Best Earmuffs Complete Guide
One out of three people, by the time they reach 65 years old, experiences hearing loss. This is according to the Hearing Loss Association of America. Even more, around 48 million Americans (that’s around 20% of the population) report some degree of hearing loss, regardless of age. It’s the third most common physical condition, just after arthritis and heart diseases.
You’re mostly familiar with the decibel (dB) which is the measurement for the power or intensity of a sound. Sounds with high decibel ranges can damage hearing and lead to hearing loss. Complete or near silence has a decibel of 0. Decibels under 85 are considered safe, which normal conversation (60 dB), office noise (70 dB), and the inside of a car at 60 mph (70 dB), fall under. At above 85 dB, you better be careful. A chainsaw, leafmower, and a snowmobile have dB levels in the range of 106 to 115. Sporting events, rock concerts, and other musical event such as symphonies have noise levels in between the 120 to 129 range. Car races are higher at 130dB and gun shots are at a staggering 140 dB.
So what’s the solution to all this? The good news is it is very much possible to protect yourself from hearing loss. This is through the use of hearing protectors such as earmuffs.
- If you have difficulty talking or hearing others;
- If particular sounds make your ears hurt;
- If you experience a sensation of ringing after hearing a sound,
- Or if sounds seem muffled to you,
Those are signs that the sounds you hear are harmful and you need to protect yourself to avoid hearing loss through the use of earmuffs.
Earmuffs are your best bet when it comes to beating hearing loss, so what’s the next step? As there are different types of earmuffs and for different purposes, it’s important to know your main use for the earmuffs. Are you going to use it while in a construction site or a shooting range? What particular sounds will you be exposed to? Those are some questions you might ask yourself when picking a pair of earmuffs.
The good news is we’ve come up with a list of the Top 10 Best Earmuffs just for you, but before we going to that, here are some need-to-knows about hearing protectors / earmuffs:
Different Types of Earmuffs
There are two main types of earmuffs – passive and electronic.
Passive earmuffs are hearing protection gear which features cups encompassing the entire ear. The cup is designed to seal and fit snuggly around your ears, versus ear plugs which are small, and thus, only protect the ear canal. Passive earmuffs are designed to dampen almost all sound, so you won’t be able to hear anything or anyone speaking.
Between the two, electronic earmuffs are more experience than passive earmuffs and with reason. They have been engineered with a feature that reduces noise to a level that is not harmful. Passive earmuffs don’t have this noise-cancelling feature. This process and technology of reducing sound takes place faster than a blink of an eye, and because of this, you get to hear everything around you but within a safe decibel range. There’s no need to keep wearing it and removing it repeatedly.
The main uses of earmuffs
There are many uses of earmuffs and multiple situations wherein you can use them. The most common situations to use them are:
- For sleeping – Hibernating earmuffs are designed to give you utmost comfort while you sleep.
- For shooting: There are earmuffs specifically for passive shooting and active hunting.
- For working – This is especially important if your work warrants that you expose yourself to loud noises such as being in a construction, mining, or drilling site.
- For your kids – Having a pair for your young one is especially important since kids are more sensitive to noise.
- Other purposes – This includes mowing the lawn and leaf blowing which expose you to loud noises when using the equipment.
Now that you know the main types and uses of earmuffs, you’re better able to make a decision regarding what to look for when buying a pair, and so, without further ado, here are the 10 best earmuffs for you:
The 10 Best Earmuffs – Comparison Chart
|1. Howard Leight by Honeywell Impact Sport Sound Amplification Electronic Earmuff, Green||82dB||$$||4.5|
|2. 3M Work Tunes Hearing Protector||24dB||$$||4.3|
|3. Howard Leight by Honeywell Impact Pro Sound Amplification Electronic Earmuff||82dB||$$||4.3|
|4. ClearArmor 141001 Safety Earmuffs||125dB||$$||4.3|
|5. Howard Leight 1030110 Sync Noise-Blocking Stereo Earmuff||82dB||$$||4.3|
|6. 3M Peltor X-Series Over-the-Head Earmuffs||22dB||$$||4.3|
|7. Howard Leight by Honeywell Leightning L0F Folding Earmuff||23dB||$||4.3|
|8. Snug Safe n Sound Kids Earmuffs/Hearing Protectors||Perfect for kids on the autism spectrum for blocking out crowds||$$||4.3|
|9. FSL Decimate Earmuffs 34dB NRR Protection||34dB||$$||4.3|
|10. Pro For Sho 34dB Noise Cancelling Shooting Earmuffs||34dB||$$||4.3|
Main use: Hunting
If you’re a hunter, the Howard Leight electronic best earmuffs provide comfort, effectiveness, affordability, and overall quality. Its light weight allows you all-day comfort without making your ears sore. The electronic feature reduces sounds to safe levels to the point that a sound of a rifle or gunshot is barely audible. These muffs also offer longevity with the batteries lasting up to two days with continuous use. Even then, these earmuffs have a plug-in for MP3 players, radios, etc. They also have an amplification feature allows you to hear normal conversation easily while reducing harmful noises – which is a big plus.
