Peltor vs. MSA – Which is the besthearing protection headset

Peltor vs. MSA

Serious shooters and learners alike need heavy duty hearing protection. Two popular brands that stand out are the Peltor and MSA which are advanced earmuffs offering superior sound protection and advanced functionality. What more would you need?

Findings done by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in the United Sates showed that close to 2.7 million veterans are currently receiving benefits for the loss of the hearing! If this is news, I know it can be quite shocking. Their entitlement has reached an excess of $1.2billion so you can already tell why it is important to have proper hearing protection not only for the military but anyone involved in shooting.

As a hunter myself, I have grown to appreciate a good pair of hearing protectionlike the Peltor and MSA. These two have even been recommended by the military for their excellent noise cancelling features while still providing clear communication with ambient listening feature instantly impacting noise protection. Here is a detailed analysis of them to help you pick the best one for you.

What are the differences between Peltor and MSA?

Average Noise Reduction


20 dB
18 dB
Has an adjustable non-slip fit
Has gel Ear cups


Better noise compression making communication clearer
Better in sound amplifying
Battery Type


3M electronic technology is available in most models
3M electronic technology and an Auto shut-off
Ideal environment
Indoor and Outdoor
Indoor and Outdoor

Peltor vs. MSA – How do they compare?

Noise Reduction Rating (NRR)/Hearing protection

Noise reduction rating is one of the most important features to consider when choosing hearing protection. Take an example of the Peltor Comtac III which offers the average NRR 20 db. In comparison, the MSA Sordin Supreme Prohas an NRR up to 18 db.Peltorcan also compress sound up to 82db so it is easily the better option when comes to noise reduction ratings. Nonetheless, the noise reduction rating of MSA might be low at 18 dB but the designers at MSA have still made them a good buy. For instance, they have invested in the sealing so it works well even when you are wearingfull protective gear or even just eye protection.

When you compare the MSA and Peltor you can tell they both have good hearing protection but Peltor wins out because of its NRR.

Comfort and Ease of use

If you are one to wear your hearing protection for long periods of time, comfort as well as the ease of use should definitely be something you need to consider. With Peltor and MSA, it can be hard to conclude which has the best comfort and ease of use but Peltor shines out just a bit more when compared to MSA. Peltor Comtac for instance can be worn comfortably with ballistic elements and its ear cup design has been tweaked for a better fit. Peltor also offers gel cushioned around the earcups which really comes in handy for when you have them on over long hours. All the same, MSA is still not too bad because after all it also has gel covers which fit well with eye protection gear. With MSA, you also get easily installable batteries that can last up to 600 hours.

External Communication using the headsets

Beyond hearing protection, it is also crucial to be able hear softer sounds as well as conversations even if you have your gear on. When we compare the Peltor and MSA, Peltor proves better as most models come with an optical noise reducing microphone for better external communication while the MSA doesnot have  one. Peltor has implemented the use of compression rather than the normal clipping making conversations more audible. Compression in this case provides improvement of overall sound quality making speech much easier to comprehend.They are still quality options because both Peltor and MSA have talk through technology that allows safe audio to go through while still protecting you from harmful noises.

Peltor vs. MSA – A Comparison Overview

Peltor Review

Peltor Tactical

When we are com paring earmuffs we compare the noise reduction rating protection level, the comfort you are out for and the clarity. With Peltor, you get these features and much more. First, Peltor has really worked on delivering clear sounds while still protecting your ears from harmful sounds. For instance, you are able to hear speech with the headset on. They have a general rating of 20 dB but for me I find them way much better.

They particularly work well when I usethem outdoors with a 9 mm caliber and indoors with a 22 caliber rifles. Depending on your environment, you can choose from all the Peltor models available to get a truly immersive feel. You can even wear them when you simply want to block out other people from interfering with you.

Thirdly, Peltor headsets are so comfortable on the ears that you can spend a couple of hours with them on. The design is slim and folds inside the headband nicely without taking much space.Peltor also allows you to connect your phone using a 4 pole 3.5mm cable. Most people usually do not use this feature much unless when at range but it is always good having it because you might need it sometime.


  • Features ASIC chip technology for improved audio reproduction
  • Up to 500 hours of battery life
  • Comfortable and quiet


  • A tad expensive
  • There is no visual indicator to show whether it is on or off

MSA Review

  • The neckband makes it easy to wear with any hat or helmet
  • AUX input and AUX-cable for connection to external radios, mp3 players, phones etc.
  • Dampens harmful noise to 82dB. Amplifies safe noise four times
  • Foldable and slim design of cups suitable for both left and right-handed shooters

Up until a few years ago, I was a huge proponent of anything by Howard until my wife bought me a quality pair of hearing protection by MSA. Ever since then, I have felt a huge difference when I am out hunting or at the range.

First, this protective headset has built-in reproduction of ambient sounds that protects the hearing without isolating you from what is around you. Secondly, I can give MSA a 5 start for the comfort you are in for. Its headband is well padded and the ear muffs have even been shaped to suit both left handed and right handed people.

The only downer with MSA is their electronics but they have slowly raised their standards. For example, MSA has an automatic switch-off battery save function which comes in handy when hunting especially. To add, MSA is a good fit for people who like entertainment while out shooting since it comes with Optical AUX input for connecting external audio sources like your phone or a hunting radio.


  • Automatic battery save function
  • Has 1:1 external sound reproduction


  • Most models are small even when adjusted

View Price on Amazon


In conclusion, Peltor and MSA are both amazing for your hearing protection. From 3M technology to adjustable headbands, Peltor and MSA are both good picks for the range and when you are on your hunting expeditions.

Final Verdict – So which is better? Peltor or MSA

Considering all the factors, Peltor proves to be way better compared to MSA. For example, it has digital technology like the ASIC chip that has been appliedin many headsets for improved audio reproduction. Also, you cannot forget the kind of comfort you can get with Peltor and also that they are a tad cheaper while still being quality.


Are there Bluetooth enabled hearing protection headsets?

Yes. There are Bluetooth enabled protection gear that allows you to connect your device for some music and picking calls

Can you fix a broken hearing protection headset?

Most gears can be fixed but some technology features once they are broken can be hard to fix back that you might just have to buy a new set.


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