Ear Protection That Fits Under Kevlar – Buyer’s Guide

If your helmet made of kevlar, and it is 5 times stronger than steel, then you are at least a hunter, but most likely you are a sport shooter or a military man. But do you need only ear protection or a communications headset for your activities? If you want to be successful at Airsoft or group sports shooting, then it’s important that your equipment is up for the task. The right communications headset can make all of this easier on yourself and others around them. You need ear protection that fits under kevlar!

tactical communication headsets

Is Ear Protection Really Crucial?

According to the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs 2017 Annual Benefits Report, more than two million veterans in the United States are living with hearing loss and tinnitus (ringing), yet these conditions remain among America’s top three military connected disabilities. Those who serve often experience high noise levels due to their occupation. However, they can prevent further damage by wearing protection on missions where spoken communication matters most – like when troops need rapid response or higher alertness during combat situations. The same to group sport shooting. You’ll get to know why we need less noise at Silencewiki.com.

What Hearing Protection Do You Need?

There are three important factors that affect your hearing loss: distance, time, and decibels. The farther you are from the source of the sound (whether it be a muzzle or an explosion), the lower the relative volume of that sound. There is also a time factor to consider. An explosion is not a continuous flow of sound but rather a series of violent bursts separated. There is always a chance that shooters will fire multiple shots in quick succession. That’s why it’s important to focus on the initial decibel level of the explosion that affects you. For this, as we mentioned above, you need to look for ear protection that offers at least an NRR of 22.

We recommend using a noise reduction rating (NRR) of at least 30, especially for larger firearms. To be safe, you can refer to the following table to find out what NRR is best for your weapon type:

  • Smaller caliber pistols: NRR 22 minimum
  • Larger caliber pistols and long guns: 25 NRR minimum
  • Large caliber pistols, larger long guns and shotguns: 27 NRR minimum


What headset does the military use?

The Peltor ComTac III is the best headset for communications. It is one of the most versatile headsets on our list and has served special operations forces in America’s Global War on Terror.

How do combat headphones work?

The wearer of this device will be able to hear the gunshot. The sound waves enter a microphone, which then channels it to a sound-canceling device, that blocks out sound waves before it reaches the person’s ears.

Do soldiers wear hearing protection?

oldiers need to protect their hearing. When they go to a place where there is loud noise, it can be hard for them to hear other things going on around them. When there are gunshots all around, they may not hear their radios.

How many decibels should shooting ear protection?

85 dB is the safe level for listening to loud sounds. Anything louder can damage the tiny hair cells that send sound into your brain.

Why do special forces wear headset?

The headsets provide hearing protection and they help the soldiers to know what is going on. Elite Marines wear helmets that help them to fit with hearing protection and headsets. This type of helmet is called an Ops-Core helmet.

Benefits of Tactical Communication Headsets

Leading manufacturers of tactical communication headsets, like Otto Engineering official website, successfully solve soldiers’ troubles such as:

  • Decreased Situational Awareness: With its ability to detect and locate the enemy, hearing is an important part of a soldier’s arsenal. Covered ears can protect sensitive structures but effective protection also blocks low-frequency sounds that help keep them aware of their surroundings in combat situations.
  • Communications Clarity: The detrimental effects of loud noises on hearing is something that many soldiers have experienced. The traditional headsets used for communication often distort and cut out when the sound levels around them become too distracting, which can jeopardize mission success in a combat setting or any other situation where clear speech becomes important.

Without clear communication, an officer’s ability to do their job effectively is compromised. Military men must be able to talk with each other and send messages in order for the communication loop works properly. If one of them does not hear well enough then it could affect how effective this crucial aspect will be – compromising safety on both sides.

A headset that plugs into the officer’s speaker mic and protects hearing without inhibiting situational awareness solves virtually all communication issues. A NoizeBarrier® Range SA, for instance, is compact enough to be kept conveniently in an on-duty go bag, ready for use should they need it during a tactical situation.

