Earplugs... I'm a fan now! - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-14-2014, 12:35 PM Thread Starter
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Thumbs up Earplugs... I'm a fan now!

After reading lots of threads here on earplugs, I thought I'd give 'em a try. I found some cheap-o foam ones for my commute ride today.

I'm SOLD!

If you ride a commute, get some!

Some observations from the first use:

The good stuff:

1. The sound of the engine was so much "purr"-ier. Blocking out a lot of the grumbling loudness made it sound even smoother (and it already is quite smooth). Definitely an "Ahhhh..." moment there.

2. The wind noise was still there and noticeable (Even with a full-face helmet) but didn't whine as much. The top end was muted.

3. Less ambient noise, which doesn't matter as much for a commute ride, I'd wager, because I'm not cruisin' slow enjoying the scenery per se. I could still hear the traffic and such, but it was less of a distraction.

4. I felt more "dialed in"... i.e. my concentration seemed better. I remember reading someone state the same thing here on a thread about ear plugs... something about how the engine noise + wind noise causes our brains to shut down a level, making us slightly less aware and slightly more tired/spaced-out. I don't know if this is intrinsically true, but it seemed that way to me.

And the downsides:

Really only 1: they were a little uncomfortable at the end of the 25 minute ride. But I attribute that to them being the super-cheap-o kind of ear plugs... not even shaped... just foam cylinders. So getting some shaped foam, or even fancier ones, will likely remove that.

All in all, I'm a fan of 'em now, at least for my commute.

-Danimal
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-14-2014, 03:11 PM
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Your ears will thank you later on too Danimal. And I agree with the downside, especially during long periods where they'll cause your ears to itch, but that usually only occurs when they're too deep.

BOSE makes some active noise cancelling headsets for pilots and I think some self contained sets for everyday use. It's too bad you can't buy a motorcycle helmet with built-in active noise cancelling. I'd spend whatever it took to get a hold of a helmet like that. A good seal around your ears via earmuffs is required though and I guess that's why they aren't available. Someday though.........
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-14-2014, 08:54 PM
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Go to bass pro and get a pair from shooting section. They have a little stopper that when open still block wind noise but allow for hearing traffic clearly. 16$ and I love em.

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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-15-2014, 12:02 AM
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Quote:
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BOSE makes some active noise cancelling headsets for pilots and I think some self contained sets for everyday use. It's too bad you can't buy a motorcycle helmet with built-in active noise cancelling. I'd spend whatever it took to get a hold of a helmet like that. A good seal around your ears via earmuffs is required though and I guess that's why they aren't available. Someday though.........
I have a set of the Quiet Comfort headsets - work great when you're on a plane and there are children onboard. Lloyd uses the Bose aviation headset at work - swears by them.

If they made MC headsets with ANR, they might sell like hotcakes. However, they might not. $700-$1000, just for the headset. Would most people that ride these bikes spend $1000-$1500 for it? I'd bet not. Heck, most of them complain about tires!

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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-15-2014, 05:06 AM
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I've been using the soft foam ones and am quite happy with them. even on long rides, I can't say that they are uncomfortable.

I buy the ones in the Wallmart pharmacy section. (by the sleep aids) 40 pair of plugs for about $5.

I'd rather wake up in the middle of nowhere then in any city on earth.


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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-15-2014, 08:21 AM
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For pure quiet, those little foam jobs can't be beat if they're inserted deep enough, but like Danimal says, after a while that comes with a real downside; eventually the itching will drive you crazy.

I had a set of David Clark ANRs, but preferred the less expensive and lighter Lightspeeds. As long as there was a good seal, I couldn't tell any difference in sound attenuation, sound quality or ANR performance.

As far as spending a lot for an ANR motorcycle helmet, granted, most of us wouldn't since biking is after all just a leisure activity. But there are plenty of motorcycle enthusiasts who take their riding seriously who certainly would.

Eventually, someone will produce an ANR helmet and others will jump in with a less expensive model. It will happen, someday.........
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-15-2014, 01:08 PM
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As far as spending a lot for an ANR motorcycle helmet, granted, most of us wouldn't since biking is after all just a leisure activity. But there are plenty of motorcycle enthusiasts who take their riding seriously who certainly would.
Oh, somebody would buy that stuff, but not enough people. I'll spend a few hundred on a headset, and I'm quite the motorcycle enthusiast. But, I don't WANT to get rid of the noise. I like it!

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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-15-2014, 01:23 PM
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I have custom molded silicone ear plugs. Paid $50 and they last for years.
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-15-2014, 01:48 PM
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I have tinnitus, and each eardrum has been ruptured at least once. I can't rightly decide whether I like wearing earplugs or not. On the one hand, not having to listen to the wind noise is nice, but on the other, I have to listen to the tinnitus ringing. I sometimes use my earbuds and MP3 player, but at speeds over 65, even with my full-face helmet on, it just turns into noise. I just can't win lol

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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-15-2014, 04:27 PM
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On the one hand, not having to listen to the wind noise is nice, but on the other, I have to listen to the tinnitus ringing. I just can't win lol
+1 Mr. Luciferiad
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