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  • Writer's pictureAudrey Owens

Best Ear Muffs For Shooting Review 2023

Whether you’re at the gun range or out hunting, you must protect your hearing. I’ve been testing shooting earmuffs for years, and here’s my ultimate ranking.

FYI, Prices and ratings are accurate as of time of writing.

1. Walker's - Adjustable Hunting Hearing Protection

Top-rated: 54,143 ratings | 819 answered questions

Highlight: Most recommended and best-selling hunting hearing protection muffs.

Helpful review: "I had a pair of the HL brand that grew legs at my local range and walked away from me. I just happened to catch a deal on these Walker brand, and definitely find them more comfortable to wear for extended use. The noise reduction seems on par with the previous brand. Neither is as good as a larger heavy duty passive set, but the electronics work properly, and there's nothing like not having to yell at your range buddies and vice versa. I can't say about battery life since the originals are going strong 2 months in. Hopefully they won't live up to the name Walker, since my old set "walking" is why I had to buy these! Over all they seem like a great buy." — N5S-Matter
Trending review: "As an avid fun owner I shoot almost every weekend. Whether I'm shooting my pistols, rifles or shotguns I can easily go through several hundred rounds of ammo at a time and as every shooter knows it is imperative to have a GREAT set of ear protection (for obvious reasons). One should never damage ones hearing when it can be so easily prevented. I have personally tried 4 different brands of ear protection. The Walker brand is by far, hands down the best. Comfort: They are very snug almost to a fault. However having loose fitting ear protection is counter productive. I have been using this pair for 6 months now and they have not loosened up at all. They are comfortable to wear and wearing them for extended periods of time, even with glasses, doesn't become uncomfortable. I do think the passing could be a little thicker and more breathable but I still give it high marks for comfort. Protection: The Walker Razor electronically muffles the shots to a low popping noise and yet you can still hear someone talking at a wisper 15 feet away. Even shooting a 18 inch shotgun with a 20 round drum as fast as I can pull the trigger means I can pop of 20 round and still be able to hear anyone around me without issue. No ringing in the ears with the Walker Razor's. Sound quality: Let me start of by stating a fact. There are better products out there. That being said if you take the cost of the Walker Razor's there isn't a better product for the price. The Walker Razor's sound like your in a steel tube. There is a obvious lack of bass. The sound you hear is completely in the upper dB range. The Walker Razor's lack any ability to hear where sound is coming from compared to much higher priced items. Wind seems to be my biggest complaint. I do most of my shooting on my 5 acres of land that is very open and up in the mountains of Virginia. When it is windy it can become a nuisance. Overall I give the Walker Razor's an A-. Do they protect your hearing? A resounding Yes!" — Chris
Reassuring review: "The amazing thing about these range devices is that you can actually carry on a conversation and hear each other talking back and forth normally, but as a firearm is discharged, the loud sound is suppressed. It is amazing how well they do work either on an outdoor rifle range or and indoor shooting range. You can clearly hear the range officer giving instructions without having to lift the ear piece to hear him or her." — Charles X. Kieffer
Most-discussed review: "So I've taken these out shooting twice. I have shot with these and listened to others shooting. The sound amplification feature is a game changer. I can hear people talking without them having to shout. I can hear what's going on on the firing line without having to be right next to it. When the shooting starts, the speaker cuts out just long enough to muffle the initial clap of the gun, but comes back in quick enough to hear the echo of the shot. Rapid fire shooting isnt a problem with it cutting in and out quickly, it cancels out loud noise regardless of how fast it comes and how much of a pause is in between each shot. I listened to others shooting mainly handguns and .223 caliber ARs. More than enough hearing protection for these calibers. When I started to shoot, I started with a 9mm handgun. Plenty of hearing protection, and with the sound amplification, I could hear my friends talking crap behind me, defenitely a nice feature. I progressed to an AR, here is where I had my first issue with these, they did get in my way a little bit as far as cheek weld goes. Not as bad as bigger style of muffs go, but it was noticeable. The hearing protection was again adequate. After shooting my AR, I switched to an M1A scout squad, it's a. 308 caliber rifle, with a muzzle break. Muzzle break= super loud. This was the only gun I was worried about hearing protection with these muffs. I was shocked at how well these worked. Also, surprisingly, these didn't interfere with cheek weld at all like they did with the AR." — John B.
Favorite review: "Is the sound quality the most awesome thing ever? No. Do they work amazingly so that you can understand all of the people around you without taking them off? Heck yes. Totally work the cost compared to the ones that are double or even quadruple the cost (which I have tried before). I'm a huge fan and I wear these for all of my loud activities now, not just hunting. My 3 year old also likes to wear them when I run the vacuum for too long. The biggest rub I have with these is that they are a little snug so they are not great for folks with a wider head. I would definitely buy these again." — Acastle
Updated review: "USMC Machine Gun instructor checking in. We conduct a machine gun shoot once a month, firing 5.56, 7.62, 50 cal, and 40mm grenades. We routinely shoot over 15,000 rounds per machine gun range. I have had these muffs for the last 6 ranges and they are fantastic! They work as advertised and protect my hearing from full auto machine gun fire from less than 3 ft away. The batteries last a while (I keep the volume about half-way, which makes normal conversation sound normal). I wear them for about 8 hrs. at a time and they are as comfortable as a $60 pair of muffs should ever be. They do not interfere with cheek weld or any shooting position I have used. Walkers Game Ear Razor Slim Electronic Muff should serve any shooter well if they are looking for cheap, reliable, sound amplifying ear pro. My pair has been going strong for literally hundreds of thousands of rounds. These are a solid deal and I recommend them to anyone who inquires about them." — Chris

