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Thread: EAR PLUGS........what's the best / easiest to use ..??

  1. #31
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwrider88 View Post
    OK, here we go...
    This is going DEEP.


    Like many folks, I, too, have hearing loss, from a very noisy life. Between work & fun, it is now both frustrating, and sometimes embarrassing, to not hear well enough for normal communications- much less communicating when it's critical in loud [work] environs.
    Of course, you never miss the water, til the well runs dry! So these days, I do what I can (mostly) to protect my hearing, and will actually go get tested and buy hearing aids in 2013!

    Having said that, I've been using the compressible "waxed" foam plugs which expand in the ear canal, same as have been mentioned in this thread, the E-A-R Classics. They are maybe the most effective at cutting db levels, in a disposable or non-custom ear plug. I get mine in handfuls from the EMTs where I work.
    BUT as was also mentioned, all ear canals differ! Like snowflakes, no two are the same. The throw away plugs I use, will not fit into my GFs ear! Furthermore, a buddy uses them too- but because they stick out from his ear, they rub against his helmet liner, making perhaps more noise than without them in! He cuts them down so they don't protrude from his ear.

    [MY] Conclusion: Custom Plugs. These (many of these) allow certain levels of sound to pass thru, but block harmful db levels. You can get them at many bike rallies, or at your local audiologist- heck maybe at Sears or Walmart, IF they have a Hearing Center. They are going to be under 100.00 and made to fit YOUR ear. Boom. Done. There are definitely custom ear plugs in my future.
    Here is a link to some research on ear plugs & hearing protection from WebBikeWorld's review site:

    http://www.webbikeworld.com/Earplugs/earplugs.htm

    A new helmet isn't the fix either- here is another link to a WBW.com helmet noise study:

    http://www.webbikeworld.com/motorcyc...lmet-noise.htm

    There are various devices to add to your gear kit, that help block the noise levels, like neck-rings, or collars, and whatnot- but who needs all the extra gak?

    The Laminar Lip was mentioned- and I have a couple of them- which I find to be relatively effective.

    However; tho no one has gone too deeply into it, the excessive noise is most likely the windshield- more specifically, the turbulence caused by the vacuum behind the windshield. This vacuum-induced turbulence, is known as the Von Karman Vortices. Yes, ear plugs will help, but the problem will remain. In fact, the problem of noise, may be exacerbated by additional issues with buffeting and stress, which create a bigger problem- fatigue. This is true, especially if you ride long distances!

    A new windshield is likely the best overall fix; a "lip" may help, but you should STILL wear hearing protection, just the same, IMO. Here are a couple links on the subject of turbulence, laminar Lips, Von Karman Vortices, & windshields:

    Scientific/engineering gobbledeegook, RE: VK Vortex:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%A1..._vortex_street

    Laminar Lip review:

    http://www.webbikeworld.com/laminar-lip/

    Finally, a GREAT article on both Von Karman Vortices (in layman's terms) and windshield consideration/choices on a per-rider basis:

    http://motorcycleinfo.calsci.com/Fairing.html

    To the original poster, here is all the possible information you may need to fully understand your problem with the noise you are experiencing...
    I've posted much of this before, but here it is again.

    FWIW:

    WeBikeWorld has an EXTENSIVE site with all manner of tests and reviews. Of course, it is but a single source, yet seems legit. It IS rather complete, if not exhaustive. Wiki, is what it is- a crowd sourced and completely up-datable information base. I think (HOPE) that mostly, it's accurate- if some one finds inaccurate info, they can easily update it.
    The CalSci article, I've seen around the web, but have never seen it in conjunction with their windshield chart/info. Seems they want to sell you a windshield, but they do well in explaining aerodynamics and VK vortices, AND give you a chart on choosing the proper windshield for your height.

    Cheers!
    Happy reading.
    Have a great day.
    Lets boil that down........

    A windshield is a great thing, but if the turbulence interacts with your helmet, you can get some ugly noise and buffeting. So, change the height of the shield or add an edge deflector to alter the location of the turbulence. The turbulence is there, you just need to move it to where your helmet isn't.

