LAST UPDATED: October 19, 2019
Best Electronic Hearing Protection: Hear Clearly and Don’t Damage Your Ears
Prevent blowing out your hearing with these electronic headphones
The Review Team
How We Decided
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PUBLISHED ON October 19, 2019
If you’re on active duty, go to the shooting range, perform in rifle or pistol shooting competitions, or work in construction, you need hearing protection. Guns are loud and can damage your ears and lead to hearing loss if used without ear protection or headphones. The same is true for construction equipment like nail guns and chainsaws. To save your ears some trouble, we put together a list of the best electronic hearing protection on the market.
These provide a comfortable fit and work great both outdoors and in indoor ranges. They include Bluetooth technology so you can stream music and make phone calls with them.
Feature a 26-decibel noise reduction rating. The technology measures noise levels and automatically reduces volume and echo. Clear voice tracking. Reduced wind noise.
Lower noise reduction compared to other brands. Delay in audio streaming. Not the most durable.
Enhanced tech reduces noises over 82 decibels. Noise reduction rating of 22. Adjustable headband. Comfortable and secure. Durable. Teal color.
Short battery life when compared to other brands. You may need earplugs when using them indoors. Pick up wind noise.
Offers five times hearing enhancement and an impressive noise reduction rating of 24 decibels. The earpieces can be adjusted independently. Designed with microbial and wind resistance.
The pads feel stiff on the ear and may peel off with frequent use. It may take you some time before you equalize both earpieces.
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Best Electronic Hearing Protection Reviews & Recommendations 2019
The Peltor Sport Tactical 500 Smart Electronic Hearing Protector is one great all-around choice for effective and innovative hearing protection. This handy headset can both protect you from loud, potentially damaging sounds while still allowing you to hear what’s happening around you. This electronic hearing protection device offers a 26 decibel noise reduction rating and can be used both indoors and outdoors. A cool dynamic suppression time feature measures the energy of noises like gunshots, then automatically sets a suppression time to reduce echoes and increase your comfort. You’ll enjoy clear voice tracking, which seeks out voices in background noise and filters so you can hear what others are saying easily. It even uses Bluetooth technology to allow you to stream music and make phone calls too, acting as both hearing protection and a set of smart headphones.
The Howard Leight by Honeywell Impact Sport Sound Amplification Electronic Shooting Earmuff is a wonderfully well-balanced noise reduction headset that offers both increased safety and a host of helpful features. And that makes this headset for electronic hearing protection filled with value. It offers excellent bang for your buck — it has a noise reduction rating of 22 decibels and can quiet noises to a safe 82 decibels to protect your hearing. As it quiets loud noises like gunshots, it’ll amplify range command and other ambient sounds with built-in directional microphones so you can listen and communicate. In addition to these protective features, the headset also includes an AUX input and a 3.5 millimeter connection cord for MP3 players, smartphones, and scanners. It’ll do double duty as a pair of headphones with connected devices and hearing protection.
The Walker’s Game Ear Alpha 360 Quad is a form of electronic hearing protection that’s perfect for anyone who’s working outdoors. Whether you’re hunting out in nature or are working with loud equipment in your own backyard, this protective ear muff can keep your hearing safe. This product has a noise reduction rating of 24 decibels, and it uses sound activated compression to effectively dampen loud noises. It’s wind-resistant and features high-frequency stereo microphones to deliver the sounds you do want to hear precisely and directionally. That makes this headset perfect for using outside even when it’s windy. While it’ll quiet loud noises, this electronic hearing protection device also offers hearing enhancement that can help you hear nine times more clearly. Two independent volume controls give you customization, and antimicrobial ear pads keep you comfortable all day.
A pair of Awesafe Electronic Shooting Earmuffs will work to protect your hearing in potentially loud and dangerous settings. But that’s not all this electronic hearing protection product offers. Designed to suppress loud noises you might hear at a shooting range or while hunting, these earmuffs offer a noise reduction of 23 decibels to protect your hearing. They work with an advanced internal chip, and you can even control both the volume and the sound dampening or amplification via the included buttons. This electronic hearing protection product will amplify the noises you do want to hear — like conversations and instructions — while keeping exceptionally loud noises much quieter. These earmuffs are even backed by a two-year warranty to offer you additional peace of mind.
Compact and perfectly sized for those who don’t want to wear huge earmuffs or an oversized headset, Decibullz Custom Molded Hearing Protection is a great earbud option. They’re actually thermo-fit molded earpieces that use percussive filter technology to lower the decibel level of sounds like gunshots, artillery fire, and explosions. Any high-impulse, percussive sound will be dampened — and barely anyone will realize you’re wearing this form of electronic hearing protection. Certified for up to 166 decibels, these earbuds can fit underneath communications headsets, earmuffs, and even headphones. You’ll be able to fit these earbuds to your ears comfortably, as they mold to the exact shape of your ear once in place. You can even re-mold them again and again for reuse.
- Many electronic earmuffs or headphones come with the ability to play music through a built-in audio jack or audio input. They may also be able to stream through Bluetooth. This can help reduce loud noises even more.
- Consider headphones that are brightly colored or stand out so you are more visible. This is preferable at construction sites. Camouflaged headphones are more useful for hunters or members of the military on active duty.
- If you shoot guns for competition or indoors, choose headphones with slim or beveled ear cups to minimize interference with the weapons.
- If you have sensitive ears, you can find headphones with independent volume control on each ear. This way you can control the noise levels on each side.
- To help prevent hearing damage, you can also double up on protection by using foam earplugs underneath the headphones. Foam plugs are small, lightweight and fit directly into your ear canal.
- Consider wearing a pair of safety glasses as well to protect your eyes. The rims should fit comfortably underneath the headphones without hurting your ears.
Q: Why are premium electronic earmuffs so expensive?
A: Electronic earmuffs feature enhanced technology that automatically adjusts volume levels that reach your ears. They are also a bit bulkier and heavier than passive muffs. Naturally, this makes them significantly more expensive—in the range of $100 to $300, compared with $10 to $50 for passive earmuffs. They also come with either rechargeable batteries or AAA batteries to power them.
Q: What is the purpose of electronic hearing protection?
A: Electronic ear protection headsets can be used for a variety of things but are especially useful for hunters or members of the military. You may also need them if you compete in shooting sports or go to the shooting range. Contractors and construction workers can use them if they operate heavy machinery. They protect your ears from being blown out by loud noises by reducing and muffling the sound.
Q: How does electronic hearing protection work?
A: Like passive earmuffs, they reduce the amount of noise that reaches your eardrums. Where they differ is in how they function. Electronic muffs include technology that instantly lowers loud noises around you. This can reduce the sound of a gunshot or machinery so that it doesn’t blow out your ear. They also increase ambient sounds, so you can talk and hear people around you without taking them off.
Q: Is electronic hearing protection safe?
A: Make sure you get an NRR rating high enough to provide the protection you need. Small caliber weapons call for a minimum NRR 20. For shooting ear protection, larger bore hand and long guns call for NRR 25 or better. For large caliber and magnum handguns, long guns, and shotguns, the highest rating you can get (NRR 33) is appropriate. You can also double up on protection by wearing earplugs under your electronic earmuffs.
For one of the best electronic hearing protection, consider the Peltor Sport Tactical 500 Smart Electronic Hearing Protector for its enhanced audio capabilities.
You could also check out the Howard Leight by Honeywell Impact Sport Sound Amplification Electronic Shooting Earmuff for the sleek and cool design and audio level functionality.