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  • Writer's pictureChristie Bolster

I Tested And Ranked The Best Shooting Earmuffs In 2024

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.

best shooting earmuffs

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


1. Peltor Sport Tactical 500 Smart Hearing Protector


best shooting earmuffs

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: Clear Voice Tracking seeks voice within background noise and actively filters it for improved speech intelligibility.

Helpful review: "As someone who frequents the shooting range on a weekly basis, I can't help but express my absolute satisfaction with these ear protection headphones. Having tried three other models in the past, I can confidently say that this one stands head and shoulders above the rest.
Comfort is paramount during my range sessions, and these headphones deliver in spades. The Peltor 500's ergonomic design ensures they sit snugly over my ears without causing any discomfort even during extended wear. The large buttons for volume control are a practical and welcome feature, making adjustments on the fly a breeze.
What sets the Peltor 500 headphones apart is their versatile functionality. I frequently use the Bluetooth capability to enjoy some music while at the range, which adds an enjoyable dimension to my shooting experience. To enhance comfort even further, I invested in the gel pads, and the difference is remarkable.
Admittedly, on scorching hot days, these headphones can make you a bit sweaty, but I consider this a minor inconvenience given the substantial benefits they offer. The most crucial factor, of course, is their ability to dampen sound. In this regard, they outperform any ear protection I've ever used. My hearing is precious, and these headphones do an exceptional job of safeguarding it without compromising my range experience.
In conclusion, I wholeheartedly endorse the Peltor 500 ear protection headphones for fellow shooting enthusiasts. Their comfort, user-friendly controls, Bluetooth functionality, and sound-dampening capabilities make them a standout choice. While they may get a bit sweaty on hot days, their overall performance and safety benefits more than compensate for this minor drawback. These headphones have truly elevated my range sessions to a new level of enjoyment and safety." — Harold Daniels

Get it from Amazon now: $199.99 & FREE Returns

 

2. Walker's Rechargeable Firemax Behind the Neck Earmuffs


best shooting earmuffs

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: Unique Behind-the-Neck design for maximum support.

Helpful review: "I think these are hands down the best ear protection I have ever had. You really can hear voices very clearly and the protection cups are very comfortable, even when worn for an extended period.
PROS:
1. No more disposable batteries.
2. USB-C rechargeable
3. Doubles as headphones with aux input
I have used a few other types of ear protection before. These are more comfortable than the other walkers I have and not having to change batteries is a major plus. Can't tell you how many times I got to the range and had to swap out batteries. I can just keep these on a charger or keep a portable battery with me for when I'm in a pinch. The comfort is a step up over the razor muffs. It feels much softer and comfortable, My ears don't get hot after a while of wearing them.
Being electronic ear protection, it has 2 mics to pick up outside sound and it has 4 filters that can be cycled through using a button on the left side. "Clear Voice", "High Frequency Boost", "Power Boost", "Universal". I use the default clear voice, and haven't really tested the others to notice a difference. There is an optional accessory that includes a walkie talkie mic that plugs into the usb port. I have bought that, but I like knowing there are options for extending functionality.
A FEW WORDS FROM A FRIEND:
They are great for hearing protection and you can hear things clearly around you. I didn't see anything bad about them, and they definitely fit under a military helmet with adjustment (Took out the side pads and loosen the straps front and back). I do want to say that I have a small head. For anyone else it might be too tight or impossible to fit. I had a medium ACH. Also they are way better than my Razor Walkers, they are much more comfortable and hearing things is much easier. I used a clear voice setting which I feel is the best setting. I feel they were definitely worth it, glad I made the purchase. It's a night and day difference, I highly recommend them.
MY NEIGHBOR’S REVIEW:
I shoot at an indoor range 1 - 2 times a week. I've been using my AOSafety over ear muffs (30 db noise reduction) from my woodshop for a long time. These have outstanding noise reduction but I can't hear anyone talking to me on the range. A problem when you shoot with friends. I purchased these Walkers and they work fantastic. I can hear everyone at least 5 lanes on either side of me talking like they are right next to me. Sound suppression of pistol and rifle shots is not a problem at all. Not as good as the AOSafety ear muffs, but plenty good enough even on the indoor range. They are very comfortable to wear as well. Not the cheapest set out there, but I can tell you these work well. Yes, there is some hiss coming through the headset, but I don't notice it when I'm on the range. I'm not missing bluetooth, no need to listen to music when I'm focusing on shooting. If you just want good comfortable hearing protection for the range that still lets you hear others talking, then these are a good choice. I haven't compared to less expensive alternatives. After reading a bunch of other reviews it seemed like these would do the job best." — Eddy Travis

