Hearing protectors are frequently used to preserve hearing when personnel are working in areas of high pulse and/or continuous noise. Speech communication and auditory localization are two important functions of the auditory system, which potentially are impeded when circumaural and/or insert hearing protectors are used. This paper describes the measured effects of hearing protectors on speech communication and auditory localization. The effects on auditory localization include interactions with the visual system and the resulting effects on locating potential objects which may pose a threat to the listener. Implications for military and civilian users of hearing protectors are discussed.