For all the shooting aficionados out there, a must-have piece of range equipment is a good set of hearing protection. Nothing can ruin a day at the range like not having good hearing protection that will keep those monster headaches away and prolong good hearing later in life. Electronic ear muffs are definitely the best option to keep hearing protected while also providing the best functionality for range use.
In this list, we will give our best picks for electronic ear muffs for the shooting range. We will look at a variety of factors including price, noise reduction rating, microphone functionality, and other key features of each set on our list. When it comes to hearing protection it is important to get the best available while also fitting the needs of the shooter both short and long-term. Therefore, we cover a wide range of electronic ear muffs that will fit every shooter’s needs from casual to tactical.
Before we jump straight into our list, let’s explain some of the key features that we look for in a good set of electronic ear muffs.
There are some key features that are paramount to making a good set of electronic ear muffs. Keep these in mind when looking for the best set of muffs to take to the shooting range.
Feel and Comfort
Feel and comfort are very important features when using electronic ear muffs. Spending a long day at the shooting range calls for comfort. They also need to fit firmly so that they operate properly.
They also shouldn’t be overly bulky. When shooting rifles or shotguns, the outside casing of the ear muffs should not get in the way and keep the shooter from properly mounting the firearm to take aim. If they do, find another option that has a slimmer casing.
Enhanced Sound Features
Electronic ear muffs are designed specifically to reduce loud noises, but they can also serve another purpose. The microphones that pick up noise and then reduce it inside the ear muff can also enhance lower decibel sounds and actually propagate sound just as much as dampen it. It is very useful, at the range, to be able to speak with other shooters and hear instructions without having to remove hearing protection altogether.
Hunters have also been known to utilize electronic ear muffs both for dampening the sound of their shot and for enhancing noises that might alert them earlier to an approaching animal.
All Things Battery
With electronics comes the need for batteries. All the ear muffs on our list utilize AAA batteries as a power source, but some do come with rechargeable batteries. Something important to check out on electronic ear muffs is how easily accessible the battery compartment is and how easy it is to swap out batteries. Some can be quite a pain in the rear end when needing to change the batteries.
Noise Reduction Rating
All ear protection is given a noise reduction rating that specifies how much the hearing protection dampens loud noises in decibels. All the electronic ear muffs on our list have a noise reduction rating between 19 and 23 decibels. The higher the rating the more protection the ear muffs provide to the user. Pay close attention to this rating to ensure the most hearing protection possible.
Now that we have touched a number of key features, let’s jump into our list with the most economically friendly electronic ear muffs on the market.
The Walker brand is one of the best known electronic ear muff companies on the market today. This makes it no surprise that they would be leading the way on our list. They have a wide range of options in the electronic ear muff category, but we will go with the economic Walker Razor.
The Walker Razor comes in at a very affordable $60, which is perfect for any casual shooter or weekend warrior at the shooting range. These slim electronic muffs give a low-profile design for shooter comfort while also offering superior hearing protection. The Walker Razor has the highest noise reduction rating on the list at 23 decibels of noise protection.
The Walker Razor has two omnidirectional microphones that pick up noise from all directions to enhance lower level sounds for a clear and balanced sound such as voices. These microphones have a .002-second sound activation that compresses loud noises in an instant to protect the hearing of the shooter. So regardless of who is shooting, the Razor automatically kicks in sound protection when they detect loud noises.
The Walker Razor is perfect for those wanting to upgrade their hearing protection but not in need of fancy highly tactical electronic ear muffs.
Peltor Sport Rangeguard
The Peltor Sport Rangeguard is the next set of electronic ear muffs on our list. These are another great economical set of electronic ear muffs coming in with a $75 price tag These are low-profile ear muffs that provide very dependable ear protection and work well for the shooting range or in the field. They perform well with rifles and shotguns.
Taking them up a level, the Peltor Sport Rangeguard ear muffs have recessed microphones, a 3.5mm audio input jack, and are 2-way radio compatible. These options make it a perfect fit for a wide variety of uses while still performing well on its main task of dampening loud noises.
The Rangeguards have a 21 decibel noise reduction rating, putting it at number three on our list overall in the category. It runs on two AAA batteries and has an auto shut-off after four hours of no loud noises to ensure the batteries are not drained.