Get it from Amazon now: $79.99 & FREE Returns


2. Howard Leight by Honeywell - Impact Sport Electronic Earmuffs

Top-rated: 8,934 ratings

Highlight: Features low profile earcups for firearm stock clearance, adjustable headband for secure fit, and compact folding design for convenient storage.

Helpful review: "I was able to test drive these a couple days ago while shooting in the mountains, and I must say that I was very pleased! You're able to hear what's going on around you with ease, and the gun shots are brought down to a safe DB level. I read some other reviews and some people say that the shots are still way too loud, and I have to agree (somewhat), as it's not as quiet as the foam earplugs, but I think that is the way it's supposed to be. Remember these are electronic & amplified, and the point is to be able to hear. I actually liked hearing the shots, and it wasn't overwhelming to my ear drums. After shooting my ears weren't ringing, I didn't feel/sound as if my hearing had worsened. I haven't tried these at the range yet, so it may be a different experience, and once I go if it turns out to change my opinion on these I will update this review. I recommend this product. My nephew bought a pair as well and kept raving about them, so you have his recommendation too! Give them a try, worst case scenario is that you don't like them, and if that's the case just return them. I will be keeping mine." — Jason
Trending review: "My husband has partial hearing loss from working around F-16's & F-15's most of his life. So I wanted the best quality ear muff for target shooting for him that I could get my hands on. We tested these out this past weekend and he loved them! Super comfortable even over regular eye glasses. When he first put them on he said, 'I can hear better wearing these than I can without them." So what does he do? Walks around the house wearing these crazy things so he can hear the chickens in the back yard, the dog, the cats, and the TV from around the corner in the kitchen. Our garbage is picked up on Friday mornings - I find him tinkering in the back yard. He had forgotten to take the garbage to the curb, so when I heard rumbling I panicked and hollered for him to get the cans to the curb because the garbage truck was coming. He hollers back to me "not to worry" - it's the next door neighbor starting up an old vintage Ford truck from the 40's. So indoors, I couldn't tell the difference between rumbling exhaust sounds - outside with these on and with a substantial hearing loss, my husband could distinguish the difference between a garbage truck that was over 2 blocks away and the truck out front. I finally had to tell him to take them off, they weren't hearing aids! *sheesh* Anyway, they block out noise from indoor shooting areas (acoustics are different than outdoors), and allowed us to talk in a lowered tone of voice due to the amplification effects. Love, love, love this technology and especially great for the hearing impaired person." — Lunar Mermaid
Reassuring review: "What’s your hearing worth? If you shoot, you need hearing protection and these fit my needs. I wasn’t about to impress others on the range with a $200 set of headphones. Reviews said these are good and they didn’t lie. Technology has come a long way in regards to headphones. You can carry on a normal conversation and immediately start engaging targets. No fussing around with pulling one side off or yelling at each other just to be loud enough to hear what the other is saying, or a range/safety person. If I needed another pair, I would buy these again. Try them. If they don’t work for you, send them back." — Danny D.
Most-discussed review: "I love the way these work. Hunted as a youth. Worked my way through college doing heavy construction. 29 years in the US Army. I’m hard of hearing. With multiple power tools and yard work I want to save what I have left. With ordinary hearing protection I have to take them off to have a conversation. With these I just have the conversation. they offer better protection than my other hearing protection. In quiet forest with the volume up I can hear bird song and wildlife better than with my hearing aids. They have stereo mics and are effective in locating wildlife by sound. Loud noise is controlled with the mics on or off. I’m not yelling at folks when I’m wearing them. They are uncomfortable with glasses or my hearing aids, but they are so effective I don’t need my hearing aids when wearing them. I only wear glasses for protection, which is most of the time I’m wearing these. I’m considering goggles with an elastic band. I sometimes watch tv with them instead of my hearing aids. If they get knocked off in the garden or forest they are easy to find. If I loose them they don’t cost a couple grand to replace. Great value. Highly recommended. Wish I could plug my phone in them. I think they would make a great stereo headset." — Joannah Powers
Favorite review: "This headset is phenomenal. I’ve been using this since 2013 and I own 2 of them and gifted one to a friend and he loves them. You can get gel cup upgrades to make it even more comfortable. This ear protection also works well with the Army issued ACH, you just have to readjust the ACH pads for it to fit properly and comfortably. This ear pro works great with every caliber even the largest artillery caliber 155mm HE shell. I wore these when I fired both the M109 Paladin and the M777 howitzer. I also used these when I was firing the 105mm round out of the M119 howitzer. Highly recommended, it amplifies your hearing and suppresses loud noises. Idle noises such as vehicles is the only downside and you would have to adjust the volume without complications." — Andree Resurreccion
Updated review: "So much better than using passive ear pro. Might not be as effective, but I'm always having to take the passive ear pro off to hear people next to me or the range master while others are shooting. These you can leave on the whole time. I also bought replacement gel pads, so they're much more comfortable to leave on. I read a lot of reviews preferring the Walkers over these but went with HL because the biggest complaint about Walkers was they were too tight. I have a big head, so I chose these for the presumed comfort. Can't compare the two, but I don't have any regrets about getting these. Also, if you're comparing prices, the Walkers without the auto shutoff sometimes price lower. But on an apples to apples comparison, HL with the auto shutoff is cheaper than the Walkers with the auto shutoff. My guess is you'll be happy with either pair." — AC Island Boy

