For both indoor and outdoor shooting, there is no alternative to hearing protection. We all know how loud a gunshot can be that can severely damage our hearing. Luckily, we all use some sort of hearing protection like the earmuff or at least the earplugs.
Often I get so many questions regarding which one will be better. For different reasons, some shooters prefer the earplugs and some like the earplugs. They both have their advantages and disadvantages.
Depending on your gun, sometimes you may have to use both the earplug and the earmuff. Visit ProSafety101.com to learn more about such shooting protections. But in this article, we will learn what are their basic differences and exactly when you need to wear both of them during the shooting practice
Ear Plugs Vs Earmuffs: Which One will be Your Best Choice?
Due to the size, noise-canceling capacity, price, portability – both earplugs and earmuffs are popular. But exactly which one will be your best choice depends on which type of gun you use during the shooting and what sort of flexibility and comfortability you need during that time.
I’ve tried to explain their basic differences in layman’s term so that you can understand it. Have a look:
To me, the size of the earmuff presents the biggest advantage over the earplugs. They are one-size-for-all. No need to worry about the custom fit. Very easy to ear over the head and since it is big, it is very hard to lose. Most of the time, you will lose the earplugs just because they are so tiny!
2. Cost & Durability
Undoubtedly, earmuffs are more expensive than earplugs. That’s the reason you will find workers are wearing earplugs (where applicable) not the earmuffs. Though earmuffs are expensive they last longer than the earplugs. You will find cheap one-time use earplugs a lot but not the one time use earmuff.
3. Not Just Noise Cancelling
We all know the basic function of both the earplug and earmuff. They protect us from the loud noise from the gunshot. In shooting range, I always prefer the earmuff over the earplugs for many reasons.
In the shooting range, you have to hear the instruction of the instructor. Wearing only the earplugs will make it difficult. Only electronic earmuffs can amply the ambient sounds and keep the loud shots at a minimum level.
Now, this depends on the season you are shooting. If you are shooting in the hot summer, you will find the earplugs more comfortable keeping your head cool. But during the winter season and if it is outdoor shooting, you will find the earmuffs more comfortable over the earplugs.
I find the earplugs a little bit less comfortable because my ears start to hurt after a few hours. Sometimes, you have to spend the full day at the range and it is really hard to keep the earplugs inside the ear canal the whole time.
5. Think Problem Too
Imagine you have to wear your sunglasses while shooting. In this case, you will find wearing the earplugs more comfortable. Yes, modern electric earmuffs allow users to wear the sunglasses too, but it is not as comfortable as wearing the earplugs.
Besides, in hot summer, you will find wearing the earmuffs so much painful; especially if you are onto outdoor shooting. But for indoor shooting, it may not be a big issue.
Battery-powered earmuffs allow users to integrate with their smartphone. So, they can use the smartphone while wearing it. You can’t do that wearing any earplugs. This feature is great to have a conversation with peer groups and sometimes listen to music to break the monotony.
7. Extreme Noise Cancellation Capacity
Earplugs can seal the ear canals pretty good which is not possible with the earmuffs. This simple feature makes the earplugs extremely effective to block any kind of loud noise. So, if you use a rifle or a shotgun, wearing the earplugs in addition to the earmuff can be a good idea.
8. Ease of Wearing
Believe it or not, fitting the earplug inside the ear canal is hard sometimes. Besides, it’s really difficult to keep it steady inside the ears for the whole time. Often they slip out of the ears and it may not be effective when the shooting happens.
As you can see both of them have their advantages and disadvantages. Earplugs have the best usage in the workplace but I believe for the shooting or hunting sports, the earmuff is more suitable.
I see a lot of shooters use them both when they are sure the loud noise gonna be extreme. If you looking for more than what you see here, please visit our Best Gun Safe Buyers Guide and our Best Rifle Scope Buyers Guide