We asked some keen shooters what they use. Here are four top choices of ear defenders to be thinking about.

Ear protection is one of the key shooting safety rules. Numerous shooters complain of deafness, and, possibly the worse affliction, tinnitus – a constant ringing sound. The old ear defenders, which meant that you were cut off from the world, are no longer inflicted on us – today’s clever technology means you can not only hear ambient noise, but you can hear what a Gun at the other end of a line says, or the beater warning of a bird approaching. If you’re on a rifle range, you can hear instructions or your spotter’s comments, but still rest assured you won’t have damaged your hearing in the long-term.

Most 12-bore gunshots produce a sound of around 150 to 160 decibels (db), while a .30-06 rifle with a 24in barrel produces around the same. Consistent exposure to sounds of more than 95db is bad, and noises of more than 120db can cause permanent damage to your hearing in seconds.

We’ve picked out some favourite products in the ear defender market here.

MSA Sordin Supreme Pro IV

MSA Sordin Supreme Pro IV

Sordin Supreme Pro IV

  • Battery life: 600 hours of two AAA batteries
  • Weight: 300g
  • Automatic shut off: Yes
  • Foldable: Yes
  • Sound protection: 82db
  • Price: from £150
  • Website: Starkey Headsets 

 

3M Peltor ProTac Shooter

3M Peltor ProTac Shooter

3M Peltor ProTac Shooter

These are the choice of Matthew Clark, editor of Sporting Gun.

  • Battery life: 100 hours of two AA batteries
  • Weight: 355g
  • Automatic shut off: Yes
  • Foldable: Yes
  • Waterproof: Weatherproof
  • Sound protection: Reduces harmful levels of sound to 32db
  • Price: from £95
  • Extra features: 3.5mm jack. A listen-only stereo input to connect to a mobile phone, radio, two-way radio or other external devices.
  • Website: John Rothery
Walkers Razor slim electronic muff

Walkers Razor slim electronic muff

Walkers Razor Slim Electronic Muff

  • Battery: 2 ‘AAA’ batteries
  • Foldable: Yes
  • Sound protection: Reduces harmful levels of sound to 22db
  • Price: from £69.99
  • Extra features:  Features Sound Activated Compression (SAC),  a special electronic circuitry that will compress gunshots and other loud noises down to a safe level, without completely shutting the noise off. This allows you to hear range commands or communicate with your hunting partners, even when shots are being fired around you.
  • Website: Bushwear

 

Caldwell E-Max LP Electronic Ear Defenders

Caldwell E-Max LP Electronic Ear Defenders

Caldwell E-Max Low Profile

  • Battery life: Untested, two AAA batteries
  • Weight: 408g
  • Automatic shut off: No
  • Foldable: Yes
  • Waterproof: Water resistant
  • Sound protection: Blocks sounds above 85db
  • Warranty: 12 Months
  • Price: £53.99
  • Extra features: Two microphones offer stereo sound; low-profile earcup for ease of shooting.
  • Website: Edgar Brothers