Get it from Amazon now: $91.81 & FREE Returns


3. ACT FIRE - Ear Protection for the Shooting Range

Top-rated: 12,546 ratings | 203 answered questions

Highlight: You can adjust the amplification effect. Can help you lower noise exposure by 23 db.

Helpful review: "I've wanted a set of electronic earmuffs ever since I saw my drill sergeants donning them at the range. I've always thought they would be super expensive, so I never picked them up. Recently, a colleague of mine showed me his set and told me they are actually pretty affordable, so I went looking on Amazon and came across this set - affordable and of great quality. The set feels very durable when you handle them. They've got a good amount of resistance, which maintains their slim fit design - great for wearing underneath a helmet, if you're a service member, law enforcement, or into Airsoft, etc... They also come with a nice American flag patch on the side, which is definitely an added bonus for service members. The tactical brown color is also nice. The listing makes a huge deal of saying the paint job is from Japan. I don't know how much additional quality a Japanese paint job adds, but the paint job is nice, nonetheless. The earmuffs themselves are definitely noise-cancelling, and work amazingly well to snuff out sound, even when the electronic assistance is not on. When powered on, you have a wide range of volume, from mute to very, very sensitive, meaning the mics on the headset allow hearing from 30 feet away. I tested this in my house and could hear the sensitive low volume voices down the hall in the kitchen from my bedroom, which spanned about this distance. When I took the set out to the range, I took them unknowingly with a weak set of batteries. When I first turned them on, you could hear the earmuffs zero out the sound of gun shots, as well as any immediate high decibel sounds, such as my female friend exclaiming something at a high voice. Disappointingly, I found out that the headphones have some kind of chirp when they are running with low batteries (I did not realize this at first). However, this is where I learned that even with the power off, these headphones still provide a great amount of sound muffling - much better than the headsets that the range itself provides. Lastly, the headset folds very slim, so that it makes for easy storage in a small area, such as when you're packing them away in a suitcase or backpack. I love this aspect of these earmuffs, as they make it so that the earpieces slide down into shape when you need them, but slide back up into a small confined package when you don't. Overall, a great set of earmuffs that I would highly recommend for anyone looking for noise-cancellation earmuffs for shooting, as well as any other large noises that they may want to control or avoid." — Kim G.
Trending review: "I had been using hearing protection that you heated in hot water and then molded to your ear. Over these I wore a non-electronic hearing protection. Problem was there was no way to hear any conversation. With the ACT free hearing protection I wore only these without the moldable ear plugs. The noise level from the gunfire was less that my old system and I could still hear others talking or the range officer giving commands. I should have bought these years ago. I also read about one indoor range that would not allow you to shoot without electronic hearing protect as you had to be able to hear the range safety officer." — Carroll B.
Reassuring review: "This is my first pair of this style of hearing protection, they are fantastic!!!! Easy volume button, fit well and they do as described! I could not believe my ears! You still can hear everything around you but when firing a my 40 cal. The noise was reduced in such a way I can’t even explain. Highly recommend these to anyone who works in a noisy environment or a trip to the range!!!! I even shot my 223 super sonic rounds which are very loud and again the noise was reduced to a level that you just need to try these to experience what they do!!! Best I have purchased in quite some time, truly the wow factor for me! Buy and enjoy!!!!!" — Johnny Hershberger
