Are you a firearms enthusiast? Whether you’re a professional, sports shooter, or game hunter, proper hearing protection is necessary for anyone exposed to gunshot noise.
On this page, you can learn more about the importance of hearing protection for shooting, the ISOtunes Sport difference, and our top recommended models for managing harmful gunshot noise.
Why hearing protection is important for shooting
Decibel (dB) levels for firearms range between 140 and 165 dB. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 85 dB is the noise level in which hearing protection is recommended for continuous sound. Continuous noises over 120 dB can lead to immediate hearing damage. When you consider that the average firearm makes a sound far greater than 85 dB and even greater than 140 dB when fired, you can see why hearing protection is so important when shooting, whether you're at the gun range or out hunting.
In most cases, hearing loss doesn't happen suddenly, but gradually over time. In fact, it's usually not recognized until it's impacting an individual's ability to communicate. And while there are hearing aid treatments that individuals can use to regain some of the hearing they've lost, there currently is no cure for hearing loss. Combine this with the details that we shared above regarding firearms decibel levels, you can see why it's so important to wear proper hearing protection. It's estimated that more than 25 million Americans suffer from noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) - with much of this exposure coming from work or leisure activities, such as shooting. The proper hearing protection can prevent this while offering features that make it convenient and even enjoyable to wear.
Many shooters already use hearing protection. What makes great hearing protection for shooting?
It should go without saying that some hearing protection is better than others - and we're not just talking about how well they're able to reduce noise, but additional value-added features. So what should a shooter look for when it comes to finding hearing protection that isn't just good, but great? Here's a look at some key features that are worth considering:
Adequate noise reduction: First things first - any hearing protection device needs to do its main job of reducing enough noise to provide enough protection for your ears. Being that the average gunshot can range from 140 to 165 dB, most experts advise wearing a device that offers an NRR of at least 28. Many recommend that shooters wear double ear protection at the gun range, largely due to how close the firearm is to the ear when shooting and to help protect against both the sound of the initial discharge and the subsequent echo. In this case, both earplugs and earmuffs should be considered - sometimes in tandem.
Comfort: When you're at the range or in the blind for a long period of time, you definitely don’t want your hearing protection to be uncomfortable. Unfortunately, some of the headphones and earbuds on the market today that are purpose-built for use with firearms are anything but comfortable. Make sure you select shooting earbuds or earmuffs that don't just adequately dampen the sound of firearms, but feel good as well. At ISOtunes, we offer a variety of different hearing protection models, from over-ear to in-ear, true wireless to earmuffs. Some fit subtly right into the ear, while others have a cord that is designed to tuck behind the neck.
Value-added features: Hearing protection has come a long way over the years, so much so that there's a lot of technology packed into ear muffs or earbuds for shooting. Some models are equipped with features that allow shooters to stay in touch with the outside world. Technologies such as Tactical Sound Control™ amplify the sound of the surrounding environment, while still providing protection from dangerous noise. There's also Bluetooth connectivity, so shooters can pass the time in the blind listening to music, podcasts or audiobooks, or take phone calls with ease. In addition to offering adequate ear protection from gunshots, these value-added features help make ear protection more convenient, practical, and even fun. In a perfect world, you want ear protection to be more than a tolerated inconvenience, but a device you won't want to take off and definitely don't want to shoot without.
Durability: Any hearing protection has to be able to stand up to the rigorous environments of the gun range or the hunting blind. ISOtunes Sport hearing protection is built to last, with most models featuring dust, water and sweat resistance.
Read on to learn more about the benefits of ISOtunes hearing protection and why we’re the leading hearing protection choice for woodworkers today.
We wanted to make shooting hearing protection even better!
ISOtunes was created specifically for professionals who need enhanced hearing protection that doesn’t compromise their safety. Since its inception, ISOtunes has become an award-winning leader in hearing protection, serving workers around the globe. As woodworkers, lawn care professionals, and industrial workers enjoyed the benefits of Bluetooth enabled earplugs and earmuffs, we noticed hunters and shooters continued to be underserved by their hearing protection.
For too long, firearm enthusiasts had to choose between losing their hearing, or wearing hearing protection that was limiting, uncomfortable, and old fashioned. So in 2021, ISOtunes launched ISOtunes Sport: hearing protectors that bring 21st century technology and comfort to tactical earmuffs and earplugs. ISOtunes Sport offers the award-winning, certified protection ISOtunes customers know and love, with a durable design and added technology modern shooters need. All ISOtunes Sport hearing protectors come with Tactical Sound Control™, proprietary technology designed to amplify environmental sounds while also protecting you from high-impact noises like gunshots and blasts.
