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Thread: Earphones - help with purchase

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by leadfoot View Post
    What I am basically looking for at this time is earbuds or speakers that I can use while riding. I want something temporary until I can go Bluetooth. I just got my Zumo 550 and am in the process of setting it up. First GPS for me, and will go to Bluetooth when I get a new helmet (unless possible with my N102). I am trying to learn as much as possible from here instead of spending a ton of money until I find a setup, no one near me that has a setup like this.

    Once again, a little off the main post, but this seems like the right area to get the info I need. If I am incorrect in doing so, please advise and I will post seperately.

    Thanks, Jim
    Not to get this thread too far off-topic (I am still talking earphones here at least), but I've got a N102 with the J&M setup in it and hooked up earphones. With the buffeting at speed on my K75 I never could get the Dynaport speakers loud enough to work without overdriving them, even with an Amplirider. I cut the J&M jacks off and saved them, and soldered a set of Ear-Fuze earphones to the wires inside the helmet where the speakers were. I just put them in, slip on the helmet and all is well. I'm happy with them, I didn't even need the Amplirider to hear the Zumo after I did this.

    I would NOT recommend bluetooth with the zumo if you like listening to the XM radio or MP3s, the audio quality will really suffer, mono and lower quality. I tried that with a Scala Rider and wasn't happy with the results.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmubrown View Post
    Every ear is definitely different and can change over time, and due to factors such as allergies. A larger tip on the ER6i's might have worked, but if the E3's fit, they are a pretty good earphone. Not sure about their noise reduction rating though...
    I have used the ER6is orange, soft foam tips on the Shure E3s. This is an excellent combination for listening to music and blocking out external noise; actually the best combination I've used for eliminating extraneous noise.
    Paul
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  3. #18
    BMWBHW
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    I use earphones 100% of the time on my Zumo 550 with XM setup (using a Shoei Multitec Helmet)... help to keep windnoise to 0 decibels and provide entertainment...

    I've used ER6i's for years... I'm on my second set and bought two more sets as backup from Amazon ... In fact, used them for a cross country trip (10+ hours of driving a day) with no issues... The only annoyance is if someone tries to talk to you with the helmet and earphones in. I cannot hear them have have to take everything off to have a minor conversation. Plus, they have thinner wires that can sometimes get broken/tangled a little easier (hence why I'm on my second set).

    There are nicer sounding units with unique features but cost $$$... for example, I now own the Shure SE535PTH unit. WOW! Bass is even deeper and heaver... plus it has a unique microphone that I can turn on to hear what is happening outside the helmet. However, it may be cost prohibitive for frugal individuals.

    Do not use the Bluetooth for XM... it does not support stereo sound.

  4. #19
    "Running Out The Clock" grafikfeat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anyone
    I use earphones 100% of the time ... helps to keep windnoise to 0 decibels and provide entertainment...
    Not addressed to any one person...

    But think about what you are doing.
    Wind noise isn't kept to anything. It's being masked.
    One noise is overriding another.
    Ear buds at a low level in a low level environment is one thing.
    In a louder environment you are just adding to the ear damage.

    Find a good earplug and listen to the voices in your head.
    My earplugs almost touch each other they are so far in.
    I used to listen to music but as the novelty wore off so did the 'need'.

    For me now it's high speed solitude. Well, me and all my 'inside' friends...
    "Stupidity, if left untreated, is self-correcting."

  5. #20
    BMWBHW
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    The E6i's come with ear plugs that fit into the ear... with no music, the sound is silence... so then it is up to the user if they want to add music to that environment. There is no "masking"... unless you choose to use surface/external earphones that do not adequately cut off ambient noice. But luckily, the E6i's and other good earphones offer enough options that should fit your ear snug and cut off outside sound... then it is up to the user to keep the music to a low level.

    Glad to hear people can ride in silence... definitely not for me... love listening to the radio when I'm on the bike for hours at the time...

  6. #21
    "Running Out The Clock" grafikfeat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwbhw View Post
    Glad to hear people can ride in silence... definitely not for me... love listening to the radio when I'm on the bike for hours at the time...
    Silence? No silence.

