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Discussion Starter #1
I know the issue of wearing earplugs has been discussed before. But I wanted to relay my personal experiences over this past weekend.

I recently purchased a large combination from thearplugstore.com and tried some of them out. I have to say that the difference in comfort not only from the wind noise but also all of the little noises that the bike makes while you ride is amazing. I feel like I could ride for hours with earplugs in and I wouldn't even care. Another cool, kind of scare, thing about wearing them is that you have very little idea of how fast you are going since you can't hear the wind or your engine. I think without a speedometer you could easily go 60 or 70 without even thinking you were going 25. Kind of like a nice luxury car that just glides accross the pavement.

Well that's all I wanted to say. Aside from the safety standpoint and wanting to protect your hearing for many years to come I have to say that I don't think I can go for more than a couple mile ride without these things in.
 

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Do you feel at all that you're less safe with earplugs at all?

I'm considering earplugs, but haven't tried them yet.

Randy
aka Hightower
 

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Sometimes I have enough trouble hearing my engine when I have my face shield down, I couldn't imagine riding with earplugs, unless it was for an extended ride on the freeway.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I don't feel less safe at all. Like I said in my first post, the noise level is that of a luxury car. Nobody says a nice Mercedes is unsafe because the ride is so quiet. It's not silent it's just muted.

Once you try it I don't know how you could go back to riding without.
 

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These are the beeswax clay-like earplugs right? I've a pair -- on my second pair after the first stopped staying in my ears.

They're really quiet but sometimes they pop out of my ears. I hate it sometimes -- I put on the plugs and get them nice a snug and then slip on my full face helmet and then buckle the strap. I then turn my head or something and then they kind of come out (albeit not all the way out). I then have to remove my helmet, readjust, etc -- or stick a finger in the side of my helmet and try to coax them back in. This is worse when I'm on the highway doing 70mph and then the plugs get loose and I have to push them back in while still riding.

I found that this is acceptable with my half helmet; if the plugs come loose, I just push them back in with my glove.

I've switched back to foam plugs; but once in a while, I still use these plugs because they're so quiet. The foam is not as quiet but they don't fall out.

Also, I recommend keeping earplugs out in the light so that bacteria has a hard time growing on them.

Sometimes too quiet is a little weird; someone will stop at a light and say "How's the ride?" (at least I think that's what they said) and I'll just nod and say "good".

I'll ride faster with good plugs in because (as you said), it's much quieter and doesn't feel like you're going as fast.

Dennis
 
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Personally, I don't think I'd feel comfortable wearing earplugs on a motorcycle. You're hearing is already a bit affected by wearing a full-faced helmet. I want to be aware of all that's going on around me. Other cars, emergency vehicles, what have you. Plus, to me, there is just a certain peace in hearing the steady drone of the engine, the wind, and seeing the scenery pass by. All part of the m/c experience :)
 

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Sweet! A topic I actually KNOW something about!

I've been an audio engineer for nearly 20 years now. Loud environments are my daily workplace. The problem with the foam or most rubber earplugs are that they muffle sound, thus killing ALL high end frequencies. Like, say, sirens, screaming children, screeching tires.... All those super high frequencies that you DON'T hear with those foam frequencies, you DO hear with THESE.

http://www.amazon.com/ETYMOTIC-RESEARCH-ER20BP-Fidelity-Plugs/dp/B000CC1RPS/ref=tag_stp_st_edpp_url

These earplugs will cut ALL frequencies equally, giving you full frequency range throughout your hearing. It just lowers the volume at which you hear those frequencies. Trust me, it's like someone turning down the radio in the car. You can still hear it, it's just much lower. All my coworkers and former coworkers use these type of earplugs, and so do many musicians.

