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Discussion Starter #41
I wear Etymotic High-Def Motorsport Earplugs. They fit really well under the helmet. Wind and motorcycle noise don't go away completely, but they are knocked down by a few decibels. I can still hear music, phone calls, or GPS directions through my Sena.

They fit well, but after a 12 hour day it feels good to take them out. There is a string that you can tie on to ensure they are together, which is nice. The string can get snagged and tug them out slightly. That can get annoying. I usually make sure I do a test look from side to side before I start my ride.

I recommend them.

I would link them to Amazon but my post count is too low. Amazon has them for 23.
Would probably list this down with other products I want to try out. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #42
I have a Schuberth C4 Pro helmet which is pretty quiet so unless I'm on the freeway I don't wear any. Plus they give me a headache to wear for very long. The ones I do wear when I must are actually ones I was issued in the military years ago. They are very similar to these:
Do you think I should invest some $$$ on a good helmet? I have one that works great but if the helmet's one of the problem then I think I should consider buying a new one.
 

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Discussion Starter #43
I rarely use them, don't like the feeling of being disconnected from the road.
I have surefire plugs and they really cut off the noise nicely. Only use them for longer trips.
Otherwise regular cheep foam plugs if I don't forget.
Tried one that looked like this. The ridges hurt my ears and caused some swelling. Thanks anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #44
I've been been use foam ear plugs for 15 years, I can see how they can be uncomfortable with narrow ear canals, hard to insert too. I just got a new batch of 50 from CVS, -32db rating, they're quieter than the last ones I had.

Many years ago I had a pair of those custom made for me at a motorcycle show. The ones that don't go into the canal, about $70. They made the ear mold at the show, created the plugs at their shop, and sent them to me. They were crap, I couldn't hear anyone speaking, but wind noise came through loud and clear. I've also tried swimmers plugs, they're waxy and don't go into the canal, didn't work for me.
Well, this makes me think more on what I should really buy. LOL.
 

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Where I got mine you could take one out for a test ride to see if you liked it. When I wen to get a new one low noise was my #1 requirement. I didn't want to feel like I needed plugs for shorter rides. Plus I hate ear plugs, I have custom shooting ones and all other kinds and shapes and I just don't like them. So I based my helmet search around that requirement. The Schuberth helmets come around my head and kind of seal around my neck. At first getting it on was hard because the opening is small, you just have to get your head past the opening.
 

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Discussion Starter #47
I wear earbuds. I listen to my GPS directions as well as block the wind. Wind is deafening over time. And hearing loss is cumulative. Once lost, it does not come back. It simply gets worse over time. The buds have a noise reduction dB rating. And I improved on that by making my own ear molds. Cabellas sells a shooters putty that I've used. It too has a noise reduction dB rating. As an epoxy you mix two portions together. I insert the ear bud and then put the putty into my ear and it all molds together.

As for the pain, yes sometimes on long extended multiple day trips my ear canals begin to hurt. I learned long ago to use Neosporin to grease the buds. I haven't had any ear canal pain since doing that.

If you already have a medical diagnosis of tinnitus and sensitivity, consider consulting an audiologist to get the best for your ears that you can afford.

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My audiologist was pitching me about this company he partnered with. Even told me to watch
when I sent him an email. They are pretty expensive that's why I'm asking for recommendations.

Thanks!
 

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You can see a pattern in these responses, which pretty much mirrors my experience:
1. Earplugs are good. You should wear them especially on longer / freeway rides
2. No two ears are the same
3. These are all good suggestions. Try a bunch of stuff and don't give up - there is an answer for you out there somewhere.

My personal recommendation is to start with the cheap foam plugs in their myriad types, you haven't lost anything if they don't work out for you, after all they are disposable. I too have narrow ear canals and I couldn't find any foam plug that didn't cause irritation. I am currently using swimmers earplugs (silicone putty), works OK but a bit fiddly to get in right. I will probably try the DIY molded ones next.
 

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I have tried many of the cylindrical shaped ones and they are too hard and painful after even an hour. I finally found some really soft ones at Walgreens and they are yellow/pink in color. I can wear those for several hours before fatigue sets in. Highly recommended.



NC

Do you guys wear earplugs?

I really need a pair because I was recently diagnosed with mild tinnitus and mild hyperacusis(noise sensitivity). Was not a fan of earplugs because I have narrow ear canals that makes wearing a pair painful and uncomfortable. Any recommendation or suggestion? Should I buy custom molded ones?

Thank you in advance!
 

