As James indicated, the most commonly uttered word by us older shooters is "What". Hearing protection matters, once you loose your hearing its gone for good. Noise damage generally affects the upper frequencies first then gradually down to the lower frequencies like those used in speech. This means that by the time you notice it, most has already been lost. In the US, hearing protection is measured by the NRR rating.
Apart from a heavy competition cycle, I also RO at ranges etc. I bought the highest rated set of electronic muffs I could find in order to protect what little hearing I have left. Mine is one of the Pro Ear range with around NRR 30. They give excellent clarity and directionality in the field as well but I'm not convinced they are 100% waterproof. They are also somewhat bulky if using a longarm.
After reading the earlier posts about the MSA product, I looked up their stats. NRR of 18. That a huge difference. Just my opinion but I'd regard them as insufficient for range work and probably insufficient for high end calibres such as .454 Casull, 460 S&W etc especially if using a ported gun/muzzle break. However definitely better no protection for hunting. Whatever you do - wear something.