Get it from Amazon now: $199.99 & FREE Returns

 

3. Sordin - Supreme Pro-X Ear Neckband Defenders


best shooting earmuffs

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: Military-grade hearing protectors.

Helpful review: "If you wear hearing protection all day, the comfort level cannot be surpassed. My name is Gary, and I am going to give you my honest real-world reviews of the Sordin Supreme Pro muffs. As a lifelong shooter and many hours on the range as an NRA instructor, I can tell you some stories about the different build quality and lack of quality for hearing protection. Enough talking about my background, let’s look at the product.
The Sordin Supreme Pro hearing protection is the only one that I have ever seen that the box says they are waterproof. This claim made my head spin with the professional mischief I could perform for review testing, and I did all of it. To get this part covered first, I must tell you about the weather here in Utah in December. It’s cold and this year it is still dry. Since the weather did not provide, I had to improvise. First off, I don’t know why hearing protection muffs need to be waterproof, so I figured the best example would be duck hunting. To create a rainstorm, I put the muffs on and got in the shower. I told you I had mischief on my mind. The Sordin Supreme Pro muffs did not miss a beat, the microphones get water in them and give a lot of feedback!
Next test, I filled the sink with water and stuck it in there, fully submerged for two hours. When I removed them from the water, the inside liners of the earpieces did not drain water, and again the microphone screamed with feedback, BUT they worked without a hitch. If this approach to hearing protection is a good fit for you, you will want to order the orange camo finish as the black finish will be impossible to find in a river or along a shoreline if they fall in during the hunt.
I let the soggy set of muffs dry on the counter, grabbed one of the black finish sets, put them on my head, and headed into the gun shop. The Sordin Supreme Pro hearing protection made light work of the screeching noises from the lathe and mill, along with letting me listen to old cowboy songs on YouTube through the microphones. The microphones are directional, so it was nice to wear the earmuffs backward on my head, aim the microphones to the TV and hear the tunes. Sordin says the sound will never reach over 85db and I am sure of that.
The comfort level of the Sordin hearing protection is amazing, I would say the best feature of this option. I wore the earmuffs for about three hours – keep in mind that I wear eyeglasses – and the soft surface and foam rings did not make my ears sore after twenty minutes. That may sound like a minor thing unless you have been shooting all day and the hearing protection smashing your ear shell into your head makes you stop and go home.
The Sordin Supreme Pro hearing protection does have a 3.5 jack to plug into a two-way radio, and they do include the wire with the headset. From what I can see Sordin does not offer a radio, but they do offer an interface device, like a splitter that will allow a user to input two radios into one set of headphones, which is pretty cool.
If you go to Amazon and look for reviews on this set of earmuffs, you will see many people commenting on the battery loading and the large amount of cursing that happens. I agree, the batteries are fed into a rotary magazine-type cavity, and getting them out requires a visit to the gun shop for tools small enough to grab a battery inside a tight space. This battery compartment is watertight, by way of an aluminum cap that threads down onto a neoprene gasket. The cap can be a little hard to turn, but not a giant issue by any means.
The microphones did give a constant white noise when the area was quiet. I took the Sordin set, the dry set, to the outdoor range, and due to the cold weather and time of day, I was the only one there. The constant sound at the gun range would not be an issue, but to wear them at work I think will wear on a person after a few hours. The white noise issue can be fixed by just hitting the button and turning it off, the issue is solved.
The cost of these earmuffs is probably going to be the biggest issue folks have to overcome. If all-day comfort and quality build is what you need, this set will be great. If you plan to dive with hearing protection this may be the only manufacturer that can fit that bill, if you worry about ruining expensive hearing protection in the wet and muck of duck and goose hunting, the Sordin Supreme Pro will not get damaged. Happy shooting." — Gary Anderson