    I enjoy the three "S's"
    The Sights, Sounds and Smells of the journey!

    I always get good reception too!
    "Stupidity, if left untreated, is self-correcting."

  7. #22
    Chairman of the hoard wmubrown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grafikfeat View Post
    Not addressed to any one person...

    But think about what you are doing.
    Wind noise isn't kept to anything. It's being masked.
    One noise is overriding another.
    Ear buds at a low level in a low level environment is one thing.
    In a louder environment you are just adding to the ear damage.

    Find a good earplug and listen to the voices in your head.
    My earplugs almost touch each other they are so far in.
    I used to listen to music but as the novelty wore off so did the 'need'.

    For me now it's high speed solitude. Well, me and all my 'inside' friends...
    Sorry, that is not true. You're thinking of ear buds which provide zero sound reduction. Actual insert-earphones provide 20dB or more (typically) of noise reduction - just like ear plugs do. The speaker is inserted in the plug, so you don't have to play it loud to hear it well. The ER6i's filter so well (rated at 28dB NR) I don't really feel comfortable using them in traffic situations and relegate them to use in the yard. The ER6's (more comfortable for me anyway) are rated at 24dB NR so I can still hear traffic around me provided I don't crank up the music too much.

    There are all sorts of examples of this from Etymotic, Shure, Bose, Sony, Koss, custom made plugs like those from the Earplug Company, etc. If the technical specs do NOT specify a noise reduction (NR) rating - they are earbuds and will not isolate you from environmental noises. Like all NR ratings, take them with a grain of salt and, if possible, try them to check fit, and just how much reduction they provide. Etymotic recently "re-graded" their earphones and claim 34-36dB reduction, which I feel is bogus, but its definitely in the middle 20's matching very good earplugs for noise isolation.

    The need to listen to music is an individual preference, if you don't like and/or find it distracting, don't listen to it. I personally find it keeps me awake, entertained, and alert. I can even chew gum at the same time There are times I just turn it off to 'think' but most of the times tunes are playing.
    John A. Brown - Kalamazoo MI
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  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by grafikfeat View Post
    Not addressed to any one person...

    But think about what you are doing.
    Wind noise isn't kept to anything. It's being masked.
    One noise is overriding another.
    Ear buds at a low level in a low level environment is one thing.
    In a louder environment you are just adding to the ear damage.

    Find a good earplug and listen to the voices in your head.
    My earplugs almost touch each other they are so far in.
    I used to listen to music but as the novelty wore off so did the 'need'.

    For me now it's high speed solitude. Well, me and all my 'inside' friends...
    I get my hearing checked every year. When I do ride with music, the volume is keep very, very soft, just loud enough for me to hear it. Without the music, those same earbuds do just as good a job as my disposal earplugs at eliminating the wind buffeting. I ask the folks who check my ears, as well as my doctor, and they both have told me that having the volume low with earbuds will not adversely affect my hearing. I also have helmet speakers but the audiologist has explained that the helmet speakers can contribute to deafness as they have to drown out the existing wind noise in order to be heard.

    Having said that, I tend to listen to music only near the end of a long day of riding when I am beginning to get a bit tired. The music revives me, big time and keeps me alert. For the most part, earbuds are for me, a pain to keep inserted with the helmet and the wires seem to be the constantly in the way as well. Custom made earplug speakers were totally useless; permitting almost as much wind noise as wearing no earplugs at all.
    Paul
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
    Treasurer of the Forest City Motorrad Club #159
    Knights of the Roundel #333

  9. #24
    "Running Out The Clock" grafikfeat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_F View Post
    Having said that, I tend to listen to music only near the end of a long day of riding when I am beginning to get a bit tired. The music revives me, big time and keeps me alert. For the most part, earbuds are for me, a pain to keep inserted with the helmet and the wires seem to be the constantly in the way as well. Custom made earplug speakers were totally useless; permitting almost as much wind noise as wearing no earplugs at all.
    DItto... Maybe I'm getting old and cranky but the annoyance over rides the enjoyment of the iPod(s).
    I'm left using foam plugs.
    I made the joke earlier that they are in so far that they practically touch each other because I see many folks w/ earplugs jammed in the opening of their ear and not down in the ear canal.

