The hearing protection when hunting should be a priority if you normally use rifles. Given the high-decibel sounds produced after firing a gun, electronic earmuffs are very useful to block the excess sound that might damage your ears. These hearing protection devices come in a wide variety of types and prices, ensuring any hunter can afford them depending on his or her budget. Actually, there is no excuse not to prevent your ears from those dangerous decibels because they can eventually cause a permanent hearing loss.
This article unfolds four important things about hearing protection and electronic earmuffs that every hunter should know.
Shooting Protection Electronic Earmuff
A single gunshot can damage your hearing
Some hunters overlook this fact simply because they have been shooting for quite some time and so far they haven’t experienced any kind of hearing problem. The hearing loss may occur instantly or gradually depending on the level and duration of noise exposure. Remember, different guns have different decibel sound levels. The duration of the sound matters as far as hearing loss is concerned. For instance, the duration of a general gunshot is about 2-5 milliseconds. Therefore, a .357 magnum pistol gives about 165 decibels within 2 milliseconds. This is equivalent to spending around 10 hours listening to a continuous noise such as a chainsaw. This noise is enough to cause hearing loss.
It is worth noting that the hearing loss as a result of noise may not happen instantly. In fact, for some people, it may take even years before losing your hearing ability. Every gunshot sound sneaks into your ears and causes some unnoticeable damage. So, exposure to subsequent gunshots over a given period of time may begin showing the impacts. Continued exposure to the noise will keep on causing damages to the ears, which may eventually lead to a permanent hearing loss. If you have not been using hearing protection, it is not too late. Identify what you want and establish a plan to have your own electronic earmuffs. However, having them may be easier than using them. Therefore, ensure you wear the earmuffs whenever going for hunting.
Essential features for optimal hearing protection
Electronic earmuffs come in different versions with different prices. Generally, the most expensive models have more features compared to cheaper ones. Of course, you get what you pay for. The best earmuffs are those with special features to enhance user experience. For instance, amplified active electronic earmuffs are highly recommended for hunters. This is because they don’t block all the sounds, and therefore the user can hear other low volume external sounds. If you are a deer hunter, probably you want to hear the movement of animals so that you can take an ideal position to take a shot.
Sometimes, huntsmen work as a group. These amplified active earmuffs are ideal for group hunting because you can communicate with one another without adjustments. They can be suitable for group hunting because you don’t need to take off and put on often whenever you want to speak to somebody. Many electronic earmuffs are battery powered and they have amplifiers, microphones, and speakers. These features collect, magnify, and transmit sound at a reduced volume into your ears. Even when you fire a gun, you can as well hear the normal conversation from the person next to you.
Noise reduction rating (NRR)
This is an important aspect when buying your electronic earmuffs. Te higher the Noise Reduction Rate (NRR), the more it will help in reducing the impact of sound entering your ears. Electronic earmuffs come with different NRR, but the recommended models are those with at least 25NRR. The NRR of 25 is ideal if you hunt using a handgun with a low mid-caliber. For those other rifles such as AR 15, NRR of 28 or more is recommended. If you want to increase the NRR to about 33, you can use NRR 25 earmuffs together with 31 NRR earplugs.
Electronic earmuffs or passive earmuffs?
Many hunters get stuck when it comes to either selecting electronic earmuffs or passive earmuffs. The choice depends on your hearing protection needs, as well as your budget. Both earmuffs are comfortable when worn because you don’t feel the pressure inside the ear cap. The available categories in the market include cap-mounted, behind-the-neck, and over-the-head models.
The passive earmuffs are cheaper than electronic earmuffs. This is one of the factors that make several hunters go for these hearing protection devices. In addition to their relatively lower price, they tend to have a higher Noise Reduction Rating (NRR). The electronic earmuffs are battery powered and generally expensive than passive models. They have more advanced features than passive earmuffs, hence higher price. They block excess noise but allowing the user to communicate and listen to other low sound levels. Other features include automatic shut-offs, audio jacks, and volume controls.