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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need to buy a pair of muffs and am trying to decide whether to get the Howard Leight Impact Sport Electronic Earmuff or a non-electronic pair.


The impact sports have a NRR of 22dB, while the non-electronic pair I'm looking at are rated for 30dB. In practical terms, how big of a difference do you think that is? Is it a hugely noticeable difference?
 

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If I recall, 30db is 100 times louder than 20db; so...you can go from there.

Now: which ones are better depends entirely on use. If you are mainly going to be shooting outdoors, and mainly handguns and most rifles, 22db reduction will be fine; and if you are going to be taking classes, or be with others...electronic muffs are great.

However, if you mainly shoot alone, or mainly indoors...go with the 30db model.
 

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It mainly depends upon where you do most of your shooting. If it is outside, the lower decibel rating might work fine. If you shoot at an indoor range go with the higher rating. I would recommend the higher rated muffs as they will provide better protection. I have a pair of non-electronic muffs that are rated at 26 dB reduction. I use these alone when I shoot outdoors and double up with molded canal caps plus muffs when I shoot at an indoor range.


One huge advantage to the electronic muffs is that they allow normal conversation but filter out the louder noises. My non-electric muffs make it difficult to carry on a conversation while reloading.
 

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What Cuda said... He hit submit just before I did... :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
OK, well since I'm shooting indoors atm, I guess I'll go with the non-electronic ones.

Thanks!
 

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OK, well since I'm shooting indoors atm, I guess I'll go with the non-electronic ones.

Thanks!
Not a bad idea.

Or, get electronics, and wear plugs underneath them at the indoor range; that's what I do.
 

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One thing I believe is overlooked is the dB reduction resulting from the "leak" from wearing shooting glasses. If you have wire frame glasses, there is probably very little in protection you are giving up. If you have the typical plastic frames that always seem to be somewhat bulky, you'll lose some sound proofing for sure. Some of the pads on the muffs do better at conforming to frames while others do not.
 

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I'll chip in my $.02 ;)

As someone already said, the electronic muffs are great for taking a course or shooting outside, but they are expensive.

I recently went from a pair of muffs with a rating of 24 to a pair of Peltors (only $24) rated at 30. Huge difference! We are members at an indoor range, and you be standing beside a guy shooting a .22 Buckmark, or an AR chambered in 5.56 or 308! (Although I try to get a lane as far from them as possible!)

When I'm shooting at the range, I wear a pair similar to these along with the Peltors. That combo is very effective.

Protect your hearing. I hear stories of people with hearing problems, and I do my best to prevent it.
 

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Use the most protection you can get because tinnitus as well as loss of hearing when you get older is no picnic.
I now put hearing protection on anytime I am around anything with a lot of noise. Mowing the lawn to even running my air compressor I want hearing protection. I figure all the years I rode m/c hearing the wind and the pipes took a big toll on my hearing. I am not about to go that route with guns.
I often have ear plugs in while also wearing ear muffs when shooting. IMO the added protection is well worth it.
 

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Use the most protection you can get because tinnitus as well as loss of hearing when you get older is no picnic.

Amen, brother!
 

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I clearly said "in practical terms," LOL!
And you've been given some practical information, no?

Here's a little more:

To clarify: The dB is the decibel. The numbers are on a logarithmic scale such that a 10dB change is perceived as being twice as loud or half as loud (I'm sure Cuda meant this, not the 100 times difference typo he made).

So, a difference of 8dB reduction is REALLY significant (perceived by our ears as almost twice the noise let-through), especially when you factor in the loss of isolation caused by glasses, as arizona98tj pointed out.

When you consider that the impulse SPL of most pistols and rifles are in the 150-165 dB-SPL range, and permanent instantaneous hearing damage can occur at 125-130 dB, you will want all the protection you can get. Don't forget that multiple shots fired at the same time do increase the total impulse, but more like +3-6 dB each, not a simple doubling.

I value what's left of my hearing, and I use both the foam plugs and -30 dB earmuffs. It is somewhat inconvenient to communicate, but I can still do that by just pulling my muffs back on my neck.

I realize many people have served during wartime when hearing protection was not available, but ask them how hard tinnitus sucks.
 

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I realize many people have served during wartime when hearing protection was not available, but ask them how hard tinnitus sucks.
Huh what did you say...? :)
 

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And you've been given some practical information, no?

Here's a little more:

To clarify: The dB is the decibel. The numbers are on a logarithmic scale such that a 10dB change is perceived as being twice as loud or half as loud (I'm sure Cuda meant this, not the 100 times difference typo he made).

So, a difference of 8dB reduction is REALLY significant (perceived by our ears as almost twice the noise let-through), especially when you factor in the loss of isolation caused by glasses, as arizona98tj pointed out.

When you consider that the impulse SPL of most pistols and rifles are in the 150-165 dB-SPL range, and permanent instantaneous hearing damage can occur at 125-130 dB, you will want all the protection you can get. Don't forget that multiple shots fired at the same time do increase the total impulse, but more like +3-6 dB each, not a simple doubling.

I value what's left of my hearing, and I use both the foam plugs and -30 dB earmuffs. It is somewhat inconvenient to communicate, but I can still do that by just pulling my muffs back on my neck.

I realize many people have served during wartime when hearing protection was not available, but ask them how hard tinnitus sucks.
When I waas in the Army we shot M-14s without hearing protection. Since then, I suffer from tinnitus in my left ear. I get a very small VA pension due to this problem, but it doesn't even come close to being worth it. Go for the highest NRR you can find. Bp
 

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I use ear plugs, not the foam ones, and muffs. Belt and suspenders, better safe than sorry.
 

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If I recall, 30db is 100 times louder than 20db; so...you can go from there.

Now: which ones are better depends entirely on use. If you are mainly going to be shooting outdoors, and mainly handguns and most rifles, 22db reduction will be fine; and if you are going to be taking classes, or be with others...electronic muffs are great.

However, if you mainly shoot alone, or mainly indoors...go with the 30db model.
That really doesn't sound right. A conversation can fluctuate about 5db just playing around with a meter.
 
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