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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Finally got around to trying foam earplugs under my full face helmet yesterday. Can't say I'm a fan at all. From feeling the extra pressure in my ears to the drowning out of most sounds around me, I'm not a fan. Can't say I disagree that they do provide extra hearing protection, but the way they mute everything almost makes me feel like they might be a safety hazard. How does everyone else feel about wearing ear plugs?
 

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Vulcan S 650
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Finally got around to trying foam earplugs under my full face helmet yesterday. Can't say I'm a fan at all. From feeling the extra pressure in my ears to the drowning out of most sounds around me, I'm not a fan. Can't say I disagree that they do provide extra hearing protection, but the way they mute everything almost makes me feel like they might be a safety hazard. How does everyone else feel about wearing ear plugs?
I definitely use them quite often, especially when on the highway. The constant wind noise is incredibly noticeable after you ride with them all the time.

On the topic of it drowning out the traffic noise, I agree it does drown out the sound of traffic noticeably, but on the high way I'm very aware of the vehicles around me and my space cushion, even at higher speeds, plus you can definitely hear a speeding car catching up to you with them in.

In the city, I've gotten into a bad habit of not using them all the time, especially on days without wind but I'm trying to get back into habit of wearing them all the time. My old man had hearing issues so I've been very alert with regards to my hearing, so I always use hearing protection when shooting and riding.

At the end of the day, it's like a full gear set up. Ideally, every time you ride you wear full (high vis) gear, but sometimes complacency gets the best of you, we're human after all, and you don't use all protection especially on very small and quick trips.

At the end of the day, I think being aware of your surroundings and having space cushions are going to be more beneficial, but you only get one pair of ears at the end of the day.

Ride safe! 馃馃徏
 

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2020 Vulcan Voyager
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I had the same experience as you when I tried using them. They hurt my ears. At this point, I spent four years working on F-16s in the Air Force and about 20 years playing in rock bands, I figure that wind noise on a motorcycle is the least of my worries.
 

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2020 Kawasaki Vulcan S, 2020 Kawasaki Z900
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I bought a set off Amazon that are washable and multiple use to try them and while they drown certain noise out I didn't feel it drowned out what's important. As for comfort they actually aren't too bad, however the only time I feel the need to use them would be on a long highway run which I dont really do. My helmet is pretty decent as far as wind noise so the cruise around town riding I mainly do for typically an hour at a time I prefer getting the full soundtrack of my bikes, particularly the Z900, but if I were to go on an all day long trip would certainly prefer having them in.
 

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I wear disposable ear plugs for every ride over 5 miles or so. I've worked in steel mills since 1978 and wear them daily at work. You can get used to them and still hear a normal conversation on the mill floor. I took my first 500 mile trip without ear plugs in 1980 and still remember the ringing in my head when I got to Virginia Beach. I've worn hearing protection ever since. For me, loosing the wind noise helps me focus on traffic and the road.
 

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Don鈥檛 know your ages, but that constant wind noise will effect your hearing. As we age degeneration of inner ear structures occurs over time.
A whisper is about 30 dB, normal conversation is about 60 dB, and a motorcycle engine running is about 95 dB. Noise above 70 dB over a prolonged period of time starts to damage your hearing. Loud noise above 120 dB can cause immediate harm to your ears.
At 70 I have lost 40% of my high pitched hearing. The hardest people to hear are children and women with high voices. Even worse with some nationalities, an Asian gal can be directly talking to me and I can hear her but do not understand her. I have a custom set of silicone earplugs that we made at one of the Goldwing rallies and use them On the mower, tractor, using any power tools, and the bike. You say they are uncomfortable? When it鈥檚 gone it鈥檚 gone. 馃
 

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'05 800B
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I can't hear my loud pipes with ear plugs, and I know what RPM my motor is at by the sound of my pipes, also I did find wearing plugs a safety hazard, plus they were uncomfortable also which was the main reason I didn't like them
 

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The cheap foam units are great for construction/factory work but are not the most comfortable and are meant to block out everything. Try a specialized set. I use Pinlock Ear Plugs. Per the description:

Unlike disposable earplugs, the Pinlock earplugs do not affect the balance of the motorcyclist as it is made out of silicone-free medical grade TPE. Two sizes included, to ensure a perfect fit for every motorcyclist and patented precision filter technology maintains spatiality.

