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Discussion Starter #1
Why is it that an earplug will seemingly work well on one ride, then absolutely suck on another? Do our ears change shape from day to day?

Wind noise is really a distraction. I've tried foam plugs (don't work because my ears have very narrow, sharply angled canals), custom plugs (that work...then cease to work), and silicone moldable plugs (the best alternative so far, but even they don't always do the trick).

Oh...and I have spent money on helmets that purportedly are the "quietest helmet ever", only to find that someone's opinion of what "quiet" means is vastly different (louder) than mine.

What do you other RR riders use? Can you describe your ear canals and how well the plugs you use work?

Thanks...I need to solve this problem. I want to hear my engine...not the frickin' wind! :eek:
 

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I use simple three flange earplugs. They work fine for me.

If your custom plugs don't work, I don't know what to recommend. Heat does have an affect on ear plugs and your ears. Also, custom molds are mDe without your helmet on.


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If your using the same plugs and helmet then the plugs should fit in the same manner. You've got to use a helmet thats your size! A correct size helmet considerably cuts down on wind noise and turbulence inside the helmet. In my experience the correct size is when you have to pull the chin straps firmly outward to get the helmet on. It may even feel uncomfortable to get on and has to sit firmly on your head much like an extension of your scull for lack of a better word.
 

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Wind Noise

Try wearing a balaclava with your earplugs under the helmet. If that does not work maybe somekind of gel with earplugs and balaclava under helmet. If that does not work maybe doctor can prescribe somekind of medication for the noise issue along with noise canceling earphones. I know the noise thing can be maddening if you focus on it too much. If nothing else works try to focus on other things during the ride. Good Luck and I hope you get this solved so you can enjoy the ride.
 

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our ear canals are all different. So what works well for mine might not work for yours and vice versa. I've tried probably over 10 different models/manufacturers ear plugs and my latest ones are "The S plug canal earbuds". the S plug earcanal stereo earbuds. They are not cheap but you can try them for 30 days and return them if you're not satisfied.

My helmets, Shark Race-R and Shuberth SR1, are quite snug and the S-plug are the only one that I can wear all day comfortably. For any model/manufacturer, the tips deform after extended wear. I brought two pairs of the ear plugs with me on any extended long rides and rotate them every other day.
 

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I'm in Gooch's camp on the Super Leight. I have somewhat small ear canals and have had issues with custom ear plugs. I've had great experience with the Super Leight by Howard Leight and use them on the street and at the track. They are comfortable and are noise reduction rated to 33 decibels. They are available at CVS or through online vendors.

Another alternative are the Howard Leight "max small" plugs for smaller ear canals.

Howard Leight | MAX Small Earplugs

In case you need a disclaimer...I have no affiliation with the company :D
 

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I've done quite a bit of research on this topic since I fly one of the noisiest cockpits in aviation and ride. I also suffer from tinnitus and want to protect the hearing I have left. The foam ear plugs when inserted properly do almost as good a job at noise attenuation as custom. If I did not want audio in my hat or need them to be comfortable all day, that's all I'd use. For anything more than an hour or so out on the bike, I wear Sensaphonics. They are the best.
 

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I use the Etymotic ER20 Large size for the bulk of my riding (unless I know I am going to do extended highway), they reduce the noise, but retain most of the clarity (I can hear my engine well). They are designed for reducing the overall volume at loud music venues without muffling the sounds.

But for the least noise I use the Hearos Ultra Soft plugs. And yeah that video is right, I've given some people a pair of Hearos and the next thing I see is basically hanging out of their ear. You gotta compress and twist then insert all the way.

The normal foamy type hurts my canals, but the Hearos are extremely comfortable, I could fall asleep with them in.
 

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Basically, there is quite a bit of variability of ear canal shape and diameter. Remember that foam plugs are basically designed for limited or even single use. Personally, the only ones that fit me are the blue ones because they are extra large diameter. They are quite quiet and my ride has Taylor exhaust and it really howls so it is a good test.
 

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I'm really limited by my ear canals, which are convoluted and very narrow. The Mack's silicone are about the only thing that works consistently.



A huge problem exists in helmet design. At least with Shoei, whose helmets have an area below the ears where two different foam segments meet, and create a "v" shaped entry for air. If I hold my hand over one of them while riding, the noise stops. I'm looking for ways to block this area...any ideas?

A helmet "skirt" might helmet. There are variations of these. ImageUploadedByMotorcycle1398006531.253102.jpg


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wow, a 6 year necro-thread! I use Howard Leight MAX ear plugs, down here I get 200 pair for $40 - $50 Oz rahzoos, cut noise by 33db. other times I use Etymotic earbuds for music.
 

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I cannot wear foam or triple flange plugs manufactured for general use. While they might seal and keep the noise out, they would be too painful to wear for long periods.

Years ago, I had a set of custom plugs made (BigEars) where they injected some goop into each ear and let it dry. They were the best plugs I ever had would seal and not hurt. I had this done at the track. Cost $60 but were worth it as much as I ride on the track.

But I lost one (grrr) so I started searching for a replacement. I found this: Radians


They come in a two-part container, you mix the parts together and press into each ear. The material then sets into a plug that fits YOUR ear canal. These are what I wear now for hours at trackdays and could wear them all day without pain. For $10 it's a heck of an options for those of us who can't seal with standard plugs without pain.
 

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I need to try those - thanks for the link.

For future searchers, these combo packs let you try a variety of plugs to see what works best:
 

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I used to wear triple flange plugs while serving in the military. I found they worked (IMO) better than the foam ones that were issued. On the bike however, the three flange left me wanting a little more comfort.

After trying a few different brands, I settled on these... Isolate

My helmet is an X14, and I use the supplied skirt, in combination with the flareaudio titanium plugs. If I want music, I simply use a pair of AirPods Pro. The AirPods seem to do ok, as long as the active noise reduction is on.

Good luck in your search!
 

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Macks ultra soft let's me keep them in without getting painful. Rubbery instead of foam. Hold them flush with your ears for 45 seconds after screwing them in. so they can reinflate.
 
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