ISOtunes Sport for Shooting Ear Protection
So just what are some of the features that make ISOtunes Sport hearing protection products stand out from other devices on the market today? Here's a look at some of the features that are packed into ISOtunes' shooting ear protection:
Benefits of Bluetooth and SafeMax™: SafeMax™ is ISOtunes' signature hearing conservation technology. Simply put, it ensures that when devices are worn properly, the hearing won't be damaged. ISOtunes Sport models not only offer adequate protection from loud noises, but ensure the volume of anything you're listening to won't exceed 85 dB. This makes all ISOtunes Sport products in compliance with OSHA standards for safety.
Benefits of Tactical Sound Control™: TSC™ is ISOtunes Sport’s proprietary technology that allows users to be aware of the environment around them, while still having protection from loud gunshot sounds. TSC™ uses small external microphones built into the headset to amplify environmental sounds around you (at a sound that won't exceed 85 dB, of course). For instance, you'll be able to hear that snapping twig or the ruffle of bushes from a passing deer when you're in the blind looking for game to pass through. TSC™ also easily picks up range commands and allows you to have conversations with the people around you.
Benefits of comfort: As we said above, comfort is a necessity when looking for shooting hearing protection. All ISOtunes products are designed with comfort in mind. Our electronic earmuffs feature a slim, lightweight design, guaranteeing all-day comfort. As for our in-ear models, each product includes a starter eartip pack of four different sizes so you can find your best fit and ensure maximum comfort. These ultra-comfortable features will make shooters forget that they're even wearing hearing protection.
Benefits of noise reduction: Hearing protection isn't doing its job if it's not offering adequate noise protection from gunshot blasts. That's why all ISOtunes products aren't just packed with value-added technology and designed with comfort in mind, but are also compliant with OSHA safety standards. Look for the NRR, or noise reduction rating, on each ISOtunes Sport model to see just how much hearing protection each device offers.
Shooting Influencers Who Use ISOtunes Sport
While ISOtunes has become a favorite hearing protection brand for shooters around the world, we're also proud to be the hearing protection brand of choice for a number of influencers in the sector. Learn more about some of these shooting enthusiasts below:
A self-proclaimed outdoor adventure junkie, Abby Casey is a popular social media influencer who has always loved time outside and adventure. Introduced to the beauty of the outdoors by her father at a young age, she now creates content under her brand AC Outdoors. A United States Air Force Academy graduate, NCAA riflery athlete, and hardcore hunting, fishing, and outdoor enthusiast, Abby Casey can be seen donning ISOtunes hearing protection devices throughout her award-winning endeavors.
Jess Bond is an outdoor adventurer who has racked up a significant social media following. As someone who claims to be addicted to the outdoors and an active lifestyle, Jess began hunting in 2010 and has never looked back. Follow her on Facebook, TikTok or Instagram to keep up on her outdoor adventures and see her donning ISOtunes hearing protection while she's in the blind and at the range.
Michael Lee was born in a small town in South Georgia called Cordele, raised on the Flint River and the banks of Lake Blackshear. His love for the outdoors started very young as his father, grandfathers, and uncles all took Michael out to hunt or fish. After college at Valdosta State University he jumped into the world of outdoor television after co-founding the TV show Southern Backwoods Adventures, which is now Backwoods Life. You can learn more about Michael and his show here.
Recommended Ear Protection for Shooting
Here's a look at ISOtunes Sport's best ear protection for shooting:
CALIBER: These shooting earbuds pack a big punch in a compact footprint. Dust, sweat and water-resistant, the CALIBER has a battery life of up to 13 hours before a recharge is necessary. Featuring a cordless design that allows shooters to move freely, CALIBER also features Tactical Sound Control and delivers a noise reduction of up to 25 dB. Think of the CALIBER ear protection that doesn't really look or feel like ear protection. CALIBER comes with a case for easy storage and recharge.
ADVANCE: These earbuds for shooting dampen sound up to 26 dB, while offering the type of in-ear tactical awareness that you won’t often get from other models. As comfortable as it is lightweight, ISOtunes ADVANCE buds are the next generation of hearing protection for firearm enthusiasts. Featuring Tactical Sound Control™ and raised rubber buttons that make it easy to adjust volume settings, ADVANCE is ideal for either the range or the blind.
DEFY Slim: This ultra-comfortable ear muff series suppresses gunshot noise up to 21 dB and weighs just 310 grams. That's roughly 100 grams less than other types of noise suppression ear muffs, all of which can help improve comfort while not sacrificing performance on the shooting range. DEFY Slim includes TSC™ and Bluetooth compatibility.
DEFY Slim Basic: A no-frills ear muff for distraction-free performance, the DEFY Slim Basic is ultra-light, weighing in at just 289 grams. and dampens sound up to 20 dB. Packed with Tactical Sound Control™ technology and a 20 dB NRR, don't confuse its lightweight with low performance.
Whether you’re a shooting hobbyist or a seasoned professional, ISOtunes Sport has what you need to keep you protected and connected on the range, in the blind, and beyond.