The modern-day battlefield requires more than just bulletproof vests; soldiers must also wear noise cancelling earphones if they want any hope of understanding what goes on around them at close range – especially while engaging targets up ahead.

Ear Protection That Fits Under Kevlar: Options to Pay Attention

1. NRR (Noise Reduction Rating)

It’s important to know the noise reduction rating of any headset before you buy it. Want to know the actual reduction in noise? Take the stated NRR and then first subtract 7. If our accepted dB-value is 31dB, we end up at 24dB. We divide that final digit by two and round up. So, NRR = 31-7/2 = 12. The last step – take decibel number of the noise source (e.g. 85 dB) and subtract number 12. Then the actual reduction in noise is 63 dB.
Caution! Don’t purchase the items without stated NRR!

2. Ingress Protection Rating (IP)

IP ratings stand for “Ingress Protection.” Each device intended for operational use will have some sort of functioning IP rating published within the specs of that particular product, and it’s usually found somewhere near NRR. So, if you see rating of IP69, 6 represents particle protection while 9 means water resistance. If you see X in the place of Ingress Protection Rating (IPX), this item is only waterproof.

3. Mounted or Under Helmet

Everyone chooses according to their preferences. You can enjoy a comfortable and speed operation with your headset mounted to the helmet. Most systems allow for quick folding so that your ears don’t get hot, sweaty or uneasy while wearing them just in case! The main con – it’s not going to be an easy task to un-mount the system when you are in the field.
If your headset is under your helmet, you can easily take off the helmet and go on the communication. Moreover, you have a great opportunity to train using the communication gear as noise-reducing headphones. The minus is – you need to fit a head strap underneath of your helmet. Here we speak about under-helmet tactical communication headsets.

Video: How to Wear a Headband Headset Under a Helmet

4. Accessories

It is important to know what you are looking at when it comes to accessories. Some headsets come with everything you need for the job, but others only come with hearing protection. They might not have the right connection for your radio or PTT (push to talk).
You need to be careful when you buy the equipment. Make sure that everything is going to come with the first order and that it is compatible with your communications equipment. If you don’t, then it could cost you time and money, or make your purchase not work.
Tip: Choose the headsets that have an optional feature upgrade for gel ear cups. When you have those, it is much more comfortable and less pressure because the gel forms better to your head, so you can wear them longer. If you haven’t tried this before, then you don’t know what you’re missing!

Comparison Table & Main Features

[amazon table=”199″]

1. OTTO NoizeBarrier™ TAC Headset – Crystal Clear Communications

[amazon box=”B07SG8ZN5V”]

NoizeBarrier™ TAC Specifications

Hearing Protection NRR of 23 dB (SNR: 29 dB)
Powered By Two AAA batteries
Talk Time 100 hours if 2 AAA lithium ion batteries are used. Auto idle shutdown will not degrade with depleting batteries
Automatic Shut Down After 2 hours of idle time
Microphone Sensitivity Rating At 94 dB SPL: -75 dB
Cable Pull from Ear Cup Axial 40 lbs
Compatible with Motorola APX1000 APX3000 APX4000 APX6000 APX6000XE APX7000 APX7000XE APX8000 DP3400 DP3401 DP3600 DP3601 DP4000 DP4400 DP4401 DP4600 DP4601 DP4800 DP4801 XPR6350 XPR6380 XPR6550 XPR6580 XPR7350 and XPR7550 Two Way Radios
Situational Awareness (SA) Talk-through electronics
Dynamic Boom Microphone Can be mounted on the left or right side and is telescopic for user to adjust distance from face
Selectable Signal Separation Allows dual-comm users to separate audio into left, right or both ears
Supports Multiple Communication And radio platforms via the OTTO Multi-Port Hub
Circumaural Headset Compatible with major helmet systems
Country of Origin USA
Field Changeable Between headband over-the-head and helmet mount system
Rail Mounting System Compatible with Hi-Cut helmets including Ops-Core and Team Wendy

The OTTO NoizeBarrier™ TAC Headset (official website) is the best headset for warfighters who need to protect their hearing and still be able to talk. It can be used with a single radio and push-to-talk (PTT) or with multiple radios and PTTs, controlled by the OTTO Multi-Port Hub.


