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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 :glasses-cool:
 

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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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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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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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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.
 

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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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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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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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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
Try these: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003EM8008/

I just bought a pair based on the ridiculous amount of high ratings, and they're pretty great. Not so much for running, as the seal they make means you hear a thump with every footfall, but for riding they can't be beat. I just took the interstate home, and running 75-ish all the way, with a half-helmet and no fairing of any kind, still heard every beat with my phone at 35% volume.
 

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The first time I rode with a half helmet I couldn't believe how bad the wind in my ears was. When I asked my buddy about it he said " you get used to it". I figured you might but thought that it couldn't be good for your ears.

I bought a pair of Skull Screws ear plugs off Ebay for around $6. They are tapered and have a little plastic screw sticking out of the end that you can adjust them with.

Won't ride without them unless its just a quick trip in the city.
 

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I just use the same cheap foam ones that come in a pack at CVS or Eckard's. Use them on the bike, on the riding mower (2.5 hours to mow the yard) and when using the string trimmer (an hour). Also use them at night to cancel out noise (I'm a light sleeper).
 

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The first time I rode with a half helmet I couldn't believe how bad the wind in my ears was. When I asked my buddy about it he said " you get used to it". I figured you might but thought that it couldn't be good for your ears.

I bought a pair of Skull Screws ear plugs off Ebay for around $6. They are tapered and have a little plastic screw sticking out of the end that you can adjust them with.

Won't ride without them unless its just a quick trip in the city.
Boltsfan, I see you use a half helmet. I wonder if the little plastic screw will get hung up on a full face or 3/4 helmet when pulling it on? And if that little screw might be an irritant with the padded sides pressing against it?

The little foam plugs work fine but they are really difficult sometimes to insert properly. Looking for a good alternative.
 

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Boltsfan, I see you use a half helmet. I wonder if the little plastic screw will get hung up on a full face or 3/4 helmet when pulling it on? And if that little screw might be an irritant with the padded sides pressing against it?

The little foam plugs work fine but they are really difficult sometimes to insert properly. Looking for a good alternative.
Never actually tried because I only wear them with my half helmet. I would imagine they would as I get a bit of rubbing at times with the straps from my half helmet. I am at work right now but if I get a chance I'll try throwing my full face on with the plugs in when I get home and report back.
 

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Boltsfan, I see you use a half helmet. I wonder if the little plastic screw will get hung up on a full face or 3/4 helmet when pulling it on? And if that little screw might be an irritant with the padded sides pressing against it?

The little foam plugs work fine but they are really difficult sometimes to insert properly. Looking for a good alternative.
Tried on my full face helmet with the Skull Screws and the little plastic screws got caught putting on and removing the helmet. Wasn't the least bit comfortable.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
foam plugs working great, plus a bonus

So I bought these guys: http://amzn.com/B0030HUE9C
(25 pack of orange foam earplugs).

They work great, although they are too long for my ear canals. But I cut off about 1/3rd of the tip and the fit great now, and much more comfortable than my previous foam plugs.

Definitely helps reduce the noise!

The bonus I've found: So twice now, before I started wearing these earplugs, I would be riding along when I'd feel some bug (like a gnat or something) buzzing in my right ear. I don't know if it got sucked in somehow or if it was in the helmet in the garage and just started to fly around partway into the ride.

Man, that is the worst thing! Full-face helmet and you can feel the bug buzzing in your ear. Luckily, both times, I was on a country road with a good shoulder so I could quickly pull over, frantically pull of the helmet and do the "arggg!" dance. ;)

Now, wearing earplugs, I won't have to worry about that. I suppose I could still have a bug, but it won't be able to get into the ear, just around it. It would still be annoying but perhaps not as urgently so.

Another win for the plugs!

-Danimal :glasses-cool:
 

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I havent' tried ear plugs yet. Although I wear a full face on long rides at highway speeds. But just around town the half helmet I have does have ear cushions , can't say they really block the noise. Maybe I'll try the plugs around town to see how thinks sound. I like to hear what is going on around me because so many cagers are glued to there cell phones.
 

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You'll still be able to hear things. Earplugs don't put the world on mute, they just bring everything down to the level of a normal speaking conversation. No deafening roar next to a semi, but you'll still hear granny's '74 station wagon on your right.

Give some a try. At worst, you wasted $2. At best, you saved your hearing for the next 70 years. I very rarely ride without something in my ears, whether I'm in the full-face or half helmet.
 

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I have used these for years, both riding, touring, sleeping in my tractor trailer (team driving) while barreling down the interstate at 65mph with everything rattling, and when home, to combat the old ladies snoring ... yep its bad. I tend to have them in for over 8 hrs a day and find them comfortable for long periods of time ... under $15 for a box of 80 ... and yes they are reusable. Read the instructions ... there is a way to put them in properly.

For those who have not tried ear plugs ... yes,. you can hear what is going on around you, but they do give a reduction in wind noise and offer a less "fatigued "ride over long distances.



Maybe I should consider shoving them up her nose ......

avail at home depot .... http://www.homedepot.com/p/3M-Tekk-Protection-Multi-Color-Disposable-Earplugs-80-Pack-92800-80025T/202691611
 
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