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Best Ear Protection for Shooting and Hunting Enthusiasts | Axil

Best Shooting Ear Protection: From Indoor Ranges to Hunting Grounds

When it comes to ear protection for shooting, the needs of those in shooting sports can vary in big ways. Unfortunately, due to the different needs and the different environments these sports and training sessions take place, finding the best ear protection for shooting can be quite challenging. That is why when it comes to shooting safety, it’s similar to choosing the right firearm. For instance, a hunter would not take a .22 pistol to hunt waterfowl, it isn’t practical or effective. In that same way, someone taking a training class at an indoor range wouldn’t wear just foam plugs as they would be insufficient for the noise level. Wearing ear protection while training or hunting is critical and many sportsmen and hunters struggle with hearing damage and different conditions that negatively affect hearing due to exposure to hazardous noise levels from shooting, making choosing effective, sufficient ear protection a critical decision.

What to Look for in Shooting Hearing Protection

Key features that one should look for when choosing proper and effective hearing protection include the Noise Reduction Rating (NRR), comfort and ergonomics, and durability.


NRR is the measure of a hearing protection device's ability to reduce noise levels. 30 NRR is generally accepted as the max level of noise reduction, with higher levels meaning higher protection. The Axil Trackr for example, has a rating of 25 NRR which would mean they are towards the higher level of hearing protection. The Axil XCOR Digitals however come equipped with 29 NRR putting them very near the maximum level of protection available on the market today. Learning about the technology behind the ear protection can help an individual have a better understanding and make a more confident decision.

Comfort and Ergonomics

Comfortable ear protection is often overlooked by hunters and other long gun users, especially in the field. Low profile ear protection, meaning slimmer and better designed, allows shouldering (bringing a rifle up for an aimed shot) faster and easier without worrying about dislodging hearing protection. Quick compact storage should also be a concern for an active sportsman as usually hunting or training environments do not have an abundance of storage options.


Whether hunting or shooting in a competition or training class, rain and wet environments are always a possibility. Sweat and body moisture, however, is a certainty. Having water-resistant ear protection is imperative and can be a tall ask when incorporating electronics. Also bumping and dropping equipment is a common occurrence when you are dealing with trees, mountains, and bodies of water. Axil Trackr series of ear protection is designed and engineered for the field and are both durable and washable.

Best for Indoor Shooting Ranges

Plinking (recreational low caliber shooting) and handgun shooting tend to be the most popular when using indoor ranges allowing shooters to choose a more comfortable and stronger protecting shooting earmuff to ensure hearing safety. Generally, when shooting at indoor ranges, extra consideration should be made for amplified sound levels creating a more hazardous noise environment. The Axil XCOR Digital is a great example of high comfort without compromising a high level of hearing protection. Being able to choose different tips based on how loud the range is or what type of firearms are being shot is a next-gen feature for ear protection and allows a high level of customization and adaptability.


Top Picks for Outdoor Hunting Expeditions

Outdoor hunting brings more fresh air and natural light but also comes with its own special considerations with regard to hearing protection. Electronic ear protection for shooting can boost effectiveness while not compromising protection. In-ear protection becomes a much more suitable option due to potential physical hazards, like tripping or bumping into trees or rocks. Spatial awareness and increasing your hearing of slight noises like twigs breaking or hoofs hitting the ground make electronic ear protection not only a tool for protecting your hearing but also an enhancement. At the same time, dropping or losing your ear protection when having to move fast or adjust your rifle can be detrimental. Environmental awareness becomes a necessity and getting minimal physical interference can be a big aid to a successful hunt. Axil GS Extreme 2.0 Earbuds provide in-ear protection and also wrap around making them very difficult to drop or lose while on the run or changing positions.

Best In-Ear Options for Discreet Protection

In-ear hearing protection is the most discreet protection for hunters who want minimal physical interference from their equipment and want maximum concealment. For extended time in the field, discreet earplugs, and in-ear would be preferred by most experienced guides and hunters. The comfortable fit and not having to worry about being able to shoulder your long gun, lean for balance, or get into prone firing positions without disturbing your protection can be drastically overlooked by many sportsmen. It’s as close to being able to shoot without hearing protection as a hunter can get. Axil XCOR Digital, XP Defender, and Max Protect Foam Tips would all be superior options for discreet ear protection in the field.

Making an Informed Choice for Ear Safety

Ear safety is paramount for hunters and sportsmen. Hearing damage, tinnitus, and other ailments are common in the hunting and shooting world and can easily be addressed and decreased by taking the time to make an informed choice of equipment for shooting and hunting protection. Consider the environment, indoor or outdoor, wet or dry, hot or cold, posted in a stand, or lots of movement and hiking. All of these considerations play into the decisions that need to be made for proper equipment overall and ear protection specifically. Research multiple options and have multiple ear protection choices for different situations. There is no rule that prohibits having muffs for your range bag with your handgun for indoor practice. Or having in-ear buds for extended trips hunting or enjoying the outdoors. Luckily there are a variety of options, including many from Axil that will accommodate all hunters and sportsmen.