The NoizeBarrier™ TAC is perfect for those who need to hear what’s going on around them while also blocking out ambient noise. With NRR of 23dB (SNR 29dB), this headset features an included soundscape that has been programmed with 3D sounds so you can stay focused in your affair.
The NoizeBarrier™ TAC also has a telescopic, noise- and wind-cancelling boom microphone. It can be mounted on the right or left side. The optional rail-mount kit can be attached to the headset so that it can be used over the head, on a top rail mount, or on a rear rail mount. It is compatible with many kinds of helmets including Ops-Core® and Team Wendy®.


The OTTO NoizeBarrier TAC headset has been designed to meet the demands of today’s modern soldiers. The crystal clear radio communications and talk through microphone deliver an unparalleled soundscape experience for operators, while maintaining high levels of comfort throughout all activities with its adjustable headband system that can be worn by both lefties or right-handed users alike.

Video: NoizeBarrier TAC Headset Review

2. Sordin Supreme Pro X – Active Safety Ear Muffs with LED Light – Professional Hearing Protection

[amazon box=”B07NJ6LJC7″]

Sordin Supreme Pro X Specifications

Item Weight 11.6 ounces
Package Dimensions 9.13 x 7.24 x 3.94 inches
Country of Origin Sweden
Batteries 2 AAA batteries required (included)
Style Military
Material Canvas
Features ▼ Perfect situational hearing
▼ Crystal clear audio reproduction
▼ Water proof microphones
▼ Very comfortable to wear
▼ For use indoors and outdoors
Uses ★ Hunters
★ Law Enforcement
★ Fire Fighters
★ Construction
★ Paintball
★ Special Forces
Warranty 5 year manufacturer warranty
Estimated battery lifetime (hrs) 600
SNR/NRR 25/19
The compact and lightweight Supreme Pro-X LED earmuffs (official website) equipped with a comfortable gel cushion, have optimum protection, high amplification with bright lights that helps you to see in low light situations as well as an AUX input so your communication isn’t interrupted while using it on the go. The battery compartment is waterproof.


The Supreme Pro-X LED earmuff is the ultimate in hearing protection. The water-resistant microphone pack will give you perfect sound direction without sacrificing comfort or safety, well shielded microphones for optimum sound direction location. And with our three-minute auto shut off system, these are perfect for both right-hand shooters and lefties alike. Audio input (AUX) will let you connecting external audio sources, such as radio. With the camouflage headband cover to blend into any environment, this product is great for duck hunting season as well!


The Supreme Pro-X LED earmuffs are the Professional Hearing Protection used by US Army. All active electronic hearing protection headsets made in Sweden and show excellent craftsmanship with wearing comfort, precision engineering for high performance sound reduction which protects its user from dangerous for your ears noises like gun shots or explosions while they work outdoors during times of emergency.

Video: MSA SORDIN VS PELTOR | Why Sordin Supreme Pro X Electronic Hearing Protection is Better

3. Rifleman ACH Electronic Hearing Protection Ear Muffs – Best Affordable

[amazon box=”B004BCT9DM”]

Rifleman ACH Specifications

Weight 8.3 oz
Product Dimensions 5 x 6 x 10 inches
Cup Style Slim/Contoured
Batteries 4 AAA (not included)
NRR 21 dB
Input Jack For external audio sources
Dual controls For true situational awareness
Usage For easy storage and no exposed wires that can tangle or be pulled out
Collapsible Ear Muffs For easy storage and no exposed wires that can tangle or be pulled out
Slim Headband Can be worn with combat helmets, hats and other headgear
Quality Sound From dual circuit boards
Designed For The shooter who wants great value in electronic hearing protection
Directional Microphones Amplify soft sounds for maximum 360 degree situational awareness
The Rifleman ACH Electronic Hearing Protection Ear Muffs (official website) are one of the affordable shooting earmuff to offer shooters and hunters many of the benefits associated with electronic hearing protection. These low-priced, small profile devices can be used by casual enthusiasts or anyone interested in trying out this new technology before they invest their money into more expensive products.


