best in-ear electronic hearing protection for shooting

Spend a lot of time around guns? Bravo! But if you want to continue jamming to your Spotify playlist, you need to invest in a pair of quality electronic earplugs for shooting.

Gunshots can potentially render you deaf if you don’t use hearing protection. And don’t be fooled, you’re prone to permanent hearing loss or tinnitus even if you’re not a frequent visitor to the range. All it takes is one gunshot. Yep, I’m not bluffing.

It doesn’t sound as bad as Gonorrhea, but it’s still pretty bad…

Fortunately, there are ample digital earplugs for shooting to protect your hearing and minimize exposure to high-decibel gunshots.

While earmuffs have long shielded shooters against hearing loss, they’re bulkier than earplugs and merely sit on the ears. For the best hearing protection for shooting, you need earplugs that fit directly and comfortably into the ear canal.

We’ve compiled some of the best electronic bluetooth earplugs for shooting after gauging their durability and comfort, effectiveness, and battery backup.

Let’s walk through these and find you a pair that will guard your hearing against the loudest of gunshots.

Comparison Table:

How Were the Electronic Earplugs Shortlisted?

The list is built from scratch for the year 2021, so the in ear electronic protection mentioned here have up to date information. The earplugs were selected on the basis of:

Top 5 Best In-Ear Electronic Hearing Protection for Shooting

Grizzly Ears Shooting Earmuffs with Bluetooth

Grizzly Ears Shooting Earmuffs review

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My top pick from Grizzly Ears is the best in-ear electronic hearing protection for shooting. This perfect hunting pal offers 6x sound amplification, sound compression, and Bluetooth.

What’s more, they’re 100 percent waterproof and will deal with accidental water splashes just fine. I strapped on a pair of these bad boys to write up my Grizzly Ears review, let’s see how they fared.

Durability and Comfort

The waterproof earbuds are resistant to dust and dirt. That being said, the charging case is not waterproof so you’d want to leave them in the vinyl case if it rains during your hunting spree.

You can spend the entire day hunting with the memory foam earplugs that are available in XS, S, M, L to protect yourself against the loud booms.

Protection Effectiveness and NRR

When you’re afield, the earbuds will amplify the sounds around you while shutting out the sound of gunshots.

If you’re not a stranger to the post-hunting ringing in your ears, you’ll appreciate what these earbuds with 26dB NRR can do for you with their noise reduction capability for impulse noises that exceed 85dB.

Grizzly Ears Shooting Earmuffs with Bluetooth:...
36 Reviews
Grizzly Ears Shooting Earmuffs with Bluetooth:...
  • MIC SENSITIVITY SOUND COMPRESSION: MSSC reduces gunfire or impulse noise above 85db
  • SOUND AMPLIFICATION: SA enhances low-level exterior sounds up to 6x
  • BLUETOOTH TECHNOLOGY: It offers full Bluetooth technologies such as wireless Bluetooth audio and...

Battery

The Bluetooth will automatically pair with your phone and provide up to 3.5 hours of stereo sound, and up to 4 hours of phone talk-time. The earbuds will power down when idle and charge automatically.

Impressed? Well, I sure was.

PROS

  • 26 dB NRR
  • 100 percent waterproof
  • Decent battery backup
  • Bluetooth connectivity

CONS

  • The pricing may be a bit much for some – but hey, you get what you pay for

Walker’s Silencer Digital Earbuds

Walker’s Silencer Digital Earbuds review

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My favorite feature of the Walker’s Silencer Rechargeable earbuds is that they’re rechargeable and come with a USB charging dock.

There is much more that these earbuds bring to the table, though, like Bluetooth connectivity, customizable sizing fins, and hearing enhancement – but wait, this Walker’s Silencer earbuds review is still short by a few features.

Let’s remedy that, shall we?

Durability and Comfort

Walker’s tells us it’s only “weatherproof,” so while the earbuds will pull it through a rainy day, it’s best not to fully submerge them underwater.  There’s a “Dynamic Wind Noise Reduction” feature, but it doesn’t entirely shut out the wind noise.

