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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all: I have been following several threads regarding in-helmet audio. From these I have decided that earbuds (in-ear headphones) are the right solution for me. I have tried four sets, some cheap Sony's, Phillips, Shure and the one that that came with my Sansa MPS player.

The problem with all these are that my helmet (HJC Flip-Face) places some pressure around my ears and therefor onto the headphones (usually the tail sticking down out of the ear). I can keep going back to the store, buy a new set, try them out, return them, OR I can ask here. What are the smallest in-ear headphones you have had personal experience? What about custom molded headphones? Where can you get these made?

Thanks.
 

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I had the same problem with my HJC helmet, the stem on the bottom of the earbuds would really start to hurt after a little while. When I went to an Arai helmet the problem went away. An expensive "Fix" but the point is that you may wind up having to do a little minor surgery on your helmet regardless of the type of earbuds you get.

Mine are some inexpensive earbuds (don't recall the brand) but I had some Jabra "Ear Gels" from an old cell phone headset that I put on them and that helped a great deal toward making them more comfortable.

I also talked to a guy at Rat Shack (Radio Shack) who rode a bike and he swore by their brand. He said he had tried several kinds with the same problem, and the ones they sell did not cause that pain. They were something like $40 though and I wasn's sure I wanted them that badly.

Aerostitch's catalog says that the Koss #3081 are very comfortable. Here Is Their Catalog Page and it also shows the Ear Gels a couple of items down.
 

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Etymotics

The Etymotic ER6i fits in my ear and I can get the helmet off and on without ripping any fllesh.
+1 on the Etymotics. They're about as small as you can get, and they sound great, both on and off the bike. And they reduce noise as well as any ear plugs do if you have your sound source (iPod, etc.) off.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The Etymotic ER6i fits in my ear and I can get the helmet off and on without ripping any fllesh.
They are diffidently small, but somewhat pricey. Do any big box stores sell them?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Not that I've seen but Amazon's got 'em for $77 shipped. That's an excellent price IMHO. IIRC I paid ~$95 2 years ago for my pair.
Just placed the order. At least with Amazon you can return them.:???:
 

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Please be sure to report back on what you discover once you receive them. I also have an HJC flip face helmet so I'm interested in how they work for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Please be sure to report back on what you discover once you receive them. I also have an HJC flip face helmet so I'm interested in how they work for you.

Will do. Should arrive tomorrow with expidiated shipping $$. Still much cheaper than retail and same price as e-bay. If the product phots are any judge, they are small compared to all the others I have tried.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Please be sure to report back on what you discover once you receive them. I also have an HJC flip face helmet so I'm interested in how they work for you.
Just received them. First impression: boy do I have a lot of ear wax :rolleyes:

I need to wear them for a while to get a good idea if I like them. You definitely have to INSERT them into the ear canal otherwise the bass response sucks. ON the good side so far, once in, only the wire protrudes from the ear. I will know more tonight on my ride home. Will report back again then.
 

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Closing the gate after the cows are out here... but for the rest of you who are interested you can get the etymotic er-6i's at buy.com for $76.99 then do the google checkout deal and get $10 off with free shipping. That's how I got mine and I will tell you I will never own a different pair these are the highest quality, best sound, most comfort the list goes on. Also learn from my mistake here I purchased many other cheapies before I bit the bullet. Don't mess with the cheap ones these are where it's at.

thanks for listening
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Please be sure to report back on what you discover once you receive them. I also have an HJC flip face helmet so I'm interested in how they work for you.
OK, I just had two short rides with them in. Here goes my initial impressions:

1. Feels like someone shoved a stick in my ear - wait, that was me. I suspect things will get comfortable once I get use to these, but they are a bit apinful at first.

2. NO INTERFERENCE with my HJC flip face helmet. The only thing that protrudes from the ear is the wire.

3. Very good sound although the bass is a bit weak. The manufacture says this will improve as you get use to using the earbuds and get better at placing them in the ear canal.

4. Sound isolation is GREAT. I have been able to cut the volume from 11 (Spinal Tap) to about 6 or 7. Even set at 1/2 volume is very listenable, even with the motor spinning at 6K (stock pipe). My Sony's had to be at almost full volume to really hear the music.

Only time will tell if I keep using them but I suspect I will need to give them a good amount of time to get accustomed.
 

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Yeah, it takes a bit of time (maybe a week or three) to get used to isolating earbuds and everyone's ears are different. Part of making it comfortable is making sure you use the right tips. It's impossible for me to use the christmas trees. I need foam and I need the smallest size.
 

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OK, I just had two short rides with them in. Here goes my initial impressions:

1. Feels like someone shoved a stick in my ear - wait, that was me. I suspect things will get comfortable once I get use to these, but they are a bit apinful at first.

2. NO INTERFERENCE with my HJC flip face helmet. The only thing that protrudes from the ear is the wire.

3. Very good sound although the bass is a bit weak. The manufacture says this will improve as you get use to using the earbuds and get better at placing them in the ear canal.

4. Sound isolation is GREAT. I have been able to cut the volume from 11 (Spinal Tap) to about 6 or 7. Even set at 1/2 volume is very listenable, even with the motor spinning at 6K (stock pipe). My Sony's had to be at almost full volume to really hear the music.

Only time will tell if I keep using them but I suspect I will need to give them a good amount of time to get accustomed.

You can significantly increase the sound attenuation and comfort by making your own foam earplugs. I buy the Hearos 33db attenuation that, by themselves, eliminate noise yet you can still hear what's going on around you. I take one of these foam plugs and cut off the very tip. I then compress the plug along its long axis as much as possible and slip it into a handheld hole punch. Work the punch a bunch of times then pull it out. The hole punch will have created an inner ring of foam that you can then tear out with your fingernails. You end up with a Hearos earplug with a hole through the middle.

Take one of the OEM foam plugs on the ER-6i and carefully tear off the foam
leaving the plastic core that fits onto the earplug. Fit that core into ER-6i
then slip your custom foam plug over that.

This setup makes the quietest ride and the most comfortable earbud while still listening to music I've found. And I've tried the custom earplugs and found them to be a terrible waste of money (IMHO), at least for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
This setup makes the quietest ride and the most comfortable earbud while still listening to music I've found. And I've tried the custom earplugs and found them to be a terrible waste of money (IMHO), at least for me.

Picture please :???:
 

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You can significantly increase the sound attenuation and comfort by making your own foam earplugs. I buy the Hearos 33db attenuation that, by themselves, eliminate noise yet you can still hear what's going on around you. I take one of these foam plugs and cut off the very tip. I then compress the plug along its long axis as much as possible and slip it into a handheld hole punch. Work the punch a bunch of times then pull it out. The hole punch will have created an inner ring of foam that you can then tear out with your fingernails. You end up with a Hearos earplug with a hole through the middle.
I just took a pair of those foam plugs, put them in the freezer and, once they were frozen solid, I used a drill on them.
 

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+1 for the ER-6. I love mine. Use the foam tip, not the plastic ones. Much more comfortable for me.
 

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Closing the gate after the cows are out here... but for the rest of you who are interested you can get the etymotic er-6i's at buy.com for $76.99 then do the google checkout deal and get $10 off with free shipping. That's how I got mine and I will tell you I will never own a different pair these are the highest quality, best sound, most comfort the list goes on. Also learn from my mistake here I purchased many other cheapies before I bit the bullet. Don't mess with the cheap ones these are where it's at.
Thanks for the tip on buy.com! I just pulled the trigger on some...I've been researching for quite some time, and was back and forth between these and the shure e2c's -- hope I like them (great price!)
 
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