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Hi,

I never ride with music/earphones on as I always use earplugs.

However, this summer, I'm doing the Toronto to James Bay road, (3100 round trip) and I am seriously considering taking either my Sirius radio or at least my ipod.

However, I'm worried about the noise level this is going to introduce. My earplugs are 33db rated, so im worried earphones are going to let alot of noise in.

how does everyone else do it? what are my options here?
 

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Hi,

I never ride with music/earphones on as I always use earplugs.

However, this summer, I'm doing the Toronto to James Bay road, (3100 round trip) and I am seriously considering taking either my Sirius radio or at least my ipod.

However, I'm worried about the noise level this is going to introduce. My earplugs are 33db rated, so im worried earphones are going to let alot of noise in.

how does everyone else do it? what are my options here?

A lot of people swear by the Eymotic ER-6i earplug headphones, say they block out a lot of noise. I'm a little dubious as they hardly seem comparable to dedicated earplugs for in terms of their design for blocking out noise. What I mean by that is that foam earplugs give you a good 1/2" of "solid" foam to plugs your ear, and reusable silicone plugs are comparably long with several flanges, typically. The ER-6 (or similar canal phones) wouldn't appear to me to likely have as high a NRR.

OK, so I just went and checked. With properly sized foam inserts, the ER6i has a NRR of 27 - not bad at all. With the flanged silicone insert NRR is 22.
Sounds like the ER6i with foam inserts would be an acceptable alternative to foam plugs, at least for part-time use.
 

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I use the ER6i's and have been very happy with them. They come with several types of flanges, so you can pick out what works best for you. They do a decent job of blocking out wind noise - good enough that I never really turn my iPod's volume up more than half way.
 

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This question comes up pretty regularly, and it's a good question because as motorcyclists, it's a challenge for sure.

I normally ride with Hear'os and they are what 32 or 33 db noise reduction. They are very good and I'd never ride without them.

Unless listening to music, and these work with music on or off, and off, they actually have better noise reduction then the Hear'os.

these are awesome

They actually go completely in your ear canal, unlike the others that have to stick out. They do that by making the wire very durable and that is what you use to take them out, As opposed to the end of the other types.

Sometimes I have to stop and adjust them in the ear to be comfortable, but they are by far the best I've found.
 

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These are what I use: Sony - Earbud Headphones - Blue - MDREX58V/BLU

The trick for me was getting headphones that are short so they don't stick out of my ear for my helmet to push them back into my ear. These come with different size cushions for your ear, and are small enough they don't stick out at all. I love these. Just wore them for 12hrs on a ride and my ears never hurt.

I did have a pair go out after 1 year though, so I buy the bestbuy warranty and can get a replacement for $10 if they go out.
 

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I have small ears (make up for it elsewhere:green_lol:) and so pretty much any earphones hurt after a period of hours. Plus, I do like the 32nrr on the foamies I use. Thus, I ended up keeping the foam ear plugs and using a Sena SMH10 with in-helmet speakers. Once I did a little sorting, it now works great and allows me to both hear the media and protect my ears. I assume you could do the same thing with an iPod and boostaroo (headphone amp) along with helmet speakers.

I've got a pair of the $17 Aerostitch helmet speakers unused lying around somewhere...
 

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The ER6i is no longer available.
Yes, I noticed that. There are other models with comparable prices, noise reduction, etc. I notice, though, that Etymotic doesn't seem to specify a NRR for their earphones and earplugs these days, just a "noise reduction" number.

Anyway, the newer MC5 has a noise reduction rating the same as the ER4, and according to an older chart the ER4, with foam tips, had a NRR of 32, which is comparable to good foam plugs.

Of course then one adds to the total amount of noise in the ear by adding music, loud enough to hear clearly over the wind noise that does get by the plugs. My experience has been that you need to pump up the bass since that is the frequency range that plugs are least effective at isolating (plus some noise is transmitted directly through your skull from your helmet). It should be possible to listen at a fairly modest level with good quality, though.
 

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they are cheap and they sound great.. gettem at radio shack.. also do a search on torx x2 helmet speakers
They are cheap, the Skull Candy Ink'd earbuds sound great for the money. I'm a little doubtful about their NRR, however. I guess NRR 20, maximum, based on my experience with good earplugs and how much noise gets through, compared to my Skull Cands buds which I use when working out in the gym.
 

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Anyway, the newer MC5 has a noise reduction rating the same as the ER4, and according to an older chart the ER4, with foam tips, had a NRR of 32, which is comparable to good foam plugs.
The Etymotic HF5 has a noise reduction rating up to -35db. It's more pricey (~$150) than the MC5, but not as much as the old ER4. I think I paid $300 for those, way back when. They do NOT fit under my helmet.

The new HF and MC series stick out further than the ER6i for me, but I can get them under the helmet. I have small ear canals. I'm also happy I have a half dozen pairs of ER6i's. At my age, it could be a lifetime supply.
 

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Yeah, I noticed that the new models all seem to have the longer stems like the ER4, not the nice compact style that the ER6 was. I haven't had the pleasure of using a set, and I suppose I won't, now.

I have a set of custom molded earplug earphones I had done several years ago, but for me they just don't seem to seal all that well, so the NRR is not what it could be. Also the wires are rather stiff and transmit quite a bit of noise.
 

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I bought some cheapie helmet speakers and mounted them in the ear pockets of my HJC IS MAX.Then I cut some memory foam and packed it around the speakers.The speakers sit against my ears and block alot of noise and the speakers have a short cord that go's right to the edge of the helmet.They work well with my iPod and iPhone and now that I know it works I will get some good speakers with bass!!.


Sent from my Motorcycle iPhone app
 

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After too many years of frustration with all sorts of earbuds I broke down a bought a pair of Big Ear BE-1C's. They were doing a demo at the local Harley dealer. Not cheap for sure - they are custom fit to the contour of your ear. The beauty is they block the outside sound so you don't have to have the music blaring in your ear to hear it. The sound is good and since the volume is relatively low you can still hear sirens over the music. You can use them for earplugs without music too.

The weirdest thing I noticed is the engine sounded completely different. I guess the wind noise was blocking the engine noise. Freaked me out at first. I thought something was wrong.

Worth the money if you like music and want something that works.
 

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Yeah, I noticed that the new models all seem to have the longer stems like the ER4, not the nice compact style that the ER6 was. I haven't had the pleasure of using a set, and I suppose I won't, now.
The HF and MC type are not nearly as long as the ER4, but they don't tuck in as well as the ER6i.

I do have a set of custom molds that were made through a good local audiologist. They are designed to accept ER6i earbuds and are more comfortable to wear than the ER6i by itself, though I tend not to use them, only because they take slightly longer to insert. This guy uses ER6i buds himself when he travels by plane, so I didn't have to fill him in about anything.
 

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I'd never ride with ear buds or helmet speakers. I'll see if I can find the thread I read on the subject, but riding with earbuds is a good way to damage your hearing. Some/most of us ride with earplugs in just to bring wind noise down to a tolerable level. If you are adding in music to be heard over the existing noise, you are going to be at a level that will damage your hearing. Hearing, once damaged, does not recover. I use my hearing to make a living. Being the deaf rockstar using your ears to hold up your sunglasses really isn't as cool as you once thought it would be. Hearing loss is a bitch.
 
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