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Ear plugs

Discussion in 'Riding Gear and Bike Accessories/Parts' at netrider.net.au started by Garido, Aug 19, 2012.

  1. Any suggestions where to get good, well fitting ear plugs? Looking for a place in Eastern or South Eastern Melbourne (or online?).

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  3. Search on EBay for Etymotic ER20. I wear these for riding and drumming. Cuts Dbs and you are still able to hear people talk etc, I find foam too muffled and need to wait for it to expand etc. Blue is standard size, white large and there is a larger one still.
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  4. If you don't mind waiting for them to arrive by post, I'd grab a set of "World's Finest Ear Plugs" from http://earplugsonline.com/

    The website might look budget, but the earplugs are great. I've tried a heap of different types of plugs, but I found that the comfy ones didn't block out enough wind noise and the ones that did block out heaps were too hard and tended to fatigue me through their constant pressure.

    The World's Finest is kind of like play-do, but it has cotton fibres and bees wax and stuff in it. I just broke one of the knobs into two ear plugs and that is more than enough to get a good seal.

    If I am going on a fast and long ride I'll make a cone shaped plug that sits deeper in my ear and that cuts out all but the loudest sounds. If I'm going on a ride in the city I make a wider, shallow plug that cut out enough noise to be comfortable without stopping the sounds from surrounding cars and bikes.

    The best feature is they are really comfortable, you get no pressure or fatigue from them because your body heat softens them up and they conform to your ear movements. After about 5 mins of having them in, I can barely feel them as they have conformed to my ears perfectly.

    It's not often I find a cheap product that works so well :)
  5. I find the 3M ones to be very good, provided you put them in your ears properly. Most people who complain that ear plugs are not good are installing them wrongly, there's a video from 3M that teaches the correct way. Basically you have to slowly compress the plugs and roll them so they squish evenly, and pull your ears as you push them in.

    I bought a box of 250 pairs for around $50 from eBay early this year. The 50 pairs I got last year are still going strong. :)
  6. Go to an industrial safety gear place and buy good quality ear plugs for $3.50. There are different rating ones available and some come with a string attachment. Better than those soft foam things
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  7. I just had a look at these on eBay. While I'm happy with the brand of foam plugs I buy in bulk (nice and soft) it does mean that I cannot hear what people are saying. However,

    does anybody know roughly what db we're facing on the bike? (Given that wind noise, and not exhaust noise, is to my understanding the bigger issue.) The eBay ads say that the ER20 reduces noise by 12db. Is a 12db reduction enough? (Some ads say "up to" 20db, but I'd trust the more straightforward statements that seem to assure it will at least do 12db.)
  8. wind noise is somewhere in the vicinity of 80db at 100km/h.
    i would say 12db is not enough long-term.
    my plugs (howard leight MAX) cut 33db I can still hear people talking, though it is muffled
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  9. Depends if you still want to hear your surroundings, if you go higher, naturally it will cut more of everything, Dbs and all. I am new to riding and still want to hear my engine revs and surroundings, so this is really good for me. I have a staintune exhaust on mine which is quite loud and also my drumming activities are really loud. I believe it cuts quite a bit, but I don't have figures to substantiate.
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  11. I got custom made plugs from here: http://www.bayhear.com.au/index.html

    Very happy with them more than a year later. Put straight in, no waiting for foam to expand. Very effective but smaller than the full ear type that you get from other suppliers.
  12. Had a set of earmolds made up on friday by the honcho's in brissy.
    $70 is a steep asking price for many, but i tell you this now they really do work.
    Fits my ear nicely - should, its molded to it! Blocks out sound good - tried them on the plane on the way back up. Blocked out most sound, but i could hear the props - the frequency - and i could hear people talking and a few extra sounds from the plane, but most of the engine and wind noise was gone. Frequency they are designed to deaden seems to work about right.
    Also fell asleep with them in and it felt quite comfortable.
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  13. I use the Mack's Safesound and they've been really good. I swap between the ultra and the slim.
    • Funny Funny x 1
  14. The Etymotic ER-20 should be good for riding - marketed towards concert goers after all (much louder than riding at freeway speeds). I've got a pair, amazing for live music but too uncomfortable for me under the helmet.

    I'm planning on ordering the Alpine Motosafe Earplugs soon from earjobs, I'll post up a comparison if i remember (Currently using disposable foam ones)
  15. As far as OHS goes, 85dBA and above over an 8 hour period is "excessive". This is based on plenty of research. A small amount of people (I think 5%) will experience hearing damage from 80dBA (over 8 hours).
    I don't know how much noise riders are exposed to when riding, but I doubt it is enough to warrant class 5 hearing protection (if any at all for safety reasons). If you have headaches or ringing then you need to protect what hearing you've got. Too much noise reduction and you become isolated from what's going on around you though. I use class 3 reusable plugs and they are great. I still have good awareness, and a rinse in warm water gets them clean as new. A few bucks from a safety shop, Protector or Jaybro or something.
  16. #16 PossumBob, Aug 19, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
    From memory, Motorbike at highway speed in helmet is around 100-110 decibels (they measured in a wind tunnel), which gives ringing and damage after about half an hour. 32 decibel earplugs take you from 110 to 78 which essentially is fine for 12 hours.

    12 DBS is nowhere near enough. I bought 200 pairs of 3M 32 db foam earplugs for about $25 off eBay. When you roll, squish, and pull (hmm, sounds a little suss) into your ear they're great. The little yellow 3m earplugs were great too but rough.

    Research sources:




    And video for fitting earplugs:

  17. Thanks for all your tips! I've ordered some of the 'World's Finest Ear Plugs' Doc Dogg. I like the idea that I can use them for my swimming as well. Have used some silicon ones before for that (never thought about trying them on the bike), but they disintegrate after a few weeks of usage. Hopefully, these will last a little bit longer.
  18. Just a couple of tips regarding earplugs.

    The foam types are supposed to be single use, only. If you reuse them expect a greater risk of ear infection. And believe me, you don't want that. More miserable than a profound toothache.

    As for the comments regarding muffled speech, why should this be an issue if the plugs are used on the bike?

    I use the EAR or Decidamp brands of cylindrical (not tapered) plugs both at work (very noisy environment) at home when sleeping on nightshift and on the bike. They pretty much cut out the whistling from wind noise.

    Everyone's ears are different. The EAR/Decidamp brand may not suit you. Certainly, the tapered ones do jack for me.

    We get our hearing tested every two years. Mine has shown little degradation over the past 30 years, aside from natural loss due to aging. I put this down to the earplugs or ear muffs if i wear them.
  19. I've found that the foam ear plugs start to cause pain after a while. These days I use noise cancelling in-ear ear phones and listen to music. Failing that I use what is effectively a silicone putty, seems to work well, not as well as the foam plugs but are more comfortable.
  20. I've found that too. That's why I swap from the ultra to the slim (in the Mack's Safesound). I can usually last 2 -3 hours then my ear (generally just one, not both) gets really achy and sore. I thought it was just me but maybe not.