If a sound reaches 85 decibels, it can cause permanent hearing damage. A normal conversation is around 60 decibels. Riding the subway: 90 decibels. An MP3 player’s earbuds can reach over 100 decibels, and gunshots can range from 140 to 190 decibels. At times I’m not sure if it was The Who, Van Halen or all those .22 LR rounds fired without hearing protection years ago that hurt my hearing capabilities.
If you are like me and train as often as you can, hearing protection is a must-have item. In fact, using ear protection is as natural and automatic to me now as buckling my seatbelt when I get into my vehicle.
Most electronic hearing protection offers at least a 19-decibel noise-reduction rating (NRR) and many offer an NRR up to 30 decibels. If you are a shooter that is really noise sensitive, try using foam earplugs and electronic earmuffs. The noise will be cut significantly while still allowing you to hearing normal conversations.
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Here are some of the best electronic hearing protection devices that will allow you to hear what you need to and not the scream of a 55-grain bullet coming out of your barrel at over 2,000 fps.
- Peltor Tactical 6S Behind The Head Earmuffs: 3m.com; 888-364-3577
- Radians Tac Ear: radians.com; 877-723-4267
- Etymotic EB15 LE BlastPLG: etymotic.com; 888-389-6684
- Caldwell Platinum Series G3: btibrands.com; 573-445-9200
- SportEAR M Series MUFFS: axilpro.com; 866-422-5502
- Howard Leight Impact Sport: howardleight.com; 800-430-5490
- ESP Dynamic: espamerica.com; 303-659-8844
- E.A.R. Digital Primo Multi-Memory: earinc.com; 800-525-2690
- Westone DefendEar Digital 1: westone.com; 800-525-5071
- SoundGear Custom Silver Level: soundgearhearing.com; 800-769-8605