Nevertheless, the earbuds do offer excellent hearing protection.

But, are they comfy? Out of the box, you get 3 sizes of foam tips + 3 sizes of Sure-Lock sizing fins that will fit most ears comfortably.

If you’re planning a longer than 3-hour session at the range next week, these Walker’s earbuds will almost feel as if they’re on a date with your ears.

Protection Effectiveness and NRR

The rechargeable earbuds with 23dB NRR from Walker’s use advanced digital circuitry and come with 4 “Environmental Hearing Modes”: Universal, Clear Voice (noise filtering), Power Boost (increases the audio output to 2x that of Universal mode), and High-Frequency Boost (increases sound frequencies greater than 1kHz).

Battery

The earbuds are accompanied by a USB charging dock with an integrated li-ion battery. I know what you’re thinking – yes, the USB cable is included.

When you run out of battery, just slip them into the carrying case that doubles as a recharging station and let them juice up.

PROS

  • Rechargeable
  • 23 dB NRR
  • Jam-packed with features
  • Comes with four Environmental Hearing Modes
  • Bluetooth connectivity

CONS

  • Weatherproof, not waterproof
  • Dynamic Wind Noise Reduction doesn’t entirely block the wind noise

Caldwell E-Max Shadows

Caldwell E-Max Shadows review

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The compact package from Caldwell offers protection, functionality, and versatility which translates to a fantastic bang-for-buck ratio. It easily comes out at the top of the diverse product portfolio of Caldwell ear protection parts.

Durability and Comfort

The earbuds come with 6 sizes of foam tips to allow for a comfortable fit and excellent noise cancellation and hearing protection.

Wearing them at the range will enable you to have unwanted conversations with strangers that might just ask you about the earbuds, but more importantly, they’ll maintain excellent situational awareness.

Protection Effectiveness and NRR

The earbuds with 23dB NRR are a perfect (and even permanent) substitute for your earmuffs when you’re shooting scope-sighted rifles, or when the weather is impartially hot.

Battery

The Caldwell earbuds come in a rechargeable case with an in-built li-ion battery that recharges via a USB port. And yes, the cable is included. The batteries in the earplugs will themselves provide a five-hour autonomy.

Although, they only lasted for about a hair’s breadth over 4.5 hours for me.

PROS

  • Rechargeable
  • 6 foam tips for a comfortable fit
  • Provides 5 autonomous hours
  • Bluetooth connectivity

CONS

  • You may need to turn noise cancellation off to be able to hear your phone calls properly

Decibullz – Custom Molded Percussive Filters

Decibullz  review

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You can grab these Decibullz shooting earplugs on-the-go as you step out for a session at the range without the hassle of recharging them. The Decibullz percussive filters can be custom molded to fit your ear bowls within a few minutes of heating them in warm water.

If you’d like to reshape them, just reheat the water and submerge them and you’re set.

Durability and Comfort

After a long day at the range, don’t you just want to strap on your pajama pants and sit in front of the TV? Well, I do.

Turns out I was too busy thinking about the new Perry Mason episode and I left the earplugs in my jacket.

Off they went to the laundry along with the jacket. But surprise, surprise!

These durable non-electronic earplugs came back to me and I was able to reshape them with some warm water – something I’d have never been able to do with my electronic pairs.

Durability, my friends, is not a cause for concern.

Protection Effectiveness and NRR

The passive earbuds with a 32dB NRR (10dB under normal volumes) are ANSI IPIL certified to filter out noises up to 166dB, while still maintaining almost full situational awareness.

You’ll rarely come across rifles and pistols that breach the 166dB threshold anyway. The Decibullz earplugs preserve the sound’s directionality and spatiality making them ideal for hunting/combat situations.

These custom-molded earplugs for shooting are a compelling choice if you hate being bothered about recharging your protective gear.

