I was recently offered the chance to review one of the best-selling hearing protection earmuffs and I figured it would be a great opportunity to share my thoughts with my fellow Gunivores. I was contacted by Pro For Sho, a hearing protection company that mostly sells on Amazon about their popular 34dB NRR Hearing Protection Earmuffs which I had immediately recognized from my range. Pro For Sho is definitely one of the new kids on the block in the gun safety community but I figured it’s right to give them a fair shot at proving themselves. I’ve been using Peltor, Howard Leight, and Pro Ears for years and I thought I had everything I needed for proper hearing protection.
Long passed are the days of my great grandfather where cotton balls and cigarette filters were used for hearing protection. Many modern hearing protection devices are so advanced that the can virtually eliminate gunshots while allowing you to hear the faintest of leaves rustling and human whispering. However, the Pro For Sho Maximum Hearing Protection Safety Earmuffs are simple, affordable, and effective. Let’s take a closer look and see what they have to offer.
Pro For Sho 34dB NRR Shooting Protection Earmuffs
First, let’s start with the basics. Pro For Sho’s Maximum Protection earmuffs are made by an American LLC company based in New Jersey who manufactures their goods overseas in countries like Taiwan. Now that might bother some people, but it definitely contributes to their remarkably low price tag. In fact, their flagship earmuffs are sold for as low as $15 on Amazon, which is pretty noteworthy.
As I unboxed these earmuffs I definitely get why they say “lightweight” but that did raise some concerns for their quality. Unlike a heavier duty set of earmuffs, I didn’t feel confident with these right out of the box though I knew that could all change as soon as I went to the range.
Before I continue, I think it’s important to address a major claim made by Pro For Sho. They say that this model has a noise reduction rating of 34 decibels which is significantly high and certainly above what is considered high-quality protection.
Keep in mind that the average gunshot will clock in at around 135 decibels or so – A .22 vs. a .45 vs. a .460 Weatherby Magnum will give you a broad range so 135 dB is probably a fair estimate. It’s also worth noting that they have done proper testing according to ANSI S3.19-1974 specs which is the hearing protection industry standard for safety and reliability.
Additionally, it’s important to understand that a noise reduction rating of 34 decibels does NOT mean that your hearing protection device minimizes the sounds by 34 dB. In reality, let’s say you’re shooting a rifle with 100-decibel output and you have on these Pro For Sho muffs with NRR 34dB, that doesn’t mean your sound exposure would then be 66 (100-34). In truth, the way the NRR works is that you must subtract 7 from the original NRR and divide it by 2.
So in our case, the Pro For Sho earmuffs would yield a sound exposure of 86.5 decibels (100 – (34-7)/2). While this is a significant drop in sound exposure, Pro For Sho does say that earplugs should also be worn underneath their earmuffs to maximize the protection and I advise others to listen to their warning.
In terms of their build and design, there’s nothing special about these earmuffs but sometimes simple is all you need. They do fold up nicely and are relatively small which makes storage and transport pretty easy. Then there’s the comfort and I have mixed feelings. I could easily see that these were manufactured to be inexpensive, and that’s okay, but it doesn’t help their comfortability.
To be more precise, they were surprisingly comfortable for being made mostly out of cheap plastic, but after at least 20 consecutive minutes my head did start to hurt. That’s not necessarily a deal-breaker, but it’s not the kind of earmuff you forget you’re wearing.
Now we have performance and that’s actually where these guys impressed me. I started by running a magazine downrange with just the earmuffs and shooting my HK45 and it was louder than I was comfortable with. So I threw in some disposable foam earplugs that were NRR 32dB and reloaded.
Truthfully, it made such a difference and I spent 45 minutes at the outdoor range and about 1 hour at the indoor range to test the acoustics. I took a few breaks to smoke and take off my hearing protection but overall it was a pretty good experience and it helped me formulate my opinion.
I spent the next three Sundays at the range with a few higher caliber rifles to really test out the earmuffs and overall it was better than I expected based on the unboxing.
If I had to grade the Pro For Sho 34dB EarMuffs I’d probably say somewhere around a B-. They are one of the most affordable pieces of hearing protection you can get with a great NRR rating but you do always get what you pay for. The comfort is not great but also not horrible while the hearing protection is alright but actually quite good when paired with a good pair of earplugs. I would easily recommend these as a backup pair of earmuffs to take to the range or to keep around the house. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend regular shooters to rely on these are their go-to pair, but they shouldn’t be disregarded as a subpar set of hearing protection. They definitely have their appropriate place and use for shooters.