Get it from Amazon now: $319.00 & FREE Returns

 

4. Impact Sport Electronic Earmuffs by Howard Leight

Top-rated: 41,767 ratings


best shooting earmuffs

Credit: Amazon.com


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

Helpful review: "So I tested the Howard Leights (HL), Walker Razors (WR), Peltor Rangegaurds (RG) and the Peltor 100's) (P1). Before I get into the results of all of them I ordered a total of two of each just to make sure I didn't get a lemon.
I know most reviews are written like Novels so here goes the short and sweet version. I'm also not going to talk about looks and design because you will get used to the tactility and layout of your headset and layout doesn't make a headset better over functionality which is what ill be going over. The main purpose of Earpro for me is to cut out loud sounds and amplify ambient noise to a level that exceeds regular capability of your naked ears. Starting with Worst to Best.
4. The P1's are a digital Earpro system (I believe) and In my opinion I could hear the Earpro constantly picking and choosing what sounds to amplify and what sounds to cut out. It sounded like taking an empty cup to your ear and pushing it closer then pulling away, and repeating that process, It drove me nuts. Also these were terrible at amplifying ambient noise. In fact even at full blast I still couldn't hear as much as I could with my naked ear.
3. WR. now I know some people swear by these and people say that the sound quality is better and I would agree with you if you like noise that sounds like garbage... Seriously though, these earpro sets makes ambient noise sound like its very 'tinny' and very fake, almost the same effect as having an empty cup placed up to your ear where you can literally hear white noise CONSTANTLY, and it is so distracting. And if wind comes your way good luck, I know these have a wind cover inside but its far worse than earpro that have the wind cover on the outside. These do cut out sounds very well and fitment is great.
2. RG. These were a solid second place because fitment was amazing, and so was cutting out loud sounds and blocking out wind. The only reason these took number two was because at full blast, ambient noise was just slightly better than hearing the world around you with your naked ear, but man were these comfortable and cheaper than all the rest. about $40 compared to $50.
1. You guessed it. HOWARD LEIGHTS. for the money, UNBEATABLE. These outclassed all earpro I wore and here's why. I bought the Gel Inserts for these which makes them more comfortable but even without them these amplify sounds so well and so crisp at full volume you can hear so much more, without any white noise at all. They cut out loud sounds so well, and after shooting with all of them, the HL are just the best for ambient pickup and sound cancellation. I also play airsoft so using them with a radio, they are really good at playing voices and still keeping up with ambient pickup and shot reduction , with the HL's its nice to pick up on things that you otherwise couldn't hear.
Look at how many people have reviewed these... almost 20k... You wont look back with these and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. They come with a 3.5mm jack and batteries, none of the competition does that. Howard Leight you have the earpro game locked in my friend. Keep Up the quality." — Addison

Get it from Amazon now: $91.81 & FREE Returns

 

5. Walker's Razor Slim Electronic Earmuff


best shooting earmuffs

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: Operates on 2 AAA batteries (included).

