Best shooting hearing protection recommendations?

Do any of you who shoot have any recommendations on hearing protection? Do you recommend the electronic earmuffs?

Just buy some good (and comfortable) ear muffs and ear plugs.

But this is most important: double up. Yes, wear ear plugs and ear muffs when shooting.

Seems a bit excessive to me. I just use ear muffs. As long as the ear muffs are decent quality and are comfortable you’ll be fine.

Nothing wrong with doubling up though.

I have never used electronic earmuffs and I don’t know anyone who has.

Muffs don’t kill the noise as well as plugs, in my experience. Yes, you could double up, especially if your doctor has something to say about your “loud toys.”

This is what I use. Love them.

Yes you do. Me.


This is what I was going to post before the thread even opened.

For Almost 50 years I’ve been using inexpensive muffs and ear plugs at the same time and it works just fine. Nothing wrong with using anything fancy but it’s not required.


Advice is better suited to IMHO. Moving.

[Not modding]
Can noise-cancellation muffs actually react quickly enough to cancel out a sudden noise like a gunshot?

I have used them and they do work.

I used to worry about my auto darkening welding helmet. I mean there is an extremely intense UV source going to ignite a few inches from my open eyes and the speed of light and all that - but it works.


Yes they work very well. I used them yesterday. I was able to clearly hear the range instructor and it muted multiple .45s going off at once, 12 gauge shotguns, and my M16.

Concur. I’ve used these without earplugs and they work fantastically even in a confined indoor range with .357 Magnum and 10mm Auto pistols.


The Howard Leight Impact units are what I use when using muffs. They don’t actually cut off, but reduce the sound level to 82Db which is considered safe. I had a set long time back that did cut off sound but found them very annoying. With the volume cranked up you can hear all the ambient sound but still be protected.

When shooting long guns I use what are basically hearing aids with suppression circuitry. Much more comfortable to me.

FWIW, the Noise Reduction Rating for the Howard Leight electronic muffs cited above is 22. Per this site (, NRR is not a simple reduction of decibel noise levels but more is better. The earplugs I use (under a basic set of range rental passive earmuffs) have a NRR of 33. Like these from Walgreens.

As it’s decibels we’re measuring, and that’s a logarithmic scale, you can’t just add 22 NRR from the muffs to 33 from the plugs. I’d think the sum would be something like an NRR of 35. Indoor shooting, I definitely double up. Outdoors, I probably would too. Especially with the proliferation of muzzle brakes these days.

Are any of the electronic muffs of the active noise-cancelling type? If so, what’s the maximum practical noise reduction achievable with that sort of tech?

I go Remington muffs but I would actually prefer plugs. In my case I had so many issues with infections and totally freak ear problems that my GP/GS gets a nervous twitch every time she even hears me say the words “ear plug”. Not all that much of a deal on handguns but they do throw off my long-guns slightly in how they fit and feel.

I use ear plugs and muffs when doing just about anything that is loud. The plugs are a security fail safe, as well. I keep several pairs of earmuffs on a shelf in my garage, and one time when I put a pair on, there was a spider inside one of the “muffs” that I didn’t notice. After the near heart attack seconds after putting them on, I figured the ear plugs would prevent a direct crawlspace to my brain. :eek: I buy disposable foam earplugs by the box of 200 pair from a local industrial supplier.
During my time with the artillery, I saw everything imaginable pressed into service as ear plugs, including Tootsie rolls and cigarette butts. :o

Whatevering the “double-up” advice. Same as above - I have dozens of pairs of foam earplugs around the garage, in the shooting boxes and in the nightstand. Muffs are everywhere as well, for shooting activities and chainsaws. No need to get all that fancy, just double-up!

When I’m working with family members or students, I insist that they wear electronic units. It’s just too darn easy for them to move or lift their “ears” when I’m instructing them on a point. Then someone nearby fires or they forget to put them on. I know…it’s a bad practice on their part, but I see exactly the same thing on construction sites with eye protection. If someone has ill-fitting or uncomfortable eye protection, it is more likely than not that the protection will be removed periodically and not put back in place when it’s needed. Once a person walks on a range or a construction site, all protection goes on until they leave. It’s a heck of a lot easier for me to communicate with them if I spend the extra $25 or so to make it possible for them to hear me easily.

I have those same muffs. I wear them at the indoor pistol range. Make it much easier to hear what the range officer is saying.

What do you folks use for eye protection? I am myopic and didn’t need distraction of trying to get the eye shield off to get my glasses off to clear a jam. The woman at the range asked if my glasses were shatter resistant.

I usually just use regular safety glasses 'cause my eyesight after cataract surgery is about 20/30, but when I’m mucking about with adjusting my sights and such I switch to these. They can be had up to 2 diopters. Don’t know if that’s enough for your eyes though.