While they are effective in reducing sound from gunshots and provide long-wearing convenience, the Howard Leight earmuffs do not fit entirely well on your ears as they do not seal very well.
<<Latest customer reviews and prices of Howard Leight by Honeywell Impact Sport Sound Amplification Electronic Earmuff>>
Main use: Work
If you’re exposed to loud sounds while working and need music to function, these are the pair for you. The 3M WorkTunes earmuffs reduce harmful sounds but provide the entertainment you need to go about your day at work. These earmuffs are MP3 compatible and feature a built-in AM/FM tuner. This way you can listen to music while you work. Even more, these earmuffs provide safe hearing volumes (if you’re tuned in and listening to music), so you don’t have to worry about harming your ears. These earmuffs also have great reception, even in rural areas, or at least as good as can be expected with the antenna size. The sound is of quality and will be much better than you expect.
While the sound quality and reception of these earmuffs are great in rural areas, you might experience sound saturation in areas with strong signals, so your earmuffs, with its built-in tuner, might make you feel like you are competing to hear other noises as you might hear several stations at once.
Main use: Stationary shooting
These earmuffs have been engineered to attenuate (or reduce the impact) of sounds above 82 dB. With this feature, you can expose yourself to loud sounds because you have the peace of mind that the volume will be reduced to a safe level. Even more, as they are electronic earmuffs with sound amplification features, they suppress harmful sounds while amplifying safe ones such as normal talking. With this, you can talk to people and hear them without having to take off your earmuffs. You can wear these earmuffs for three hours straight without experiencing discomfort or even ringing in your ears after use.
While the earmuffs are very much effective in attenuating the sound, the electronic and sound suppressing feature may take a moment to respond. It’s not going take effect right away which can let harmful noises slip in and make you susceptible to them.
<<Latest customer reviews and prices of Howard Leight by Honeywell Impact Pro Sound Amplification Electronic Earmuff>>
Main use: Shooting
When you have these earmuffs on, they feel so light on your head that you won’t believe how greatly they reduce unwanted noises. They do a superior job at sound deadening; you won’t hear anything all. The padded construction of the muffs also offers protection against hard surfaces (if you use them for work) and comfort for longer wear. In addition, the headband is adjustable, so it will fit snuggly against your ear without feeling that the muffs are too tight.
As mentioned above, these earmuffs do a superior job for sound deadening. While you will barely hear any sound at all, these might not be the earmuffs for you if you’ll find yourself needing to converse and hear other people while the earmuffs are on you.
Main use: Multi-purpose
Whether you want to drown out the sounds around you while at work or you want to listen to music without the annoyance of the background noises, these Howard Leight Noise-Blocking Stereo Earmuffs are ideal for you. The noise-blocking technology allows you to listen to podcasts and music while blocking out surrounding sounds. In addition, the earmuffs come with adjustable volume controls which allow you to listen to sounds at a safe decibel range. It won’t have the heavy bass you might want when listening to music, but for podcasts and other recordings, the Howard Leight Noise-Blocking Stereo Earmuffs are ideal. It’s also great for lawn mowing and other kinds of landscaping work since it blocks out background noises.
While these earmuffs do reduce noises to safe levels, they are not the earmuffs for you if you are looking for complete sound reduction in which you hear nothing at all. Aside from that, the earmuffs may feel a little tight on the sides of your head, so it’s better to look elsewhere for earmuffs you expect to wear for hours on end.