The Rifleman ACH also has many attractive features any hunter/shooter will appreciate. The ACH is feather-light, weighing in at just under 9 ounces, making these ear muffs comfortable enough to wear for hours at a time. These shooter’s ear muffs also have slim ear cups and an adjustable headband, so you can wear this hearing protector under virtually any cap, hat, or helmet — and the Rifleman ACH is easy to store and transport, too.
The Rifleman ACH’s environmental noise reduction (ERN) is 21dB which provides NRR to protect you from loud noises like gun shots. It also amplifies lower volume sounds such as voices and game playing, so your ears aren’t bombarded with static while still being able hear those important details.


The ACH has been designed with the needs of firearms shooting and tactical professionals in mind. It’s slim-and light profile makes it a great choice for any shooter or hunter looking to buy inexpensive electronic hearing protection which offer them economically priced protection from their firearm sounds as they shoot, hunt etc.

Rifleman ACH

4. EARMOR Tactical Headset Hunting & Shooting Earmuffs – Most Budget

[amazon box=”B07DBT8736″]

EARMOR Tactical Headset Specifications

Weight 1.13 Pounds
Connector Nexus TP-120 U-174 Military Connector (NATO STD) for PTTs (Not compatible with Ztac PTTs)
Cup Style Low profile cup design
NRR 22 dB
Sound Type Amplifies low-level sounds
Noise Level Suppresses harmful noise above 82 dB
Microphone Detachable ambidextrous
Ear Cushions’ Style Conformable ear cushions for tight seal
Shell Type 3mm thick high-impact resistant polycarbonate
Voice Tracking Dynamic voice tracking, improve speech intelligibility
Ear Muffs’ Style Foldable for storage and protection
Water-Resistance IPX-5 water resistant
Work Time Runs on 2×1.5V AAA batteries, approx. 350 hours of operation
Auto Shut-Off 4 hours auto shut-off mechanism
Certification Tested and approved in accordance with CE/RoSH/ANSI S3.19-1974Standards/EN352-1:2002/EN352-4:2001/A1:2005/EN352-5:2002/A1:2005/EN352-6:2002/FCC
PTT Warning This Protector is compatible with NATO standard Nexus TP120 socket, please use EARMOR PTT or Military PTTs. Not compatible with ZTac/Element’s PTT
The EARMOR M32 is a fully-immersive hearing protector that helps you stay in the fight with clarity. It features the Nexus TP-120 U-174 Military Connector (NATO STD) for PTTs (not compatible with Ztac PTTs). The detachable microphone makes it easy to use whether you’re right-handed or lefty so that communication doesn’t get hindered in loud combat environments!


These ear muffs really shield your hearing from the high-end noisy sounds. It features a noise reduction rate of 22, which suppresses any harmful noises above 82 dB(A). This device has multiple speakers that not only pinpoint where the audio comes from, but also has better voice tracking to make your conversations crystal clear! Finally, its weight is only 400g and the cushions are soft and comfortable.


The EARMOR communication headset is a heavy-duty product that has been designed to handle the rigors of military life. The NATO Standard 7 push-to talk plug and impressive radio frequency immunity on top make this one tough tool for any agent or commando in your next mission!
You might choose the mounted variant of EARMOR M32 – M32H Tactical Communication Hearing Protector for FAST MT Helmets.

Video: Amped Overview – Earmor Tactical Hearing Protection

In Conclusion

There are counterfeit Tactical Communication Headsets being sold at very cheap prices. The only way to know if you have a fake or not is by checking the serial number, but some people just purchase because it’s so inexpensive and then turn out with an imitation when they get their package! So, we’ve tried to bring you some enlightenment regarding these products and hope we were helpful for you.