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Best Shooting Earmuffs

Updated February 2024
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Best of the Best
Peltor Sport Tactical 100
Sport Tactical 100
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Trusted Brand
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Versatile and feature-packed, this headset is suited for all types of shooting.


Earned a 22dB noise-reduction rating. Recessed microphones amplify ambient sound without picking up wind noise. Variable suppression reduces indoor echoes. Compatible with 2-way radios.


Costly. Batteries not included.

Best Bang for the Buck
PROHEAR Shooting Ear Protection Earmuffs
Shooting Ear Protection Earmuffs
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Budget Friendly
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This two-pack of durable earmuffs is comfortable to wear for extended shooting sessions.


With an NRR rating of 26dB, these earmuffs work well at the shooting range and are highly portable with their small form factor and included tote. Adjustable fit and durable ABS frame. Comfortable when wearing glasses or a hat.


Some customers found the ear cups too small.

Howard Leight Honeywell Impact Sport
Howard Leight
Honeywell Impact Sport
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Customer Favorite
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When it comes to features and quality, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better option.


Offers excellent protection with a rating 22dB noise reduction. Features a low-profile design and an adjustable cushioned headband. Includes ambient noise amplification which allows users to hear range commands.


Some users would have preferred thicker ear pads.

Pro For Sho 34dB Noise Cancelling
Pro For Sho
34dB Noise Cancelling
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Compact & Lightweight
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A good choice for smaller consumers who want quality or those who prefer a tight fit.


Features a svelte design that effortlessly folds. Offers great hearing protection of 34dB at a mid-range price. Available in 8 different colors. The lightweight feel makes these comfortable enough to be worn for hours.


Though adjustable, the fit might be too snug for larger users.

Walker Razor Slim
Razor Slim
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Exceptional Quality
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A great pair of compact electronic shooting earmuffs with a rugged design for long-lasting durability.


These compact electronic shooting earmuffs have a low-profile design with slim ear cups for a secure fit and use 2 hi-gain microphones for increasing omnidirectional hearing. The headband is extra durable thanks to the padded metal frame.


Some users find them too tight.

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
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We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for Best shooting earmuffs

Whether you shoot for fun or competition — or even for your profession — safety matters. That includes ear protection. Even the smallest guns create significant noise, and repetitive exposure can damage your hearing.

Shooting earmuffs protect your hearing by reducing the decibels that reach the sensitive parts of your inner ear. To choose the best shooting earmuffs, it’s vital that you understand how they are rated and the features that differ between models.

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Shooting earmuffs can not only be used during sport, but also to protect your ears in any loud situations such as at construction sites or during heavy machinery operation.

Types of shooting earmuffs


Passive earmuffs are made from foam and plastic. They reduce all noise.

When wearing passive earmuffs, it’s difficult to talk with the people around you, as a person’s voice will be reduced by the same amount as a loud gunshot.


Electronic earmuffs reduce noise in the same manner as passive earmuffs. However, electronic muffs include small microphones and speakers. They can distinguish between loud noise (like a gunshot) and quiet noise (like a voice).

Electronic earmuffs amplify quiet noise to emulate “normal” hearing while protecting you from louder sounds.

Noise reduction rating (NRR)

You can use a product’s NRR, or Noise Reduction Rating, to judge the effectiveness of shooting earmuffs. Subtract seven from the NRR, then divide by two to find out how many decibels the earmuffs cancel out. For example, an NRR of 37 will cancel 15 decibels.

Check product details carefully to distinguish between Noise Reduction Rating and a overall decibel reduction. For example, if the package says the earmuffs reduce noise by 30 decibels, the NRR is 67.

Conversational voices are typically 60 decibels. A food processor produces about 95 decibels. Any sound above 120 decibels is considered harmful to the ear, especially during prolonged or repeated exposure. Gun shots range from 145 to 190 decibels.

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Did you know?
Every shooting earmuff comes with an NRR (Noise Reduction Rating) number. A higher NRR indicates more effective hearing protection. Check the NRR before you buy your earmuffs.

Proper fit

Shooting ear muffs must fit properly to be effective. Weight, adjustment, and flexibility each influence the fit of your earmuffs.

Weight is particularly important. Lighter earmuffs are preferable, since heavy earmuffs grow uncomfortable after prolonged use. When earmuffs are uncomfortable, the wearer tends to adjust them, and adjustments can reduce the effectiveness of the seal around the ears. Walker's Game Ear and Pro For Sho are two shooting earmuff manufacturers that make notably lightweight models.

The ear cups on shooting earmuffs are attached by an adjustable plastic strap. A strap with a greater range of motion and flexible material is easier to fit properly and is likely to feel more comfortable when it is worn.

"Lower-quality ear muffs may not expose the NRR on the packaging. Check the manufacturer’s website for the NRR, or consider a different brand."


How much should you expect to pay for a decent pair of shooting earmuffs?

You can find lots of great models that cost far less than $100. In fact, many good choices cost less than $20.

If you’re looking to buy from a line of top earmuffs like Honeywell’s Howard Leight selection, expect to find a range of choices that extend up to more than $50. These earmuffs are marketed for both commercial and consumer applications.

Another notable manufacturer, Walker’s Game Ear, offers a Razor series with prices hovering around the $70 mark. These are great muffs, but you can also find an excellent pair of Walker’s earmuffs that cost closer to $15.

In short, it pays to shop around. As mentioned above, passive earmuffs may cost less than their electronic counterparts. 

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Did You Know?
Standard earmuffs can be adjusted three inches on each side, providing six inches of variability for fitting. Specialty models are available for people who require larger sizes.

Other considerations

Don’t forget the batteries

Electronic shooting earmuffs require a battery to power the microphone and speakers.

Some electronic ear muffs contain a dedicated battery, which is charged using a standard USB cord.

"Thanks to their simple construction, the price of passive earmuffs is lower than electronic ones."


Use your shooting earmuffs in additional situations

At 145 to 190 decibels, gunfire is louder than many other harmful sounds. If your shooting earmuffs fit comfortably, you can get more from them by using them during other activities, such as mowing the lawn or working with power tools.

Some shooting ear muffs can play music

A few electronic models on today’s market provide a 3.5mm headphone jack. You can plug in your smartphone or mp3 player and listen to music while you shoot.

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Some electronic ear muffs shut down automatically after a period of non-use to preserve battery life.


Q. Do shooting ear muffs completely cancel noise?

A. Shooting earmuffs aren’t designed to completely block out sound. Check the Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) to determine how much noise reduction each model offers.

Q. How do electronic shooting earmuffs enable me to hear quieter sounds?

A. First, electronic shooting ear muffs reduce all sound in the same manner as passive ear muffs: layers of padding physically block out harmful decibel levels. However, electronic shooting earmuffs capture all sounds via a set of microphones. A microchip determines the decibel level of the incoming noise; if it’s below the “quiet” threshold, the noise is passed to amplifying speakers inside the ear cups.

Q. How do I know when it’s time to change the battery?

A. Electronic shooting ear muffs include an indicator LED that lights up when the battery needs to be replaced or recharged.