Why Suppressors Aren’t Enough: The Case for Custom Digital Hearing Protection

We all know that firing guns regularly can cause hearing damage. That’s why some shooters try to minimize noise levels from gun blasts by using suppressors or “silencers”. While suppressors do reduce peak noise levels, that’s not the whole story, as suppressors alone aren’t sufficient to protect your hearing long-term. Read on to learn why you still need proper hearing protection, and how the latest custom-fit digital hearing devices block harmful levels of noise while letting you hear valuable “soft sounds”.

How Loud Are Guns, Even With a Suppressor?

Gunshots produce extremely loud impulse noises around 140-190 decibels. Permanent hearing damage can occur above 120 dB. Suppressors reduce that peak noise level, but usually only by 20-35 dB.

That means your average suppressed gunshot is still over 100 dB – enough sustained exposure will eventually cause hearing loss or tinnitus (ringing in the ears). Be aware that noise reduction claims for suppressors focus on peak decibel reduction, not the sustained level that still reaches your ears. Learn more about the risks of shooting without hearing protection.

Suppressors Don’t Address These Key Hearing Health Factors

While marginally helpful, suppressors fall short of protecting your hearing in a number of ways, such as:

  • Frequency of Exposure: Hearing damage is also caused by repeated exposure over time to loud noises. Suppressors reduce each peak noise, but if you fire dozens of rounds regularly, the damage still accumulates.
  • Total Exposure Over Time: Every suppressed shot still contributes to your cumulative noise exposure. The OSHA standard for total noise exposure before requiring hearing protection is just 85 dB over an 8 hour period. You can easily exceed this even with a suppressor.
  • Caliber Variability: Larger calibers and magnum loads produce louder noise levels, exceeding what many suppressors can effectively reduce to safe levels.

As you can see, relying solely on a suppressor is risky. Fortunately, you have better options for preserving your hearing. Where suppressors fall short, today’s custom digital hearing protection devices provide excellent noise reduction and other desirable features that enhance your overall shooting experience.

Advanced Digital Earplugs for Regular Shooting

While suppressors can help reduce the noise of gunfire, they are not a substitute for proper hearing protection. This is where advanced earplugs for shooting utilizing the latest electronic technology come in. Unlike traditional earplugs or earmuffs, these devices can provide advanced protection that blocks harmful noise levels.

Electronic hearing protection devices can monitor sounds entering your ear, instantaneously muffling any loud gunshot reports down to safe decibel levels. This active sound manipulation protects your ears against the loudest gun blasts from any caliber, as well as protecting against the effects of cumulative exposure over time.

Perhaps you understand the importance of hearing protection, but are hesitant about losing the situational awareness and ability to have conversations in the process. Fortunately, you don’t have to accept that trade-off, since the most advanced devices go further by selectively filtering in important natural sounds you need to hear, such as:

  • Speech, so you can talk with others without removing ear protection
  • Subtle environmental sounds like animal movements or clays launching
  • Any other soft ambient noises in your surroundings

Act Now to Protect Your Hearing

Remember, every shot fired without proper hearing protection can contribute to cumulative hearing damage. Do you really want to rely solely on suppressors to safeguard your hearing?

Your hearing is priceless, so you should protect it with the best. For high-quality, digital earplugs for shooting that offer enhanced protection, that means ESP. We’re committed to helping you enjoy hunting and shooting sports while preserving your hearing health for years to come.

ESP has 25+ years of experience crafting premium, custom digital hearing protection devices for hunters, sport shooters and law enforcement. Across the hunting, sport shooting, and competitive shooting communities, we’ve earned a reputation as the go-to company for premium hearing protection devices. Don’t take our word for it – check out these reviews from shooters who use our products.

Find Out More About ESP’s Custom Digital Hearing Protection Devices

We offer a range of digital hearing devices at various price points. All our products are:

  • Digitally advanced with selective sound filtering
  • Custom-fitted to a mold of your ears for optimal comfort and protection
  • Built rugged and waterproof for longevity even in the toughest conditions
  • Equipped with active hearing protection to automatically dampen loud noises

Our top-tier APEX device even includes dynamic wind noise cancellation technology.

Additionally, our customers frequently comment on our helpful and knowledgeable team based in Brighton, Colorado. We provide ongoing customer service over the long term for anyone who purchases ESP products, and provide reasonable rates for any repairs needed. All purchases are covered by a 1-year warranty and 30-day return policy for a full refund.

Explore our lineup of advanced digital hearing protection products for hunters and competitive shooters, and learn more about ESP as a company at: https://www.espamerica.com/

You’re welcome to reach out to us – we’ll be glad to answer your questions.