Helpful review: "Good quality powered muff for more than just shooting sports! About 10 years ago I suffered some hearing loss and now have tinnitus in my ears thanks to a very loud concert. Since then I do what I can to protect my hearing. I had a set of Peltor Sound Trap muffs that I liked but they were getting old and worn. I had heard about Walker products in the past and thought I would give them a try.
This is the Razor series which are geared toward the shooting market since the slim design allows for shooting long guns with the muffs on. The muffs feel sturdy and I like how the ear cups are soft; yet still firm enough to contour your head and stay in place. They come with batteries and you don't have to take the ear cup off to put batteries in which I really like (this is partially why my Peltor's no longer work!).
The on/off dial is easy to use and find with one hand. While wearing the muffs, I would describe the muffs having moderate pressure around my ears and head. Some cheap muffs are very loose feeling and would easily bounce around and break the protection seal if a gun goes off. Not these. I wore them for about 1.75 hours and had no problems at all with discomfort.
The microphone is very sensitive; so much so that even when lightly picking up a shell from the case, I can hear the shell as it rubs against the foam insert! That is pretty impressive.
I had no issues when I brought the rifle to my cheek, although with any muff, you will still rub against the stock some. The Peltor's were thinner than this, but still, no problems. Comparing it back to the Peltor brand I had, that would have a very sharp sound suppression when it detected a shot or loud noise. I found it to be annoying as it had a slow startup time again.
These muffs have a .02 second reaction time and I don't find it nearly as noticeable as the Peltor's, which I like. I can shoot, talk to the person next to me and even walk around without having to make any adjustments at all. For the price, this is an excellent powered muff that can be used for shooting or any other outdoor sport where hearing protection would be beneficial." — Minnesota Mike

Get it from Amazon now: $69.99 & FREE Returns

 

best shooting earmuffs

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: The padded headband ensures you can wear these ear muffs all day long without getting a headache from the band being too tight.

Helpful review: "I wanted to share my experience with this product with those looking for a good, reasonably priced hearing protection. This set of hearing protection was sent to me for evaluation and review and I am NOT being paid to review it. I am a firearms instructor and use hearing protection almost daily.
I have probably worn no less than 100 different kinds of hearing protection sets in my 35+ years in law enforcement and 28 years as a firearms instructor. Most of the hearing protection we use is rated around 24-27 dB reduction and that is pretty good. And they have to be comfortable to wear for hours at a time as we teach in 4 hour blocks at the Police Academy where I am in charge of Firearms training.
We have tested and used scores of hearing protection devices. And if you do not think my profession needs a good set of hearing protection, ask my instructors that wear hearing aids now because even wearing hearing protection, unless its done correctly and of good quality, it can still cause you hearing loss over time. Thankfully I have not had that issue after all this time.
I used these while teaching firearms, while using an air compressor, while mowing the lawn, and just to get some quite around my home. And they were OUTSTANDING! I was very pleasantly surprised to find a pair of hearing protection muffs that were one, comfortable, and yet did a great job of reducing the noise level of all the types of noise I threw at it.
It is rated at 34dB reduction! And it really does the trick. I was so surprised when I first put them on at the firearms range I had to switch back and forth between the ones my police recruits use and these to make sure I wasn't missing something. The difference was very noticeable and these were much better at reducing the sounds on the range. A very noticeable difference from the 27dB sets that many wear.
I have been wearing them on and off for several weeks now and can tell the difference between these and the ones the students use. If you are looking for a really great pair of noise reducing hearing protection in the non-electronic style, then these are the ones you should get, take it from a guy who wears them daily. These are the best at noise reduction I have used in many many years.
We use electronic hearing protection on our ranges to make verbal commands easier to hear, but for flat out noise reduction, I would highly recommend these!
Noise reduction is noticeably better than others I have tested or used. 34dB vs. 24-27dB. Small and compact and folds up easy for storage. Very cost effective. Fit is good and snug as they should be. Small profile when on the head. Only con I have is that they may not adjust enough to fit larger heads. (One of my instructors had trouble keeping them on at maxed out size).
They work so well that hearing voice commands on a gun range may be more difficult, but is still within usable range. Overall, I would HIGHLY recommend these to you if you are looking for OUTSTANDING noise reduction hearing protection." — Chris Wagoner

Get it from Amazon now: $25.55 & FREE Returns

 

7. Walker's Ultra Low Profile Passive Earmuffs


best shooting earmuffs

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: NRR 27 protection from noise. Compactly folds up for easy transport and storage.

