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What’s The Best Hearing Protection For Hunters?

A gunshot at close range has a volume of 165 dB. This is loud enough to cause permanent hearing damage. Learn what hearing protection is best for hunting.

A gunshot at close range has a volume of 165 dB. This is loud enough to cause permanent hearing damage to unprotected ears.

The recommended noise exposure limit without hearing protection is 140 dB. Hearing protection is therefore a must-have for any hunter. But not just any kind of hearing protection will do. There are several forms of hearing protection available to hunters and they present significant differences. Keep reading to find out which option is right for your needs.

Foam earplugs

This is the cheapest form of hearing protection for hunters and the easiest to come by. Foam earplugs effectively block out noise, but they have some major drawbacks. For one, they only protect the ear canal and leave the sensitive bones of the ear largely unprotected. Moreover, they muffle all noise: not only gunshots but also the sounds in your environment (including conversations and sounds made by animals).


Unlike earplugs, earmuffs protect the entire ear, not just the ear canal. The drawback is that just like earplugs, they muffle all noise. Also, they can get in the way when taking aim, meaning that hunters have to adjust how they position their rifle on their shoulder.

Non-electronic earplugs and earmuffs work fine for gun owners who stick to the shooting range (where blocking out all noise doesn’t pose problems). And people who hunt infrequently sometimes opt for these more basic forms of hearing protection given the price advantage. However, for people who hunt on a regular basis, electronic hearing protection is a much better route to go.

Electronic earplugs and earmuffs

Electronic earplugs and earmuffs are designed to block out only very loud noises (i.e. gunshots), allowing you to continue to hear perfectly. Many are even designed to simultaneously amplify quiet environmental sounds like sticks breaking and wings beating, much like a hearing aid.

For electronic earplugs, there are one-size-fits-all options. However, the most comfortable and high-quality electronic earplugs are custom made. Generally, these are obtained through an audiologist. He or she will take a mould of your ear canal with putty and work in conjunction with an electronic earplug manufacturer to produce a customized product.

Electronic earplugs in Calgary

If you’re looking for custom-made electronic earplugs for hunting, get in touch with us at Soundwave Hearing Care. Our team of experienced audiologists and hearing aid practitioners will provide you with a state-of-the-art hearing device. We also offer a wide range of hearing aids. Whether you’re looking for a custom lifestyle mold or are dealing with hearing impairment, we can help you out. We offer a full range of hearing aid and audiology services to residents of Calgary, Grande Prairie, High River and Lethbridge. Contact us today!

All the blogs are reviewed and edited by our clinic's lead audiologist, Dr. Anne Wooliams. Dr. Woolliams is an experienced audiologist specialized in pediatric audiology, auditory processing, and tinnitus/sound sensitivity therapy. She is dedicated to providing top-notch hearing care and helping her clients improve their language and communication abilities. Dr. Woolliams' expertise in literature and linguistics, combined with her passion for helping people improve their language and communication, make her an incredibly valuable asset in the field of audiology. Learn more about Dr. Woolliams.