    Is no windshield better? Maybe, if it's a really bad shield that provides no flow velocity reduction over the helmet. Basically, the sound level is going to increase by velocity to the 4th power, or higher, (dB ~ Log10 (Velocity)**4+ ). So, reduce the flow velocity over the helmet, then work on any issues arising from shed turbulence.

    I use the pretty Howard Leight Laser Lites under a Shoei X11 or an HJC Symax. The modular helmet is noisier than the full-face due to the additional gaps which present a multitude of opportunities for disturbed flows.
    Last edited by 36654; 01-06-2013 at 07:30 PM.
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  2. #32
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Good info on picking up some hardware for short money, Kantuck. Yer right that people don't understand hearing loss, including many who have it. I **hate** to see someone shouting at someone in an attempt to communicate. Most people think hearing loss is a problem of volume level, but the reality is that letters of the alphabet drop out on you and you just can't figure out what that sound was supposed to be.

    In my case, I'm down 56db in my left ear at 1500 cycles (Hz for you modern folks). The loss is only a half octave wide, but this just happens to be the frequency band that gives you intelligibility. Result? I can't use my left ear on the phone. I also can't hear crickets AT ALL if my right ear is on the pillow.

    And like you, in a vehicle, I have a problem understanding the driver with my bad ear facing him from the passenger seat. Noisy restaurants I avoid, always did, even when hearing was good.

    The good thing is that listening to music is not a problem. The right ear seems to compensate for the left.

    Quote Originally Posted by kantuckid View Post
    bmwrider88-I kept saying I'd get HA's for about the length of time there has been the technology to help high freq loss in a decent way which is something like around the 1990's for my type loss.I'm @ ~35% high freq loss R & L. Mine help but no sort of miracle either. In a noisy restaurant (the worst type social situation for me & others to hear) I find myself turning them down if it gets pretty loud.Simple things like table selection help more for me.If people will simply turn toward me when speaking it also helps a bunch. In a car, as driver, I wear the right side and take out the left side of my BTE HA's. Sadly but true,hearing loss is one of those "silent disabilities" that lacking acknowledgement from others means they don't accommodate you.Even close family members will think you were "not paying attention" when you should have & so forth. My "dirty/noisy hobbies/work habits" also mean that I often leave the HA's in the box where they're safe.
    I bought mine on ebay from the common source,i.e.,somebody dies & their heir sells them . I had researched the brand(Phonak) & specific model beforehand,took them to a local pro,paid for another hearing test(a waste but part of the deal to fit them) then they were programmed for my loss & got new tubes and soft canal ends. Bottom line is I saved many $1,000's of dollars & got the latest thing too. There are also HA's that people buy, change models for no really good reason and sell -sort of like the low miles trade in's that make no sense other than perhaps,more money than brains notion.
    www.hearingaidforums.com is a good source of info and dialogue r.e.,hearing loss & HA's. Many pros there to comment & also many dumbkofpts like me.
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  3. #33
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Said it before, but worth repeating.

    Used foam for years, always got the best I could, but NOTHING works as well as these http://www.earplugsonline.com/

    They call them the worlds best ear plugs and I agree. They are a putty like material that you soften by kneading it and press into the ear, they seal EXCELLENT.

    No matter what I did, the foam seal seemed inconsistent, and even loosened during a ride, requiring stopping and reinsertion which is a PITA. I have had these loosen just a couple times, and I can reach inside the helmet and just press it back in on the fly.
    2010 F800GS Full Ohlins package, '04 R1100S Replika
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  4. #34
    2011 R1200RT ka5ysy's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=glenfiddich;847444]
    Quote Originally Posted by ka5ysy View Post

    Clearly you were in the army, not the Marines!

    Thanks for serving.

    Pete
    We can't all be perfect Semper Fi Pete, and thanks for your service too !
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  5. #35
    2011 R1200RT ka5ysy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommcgee View Post
    Might as well go with the purdy ones. Howard Leight, Laser Lite. Boxes of 200 pairs from Amazon for $20 or so. Very soft material.