The earplugs have a filter that filters irritating noise like wind and motorcycle noises down to a safe rate while still allowing conversation and emergency sirens into the ears.
 

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I ride with the orange CVS brand with every ride. They dull out the high noise wind and I have no issues hearing around me. I'm used to wearing them so maybe it takes others time to get used to them.

Sent from my SM-N976U using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I think I'll give them another shot. I do already have custom hearing aids for my CAPD, Central Auditory Processing Disorder. It's where I have trouble making out sounds when there is alot of background noise. Like at a restaurant with people talking all around me, someone talking directly to me just comes out as mumbles. It's really annoying, as my work frequently has me in those situations. I'm always asking people to repeat what they said. Yes, I believe I'll try the plugs again to protect what I do have left.
 

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This is one of the reasons I ride with a windhield or fairing and OEM pipes. I don't feel safe with earplugs, I miss too much traffic sound. That said, there's another issue to consider besides hearing loss. Tinnitus. It's painful, incurable, and drives people to suicide on a regular basis.
 

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Don鈥檛 know your ages, but that constant wind noise will effect your hearing. As we age degeneration of inner ear structures occurs over time.
You say they are uncomfortable? When it鈥檚 gone it鈥檚 gone. 馃
Way to go Tourer! I'm on my second pair of $5000 hearing aids (phonak) and I wish I had paid more attention a few decades ago. Not only hearing loss but also major tinnitus and the inability to understand some common words. My audiologist says about hearing: Use it or lose it...forever. Imagine a world without music, with garbled conversation, every second word is "what?" and ears that feel full of cotton.
Also, if none of the above matters think about hearing aids that cost almost as much as my bike:unsure:
 
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I too have a set of $5000 hearing aids. Fortunately my benefits paid for them. I rarely wear them. They itch and do not really improve my hearing that much. Have had their software upgraded three times and still they are not much help. I usually put them in when I have to use the phone. When we go somewhere and after whoever is speaking with us is done, I look at the Mrs and she gives me the summary of what they said. Of course background noise causes issues. Hence the term 鈥淕etting old sucks鈥. 馃
 

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For those of you complaining about the ear plugs making it too hard to hear traffic, you need to try out some of the sound attenuating type plugs. There are many options out there and it may take a few tries to get the right set, but when you find them they will be comfortable, deaden the wind and engine noise (droning type sound) but not severely impact normal traffic sounds. I went the route of ordering a bunch from Amazon and returning the ones I didn't like. It makes a significant difference for me to cut back the wind noise on the freeway. Not to mention it's eliminated the ringing I would get after a ride, my tinnitus is currently very mild and not bothersome at all so it would be nice for it to not get any worse.
 

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2020 Kawasaki Vulcan S, 2020 Kawasaki Z900
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Now I am weighing out the pros and cons....cons, hard to have conversation, no music, no hearing my bikes and cars....pros - never hear the wife nag again!!! :p since the cons outweigh the pros, even though that one single pro is BIG, I think I will continue doing my best to keep my hearing working
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
For those of you complaining about the ear plugs making it too hard to hear traffic, you need to try out some of the sound attenuating type plugs. There are many options out there and it may take a few tries to get the right set, but when you find them they will be comfortable, deaden the wind and engine noise (droning type sound) but not severely impact normal traffic sounds. I went the route of ordering a bunch from Amazon and returning the ones I didn't like. It makes a significant difference for me to cut back the wind noise on the freeway. Not to mention it's eliminated the ringing I would get after a ride, my tinnitus is currently very mild and not bothersome at all so it would be nice for it to not get any worse.
Which set did you end up keeping for your every day plugs? Maybe I'll try those first.
 