If you don't like the noise, this is a MUCH safer alternative to the foamy earplugs. Your loved ones will thank you.


loudest143
*143db.... where the human eardrum explodes. Think I mix loud? ahhahahaa
 

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1+ with loudest143. I've been using them for riding, and find no issues with hearing the traffic around me, its just quieter. After switching to these from foam plugs, I started hearing the whine from the shaft drive which I never had noticed before. Here's the source from where I got mine.

http://www.aerostich.com/catalog/US/Etymotic-ER-20-Ear-Plug-p-16503.html
 

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i can't ride without earplugs. especially on track.

if you're at 13,500 rpm doing 140+ on a bike with a terribly loud exhaust you can barely hear yourself think.
 

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I wear them occaisionally. My Cb350 is pretty darn loud and has short pipes on it (not sure if that makes a difference or not). I do not feel any less safe at all; however, my bike is so loud that I still hear it pretty good, but it is a little bit quieter.

I especially wear them if i am driving in town here. We have a small "main street" community downtown and the buildings are really close together - this makes things LOUD. See:





Ha Ha, just kidding - well, actually, now that I look at it - the ONLY thing that is different is that the roads are paved now.

Mike
 

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Since the Etymotic earplugs stick out of your ear a little, do you ever have problems with it interfering with your helmet?
 

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I've worked in engine and blower rooms. I've run pneumatic needle and chipper guns on steel boats. LOUD NOISES!

I hate ear plugs because they're ear plugs. They jam into my ear and pack in any debris, sweat and wax that may be there. It's also possible to shove them in too far and damage my ear. They also hurt my ear, my ear hole, after prolonged use. Foam or rubber all the same.

Ear muffs are a much better choice. Granted, wearing them with most helmets just ain't gonna work. But any time you can avoid sticking something in your ear, that's good.

My helmet is padded and covers my ears. It does a fine job of reducing noise for me.
 

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...I hate ear plugs because they're ear plugs. They jam into my ear and pack in any debris, sweat and wax that may be there. It's also possible to shove them in too far and damage my ear. They also hurt my ear, my ear hole, after prolonged use...

... Ear muffs are a much better choice. Granted, wearing them with most helmets just ain't gonna work...
yeah, same here. When i my swimmin earplug, the "fins" or probably just b/c they are a little stiff, makes the inner walls of my ears hurt due to the pressure (I don't use the swimming earplugs for riding... just saying i think the finned earplugs would probably hurt my ears)

does or is there any other alternative than earmuffs?
does anyone else get sore ears after prolonged use of the non-foam plugs?
 

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These earplugs will cut ALL frequencies equally, giving you full frequency range throughout your hearing. It just lowers the volume at which you hear those frequencies. Trust me, it's like someone turning down the radio in the car. You can still hear it, it's just much lower. All my coworkers and former coworkers use these type of earplugs, and so do many musicians.
Great post... but these only reduce noise by 12 decibels. (Sounds kinda wimpy). Do they make a pair that offers more protection than this?

Since the Etymotic earplugs stick out of your ear a little, do you ever have problems with it interfering with your helmet?
Hmmm... can you cut the stems on them? (Does anyone know if that will hinder the performance of the earplug?)
 

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Great post... but these only reduce noise by 12 decibels. (Sounds kinda wimpy). Do they make a pair that offers more protection than this?
Isn't 10 db half as loud or something like that (it seems like I remember something like this from school)?
 

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Anytime I get on the freeway or plan on riding 70+ mph I also wear ear plugs and can still hear around me. No problems at all.

exactly what i was going to say. When I wore ear plugs it never affected my ability to hear important things going on around me. it just softned the wind noise that makes highway riding so uncomfortable.
 

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I use to never wear plugs. My cousin bothered the heck out of me to try them....he use to ride...so I finally did.

What a difference. I wouldn't ride without them, especially over an hour. The wind noise is lowered big time and also the loud pipes. Makes for a very enjoyable ride.

I also listen to a mp3 player at times, long trips over 2 hours. It's o.k., I really like the plugs better.

I just buy the cheap foam plugs that are about .25 cents a set. When they get dirty, I just throw them away and get another pair.

I can still hear stuff around me, I don't see any safety issues with them.
 
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