Main use: Heavy duty
With a 31dB noise reduction rating (NRR), these earmuffs are for those who expect to be exposed to extremely loud sounds, such as a loud manufacturing plant or a jet runway. With an outstanding NRR, you can expect to protect yourself from harmful sounds that damage your ears. The earmuffs are also constructed with a stronger and deeper shell, and thus, they feel secured against your ears. Aside from their durability, the muffs fit snugly and comfortably to ensure comfort and convenience.
The 3M Peltor Earmuffs are designed for functionality rather than fashion. They’re heavier than other earmuffs, at 12 ounces, but that’s because of the outstanding 31 dB NRR. Also, with its weight, these earmuffs are bulkier than others and may look big on your head; however, this is a small price to pay with its effectiveness of reducing sound.
Main use: Multi-purpose
These Howard Leight earmuffs come with a patented Air Flow Control Technology which decreases sounds across all frequencies and at multiple attenuation levels. With a 23dB NRR, these are not only highly suggested for shooting or hunting but also for a wide variety of situations with loud sound exposures. They include but are not limited to agriculture, building, construction, manufacturing, and military work. Aside from their effectiveness in reducing sound, these earmuffs are also built with strong steel to endure durability, especially in harsh environments. This device also features soft foam padding to ensure long-wearing comfort and is easily foldable and more compact than other earmuffs on the market. Aside from being ideal for shooting, the earmuffs’ compactness allows you to bring them around whether you’re out on the field or traveling for work.
While lightweight and stylish, the Howard Leight folding earmuffs are not suggested if you’re looking for complete sound deadening. Compared to other heavier, bulkier earmuffs, these ones provide average noise reduction, and so, they would be better for medium noise levels rather than much louder ones.
Main use: For kids
Are you worried about your child being exposed to harmful sounds that can threaten their hearing? If so, the Snug Safe n Sound Kids earmuffs are your answer to that. The headband is adjustable, so you’ll be able to find the most ideal fit for your child. There’s no need to worry about your child becoming irritated and taking them off. Of course, children are ever-curious, so these earmuffs do reduce sounds to safe dB levels without blocking them off completely. This way, your child will still be able to hear surrounding sounds but not at bothersome levels. Even more, while these earmuffs are advertised especially for children, they can also be worn and are adjustable to fit adults.
If you’re looking for earmuffs that deaden sound, the Snug Safe n Sound earmuffs are not for your child. They are effective for sound reduction, but not for sound deadening. Also, while they are adjustable to fit adults, they will be on the tight side.
Main use: Shooting
It can’t get any better than a 34 db NRR. Whether you’re in the shooting range or a loud manufacturing plant, the FSL Decimate earmuffs are ideal in extremely loud environments. They are made to reduce noises in all frequencies, so you have the peace of mind that your ears are protected from hearing loss. What’s even better is that the FSL Decimates are lighter compared to other earmuffs on the market that offer the same superior noise reduction features. Aside from sound quality, they also ensure comfort because of the soft padded headband and cups. If you’re still on the fence about these, there’s no need to be because they come with a three-year warranty. Whichever angle you look at it, the FSL Decimate best earmuffs are a win for you.
While these earmuffs provide sound reduction, they might feel a little too tight against your ears. You may feel like your ears are being pinched together despite the additional padding. If you’re looking for earmuffs to wear for hours on end, the FSLs might not be the one for you.
Main use: Shooting
With a NRR of 34 dB, the Pro For Sho Noise Cancelling Shooting earmuffs are designed to ‘help silence your world with a snap’. They are very quiet to use while in the shooting range, and there would be no need for you to wear additional ear plugs. In addition, they don’t deaden sound, but instead, decrease them to a safe dB level, and so, these earmuffs are ideal if you want to significantly reduce sound but at an audible level still. Even better, these earmuffs are built to last, so they feel solid and secured against your ears without being a discomfort. With an industrial grade rating, they’re not only to be used in the shooting range but in other heavier- and louder-sounding environments as well.
These earmuffs may be uncomfortable for those with a big head. The headband, though adjustable, may still be a little too tight and the ear pads may feel like they’re mashing up against your ears. While they are adjustable, compact, and are easy to bring around, they’re not meant to be worn for a long time.