Shooting Ear Plugs That Allow You To Hear Conversation

Feb 9, 2024 | Hearing Protection

In the realm of shooting sports and activities, protecting your hearing is of critical importance due to the dangers of permanent hearing loss. Yet, traditional ear protection often comes at the cost of communication and situational awareness. For that reason, shooting ear plugs that allow you to hear conversation are revolutionizing the way shooters safeguard their ears while maintaining vital auditory connections.

In this post, we delve into the workings and historical evolution of these innovative hearing protection devices, offering insights into how they enhance both safety and enjoyment for shooting enthusiasts.

How Shooting Ear Plugs Work

Electronic shooting ear plugs are sophisticated devices designed to mitigate the damaging effects of gunfire noise while simultaneously amplifying ambient sounds such as speech. This dual functionality is made possible through advanced technology known as active listening.

The way this works is quite simple in essence. No matter what, whether turned on or off, the shooting ear plugs will provide their designated level of hearing protection, typically indicated by a SNR or NRR number. When they’re switched on however, they utilise a microphone to pick up external audio, which is then played through an internal speaker, of course benefitting from compression that keeps the sound at a safe level. This is what makes conversation possible whilst having your hearing fully protected.

Being able to hear fellow enthusiasts, range instructors and hunting partners transforms the shooting experience by enhancing safety and enjoyment, whilst in some cases giving a distinct competitive advantage.

The History Behind Shooting Ear Plugs

The concept of shooting ear plugs that allow you to hear conversation has its roots in military technology, where situational awareness is critical in combat environments. Early iterations of this technology date back to the mid-20th century, with the development of electronic hearing protection for soldiers on the battlefield. These early systems were bulky and limited in functionality but laid the groundwork for future innovations.

As technology progressed, particularly in the fields of microelectronics and signal processing, the design and capabilities of conversation-enhancing ear plugs underwent significant refinement. Today’s models are compact, lightweight, and feature-rich, offering customizable settings and adaptive noise reduction for various shooting environments.

Our Take On Shooting Ear Plugs

SWATCOM’s contribution to the world of shooting ear plugs is the SC20, an electronic shooting ear plug that offers all of the aforementioned advantages out of the box.

SC20 Shooting Ear Plugs

The SC20 is offered in both a Natural and Enhanced version that changes how loud the external audio is. With the Natural, it won’t feel like you’re wearing any hearing protection at all, even though full hearing protection is still being achieved. The Enhanced on the other hand plays ambient audio back at a louder level, perfect for hunters who need to heighten their senses or those who have more trouble hearing in general.

Even though the SC20 is fully usable with everything you need out of the box, SWATCOM also offers custom moulds designed specifically for the SC20, which are manufactured by 3D printing a silicone impression of the inside of your ear. This combo makes for the perfect shooting experience with comfort, protection and awareness all being maximised.

SC20 Custom Fit Moulds


In the ever-evolving landscape of shooting sports and recreational activities, the demand for effective hearing protection solutions continues to grow. Shooting ear plugs that allow you to hear conversation represent a pinnacle of innovation, seamlessly integrating advanced technology with practical functionality to enhance both safety and enjoyment for shooters worldwide.

As we look to the future, it’s clear that these remarkable devices will remain indispensable companions for anyone who values their hearing and appreciates the thrill of the shooting sports. For more news and information about products from the world of shooting, stay tuned to the SWATCOM blog and connect with us on our social channels.