Loud noises can be really harmful to your hearing, and it becomes even more dangerous when you are operating a firearm. In such cases, protecting your hearing is of prime importance. Whether you are in the fire range or out for hunting, shooting hearing protection is necessary. If you ignore it and take a cavalier attitude towards hearing protection, you may suffer from tinnitus and any accompanying discomforts. Any form of deafness is very common within shooting community. This is principally because every time you shoot, there is a very high level of decibels hitting your ears. So what is the safe decibel level for us?
Now there are many shooting hearing protection devices available on the market, and frankly you maybe spoiled for choice. You may be confused wondering to yourself, “What do I buy and where do I start?” Let me guide you through this.
Since we will be talking about earmuffs as shooting protection gear, we have to talk about the Noise Reduction Rating or NRR. When you fire that caliber 140dB or more, noise is generated. This means that without effective hearing protection, it can really damage your hearing in the long run. Now, most earmuffs on the market have an NR rating of between 23-33dB. However, there is one brand that pushes the boundary to 34dB and it is Pro For Sho 34dB NRR Shooting Hearing Protection Earmuffs. So, today I am going to talk about this earmuff.
This set of earmuffs was sent to me for review and I am not paid to review it.
I received this set a few days ago and was trying it out on various occasions right from mowing the lawn to reading books and also using it when the construction work near my house got louder. I have used many different types of earmuffs that are mainly in the range of 24dB and 27dB. They are excellent in reducing noise.
However, the Pro For Sho 34dB earmuffs are SUPERB! The reason – they reduce the noise to a great extent. I was very comfortable while using them. It’s not like that you cannot hear people talking to you. You can hear them, but I found that their voices were noticeably subdued.
I wasn’t totally convinced with testing it on my own and wanted to test it out on other people. So, the first person I got hold of was my eleven-year-old niece, who was looking for quiet time during her studies. The noise around us disturbed her, and she was using her parents’ expensive Bose earmuffs. I gave her the Pro For Sho 34dB earmuffs to try out on an experimental basis. Now, she loves them so much that she refuses to return them! She uses them every time she sits to study.
When I first wore them, I thought they were small for me, but after I adjusted the connectors by sliding them down, they fitted perfectly. The main issue with them was that they were tight. The Company advises that you should clamp them over the package box in case you feel they are tight. So I clamped them to the package box and left them overnight. By morning, they were perfect.
The Company claims that aside from shooting, the Pro For Sho 34dB NRR Shooting Hearing Protection Earmuffs can also be used for various other purposes such as construction work, while working with machinist tools, lawn mowing and maintenance, concerts, sporting events, NASCAR, Monster Truck, for personal quiet time. Even drummers can use them. They can be very good for those who have autism and auditory processing disorder.
Here are a few pros and cons I would like to list:
- Excellent noise reduction
- Can be used for a variety of purposes
- Very reasonably priced – Value for money
- They are pretty compact and can easily fit in your bag.
- They were tight when I first used them. But I think that is common with most earmuffs out there on the market.
Some tips on how to choose hearing protection for shooting
Noises above the 80 dB level are considered dangerous to hearing and must be avoided for fear of deafness. If you’re in the market for hearing protection, be mindful that you take the following parameters into consideration before buying:
- Noise Reduction Rating (NRR): This is the most important factor for consideration when choosing hearing protection. Choose earplugs or earmuffs with an NRR of about 23-33dB or more.
- Comfort: Considering you’d be wearing your hearing protection for several hours at a stretch, you would need to have earmuffs that not only fit well but are extremely comfortable too. This is particularly the case if you’re out hunting for several hours and need a reliable pair of hearing protection device. Check that the material used doesn’t react with your skin and give you allergies. If you go in for an adjustable pair, you’ll give yourself a greater fit and more comfort.
- Appearance: We aren’t talking about aesthetics here but about design functionality. For a great hunting experience, you wouldn’t naturally look for something bright and fluorescent that will let your game know where you are but something discreet, well designed and that, which blends well with the surroundings.
- Extra features: If you choose an electronic variant of hearing protection devices, you’ll get additional benefits of NRR that let you hear natural sounds around you. Waterproof and water-resistant plugs are other options to consider as they can protect you from sun, water and wind. Ask for re-chargeable batteries, as they are part of the new variants available.
- Price: To get the best deal on your hearing protection, you need to get a wise and practical mix of necessary features with comfort and durability. Perhaps, all of these might not be available to you, but if you’re more than halfway with the required features, you’re home and dry.
The market for hearing protection devices is large and varied. Hence, it would help if you take the advice of someone who knows what you should go with before you put down money on anything a shop seller induces you to buy.