    Purple and Gold....

    These must be LSU earplugs for Death Valley
    Doug, 2011 R1200RT Polar Metallic
    MSF #127350 NAUI #36288

  6. #36
    Out There Somewhere bmwrider88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kantuckid View Post
    bmwrider88-I kept saying I'd get HA's for about the length of time there has been the technology to help high freq loss in a decent way which is something like around the 1990's for my type loss.I'm @ ~35% high freq loss R & L. Mine help but no sort of miracle either. In a noisy restaurant (the worst type social situation for me & others to hear) I find myself turning them down if it gets pretty loud.Simple things like table selection help more for me.If people will simply turn toward me when speaking it also helps a bunch. In a car, as driver, I wear the right side and take out the left side of my BTE HA's. Sadly but true,hearing loss is one of those "silent disabilities" that lacking acknowledgement from others means they don't accommodate you.Even close family members will think you were "not paying attention" when you should have & so forth. My "dirty/noisy hobbies/work habits" also mean that I often leave the HA's in the box where they're safe.
    I bought mine on ebay from the common source,i.e.,somebody dies & their heir sells them . I had researched the brand(Phonak) & specific model beforehand,took them to a local pro,paid for another hearing test(a waste but part of the deal to fit them) then they were programmed for my loss & got new tubes and soft canal ends. Bottom line is I saved many $1,000's of dollars & got the latest thing too. There are also HA's that people buy, change models for no really good reason and sell -sort of like the low miles trade in's that make no sense other than perhaps,more money than brains notion.
    www.hearingaidforums.com is a good source of info and dialogue r.e.,hearing loss & HA's. Many pros there to comment & also many dumbkofpts like me.
    Hey thanks for the thoughts! I've been talking to some guys I work with who've had their HAs for anywhere from about one year, back to about 7-8 yrs ago. This guy who got his most recently, got his from Costco, for about 2K. His have multiple settings for different situations... The new technology HAs seem to self adjust, or come with a remote! Another guy said, in the end, it's an amplifier in your ear, so sometimes it is best to just not use them (as you've figured out already). He also removes his in hot sweaty work conditions... I have yet to even have a hearing test, so no idea what my level of loss is. I called a PA state office of Deaf & Hearing Loss, and they called me back. The nice lady had lots of good info for me. Never once thought about eBay, tho! Great idea.
    Be The Change You Want To See In The World

  7. #37
    Registered User argent brick's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the comments everyone. Many things stated in this post are the exact same things that I have been telling my wife and daughter.

    I keep telling them that I suffer from a partial hearing loss and that I really do listen to them. They insist that I only suffer from selective listening syndrome.

    Maybe if I start wearing plugs when I ride, they will believe me.
    Lynn
    MOA #57883
    Current Ride: 1995 K75 Standard
    Past: 1978 Yamaha XS 750, 1976 BMW R60/6

  8. #38
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ARGENT BRICK View Post
    Thanks for all the comments everyone. Many things stated in this post are the exact same things that I have been telling my wife and daughter.

    I keep telling them that I suffer from a partial hearing loss and that I really do listen to them. They insist that I only suffer from selective listening syndrome.

    Maybe if I start wearing plugs when I ride, they will believe me.
    +1 on the ear plugs

    Shame on you for not using them earlier and lying to your wife/daughter about the selective hearing. Selective hearing is an involuntary neurological defense mechanism for the male brain.
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  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by ARGENT BRICK View Post
    Thanks for all the comments everyone. Many things stated in this post are the exact same things that I have been telling my wife and daughter.

    I keep telling them that I suffer from a partial hearing loss and that I really do listen to them. They insist that I only suffer from selective listening syndrome.

    Maybe if I start wearing plugs when I ride, they will believe me.
    Alternative is to wear plugs when they talk. Could be a very short-term solution, though.