Most-discussed review: "These are the first electronic muffs I have tried so I didn't really know what to expect. When I opened the amazon box, I was glad to see these come is decent, simple packaging without a whole lot of waste and plastic. My first impression when I pulled these out of the box was they are great quality and not a flimsy, cheap product and everything that is removable is very secure while in place (battery door, aux jack cover, etc...). The real magic happened when I got batteries in these. When I first put them on it killed the sound drastically and I turned them on and I was skeptical but then the volume kicked in and I could hear everyone clearly, even when they had their heads turned away from me and whispering. I could tell what direction, with very near to pinpoint accuracy, a sound was coming from and from good distances away. After being blown away with the build quality and the sound quality I decided it was time to test out the cancellation ability of these and clapped as loud as I could but all I heard come through the muffs was a muzzled bump and my mind went crazy. I started telling people about them 30 seconds after the clap. When I got home I loaded up my 12 gauge and emptied a few magazines and no matter how fast I fired or what shells I loaded, these muffs killed the sound of the shots while letting person to person conversation through clearly. I hooked these up to my phone with the included 3.5mm stereo cable and can actually listen to music AND carry on a normal conversation at the same time, it's amazing. The one downside (which really isn't a down side at all but a product of the high quality of these) would be how tight fitting they are until you get them wore in and the headband stretched out to fit your head which is great because they fit snugly even on small heads (another reason I would say these are tight fitting is my head is pretty big, a freaking basketball noggin) but once you were them a few times and the band flexes out to your size they fit comfortably. I'm still recommending these to everyone I know that would benefit from them, even some that I have just met (it was literally the second thing I said to this GC on a job site after hello). 10/10 will buy again." — Daniel
Favorite review: "I was pleasantly impressed by these muffs. I’ve been shopping noise canceling electronic muffs for a while and finally decided to give these a shot. Was a bit skeptical for the price but couldn’t be happier. I literally put these things through the paces before actual use because I already have hearing loss and don’t not play games with my ears anymore. The first thing I did when they arrived was put them on and walk around the house. I couldn’t figure out why they wouldn’t come on until it hit me, batteries. Popped in some juice and they worked right away. Tested in the house that evening and was very pleased with the amplification and sound quality. Any time I slammed something down or slammed a door the noise cut out promptly. I later tested their overall fit/function under heavy use. I have a small frame head and these fit very well without gaps to allow excess noise in. They are not so tight that the give you a headache like some of the older muffs, 45 minutes of wearing proved quite comfortable and I’m confident that longer would be no issue. Some of the cheaper muffs also can have problems with being too loose. These do not suffer that issue either. I started by walking around and they didn’t move, I progressively progressed my walk into runs and sprints up to 50 yards and they never wiggled around or jeopardized their muffling ability. Dry fire drills proved to not interfere with cheek weld like older bulky muffs. After doing all of the above with them I was convinced they were good enough for the range. Range time proved perfect performance. Through many rounds, iterations and platforms the muffs did what they were supposed to do successfully. They now have a place in the Jeep full time for trusted use when needed. The only thing I didn’t test was the input jack because it’s not something I normally use but I have no reason to believe it wouldn’t perform as advertised." — Joseph Allen Ingram

Get it from Amazon now: $39.99<