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Wireless bluetooth earbuds are only $10 at Walmart, and they work great for listening to music and turn by turn directions via gps on my smartphone. I suppose I can use them to make calls while riding, but I haven't really wanted to for now. I do at rest stops, just manually dialing. I think they support voice dialing/hands free .

When the music is not playing, the earbuds work as ear plugs.
 

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If you ever get a chance......

At bike rallies you might find a company called "Fit-Ear".
I, too, have Fit-Ear ear plugs. I bought them at an Australian motorcycle show some years back - yes, the company comes Down Under for shows, too. They were much cheaper than any local brand.

Some times I'd wear my Etymotic MC3 earbuds but the insulation is peeling off the wires which is flamin' annoying as they've had little use and they weren't cheap (about A$150). But they really are excellent at stopping the wind noise.

My ears are odd, I can't keep conventional earbuds in my ears, they keep falling out.

Re foam plugs, I wear them every night when I go to bed.
 

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I personally go both cheap and old skool with cotton balls.

They wick away moisture and they don't (for my taste) over-dampen my hearing. I have worn all sorts of ear plugs over the years as I work in industrial environments, but I don't like any of my work-related solutions on the bike. For me, they all give me the too-far-removed feeling on the bike.
 

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I use the foam plugs. When properly inserted they are very good at reducing noise. I bought a box of 200 hundred a couple years ago. Probably last me a lifetime.
 

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Just as there are larger and smaller ear plugs, there are softer and harder formulations. As noted earlier, keep trying stuff. Every ear is different, but somewhere out there is your solution.

I've also heard of folks who end up using two different types of ear plugs because what works in the right ear doesn't work in the left.

Foam plugs consistently have the highest NRR. If you think they're uncomfortable, there are several things you can try:

- A softer and/or smaller plug

- A smoother plug. Some have different textures.

- A shorter or longer plug

- Inserting the plug less deeply, or deeper. If I stick a plug in my right ear too deeply, there's some sort of weird spot in there that gets painful with any pressure at all, so I have to pull it back out a smidge.

- Using a wee bit of some something to stave off dryness and irritation. Just a small droplet of Neosporin, a drop of baby oil, Vaseline, etc. at the beginning of the day.

- Make sure your ears are dry after a shower. I usually shower right before I leave for work, so I have to give a light twirl with a q-tip each morning to get the moisture out.

- Be gentle. Don't ravage your ears with a dry q-tip every single day or ear plugs will only add to the irritation. Keep your nasty fingernails out of there, too.

- Get an audiologist or ENT to take a look and tidy things up in there - globs of wax or whatever can make wearing ear plugs very painful. And they'll have all sorts of useful recommendations along these lines as well, maybe some scary stats about hearing loss to motivate you.

- Give it time. Don't ride five minutes with a crappy set of plugs and decide you hate ear plugs forevermore. It's worth persisting.


In some ways, ear plugs are really the next frontier in safer, healthier, and more enjoyable riding. Folks on this site tend to be on board with ATGATT and wearing real helmets, but it sounds like there are still several folks who just haven't given ear protection a fair shake or found the right solution yet.

Don't forget there are tons of motorcycle owners out there who once tried a crappy smelly used helmet in the wrong size 20 years ago for five minutes and decided they hated all helmets forever.

Or folks who haven't ever tried the amazing comfort of modern armored mesh gear in the summer, or quality waterproof textiles in the rain; they think gear means no comfort and no fun, so they stick with hankies, black t-shirts, and holey blue jeans.
 

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My audiologist told me the best ear plug is the one you'll wear. Every ear is different and what works for others might not work for you. Start with the cheap foam ones and work your way up from there. Watch a couple of YouTube vids to learn how to properly insert them. I see so many riders with their ear plugs not inserted properly and then they complain about them falling out.
 

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Aren't you guys listening to music also though? For $10 having bluetooth music, phone, and ear plugs in one is hard to be beat. I suppose not everyone wants to have music on while riding? If you need to make an emergency phone call or just a quick call, you can do so without removing your helmet, which is nice.

Here'a pair for $10, not the same I got but similar.
https://www.amazon.com/Bluetooth-Headphones-WRZ-Lightweight-Travelling/dp/B07HTC5F4M/ref=sr_1_11?keywords=bluetooth+earbuds&qid=1564088738&s=gateway&sr=8-11&th=1
 

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I see so many riders with their ear plugs not inserted properly and then they complain about them falling out.

It's amazing just how often one sees people in movies/on TV with foam ear plugs nearly falling out of their ears - they haven't been compressed and inserted.
 
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