  10. #40
    Registered User argent brick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 36654 View Post
    +1 on the ear plugs

    Shame on you for not using them earlier and lying to your wife/daughter about the selective hearing. Selective hearing is an involuntary neurological defense mechanism for the male brain.
    I would never lie to my wife, selective hearing in males is a myth. The proper term is "Selective Memory Retention".

    Modern medicine has determined that the male brain is so efficient that in less than a nano-second, one can listen to what his wife has to say and then determine if it is important or needs to be remembered. If not, our brain will dismiss what is said and banish it from our mind FOREVER! Selective Memory Retention (SMR) is so efficient that the information is never stored in the brain for later recall so the male may claim zero knowledge about his wife's comments. Some males can also do this with their girlfriend, son, daughter, co-workers or even a boss.

    Zombie like,"Yes dear" or " Uh OK", responses are just some some of the common indicators that a male brain is in "SMR" mode. A blank look on a male's face may also be an indicator.

    Why clutter our brain with useless information?
    Lynn
    MOA #57883
    Current Ride: 1995 K75 Standard
    Past: 1978 Yamaha XS 750, 1976 BMW R60/6

  11. #41
    Kevin kmolldenver's Avatar
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    Try Cutting the Foam Plugs

    Over the years, I've tried all kinds of foam plugs and after a few hours, no matter what kind of plugs they were, they hurt my ears.

    Last summer I finally figured out that I must have small ear canals and that the plugs were always too tight! Using a scissors, I cut a 1/5th "V" section out of each plug and voila! Success.

    I grabbed my entire bag of foam plugs and proceeded to cut a section out of each plug, and I have them stashed away in my saddlebags already for next summer.

    Sounds silly, but works great. No increase in noise, GREAT increase in comfort. Just squeeze tight, wet 'em and they slide right in.

    Good luck in your search!

    -Kevin
    -Kevin
    2005 R1200GS

  12. #42
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ARGENT BRICK View Post
    I would never lie to my wife, selective hearing in males is a myth. The proper term is "Selective Memory Retention".

    Modern medicine has determined that the male brain is so efficient that in less than a nano-second, one can listen to what his wife has to say and then determine if it is important or needs to be remembered. If not, our brain will dismiss what is said and banish it from our mind FOREVER! Selective Memory Retention (SMR) is so efficient that the information is never stored in the brain for later recall so the male may claim zero knowledge about his wife's comments. Some males can also do this with their girlfriend, son, daughter, co-workers or even a boss.

    Zombie like,"Yes dear" or " Uh OK", responses are just some some of the common indicators that a male brain is in "SMR" mode. A blank look on a male's face may also be an indicator.

    Why clutter our brain with useless information?
    Let me see.............Involuntary nervous system defense mechanism or superior intellect filtering capability?

    I'll stick with the former as a subject for my interview on Oprah. No need to turn the whole audience into blood crazed zombies.
    Last edited by 36654; 01-08-2013 at 04:48 PM.
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  13. #43
    Registered User argent brick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 36654 View Post
    Let me.............Involuntary nervous system defense mechanism or superior intellect filtering capability?

    I'll stick with the former for my interview on Oprah. No need to turn the whole audience into blood crazed zombies.
    INSD? Sounds like something our military would come up with.

    Of course, if we just wear ear plugs, then we can claim that we did not hear anything because of the plugs.

    As a medic, part of my job was to match ear plugs to a soldiers ear canal. The idea was to issue them one pair of proper fitting plugs and not have to worry about disposables. More often than not, the trooper would loose them and a couple of people round filed them after one use.

    We did have some light green hexagon shaped plugs for one time use that worked well. Can't remember the brand.
    Lynn
    MOA #57883
    Current Ride: 1995 K75 Standard
    Past: 1978 Yamaha XS 750, 1976 BMW R60/6

  14. #44
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    In my experience....

    Best: Howard Leight Max foam ear plugs

    Easiest to use: Custom molded

  15. #45
    Registered User froggy's Avatar
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    Try these http://www.earplugstore.com/unfoamtrialp1.html .Thats what I did and am still going thru the assortment pack after a year.
    We drove all this way for a DEAD END ! My son!!!

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