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Thread: Custom ear plugs

  1. #1
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    Custom ear plugs

    I have tiny ears and have lots of trouble with most of the foam type plugs, even the ones for smaller ears. I see from forum posts that a lot of guys use custom ear plugs. Sounds like they get them made at the larger rallies.

    Doesn't look like I'll get to any large rally this year. Anyone know of other places to get them? I see the website Ear Plug Superstore sells them where you use a kit to do the mold yourself and then they use it to make the custom plug.
    http://earplugstore.stores.yahoo.net/jbcuearpl.html

    Anyone have experience with this option? What do folks usually pay at the rallies?
    Thanks for the help...
    Mike

  2. #2
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peaceablemike View Post
    I have tiny ears and have lots of trouble with most of the foam type plugs, even the ones for smaller ears. I see from forum posts that a lot of guys use custom ear plugs. Sounds like they get them made at the larger rallies.
    Small ear canals here too, but I can use Etymotic ER-6i earbuds with the blue christmas tree tips. These are the ONLY ones I've tried that fit. I have a huge collection of earbuds that don't fit. My kids end up with them.

    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

  3. #3
    crgrbrts
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    I have a very nice pair of custom molded earplugs from Big Ear (www.bigearinc.com).

    This company has reps at major rallies, but also employs specially trained "consultants" who make the molds and fit the plugs locally. In fact, my earplugs were made by a salesperson at my local bike shop who had the Big Ear business as a sideline. You could contact Big Ear and see if they have any consultants in your neighborhood. Better yet, become a Big Ear consultant, make yout own plugs and get a sales commission to boot :-) .

  4. #4
    ARValkguy
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    Plugs:

    I have it on good authority that www.earinc.com is a great place to go. I plan on getting myself a pair as soon as I can. They also make them for your ipod or mp3 player.

  5. #5
    scqtt
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    Quote Originally Posted by peaceablemike View Post
    I have tiny ears and have lots of trouble with most of the foam type plugs, even the ones for smaller ears. I see from forum posts that a lot of guys use custom ear plugs. Sounds like they get them made at the larger rallies.

    Doesn't look like I'll get to any large rally this year. Anyone know of other places to get them? I see the website Ear Plug Superstore sells them where you use a kit to do the mold yourself and then they use it to make the custom plug.
    http://earplugstore.stores.yahoo.net/jbcuearpl.html

    Anyone have experience with this option? What do folks usually pay at the rallies?
    Thanks for the help...
    Mike

    I paid about 70 for mine about 10 years ago. I use them a lot. Motorcycles, flights, mowing the yard. I wish I would have done this before my hearing was shot. I got mine done at Laguna Seca. I think the process is a little difficult and would not attempt it myself. I think just about all ear doctors would do this. It is worth it!

  6. #6
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Small ear canals are in the minority. If you know you're in this group, testimonials from people with "normal" ear canals about custom impressions may not be relevant. I do have small ear canals and I did get a couple of sets of custom impressions several years ago. They didn't work nearly as well as those little blue Etymotic christmas trees.

    Any audiologist can advise you about this and they're usually equipped to make impressions.
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

  7. #7
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    Normally, any place that sells hearing aids can make custom plugs.

    My experience is that the single use foam ones work a little better. Hearos, for example, mash down to a really small size and then expand. A little cold cream might help them slide in.

    I bought my custom plugs about 15 years ago and the price was about $60.00. I don't know about current prices, but if they are comfortable and you actually use them, probably worth whatever price is charged.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by crgrbrts View Post
    I have a very nice pair of custom molded earplugs from Big Ear (www.bigearinc.com).
    Hmmm, turns out Big Ear is listed to be at the Mountain Fest rally in Morgantown, WV in a few weeks. The rally sounds like a large event for our state. It's about an hour's ride, unless I manage to stretch it out to two or three hours of great Mountain State twistys. Been meaning to check out the event anyway.

    Any other little ear folks with Big Ear eaxperience? How about experience with plugs that have a "noise breaker" valve type feature? I guess they let you hear normal sounds and close down with higher decibles...

  9. #9
    crgrbrts
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    Oh -- the Big Ear plugs are about $85.00, though they might offer "show specials".

    I have smaller than average ear canals, I'm guessing, and can use the little blue Etymotics plugs Tom mentioned (which actually block more sound than the custom models). My wife has tiny canals, however, and could find no over-the-counter plugs that would even come close to being comfortable. She had a set of Big Ears made and loves them.

  10. #10
    Novice Adventurer Newstar's Avatar
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    Visit a hearing specialist. They can make the custom ones and I was quoted a price of $70.

  11. #11
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    Noise reduction rating

    I had a set of custom ear plugs made for me at a show a few years ago, they fit nice but not as quiet as I would have expected. At the time of purchase, I didn't ask the the Noise reduction rating, NRR. The customs fit nice but their not as quiet as one would expect, I still use them usually at work and mowing the lawn.

    I returned to using foam ear plugs for motorcycling, the tapered kind which have a NRR of 33 db. I like with them but they are too large for small ear canals.

    I found the custom ear plug vendor at a show and inquired about the NRR. they were only good for 22 db. Not as good of a NRR but better than nothing and if their comfortable your more likely to use them

  12. #12
    crgrbrts
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    I, too, have found my custom earplugs to not be as effective as I expected or wanted. I use them around town, but employ foam or "Christmas tree" ones on longer journeys. Though I have smaller than average ear canals, I found foam plugs that fit very comfortably by purchasing an economical sample pack from:

    http://www.tasco-safety.com/earplugs/samplepack.html

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by crgrbrts View Post
    I found foam plugs that fit very comfortably by purchasing an economical sample pack from:

    http://www.tasco-safety.com/earplugs/samplepack.html
    I tried a sample pack from another vendor and wasn't too pleased with the fit on any of them for my ear. The best I can do now is scissor a bit off. I guess when it comes down to it everyone's going to have a different experience and preference based on their particular ear and perhaps even helmet and bike set up.

  14. #14
    Registered User markgoodrich's Avatar
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    I've got severe hearing loss in one ear, won't ride without some sort of protection. I did get a set of custom earPHONES from the earplug superstore place. My wife squirted the goo down in my ears, we mailed the stuff off, and the phones came back a week or so later. The phones didn't last very well, one side, then the other went out. One phone sealed really well, the other side didn't...this could almost certainly be operator error on the initial gooing...and I eventually gave up on them and contacted Westone, chose a set of phones, and went to a local hearing aid place which took the impressions and sent them to Westone.

    More than you asked about...sorry. Go to a hearing aid place, they can fix you up, you'll be much happier.

  15. #15
    glennhendricks
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    Try swimmers plugs?

    these mold to the outside of the ear and might help. They're pretty inexpensive and might be work a try.

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