Helpful review: "You will have to be precise in what you are expecting here. If you want basic ear pro that'll block out sound, these are great.
They fit flush and don't leak that much sound from around the eye pro. If you want an uber comfortable pair though, these aren't it. They squeeze your grape on a level that implies hatred or retribution.
The band is incredibly stiff too. Helps keep out the sound but it makes it hard to find a comfortable fit.
The best thing about these is the sound protection. It's really what they are for though. I've got Howard Leights and those don't fit as well. They don't crush my skull with a supernatural animosity but they don't fit flush and leak far more sound.
Oh, and by the way, I have a smallish skull. Eyewear and headwear always look odd on me because I have a narrow skull. I barely extend the earpro at all. These are just that crushing.
In the end I would buy them again. They aren't going to be those that you claim that you forgot you were wearing them, but they do exactly what they are meant to do. I originally got them for the cost and have found more expensive earpro to be far less effective. Definitely a purchase I'm happy to have made." — Dan Howard

Get it from Amazon now: $29.99 & FREE Returns

 

8. Awesafe Electronic Shooting Earmuffs

Top-rated: 6,203 ratings


best shooting earmuffs

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: Our favorite color is Army Green, but there are many to choose from.

Helpful review: "I was surfing through shooting headsets on amazon and stumbled across these bad boys. Look , there are very expensive headsets and very cheap ones. I had a set of Peltor Comtac 3s in the Marine Corps that lasted me a few years and I had nothing to complain about with them. This time I didn't want to spend that money though, and searched for sub 100 dollar headsets. I liked what I seen from the reviews of the Awesafe headset and decided to give them a shot.
I paid roughly 37 dollars for the Awesafe headset. At this price range you can expect to sacrifice a few things such as comfort and reliability. This is not the case here, when I opened the box I was very surprised! they include two gifts in the box, very easy to read instructions and the headphones secured in a custom fit foam material that can act as a protective case. The unboxing is something you would expect from a luxury item.
Now let's move onto the product itself. They work the same as my comtacs. I am telling you there is no difference besides maybe how they would fit into a kevlar as I am not able to test the fit of these in a tactical helmet. It's not for me, but there is an option to play music while you shoot if that is something you would like to do. It is always nice to have options.
The headset picks up every sound around you so it is very easy to hear conversations or instructions at the firing line. When the bullets start flying, the headset lowers the sound so you can shoot in a most comforting way.
I am very pleased with this product and am going to order another pair just in case something happens with these ones. I can't put in an opinion on how long they last since I have not had them to long, but I will update this review in a couple of months as these headsets make me want to go to the range just to put them on!" — Shane Davis

Get it from Amazon now: $36.98 & FREE Returns

 

9. Walker's Electronic Hunting Muffs


best shooting earmuffs

Credit: Amazon.com


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

Helpful review: "Out the box and trying them on I can say with certainty I glad a bought gel cushions for them. Stock cushions are not the most comfortable but can and will work well for a short period of time but will become uncomfortable within an hour. No lie I am sitting here writing this review with the gel inserts and all while jamming to music.
As far as audio goes, hearing voices is good and the music is satisfying. There is little to no base but that’s understandable considering the size of the headset.
In all honesty the fit of these ear protection is ok. I have a larger dome so it’s a little tighter than expected. I'm planning on going to the range tomorrow and I'm excited to see how they do with shooting. If they do not satisfy tomorrow I will update the review.
Only improvement would be more adjustable points to better fit the head and add some bass to the speakers but that’s me being picky.
If you are about to purchase these, I strongly recommend getting the gel inserts if you are gonna use them in a short amount of time and don’t have time to try on to find out you want a better fit. But in all honesty just get the gels inserts for the extra few $$. Not saying that to give them sales but more to give good advice. The gel makes a huge difference and i wish they just came with them out of the box." — Amanda Dunn

Get it from Amazon now: $44.99 & FREE Returns

 

10. Impact Pro Sound Amplification Electronic Shooting Earmuff

Top-rated: 4,173 ratings


best shooting earmuffs

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: Designed for handgun and pistol shooters looking for high NRR; perfect for indoor ranges, covered ranges or other extremely loud shooting environments.

