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Are hearing aids safe to wear while hunting?

Alexandra Tarvin, AuD

Doctor of Audiology

07 November 2018 - 4.4K Views

No, hearing aids are not safe to wear while hunting with firearms. If you are hunting with a non-noise generating weapon, feel free to wear your hearing aids. While the hearing aids do have a max power output, they are not as compressive or fast-acting as digital hearing protection and provide no sound attenuation if you have a more open fitting (allowing air and sound to pass through your ear canal). Use of hearing protection (earplugs being passive and digital being active) is critical when hunting with any sound-making weapon.
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Joe Perez

Hearing Healthcare Provider

07 November 2018 - 4.36K Views

Simple answer is “NO”..... Please wear hearing protection. 

Ear plugs for shooting are recommended and have been evolving at a rapid pace, and today, you have the best selection of shooting ear plugs.

Foam ear plugs offer basic protection; they muffle all sounds around you, but high NRR foam ear plugs offer great ear protection and are inexpensive. Moldable ear plugs are similar: they provide passive protection, good comfort, and a small price tag. 

Reusable Shooting Ear Plugs are the next step up. Many of these plugs feature acoustic filters, which provide sound blocking plus an acoustic filter that still lets safe sound through. Shooting ear plugs with acoustic filters are designed to let you hear safe sounds and maintain situational awareness while still protecting you from dangerous gunshot noises.

Finally, top-shelf solutions for hunting/shooting hearing protection include electronic ear plugs and professional lab full custom molded shooter's ear plugs, both of which provide vastly superior protection for truly serious hunters and shooters.

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Angela Lederman, MS


28 October 2019 - 3.92K Views

NO!  Hearing aids are not safe to wear if you are hunting with a firearm.  This presents a challenge for hunters who have hearing loss-they need to hear their prey.  For those individuals, they should strongly consider investing in custom made electronic hearing protection devices. Defend Ear is a well known solution that can help you to hear better while it is quiet but then utilizes a fast acting compression to suppress the sound from your firearm.
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Audiologist in Irvine

08 November 2018 - 4.35K Views

Only if you are bow hunting.  Otherwise, hearing protectors are recommended during firearm use.  Shooters earmuffs or custom fitted electronic shooting earplugs are options if amplification of quiet sounds are desired.  Even though today's hearing aids have noise reduction capabilities, they are not designed to limit your exposure high intensities sounds.
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Chris Wahl, AuD


07 November 2018 - 4.38K Views

The problem with hunting is you want to hear the game. Traditional earplugs don’t allow you do this. Hearing aids don’t protect your hearing when you fire the weapon. There are some devices that protect your hearing and allow you to hear the game. The best are custom made electronic hearing protection devices, such as Defend Ear, that provide amplification while it’s quiet and suppress the sound of the firearm with very fast acting compression when it is fired. These can be custom made for you by an audiologist or hearing specialist. You may also want to consider muzzle suppression in combination with electronic hearing protection.
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