as they give totally different experience compared to the regular models.

            It enhances the distance detection up to five times longer compared to others, meaning for better awareness enhancement with no compromise of ear protection from blasts. There also comes with the filter removal tool and replacement filters for clearer sound.

            Regardless, we find its battery life is extended significantly and in the package, there is a neck cord and carrying case as well. Very high value for the price.

            The one-year warranty from the manufacturer is last-but-not-least plus

            Etymotic GunsportPRO Earplugs Specifications

            Weight

            1.76 ounces

            Noise Reduction Rating

            15dB

            Battery Run Time

            1-2 hours

            Highlight Features

            5x improving distance detection; #10 Zinc Air batteries, a neck cord, and filter removal tool and replacement filters

            In the professional shooter and shooting expert communities, Etymotic GunsportPRO Earplugs are very popular.

            How To Choose The Best In-ear Electronic Hearing Protection For Shooting?

            NRR

            NRR or noise reduction rating is the measurement for how efficiently a pair of earplugs protect the ear, measured by dB. The higher the NRR, the better. On average, a pair of decent earplugs have 23-33dB NRR. So, we suggest you choose the highest NRR value possible.

            Materials

            What an earplug is made of decides how durable it is and how long it lasts. This is extremely important if you’re shooting outdoors. You should opt for strong, lightweight materials that offer high resistance to direct sunlight and the weather.

            Size and Fit

            If the earplugs don’t fit your ears, they won’t likely protect your hearing very well, if at all. Therefore, make sure your new earplugs seal your canal completely.

            Many earplugs come with multiple sized-tips so you can choose the tips that fit your ears the most.

            Which Brands Make The Best In-ear Electronic Hearing Protection For Shooting?

            3M

            This is a very famous brand that has been around for over a century. It has achieved several awards over the years such as the World’s Most Innovative Companies 2019 award and Top 100 Global Innovators 2019.

            Walker’s

            Over the past 25 years of operation, Walker’s has built its reputation for being innovative in creating solutions to protecting and enhancing hearing for shooters.

            Etymotic

            Founded in 1983, through its research, development, and manufacturing, this company offers products to accurately assess hearing, improve hearing capability for those with hearing loss, enhance the listening experience, and protect hearing.

            FAQs

            What should I look for in shooting ear protection?

            In short, for good hearing ear protection, you should seek 30dB NRR, strong and lightweight material, as well as a size that fits your ear perfectly.

            Are earplugs or earmuffs better for shooting?

            Generally, earmuffs are considered better for shooting because they offer protection for the entire ear instead of just the ear canal. However, the protection can be doubled when you wear earplugs under earmuffs.

            How many decibels should be shooting ear protection?

            It’s mandatory that all hearing protection has an NRR rating, including shooting ear protection. While the highest NRR you can get is 37 dB, the recommended NRR rating for shooting is from 28 to 31 dB.

            What is the best NRR rating for shooting?

            For shooting, you should consider the NRR rating of between 28 and 31 dB.

            Are ear muffs better than earplugs?

            Earplugs are sealed directly to the ear canal so their protection is focused on the ear canal, hence the hearing ability.

            Meanwhile, earmuffs cover the entire ear, so they protect both the ear canal and the entire ear as a whole. Some say that the direct protection earplugs provide makes them better while others preferred the overall protection of earmuffs.

            Besides, earplugs are more compact and cheaper to buy.

            However, the answer to this question also depends on your own preference, which type you like, and your budget as well.

            Conclusion

            In this post, we have covered all the major points in choosing the best in-ear electronic hearing protection for shooting, including how to choose and where to buy from. We hope that it will help you pick the right product for use in shooting.

            Hearing protection can be costly sometimes, but a low-quality product will not be helpful and your hearing may get damaged. So, don’t hesitate to spend some extra on this piece of equipment.


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