We asked some keen shooters what they use. Here are five 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 sudden loud or sharp noises, whether from your own gun or one nearby, are attenuated instantly, helping protect your hearing from potentially harmful noise levels. Ambient sound levels can be adjusted to make sure that baying dogs, warning calls and other sounds are clearly audible. Hunters will appreciate how earphones headsets amplify all and any environmental sounds.

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.

 

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We’ve asked some keen shooters for some suggestions and  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 electronic muffs

3M Peltor electronic muffs

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: RRP £80.40
  • 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

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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 
Howard Leight ear defenders

Howard Leight ear defenders

Howard Leight ear defenders

  • Battery: 2 AAA batteries
  • Automatic shut off: 4-hour automatic shut-off
  • Foldable: Yes
  • Waterproof: Water resistant
  • Sound protection: Shuts off noises to a safe 82dB level
  • Price: £120
  • Extra features: MP3/Smartphone connectivity
  • Website: Edgar Brothers