These would be another great set of electronic ear muffs for the casual shooter to the weekend warrior that wants to add a few bells and whistles between the audio jack and the 2-way radio compatibility.
Howard Leight Impact Sport
Coming in third on our list are the Howard Leight Impact Sport electronic ear muffs. These are on the higher end of our more economical ear muffs, but still come in at a highly affordable $84 price tag. These offer great hearing protection while still amplifying natural and low decibel sounds for better hearing at the same time.
The Howard Leight Impact Sport ear muffs have low profile ear cups that allow for adequate firearm stock clearance and fit any size and shape head. They also fold up for a nice compact fit in storage. This set of ear muffs also comes with a 3.5mm connection to use with a music device or other audio sources.
The Impact Sport ear muffs have a 22 decibel noise reduction rating, making it the second best on this list after the Walker Razor. This set of ear muffs can amplify voices for easier communication while other sounds are brought to a safe 82 decibels. It runs on two AAA batteries and has an approximate life of 350 hours with an automatic shut-off after four hours of non-use.
These are a great option for the shooting range and have a long battery life that would be perfect for the avid range goer. Add in some extras with the AUX input and these can easily be used for entertainment at the range or easier communication in the field.
The Sordin Supreme is our first step up into the tactical realm of electronic ear muffs, but it is an important step to take for those serious range goers and those that like to train tactically. These ear muffs have a great combination of hearing protection and noise amplification. They have both waterproof microphones and battery compartments to ensure that they will withstand just about any environment they are exposed to.
These come with a bit of a steeper price tag compared to our previous three entries, ranging from $240 to $300+ depending on the model purchased. The Sordin Supreme are designed for tactical uses and can be used with tactical headwear and might be more comfortable than some of the wired headbands that come standard on most other ear muffs.
The microphones are shielded for optimum sound direction and durability in the field. They offer a 19 decibel noise reduction rating that both amplifies and suppresses noise without chopping or cutting out. They also come equipped with an audio input and a 3.5mm mono jack to be used with audio sources such as radio and music.
These are great for those shooters that spend a lot of time at the range and/or also engage in tactical shooting where more gear is needed. These ear muffs are highly adjustable and fit firmly but comfortably during high levels of movement.
Peltor ComTac III
The Peltor ComTac III is geared mostly towards tactical use. They come with a lot more features than any other ear muffs on our list. These are designed to meet the needs of military and law enforcement members but can be purchased by the general public. They come with a very steep price tag, coming in between $600 and $800.
The ComTac III has a 23-decibel noise reduction rating, tying it for first on the list. These are great at dampening sound and also enhancing ambient noise for better hearing around the shooter. The ComTac III is set up for 2-way radio communication and a mic is already in place for use.
There is a long list of other specifications and features that the Peltor ComTac III comes with that should definitely be checked out if a tactical set of electronic ear muffs is needed. While their recommended use is for hunting, military tactical, shooting, and shooting range, we highly suggest only going with this model for serious tactical use or if a large amount of time is spent on the shooting range.
While hearing protection should be used by everyone, many shy away from electronic ear muffs because they don’t like the look or the feel of bigger ear muffs compared to other forms of hearing protection or no protection at all. Investing in these electronic ear muffs can really save long-term hearing and will last a long time if taken care of properly. That makes it worth investing a little more to add your personal touch and additional comfort.
Allow Flatline Fiber Co. to help with that. They offer a line of Ear Pro Wraps that are designed to go over the headband portion of electronic ear muffs. These Ear Pro Wraps come in a variety of colors, are designed for comfort and breathability, and have a velcro patch for a nameplate to be attached.
The upside is that the Ear Pro Wraps from Flatline Fiber Co. are compatible with all the models of electronic ear muffs on our list and more! Put that personal touch on ear muffs and look stylish on the next range visit.
We gave a list of options from the most basic and economic to the most tactical option that will hit the wallet a little harder. Basing your decision on the type of shooting being done will probably dictate the type of electronic ear muffs needed. Those who are casual shooters and weekend warriors will probably stick with one of the first three ear muffs on our list while the more serious shooters who do tactical shooting will lean more toward the last two options on the list.
Choose wisely for the situation at hand, but be sure to use some type of hearing protection. In our opinion, electronic ear muffs are the way to go for comfort and usability, especially during a long day at the shooting range with friends and family. Be able to communicate while still having the best hearing protection available.