Ear Protection During Indoor Home Defense

Home Defense Ear Protection

Home defense ear protection. It’s important. Or more accurately stated, it could be important!

Although statistically highly unlikely, if you ever had to use a gun indoors for self defense, consider ear protection – if there’s time – more about that in a minute… Also, this is simply food-for-thought and comment.

The noise from the shot WILL cause some amount of permanent hearing damage. Ear damage is a cumulative thing, over time. But the very high decibel level of a gun shot will be significant.

The sound from a gunshot will temporarily deafen you to an extent, without hearing protection. Hearing damage is cumulative, permanent, and could even be instant.

Have you ever thought about the boom of a gun INDOORS in the event that you ever had to fire a shot in self defense?

I have an idea. Keep reading…

How many of you keep a gun by your bedside? While the likelihood of ever having to use it for self defense at home is statistically extremely low, what if you were the unlucky statistic?

While priority #1 under this scenario is self preservation of you and your family, have you considered the repercussions of the gunshot blast while indoors?

Especially indoors, a gunshot could conceivably cause some permanent hearing loss. Are there precautions that you might consider ahead of time? Yes. Ear protection for home defense.

Measuring Loudness

Lets look at the noise / sound level of a gunshot. But before that, lets get some reference…

The decibel (dB) is logarithmic (not linear) and can be a complicated subject to grasp.
To keep it simple though, and in the context of perceived loudness,

A 10 dB increase will sound about twice as loud.
A 20 dB increase will sound four times as loud as the original reference.

0 dB (Volume Loudness 1)
10 dB (Volume Loudness 2x – double)
20 dB (Volume Loudness 4x louder than 0, 2x louder than 10)
30 dB (Volume Loudness 8x louder than 0, 4x louder than 10, 2x louder than 20)
40 dB (Volume Loudness 16x, etc..)
50 dB (Volume Loudness 32x, etc..)
60 dB (Volume Loudness 64x, etc..)

Sound (Sound Pressure Level) is measured in decibels (dB).

0 dB Complete silence
10 dB Barely audible – breathing
30 dB A quiet whisper at 6-feet
40 dB A quiet library
50 dB A typical home
60 dB Normal conversation at 3-feet
70 dB Vacuum cleaner at 6-feet
80 dB Curbside of busy road at 15-feet
90 dB Diesel truck at 30-feet
100 dB Outboard motor, Power lawn mower
110 dB Beginning threshold of pain, Car horn at 3-feet, Live rock music
120 dB Close thunderclap, Chainsaw at 3-feet
130 dB Painful, Military jet take-off from aircraft carrier with afterburner at 50-feet
140 dB Very painful, Aircraft carrier deck
150 dB Jet takeoff at 75-feet, Potential eardrum rupture


How loud is a gunshot?

Dr. Krammer, Ph.D., Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana has documented the following sound pressure levels of a gunshot.


.410 Bore

  • 28″ barrel, 150 dB
  • 26″ barrel, 150 dB
  • 18″ barrel, 156 dB

20 Gauge

  • 28″ barrel, 152 dB
  • 22″ barrel, 155 dB

12 Gauge

  • 28″ barrel, 152 dB
  • 26″ barrel, 156 dB
  • 18″ barrel, 162 dB


.223, 55GR. Commercial load 18″ barrel, 156 dB
.243 in 22″ barrel, 156 dB
.30-30 in 20″ barrel, 156 dB
7mm Magnum in 20″ barrel, 158 dB
.308 in 24″ barrel, 156 dB
.30-06 in 24″ barrel, 159 dB
.30-06 in 18″ barrel, 163 dB
.375 — 18″ barrel with muzzle brake, 170 dB


.25 ACP, 155 dB
.32 LONG, 152 dB
.32 ACP, 154 dB
.380, 158 dB
9mm, 160 dB
.38 S&W, 154 dB
.38 Spl, 156 dB
.357 Magnum, 164 dB
.41 Magnum, 163 dB
.44 Spl, 156 dB
.45 ACP, 157 dB
.45 COLT, 155 dB

As you can see, ALL gunshots are exceedingly LOUD !
“Duh”, right?

EVERY shot taken without hearing protection WILL cause permanent damage in varying degrees. All hearing damage accumulates over time. The damage is not reparable. The louder the sound pressure level, the less time that it takes to cause permanent damage.

So back to the original thought… What about the self defense scenario, inside your home, say… at night, where you are awakened by the sounds of an intruder in the home.

Electronic Ear Muffs – Ear Protection For Home Defense

Here’s a suggestion… In addition to the firearm that is kept near your bedside (e.g. in a quick-access safe), you might also keep (close by) ear protection for home defense. Electronic ear-muffs. Perhaps hanging on the bed-post.

[ Read: Biometric Gun Safe Review – Sentry Safe For Handguns ]

How do electronic ear muffs work? There’s a speaker inside each ear muff, and a built-in microphone to ‘hear’ external sounds. Lower level (normal level, conversation level) sound is electronically amplified into the ear muff speakers. Those lower levels can also be amplified (made louder) via their volume control. But when there’s a loud sound (e.g. gunshot), the electronic amplifier instantly shuts off, relying on the muffs themselves to mute the external sound.

Basically, your ears will be protected by the sound-deadening of the ear-muff itself. The electronic amplifier circuit automatically shuts off at a certain threshold of louder sounds (a gun shot). It happens instantly… within 1 or 2 milliseconds.

You might also consider electronic ear-muffs that are stereo. This means that each ear is independent and will enable you to ascertain direction from sounds (important!), whereas mono ear-muffs will not enable a sense of direction. This is very important when identifying the location of a threat.

Walker’s Razor Electronic Muffs

I own several different sets of electronic muffs. From a reasonable cost versus quality perspective, I will suggest the following, which I’ve owned for quite awhile…

Walker’s Razor Slim Electronic Muff
(view on amzn)

Here’s my pair of Walker’s, along with their walkie talkie radio accessory add-on.

Walkie Talkie for Walker’s Razor

[ Read: Walker Razor Radio – Slim Electronic Muffs & Walkie Talkie Radio Distance ]

Ear Protection For Home Defense – Advantage…

A significant advantage of using this type of ear protection for home defense… The sound amplification (the volume control). It is amazing how much you can hear when you turn it up. This will provide some tactical advantage.

While only you can judge at the time of intrusion whether or not you feel you have time to put on ear protection for home defense, but it’s something to consider for that unlikely “just in case” scenario.