Helpful review: "A few years ago, most my trigger time was spent outdoors. For outdoor use, the Howard Leight Impact Sport is a great muff. It's light, low profile and very effective at reducing gun shots to a comfortable volume.
I also had no problem hearing the people around me--in fact, it actually improved my hearing and could give you an advantage in a home defense situation (more on this later). Unlike some cheaper competitors, they also have an auto-shutoff, which kills the electronic functions if the muffs are left on for more than 4 hours.
For me, this is critical since I am notorious for leaving on my electronics. I haven't had to change the battery on my impact sports after 2 years of use.
Last winter, I starting going to an indoor range near my office to keep up with my training (too cold, snowy for an outdoor range in my neck of the woods). My indoor range is about the worst possible environment for hearing safety you can imagine. It's a 30 yard range made entirely of concrete, including the walls for each point.
There are 5 points to a room and no limit on what you can shoot (up to 50bmg from a rifle, but shotguns are limited to slugs only). With 12 foot ceilings and NO sound deadening materials to speak of, you need to rely on you muffs entirely to keep you eardrums from exploding. In this environment, the Impact Sports are NOT up to the task. My first time indoors, I quickly discovered that the lmpact Sports offered almost no protection by themselves. I had double up with foam plugs before I could shoot comfortably. Unfortunately, with the foam plugs, the electronic hearing enhancement was almost useless.
I ultimately purchased the Impact Pro muffs in September 2016 (so I have had them for over a year now). They Impact Pro offers essentially the same electronic hearing enhancement (with auto-shutoff) as the Impact Sport, but with a much heavier, bulkier profile that substantially improves the Impact Pro's noise reduction abilities when compared to the Impact Sport (31 decibel reduction compared to 22 decibel).
My ears are safe, even when the range is filled with big bore rifles, AR's and shotguns. I can also carry a conversation with the Impact Pro on--just have to play with the volume a bit to find a good balance.
The Impact Pro is, however, far from perfect. After switching to the Pro's, I had to adjust my cheek weld because these bulky muffs were in the way.
I also find it can be tricky to wear these with a hat and eye protection because the hat and eye protect can cause the muffs to break their seal with your head, letting in dangerously loud sounds. I can tweak how I wear my glasses/goggles, but this can cause other issues by either reducing the protection from my eye protection or causing me to wear my eye protection in a way that makes it heard to aim well.
In short, if I had a better, reasonably priced option for protecting my ears at an indoor range that allowed me to hear what is going on around me--without the bulk and compromises I have to make with the Impact Pro--I would jump all over it.
If I am shooting outdoors, I would go for the Impact Sports over these every single time. However, for the purpose of shooting at a LOUD indoor range, this is really the only option I have come up with that fits my needs and costs less than $100 on Amazon.
I know there are other options out there, but the cost of going to a custom made electronic plug is just not feasible for me. So, the Impact Pro's are my go to option for indoor shooting--at least for the time being. For this reason, I am giving them five stars (but with a caveat).
Side Note: I also keep an extra pair of the Impact Sports, with fresh batteries, in my hidden gun safe in my bedroom for home defense purposes. The electronic noise filter on both the Sport and Pro muffs (I would guess they are almost the same, if not actually the same, electronics uses in both pairs) does an outstanding job of amplifying and enhancing low volume sounds. I can put them on in my bedroom, crank up the volume and hear my kids talking softly at the other end of the house.
If you have never used a pair of electronic muffs, it can be quite starting the first couple of times you have them on. I expect this could give me a big advantage in a home invasion situation, where the introducers have nothing on their ears and I have the hearing of a fox. :) The Impact Sport and/or Pro are worth owning for this reason alone." — LoveMyToys

Get it from Amazon now: $88.69 & FREE Returns

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