Best Electronic Hearing Protection: Howard Leight Impact Sport Review!
Howard Leight by Honeywell
Having to sacrifice situational awareness when at the gun range, or while out hunting can be very dangerous.
Traditional ear protection will definitely protect your hearing from the sound of gunfire, but you may miss the command to cease fire while at the gun range, and that’s how accidents happen.
After a thorough testing, I have to say that the Howard Leight Impact Sport Tactical ear muffs are hands down the best ear protection for shooting.
The Howard Leight Impact Sports have been around for a while and have established themselves amongst shooters and hunters as some of the best electronic hearing protection available.
Especially considering their low price.
But this year Howard Leight brought something new to the market. They introduced 2 new colors, Pink and Tactical Black.
Finally we’re not stuck choosing between teal, hunter green and purple.
- Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) 22
- 350 hours of battery life, with automatic shut off after 4 hours
- Folds up for easy storage
- Single knob control (on/off and volume)
- Air Flow Control Technology (Helps with sweating)
- 2 AAA batteries and 3.5 mm audio cord included
What Is Electronic Hearing Protection Anyway?
In a nutshell electronic hearing protection allows you to hear normally, that is until there is a loud noise that exceeds 82 dB.
At that point the Howard Leights cut off the sound amplification and your hearing is spared.
As soon as the noise level drops below 82 dB, the sound amplification continues.
I found that I could hear footsteps from greater distances than I could with my natural hearing.
They Also Act as Hearing Aids.
In addition to protecting your hearing, the Impact Sport Earmuffs also amplify low-level ambient noise such as range commands and conversations.
When testing these, I found that I could hear footsteps from greater distances than I could with my natural hearing.
That’s because you can adjust the volume of the amplification with the turn of a knob. This is especially useful for those of us who have age related hearing loss.
The Howard Leight Impact Sport Earmuffs can do more than just protect your hearing and amplify the ambient noise.
You can also listen to your favorite music as well.
Thanks to a 3.5 mm input jack, you can plug your phone or mp3 player and enjoy your favorite music.
When testing I found the music to be a bit low, but not too low.
The volume was at the right level so I could balance between the ambient noises, the music, and the gunshots.
Designed Like a Super Model
The Impact Sport Ear Muffs are very slim and sleek. Not bulky like many of their rivals.
This is especially helpful when shooting rifles and carbines, as they provide clearance so they don’t bump the stock as much as other ear muffs.
The amplification microphones are located towards the front of the muffs. This is the ideal way to wear them.
I found that wearing the ear muff with the mic towards the front Ideal for shooting pistols, and towards the rear for rifles and carbines.
The control knob is located on the left muff (when the mic is forward) and is easy to find and manipulate.
I assume the only port of entry for water would be via the audio jack, which are thankfully located towards the bottom of the muff.
Although they are water-resistant I wouldn’t want to get caught in a rainstorm with them as there’s always the risk that they could get ruined or cause electrical shock.
To protect the Impact Sport Earmuffs from water and debris. The case also has a place for extra batteries and the audio input cord.
If an NRR 22 rating isn’t high enough for you then you can always pair the Impact Sport Muffs with a good pair of ear plugs for even more hearing protection.
Personally, I pair mine with the Shooter’s Earplugs from Howard Leight, which have an NRR 33 rating.
At first I thought they weren’t that great, but I was pleasantly surprised after reading about them and testing them in the field.
The glasses are Anti-Fog lens and meet Military ballistics grade impact standards.
I can’t say that about my former Harbor Freight safety glasses
Although many companies send me free products for review, I never guarantee the companies a positive review just because they sent them for free.
But with that said, I love the Impact Sport Earmuffs.
I love the fact that I can have a normal conversation at the range, increased situational awareness, and listen to music at the same time.
Not to mention their low price.
If you’re on the fence about getting yourself a pair of Howard Leight Impact Sport Ear Muffs, then I say go ahead and pull the trigger.
These have been the best electronic ear protection for shooting that I have tried to date.
I hope that I was able to answer your questions in this review. If you have any other questions or concerns, leave us a comment below.