This modern day and age has a number of different activities that people participate in for fun and also sport, with the choices never ending in possibility. One such activity that is enjoyed by many is the sport of shooting, which can be done for recreationally, for hunting or even professionally.
Particularly in the United States, firearms are useful tools that provide a lot of uses and also entertainment. It is always crucially important to remember that these tools are also weapons and can be very dangerous at times, particularly in the hands of the wrong person.
Operation of any firearm always requires adequate protection, be it eye protection, reflective vests when you are out hunting in the wild or hearing protection. Finding the best shooting ear plugs can be a slight challenge, particularly when you want to find one that not only suits your style of shooting but also our preferences on design, use and price.
Regardless, purchasing shooting earplugs should be standard and you should never use any type of firearm without protecting yourself first.
How to choose the best shooting earplug?
Long gone are the days where the availability of hearing protection was limited to just a few selections. More and more places are becoming aware that these forms of accessories are very profitable and that they can cater to the wants and needs of the various hunters and shooters. As such, there are multiple types of shooting earplugs that have additional features, which can maximize your shooting potential.
Electronic Ear Plugs
Electronic ear plugs, reusable shooting ear plugs, foam ear plugs, no-roll ear plugs, do-it-yourself custom molded ear plugs, professional lab custom molded ear plugs, moldable silicone ear plugs and wax molded ear plugs are the variety of different ear plugs available for you to choose at your leisure, each with their own benefits that can be capitalized on.
The most advanced is the electronic earplugs, which are often touted as one of the best shooing earplugs because of their versatility and unique features. They are called electronic because they use special circuitry inside them to both enhance and protect your ears at the same time.
Some are quite expensive, like the:
Etymotic Research GSP15 GunSport Pro Series High-Definition Electronic Earplugs
- Blast protection for gun sport enthusiasts, professional shooters, guides and instructors, and hunters
- Allows natural hearing when no background noise is present and gradually protect from loud noise from vehicles or machinery
- At the flip of a switch sound is amplified, improving distance detection up to five times for enhanced awareness while at the same time protecting from blasts
These electronic earplugs have the ability to amplify and enhance ambient noise whilst also minimize the noise from loud impacts or gradually increasing noises such as a gunshot of loud work machinery, to enable you to hear important things whilst also block out loud noises that could cause damage.
In a scenario where you are hunting, you could theoretically be listening to the movements of an animal, following them through the brush of foliage before taking your shot, confident that the blast of the rifle will not deafen you.
Reusable Ear Plugs
Next is the reusable shooting earplugs, which are made of a different material than foam (mostly plastic-based). They work as intended, helping to minimize noise from gunshots whilst also being sanitary, relatively cheap and easy to apply.
They work in a similar fashion to the foam earplugs except they can be used multiple times with the right amount of cleaning to prevent dirtiness. Try:
Etymotic Research ER20 ETY-Plugs Hearing Protection Earplugs, Large Fit, Clear Stem with White Tip
- 1 pair Large Fit ETY Plugs with white tips, neck cord, and carrying case
- Replicates the natural response of the ear, so sound quality is the same as the original, only quieter. Music and speech are clear, not muffled.
- Reduces risk of hearing damage from loud noise such as concerts, theatres, airshows, parades, athletic and motorsports events.
Disposable Ear Plugs
As mentioned previously, there are foam earplugs. These earplugs are the cheapest and most common forms of earplugs. They do not provide any lesser quality in hearing protection nor are they uncomfortable.
The only downside to them is that they should only be used once, as they can pick up dirt and bacteria and you do not want to be placing that into your ears over multiple periods. Check out:
Hearos Earplugs, Xtreme Protection Series, 7 Count
- High 33 NRR
- Designed for noise reduction, hearing protection
- Great for sleep, study, travel, attending concerts, firearm use any loud noise
No roll foam earplugs are slightly more expensive than the foam earplugs and exactly the same in their use. They are cheap, efficient and meant for a one-time use only. The main different between these and the foam earplugs is a small plastic insert that allows you to simply push them into your ears as opposed to rolling like you would with foam earplug.
For some people, rolling foam earplugs before inserting is extremely annoying and uncomfortable, prompting the use of these no-roll plugs.
Customizable Molded Ear Plugs
If you are willing to go the extra effort for something more customized then you should consider the molded earplugs as your best shooting earplugs option. As the name suggest once again, these earplugs are not a generic shape or design and are created to suit the user. You can try the:
Radians CEP001-T Tan Custom Molded Earplugs
- Soft, permanent, custom fit
- No mess
- Simple, easy to follow instructions
Whether you decide on making them yourself or getting them custom created by a professional lab, you can be sure that the result will vary and that the finish product should be created by the mold of your ears to ensure both a comfortable insert and adequate protection.
One of the major benefits of this increase in comfort ensures that you can wear them for longer amounts of time, which is very useful in situations where you may be stalking your prey.
The moldable earplugs in either silicone or wax. Similar to the style previously mentioned, these ones will change shape and form every time you use them and can be used to keep your ears protected and also covered, usable outside of shooting.
Silicone Ear Plugs
Silicone earplugs are created with a material that cannot melt or over-soften when heated, making them a good choice for other tasks such as sleeping or general noise reduction. Wax earplugs do however suffer from melting in the heat, therefore eliminating tem from long term use especially in hot weather.
Regardless of what style of ear plug you choose you can be sure that these will give you adequate protection and that is all you can ask for when trying to find the best shooting earplugs available.
When you purchase your earplugs make sure to buy more than a few pairs to ensure that you always have them available and can accommodate for any situation that may arise. You can also use them to help others who may forget, fostering bonds and ensuring that everyone has both a fun and enjoyable time when out shooting.