In the competitive shooting world, hearing protection and hearing loss are among the most widely misunderstood topics. And with product data sheets filled with confusing noise reduction ratings along with marketing jargon, etc., it’s no wonder why. Although the marketplace has been flooded with high-tech earpro options that are becoming more affordable every year, savvy shoppers know how to buy exactly what they need for their particular shooting situations. Here’s a primer on what you should be looking for when shopping for modern hearing protection, along with a few recommendations.
These Tetra AlphaShields use a digital signal processor to significantly enhance hearing protection.
All About NRR
When discussing hearing protection, the metric familiar to most of us is the noise reduction rating (NRR), which has devolved from well-intentioned origins into a term that’s misunderstood at best by the average person. This is epitomized in the “bigger is better” approach, where buyers are sold on earpro with the highest NRR number, which can sometimes be misleading. In fact, the NRR is simply a single-number method that manufacturers are required to print on the hearing protection packaging by the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA was prompted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s 1975 publication detailing a laboratory method developed for evaluating the attenuation of hearing protection…