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2016 Vulcan Vaquero ABS
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Don鈥檛 know your ages, but that constant wind noise will effect your hearing. As we age degeneration of inner ear structures occurs over time.
A whisper is about 30 dB, normal conversation is about 60 dB, and a motorcycle engine running is about 95 dB. Noise above 70 dB over a prolonged period of time starts to damage your hearing. Loud noise above 120 dB can cause immediate harm to your ears.
At 70 I have lost 40% of my high pitched hearing. The hardest people to hear are children and women with high voices. Even worse with some nationalities, an Asian gal can be directly talking to me and I can hear her but do not understand her. I have a custom set of silicone earplugs that we made at one of the Goldwing rallies and use them On the mower, tractor, using any power tools, and the bike. You say they are uncomfortable? When it鈥檚 gone it鈥檚 gone. 馃
Agreed, I am only 34 and due to several personal choices and being a member of the Field Artillery in the Army I have lost quite a bit of high end hearing. I spend a lot of time trying to figure out what people said, I can hear their voice but it just sounds like the teacher from Charlie Brown. If you can wear ear plugs it鈥檚 a really good idea. I do understand the situational awareness thing though and can appreciate it. In the army we had ear plugs but they made functioning as a team more difficult. Kinda wish I had sucked it up and worn them back then.. I am not going to say I wear them when riding because I don鈥檛. Safety gear is something that I am lacking in greatly. It鈥檚 also a choice I make...
 

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Not to mention it's eliminated the ringing I would get after a ride, my tinnitus is currently very mild and not bothersome at all so it would be nice for it to not get any worse.
That ringing you hear are the dying last gasps of the fine hair inside your inner ear that convert sound to neural impulses.You start with only so many and, once dead, they never grow back causing irreversible hearing loss.
Unlike erectile dysfunction there is no viagra for the ears, once your hearing goes it unfortunately also affects your brain's ability to recognise words (which is why the audiology test usually includes a segment where you repeat words and get assessed on word recognition). But, don't worry... nowadays everyone is texting instead of conversing, so as long as you don't lose your thumbs as well as your hearing you'll be fine. ;)
 

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Kinda wish I had sucked it up and worn them back then.

Safety gear is something that I am lacking in greatly. It鈥檚 also a choice I make...
I respect your choice. But do you think there will ever be a point where these two sentences might switch places?
 

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That ringing you hear are the dying last gasps of the fine hair inside your inner ear that convert sound to neural impulses.You start with only so many and, once dead, they never grow back causing irreversible hearing loss.
And that's why started wearing them all the time. Like I said, it's very mild and not bothersome right now and I feel like it has not progressed in the years since I started wearing them. I find that the noise attenuating plugs, when fit properly don't affect my situational awareness in any meaningful way. Fit is important though, that tight fit feeling in your ear can really mess with you over time as an excessive sensory input. They shouldn't be loose, but if they're too big and fit tight then try another pair.

Which set did you end up keeping for your every day plugs? Maybe I'll try those first.
I got these. I use the longer stalk (grey set) to help with removal and it doesn't interfere with my helmet at all. I use those combined with the included white 25db inserts. It's worth noting that these don't deaden sound as much as foam filters, you still want a good helmet that fits well around your neck. A poor seal at the bottom of the helmet will make a TON of wind noise. They also work really well on loud airplanes, or at concerts. The whole idea is to just bring the sound level down without distorting it, that way you can still enjoy what you're listening to, but at a safe level.
These work really well too, but the stalk was shorter so getting them out of my ear was more difficult.
Remember that for these to work, they actually have to be 'in' the ear canal. It sounds gross, but give them a quick lick and they slide right in, just make sure to wipe them down on a regular basis or it'll taste like earwax. They clean up easily enough and seem to last, I have two sets that are a few years old now. A daily use set that stays in my jacket pocket and a backup in the bike luggage just incase. Oh, and they are made of silicone, so look for a natural rubber pair if you have allergies.
 
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