Decibullz - Custom Molded Percussive Filters,...
869 Reviews
Decibullz - Custom Molded Percussive Filters,...
  • PEAK SUPPRESSION: These re-moldable Percussive Filters combine Decibullz top-rated custom moldable...
  • AUTOMATIC SOUND & PROTECTION: Developed for shooting and military use, Decibullz Percussive Filters...
  • NO BATTERIES REQUIRED: These filtered earplugs utilize a physical percussive/impulse filter to...

PROS

  • Easy molding process
  • Superb for those who don’t like the hassles of recharging
  • Custom mold translates to a secure and comfortable fit
  • ANSI IPIL certified up to 166dB

CONS

  • You may experience a marginal reduction in normal sounds

3M PELTOR TEP-200 Tactical Earplug Kit

3M PELTOR TEP-200 Tactical Earplug review

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The TEP-200 earplugs from 3M are an advanced upgrade to its TEP-100 earplugs. So, what’s their value proposition for us range shooters? Let’s take a peek.

Durability and Comfort

The earplugs sport a compact, featherlight (0.13 oz) design and come with adjustable ear tips sizes that provide a great fit for your ears. The soft edges that touch the ears provide an added element of comfort.

The IP67 submersible certification means you can submerge them for up to 30 minutes at 1 meter, and still have the microphone function properly.

Performance Effectiveness and NRR

The package includes the Ultrafit (23dB NRR) and Triple-C (27dB) communications ear tips, but if you want extreme noise hearing protection don’t skimp out and invest in the 30dB NRR Skull Screw ear tips.

The TEP 200 earbuds offer advanced level-dependent hearing protection in high-noise environments while maintaining full situational awareness.

An additional (and useful) accessory not included with the earbuds is the 3M Peltor neck loop that allows 2-way radio connectivity for critical communication.

3M PELTOR TEP-200 Tactical Ear Plug Kit, NRR 23dB,...
89 Reviews
3M PELTOR TEP-200 Tactical Ear Plug Kit, NRR 23dB,...
  • HELP PROTECT YOUR HEARING: NRR 23 decibel. Helps protect your hearing and can help improve...
  • COMFORT: The small and lightweight design helps improve overall comfort and user experience
  • MICROPHONES: Environmental microphones for level dependent hearing protection and situational...

Battery

The battery provides a healthy 16-hour autonomy and fully juices up in about 90 minutes. The portable charging case draws power from 3 alkaline batteries or through the Micro-USB port.

PROS

  • Excellent battery backup (up to 16 hours)
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Comfortable fit
  • IP67 submersible certification

CONS

  • No Bluetooth connectivity

Verdict

These are some of the best-performing earbuds available today. If you’re willing to splurge a little bit, you’ll be able to get your hands on some exciting features.

But if you’re cool with your earbuds not being waterproof or allowing you to converse over phone calls, you might be able to save a few bucks.

I’d highly recommend going with Grizzly Ears if you don’t mind the additional spend.

That being said, other earbuds justify their pricing in some form or the other and provide terrific hearing protection so it’s unlikely you’ll go wrong with any of these.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What hearing protection do professional shooters use?

For most professional shooters, the noise-canceling electronic earmuffs and earplugs are the best choice.

  1. Can gunshots make you go deaf?

Yes. If you don’t wear a decent hearing protection aid, you’re going to permanently damage your hearing sooner rather than later. A pair of electronic earplugs for shooting will keep your hearing intact – consider it more of a necessity rather than a prudent investment.

  1. What’s a good decibel rating for earplugs?

Shooting indoors creates echo from your gunshots as well as from gunshots of other shooters. So, when you’re shooting indoors, aim for a NRR of 28-31.

  1. Is it safe to keep earplugs in your ears?

They’re generally safe when worn for extended durations. However, if you wear them every day for long you may see some build-up of ear wax, which in turn can lead to other bigger issues in the long-term.

Over and Out.

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Last update on 2021-06-22