Best Hearing Protection for Shooting 2023?

What is the Best Hearing Protection for Shooting 2023?

We are frequently asked for recommendations about what is the best hearing protection for shooting.  We are not paid by any company, and our only discount ever received was when we purchased 30 pairs of $100+ muffs, Altus gave us a price of $1 less than we could have purchased them on Amazon! lol

The following opinions are as unbiased as possible. 


Best Hearing Protection for Shooting 2023

 – First 5 Tests!


Yes – Pro Ears Pro 300 

No – Howard Leight Impact Sport  

Yes – Gel ear seals to help Howard Leight Impact Sport ears

Heck NO!!! – Walker Walker’s Razor Slim 

Heck NO!!! – Axil cheapos – just don’t do it .com

Howard Leight Impact Pro (Read more details)

MSA Sordin (Read more details)

Pro Mag Gold  Excellent -Best Hearing Protection for Shooting Instructors

Shepard Humphries with Pro Ears Gold

I purchased a pair of Pro Mag Gold hearing protection for $289 and personally used them for about two days before the headband broke. The company quickly replaced the headband. I have used them for about 1000+ hours and absolutely love them, though I wish gel ear-seals were available!  I just purchased another pair, this time pink, for my wife. My headband broke again, so this time I bought three extras to be prepared! -Shepard Humphries 2012

Update: In late 2015, my original pair of Pro Mag Gold muffs started sizzling and one side quit working.  I sent them in for repairs, expecting to pay $100+ in repair fees, but instead, within 10 days I received a brand new replacement pair!  They are a bit bulky for long gun shooting, but I do use them in long range tactical precision rifle matches.  I am very happy with Pro Ears by Altus Brands! The price has dropped to $207 HERE!


  MSA Supreme Pro-X Hearing Protection – Excellent – Best Hearing Protection for Shooting

( by Bob Gathercole

I purchased this hearing protection after a three day Highpower-Long Range shoot in Missoula where we spent two days shooting in the rain. The Peltor muffs I used suffered an electronic meltdown shortly after. MSA is a company of Swedish origin that specializes in safety gear. I dealt with SRS Tactical, in Florida, excellent service. The Supreme Pro-X (model 75302-X) was 249.00, and I added the gel earmuffs for 34.00. (Check current price HERE)

Bob Gathercole Best Ear Pro

This model has the following features:

-five year warranty on the electronics
-volume control
-battery saving mode (shuts down after 4 hrs)
-input jack for radio or mobile phone.
-low battery warning tone

This hearing protection uses two AAA batteries. The automatic shutoff is a useful feature for competitive shooters who leave their hearing protection in a range bag. Comfort is outstanding- I wore these at the 2012 Spirit of America matches in Raton, NM- eight days of long range shooting, four matches a day, without noticing them. The attenuation is a little less than some other muffs, but adequate. The excellent electronic sound reproduction allows the user to wear supplemental earplugs if desired.

Most important, for rifle shooters- the design of these earmuffs does not interfere with the cheek weld. -by Bob Gathercole

Radians Pro-Amp™ Electronic Hearing Protection – BAD About Standing Behind Product

I purchased this lower end pair of hearing protection and personally used them for the summer of 2011. I was pretty happy with them until one side stopped working. As I followed up I learned that Radian’s return policy philosophy is opposite of Altus Pro Ears!  Not only would they not perform a repair, but they do not have replacement parts. It seems that if you buy their hearing protection and 91+ days later it stops working, it is off to the landfill. -Shepard Humphries

3M Peltor – Excellent hearing protection

3M Peltor is a trusted brand that makes high end electronic hearing protection.  While I have not used it, many of my clients use it and love it.  As with most electronic hearing protection, make sure you are spending over $100 when you select a pair, and $300 is better than $100. THIS $1,095 pair is really great! As a bonus, you look tacticool at the range.


Altus Pro Ears Pro-300 – Very Good for occasional range use

I liked the Altus brand so much that we purchased 30 pairs of their Pro-300 muffs for our clients use in 2015.  We have been very happy with their performance and our clients love them! The headbands do frequently break in cold weather.

Hearing damage from shooting typically occurs over time and this cumulative effect is a consideration when selecting a pair of ears.  For guests that shoot only occasionally, these Pro-300s are great!  If you shoot less than once per week and are typically at outdoor ranges, these are great!


… and from a July 2017 email response to a client:

I use Pro Ears Gold.  When you shoot with me, you can use/test our Pro Ears 300’s, which are a good electronic pair & they will be good for us to communicate with each-other.  If you will typically be shooting alone, you will not need electronic muffs.
For your own use away from me, I think passive should be fine.  The NRR (Noise Reduction Rating) number should be as high as possible.  (This guy disagrees)  Many are in the 20’s and are sufficient, however 30’s are better.  It seems that the thicker the muffs, the better the sound is blocked.  The problem is that if you also plan to use them for shotgunning and rifle, a lower profile muff is better, even though I use my thick ones for all kinds of shooting.
Some people even like to double-up and use foam ear plugs AND ear muffs.
This is what I use: 
Several of our coaches use these lower profile, but say that sound is not blocked as well:
These are all worthy of your consideration and are so inexpensive that if you don’t like them, you can use them as a spare and try again!  🙂

Not Great – Howard Leigh Impact

Best Hearing Protection for Shooting
OK, this is a thing.
This company has been very successful and is one of the most popular brands of ear protection. I don’t get it. I have tried several pairs, and each time I notice the plastic on my ears is stiff. The muffs don’t rotate well within the headband. This means that it is difficult to get a good seal around one’s ear. I prefer every other pair of electronic hearing protection I have ever tried.
The Howard Leigh Impact ear protection does NOT get my seal of approval.