Any type of firearm practice demands hearing protection. If you are just kicking out a few rounds to get sighted in before deer season, the standard silicone or foam earplugs may be all you need. But for any extended practice or competition, consider investing in muff-style protection. The most advanced models incorporate electronics that both suppress loud noise while amplifying ambient sound, such as social talking or range commands. Here are the features to look for.

Top Pick

Automatically shuts off after four hours. Honeywell Impact

In addition to protection afforded by the muffs themselves, electronic versions actually cancel out the explosive noise of a gunshot. The unit’s Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) defines the amount of protection each pair provides. Standard Noise Reduction Ratings for electronic earmuffs range from about 22 to 31 decibels—the higher the number, the better your protection.

Great Technology

This pair will filter out unwanted noise so you can clearly hear voices. Peltor

Electronic hearing protection is also designed to amplify low-level ambient sounds for better communication on the range. Noises above a safe level are electronically shut out, but you can still hear what your shooting partners are saying both on the range and long after you leave.

High Performance

This pair features sound activated compression. Walker’s Game Ear

Electronic hearing muffs can be a little bulky, but some models feature streamlined profiles to make them less burdensome while still offering the protection you need. Be sure the model you choose has an adjustable headband for a custom fit and a profile low enough that the muffs do not interfere with your gun’s stock.