    Just roll 'em between your fingers to a point and if needed pull up on your ear to facilitate the earplug getting into the ear canal and stopping short the eardrum. They need to seal to work well.
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  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by grafikfeat View Post
    DItto... Maybe I'm getting old and cranky but the annoyance over rides the enjoyment of the iPod(s).
    That's exactly why I need music on long rides. It's calming when I need it. Most of the time, I have it off.
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by grafikfeat View Post
    I made the joke earlier that they are in so far that they practically touch each other because I see many folks w/ earplugs jammed in the opening of their ear and not down in the ear canal.
    As I said, on the two occasions that the helmet pushed them too far into my ear, not only was it embarrassing for me to ask a total stranger (with long nails) to pull them out, it must have been totally repulsive for them (even though I keep my ears clean). I know carry tweezers just in case that should ever happen again.

    Of course, I lost my useless custom made speaker/ear plugs two years ago; lost my ER6is last year and this season the cord to the Shures became unattached, dangled and melted near the engine. I am truly cursed when it comes to owning earbuds and listening to music as I ride. I do use a lot of regular laser lite foam ear plugs.
    Paul
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
    Treasurer of the Forest City Motorrad Club #159
    Knights of the Roundel #333

  12. #27
    "Running Out The Clock" grafikfeat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_F View Post
    As I said, on the two occasions that the helmet pushed them too far into my ear...
    Not to argue... How is that possible?
    I've worn full face since 1978.
    Granted they are tight. Mine is so tight I can't chew gum... (no jokes)
    I bite the insides of my mouth. But pushing an ear plug in?
    I had a set stuck once. They were smaller bullet shaped...
    The flanged ones work well as they are flared at the ends.

    Given that... Yer braver than me to ask someone to pull out an ear plug.

    Oh... And sorry for the Hijack. This thread is about earphones. Not earplugs...
    "Stupidity, if left untreated, is self-correcting."

  13. #28
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    I am not so interested in music as hearing the GPS talk to me. My sight (near) is fading and I have to concentrate fairly hard to read anything near anymore, so I will be relying on the voice directions from my Zumo. The music will be used to fight boredom, or just for a mood change.

    I have always relied on my hearing for defensive riding, and do not want to block out all that is going on outside. In case it is suggested, I prefer not to wear bifocals while I ride, the line of sight for the GPS is too high, and I think it will be too uncomfortable. I will occasionally wear them when using a map in the tankbag, however the line of sight for the map is much lower than the GPS.
    Jim Mock
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  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_F View Post
    As I said, on the two occasions that the helmet pushed them too far into my ear, not only was it embarrassing for me to ask a total stranger (with long nails) to pull them out
    Leatherman tool works. DAMHIK
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

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  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by grafikfeat View Post
    Not to argue... How is that possible?
    I've worn full face since 1978.
    Granted they are tight. Mine is so tight I can't chew gum... (no jokes)
    I bite the insides of my mouth. But pushing an ear plug in?
    I had a set stuck once. They were smaller bullet shaped...
    The flanged ones work well as they are flared at the ends.

    Given that... Yer braver than me to ask someone to pull out an ear plug.

    Oh... And sorry for the Hijack. This thread is about earphones. Not earplugs...
    These are ER6is speaker earplugs. In order for them to work for me they need to be inserted well into the ear canal in order to isolate extraneous sounds. Normally not a problem with the helmet. However on two different occasions, as I pulled the helmet over my head, I could feel the earbud slide further inside the ear canal. It was very painful on each occasion. The plastic ends of the ER6is were not conductive to gripping by my fingers or my nails. Hence the need for assistance. Call me a clumsy or unlucky old man who most likely inserted the plugs just a touch too far, but not realizing it until the helmet gave the final push.

    The design of the Shure is such that they could never be pushed in too far as part of the speaker earbud design is at a right angle to the part inserted.
    Paul
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
    Treasurer of the Forest City Motorrad Club #159
    Knights of the Roundel #333

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