Motorcycles are noisy machines. Even if the engine and exhaust aren’t making a racket, you’ve still got wind noise to contend with.
Most motorcyclists deal with this by wearing earplugs while touring, but they come with their own set of issues; sometimes you need to be able to hear, like when a fire truck or cop car has its siren on and want you out of the way. Sometimes you need to be able to hear your engine, and at stops, its convenient to be able to talk to other riders without having to remove your helmet and then your earplugs, just so you can have a couple quick words.
There’s a product on the market that could help out with this – Earpeace earplugs (we first saw them over at Ultimate Motorcycling, and found them mentioned in a couple motorcycle forums). It seems they were originally designed for headbanging rock concerts in mind – they’re intended to reduce volume, without distorting sound clarity.
Not only does that mean you can get rid of a lot of annoying wind noise but still hear what traffic is doing around you, it also means your helmet’s communication systems are a lot more usable, if you’re the kind of guy who likes to stay plugged in while you ride.
Check ’em out. They could improve your long-distance riding experience, and if they save you from getting run over by an emergency vehicle, they could even save your life. They’re made of hypoallergenic silicone, come in three different colours, and offer a money-back guarantee if there’s a problem. We’re not sure about Canadian pricing, but they’re about $13 a set in the U.S., so you aren’t out much money anyway, even if you hate them.
No where that I could find did they list what kind of specifications they have. The best bell shaped ear plugs have about 33 DB decrease. The best molded in place ear plugs have between 35 to 38 DB.
The fact that they don’t list the spec makes me suspect that these are like some others, that look identical, I’ve seen that are no better than 22 to 25 DB.
Actually, the site says they are rated between 11-17 dB noise reduction.
I won’t bother with these….
I got the custom molded silicon earplugs “made” at the International Bike Show near Pearson Airport in Toronto a few years back and I’m very happy with them. They’re comfortable (my own ear canal mold ofcourse!) and I find they cut a lot of wind noise down, yet surprisingly I can still make out what people are saying in a conversation while still wearing them.
I have to also state I never missed a sound-que from a siren or other significant warning while wearing them that made me question them.
To each their own, but I do think you become accustom to the use of ear protection, while others just don’t like using it at all.