When it comes to shooting sports or spending time at the firing range, protecting your hearing is paramount. Gunshots produce incredibly high-intensity sound waves that can cause permanent damage to your ears. While noise-canceling headphones, such as the Bose QuietComfort 45, are renowned for their ability to block out unwanted background noise, they are not suitable for shooting activities.

In this article, we will explore can you use bose noise cancelling headphones for shooting and why specialized hearing protection is essential for your safety.

Can You Use Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones For Shooting?

No you can’t use bose noise cancelling headphones for shooting because of following reasons:

Impact on Hardware:

One of the primary reasons not to use Bose noise-canceling headphones for shooting is the potential impact on their hardware. The soundwaves generated by gunshots are powerful and can affect the delicate components within these headphones.

Noise-canceling headphones are designed to cancel out consistent, low-frequency sounds, like the hum of an airplane engine or the chatter of a coffee shop.

Gunshots, on the other hand, produce high-intensity, erratic noises that can harm the headphones over time. Repeated exposure to such sounds can lead to malfunction or even permanent damage.

Inadequate Hearing Protection:

Noise-canceling headphones are not designed to block out high-intensity sounds like gunshots. While they may reduce the noise level to some extent, they do not provide the necessary level of hearing protection required for shooting.

The decibel levels produced by firearms can easily exceed the capabilities of noise-canceling technology. Relying solely on Bose headphones in a shooting environment can expose your ears to potentially harmful noise levels.

Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) Requirements:

Shooting ranges and firearm safety guidelines mandate a minimum Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) for hearing protection. An NRR of at least 30dB+ is typically recommended to ensure your ears are adequately shielded from the intense sounds of gunshots.

You Can Help Yourself: Best NRR Headphones For Shooting 2024

Noise-canceling headphones, including those from Bose, do not offer NRR ratings. Therefore, they cannot meet the essential safety standards required for shooting activities.

Lack of Design for Shooting:

While noise-canceling headphones like the Bose QuietComfort 45 can effectively block out loud sounds, they are not specifically designed for shooting purposes. Shooting requires not only hearing protection but also situational awareness.

Specialized shooting earmuffs and earplugs are designed to provide adequate protection while allowing you to hear important cues and commands from your surroundings. Using headphones intended for travel or casual use can hinder your ability to stay alert and responsive during shooting activities.


In conclusion, using Bose noise-canceling headphones for shooting is not recommended due to several important reasons. These headphones are not built to withstand the high-intensity soundwaves produced by gunshots, potentially leading to hardware damage.

Furthermore, they do not offer the necessary level of hearing protection required for shooting, as indicated by the minimum NRR standards. While noise-canceling technology can block out loud sounds, it does not provide the specialized design required for safe and effective shooting.

To protect your hearing while shooting, it is strongly advised to invest in proper hearing protection specifically designed for this purpose, such as earmuffs or earplugs with appropriate NRR ratings. Your safety and the preservation of your hearing should always be the top priority when engaging in shooting activities, and Bose noise-canceling headphones simply do not meet these critical requirements.

Oliver Dules
Oliver is a distinguished professional who holds a prestigious degree in Technical Engineering from Harvard University. With a solid academic foundation, he embarked on a career path that showcased his expertise and commitment to the field. Over the past four years, Oliver has honed his technical skills and knowledge through hands-on experience at two industry giants, JBL and Samsung. His tenure at these renowned companies has equipped him with a deep understanding of cutting-edge technology and innovative solutions. Oliver's remarkable journey, marked by academic excellence and practical industry experience, underscores his unwavering dedication to advancing the realm of technical engineering.